Amersham and Chalfont HC - Umpire Advice

This page is to help umpires with advice and coaching suggestions
If you are new to umpiring and need information or want information on how to start either go to our umpire links page or email our umpire developers team

June 2020
EH have released some excellent modules to help develop your umpiring skills. They can be found here

Rule Changes 2019
There have been several changes this year and England Hockey have adopted most of them and the official version can be found here.
Some guidance is given below
  1. No kicking backs are permitted; teams either have 10 outfield players plus a fully kitted goalkeeper or 11 outfield players. If the goalkeeper is suspended or injured a kicking back is not an option. Note if playing without a GK they can NOT be substituted back on when a penalty corner is awarded BUT they can if a penalty flick is awarded. If the team decides to (or has to) defend the penalty flick without a goalkeeper the defender may only wear a facemark as protective equipment and only use their stick to make a save. 
  2.  Inside the 23 ALL players must be 5 metres from where the free hit is taken (including those in the D) UNLESS the free hit is taken immediately in which case defending players may track inside the D until the ball travels 5 metres. Coaching tip; remind players verbally early on in the game, if ignored or repeat offending upgrade to a penalty corner.
  3.  Free hits to the defending team in their circle can be taken anywhere in the D. Note if the ball goes out of play over the back line this is not a free hit and is a defensive free out (also called a 16) this is still taken in line with where the ball went out. Coaching tip; it is important to use the correct signal, a free hit only requires one arm to be raised, a 16 needs both
  4. At a penalty corner If any attacking player enters the D before the ball is injected then the player taking the injection is to be replaced and the corner retaken. Defenders breaking early remains the same.
  5.  If the ball hits equipment laying in the circle and a probable goal is prevented a penalty flick may be awarded. e.g. the ball hits a discarded face mask and is stopped from going in the goal. If a goal is not prevented and the attacking team are disadvantaged then a penalty corner should be awarded.
  6.  The rule regarding when a penalty corner is complete has been amended. The situation where the ball leaving the D for the second time for substitutions and end of time has been removed. All other conditions remain e.g. goal, free hit to defence, ball travels more than 5 metres outside the D, over the back line and not another penalty corner, a defender commits an offence that does not result in another corner (e.g. foot o/s the D but inside the 5m) penalty stroke awarded or a bully (if a bully is awarded at the end of time then the corner is retaken.
  7. Games of four quarter will only be played for National League and EH Tier 1 competitions.

Face masks
A face mask may only be worn throughout the match for medical reasons. The may also be worn when defending a penalty stroke (as 1 above) or when defending a penalty corner for the duration of the penalty stroke or penalty corner. Players still wearing a face mask may take a free hit or 16 quickly but can not self-pass and MUST pass the ball to another player. Note: the intention is to maintain players safety, be proactive so if a defender runs after a ball outside the 5m dotted circle remind them to remove the mask. If they have the ball they need to pass it to another so they can remove the mask. Only penalise if they ignore you and continue running with the ball. 

Reckless play guidance in the rules:
"Reckless play, such as sliding tackles and other overly physical challenges by field players, which take their opponent to the ground and which have the 
potential to cause injury should attract appropriate match and personal penalties" 

In other words if a field player slides and either before, during or after takes an opponent to the ground they should receive a 10 minute yellow card, it does not matter if they play the ball it is dangerous and this type of tackle should be discouraged. If it inside their defensive 23m area a penalty corner awarded and if inside the D a penalty stroke awarded. If the action is by the Goalkeeper in a genuine attempt to play the ball but they miss the ball and take a player in possession of the ball (or denying the player an opportunity to play the ball) a penalty stroke should be awarded. If this action by the GK is reckless or no attempt to play the ball then a personal penalty is awarded along with the penalty stroke.

If any player makes an intentional foul on a player inside the D who does not have possession of the ball or is not denied possession of the ball then a personal penalty is awarded along with a penalty corner.

Help re lifted balls:
Rule 9.10 Players must not approach within 5 metres of an opponent receiving a falling raised ball until it has been received, controlled and is on the ground. 
Guidance; The initial receiver has a right to the ball. If it is not clear which player is the initial receiver, the player of the team which raised the ball must allow the opponent to receive it.

Coaching tips; In simple terms look for these things
a) was it safe going up? - if not give a free hit where it was raised. 
b) is it clearly dropping to someone? - if yes everyone else must give them 5m, penalise the opponent closing in - use voice to encourage others to stay away
c) is it dropping to no clear person in a crowd? - Give free hit at drop area to the team that did not raise the ball - Blow the whistle early
d) is it dropping into space and two players charge into that area, at the same time? - Give a free hit at drop area to the team that did not raise the ball - Blow the whistle early
e) is it dropping into clear space safely? Play on.
Remember the initial receiver has a right to the ball, all the above guidance is designed for players safety, so if you remain consistent then they should not complain (to much).

Second Yellow Cards
If a player has already received a yellow card for a minor offence and commits the same minor offence again then second yellow card should be shown followed by a red card. If it is a different minor offence a yellow card may be shown by will be for a longer period of suspension (10 minutes) Note dissent is never a minor offence and a second yellow should not be used it would be a straight red card.

The reason for the distinction is a straight red has a minimum 16 day suspension, a second yellow followed by a red card only suspends the player for the rest of the match. In both cases the player must leave the pitch and caged area before play restarts AND the umpire must complete a red card report form within 72 hrs: note speak to one of the umpiring team as soon as you can after the match.

If you have any questions email our umpiring team and we will reply and post some here to help others

Good Luck and enjoy umpiring, remember players do not have a game without you!