New Rules of Outdoor Hockey published


New Rules of Outdoor Hockey published by the Federation of International Hockey will be implemented by England Hockey at national level with effect from 1 August 2017.

There are a number of changes to the Outdoor Rules which are marked with a vertical line in the margin of the Rule Book document which included more detail on the changes listed below. For full rules visit the HockeyHub here.

They are summarised below, but players, coaches and umpires are encouraged to read the full text of the new rules rather than relying on this document. We are grateful to FIH for their help with compiling this summary.



1.10 – No items inside the goal: this is to bring the outdoor rules into line with the indoor rules.

2.1 – Clarification that if a team has too many players on the pitch a previously made decision can only be changed if play / time has not been re-started.

2.2 - Clarification that any change in the player who is the nominated Player with Goalkeeping Privileges (PwGKP), whether on or off the pitch, must take place as a substitution; so, by definition, the PwGKP cannot be changed after the award of a PC until such time as the PC is completed.

4.2 – This change tidies up the definitions of what protective equipment field players can wear to defend Penalty Corners (PCs). It includes the stipulation that hand protection must fit in an open-ended box of internal dimensions 290mm long x 180mm wide x 110mm high. The change to the guidance also makes it clear that players can wear knee pads outside their socks for protection provided that their colour is exactly the same as the colour of the socks. Knee pads that do not match the player’s sock colour must continue to be worn under the socks.

4.3 – Removal of the requirement that goalkeeper tops should be a single colour.

9.8 – Very minor clarification of what is dangerous.

9.16 – This introduces the guidance that if the ball hits PC protective gear that has been carelessly discarded by a defender, play is restarted with either a free hit to the attack, if the item is on the pitch outside the circle, or a PC, if the item is inside the circle.

11.8 – amended to take account of new guidance to rule 9.16

13.2 – The changes to Rule 13.2, which were posted to the FIH website on 16 February 2016 as an adjustment to the previous Rules, are now formally incorporated.

13.7.d - Two repeated paragraphs of guidance have been tidied up, with additional clarification regarding when a penalty corner is considered to be re-taken, as opposed to newly awarded.

13.8.e – This change makes it clear that the player defending a penalty stroke (PS) cannot move their feet once the whistle has been blown to start the PS until the attacker actually plays the ball.

13.10.d - Adjustment of the guidance for the caution/carding procedure for a Goalkeeper moving early at a Penalty Stroke, bringing it into line with the Indoor Rule

Changes to ‘Umpiring’ Section of Rule Book (pages 45-53)

4.3.c – Introduction of a new signal for the “long corner”, i.e. “using right or left arm as appropriate, with the arm well below shoulder level, draw an imaginary line from the point where the ball crossed the back-line to the point on the 23m line from which the re-start should be taken.”