Most major sports have had to adapt their format, to encourage new fans through the turnstiles. Cricket turned to 20/20, rugby went the route of less players, via sevens rugby, Darts and snooker have knockout tournaments of one game to win. Now it is the turn of hockey. Hockey Australia, have announced the radical change to the 2011 CHOGM event held in October, at the Perth Hockey Stadium. This tournament is sure to be watched by governing bodies throughout the world. The new rules are designed to make the game more exciting, faster and probably most important, TV friendly. Changes are to include :-
Teams reduced from 11 players down to 9.
2 players to remain in the attacking half at all times.
Matches reduced to 2 x 15 minutes, with 5 mins break for halftime.
Other changes to simplify penalties will make them appeal to TV moguls. The changes will include :-
Only 2 defenders and a goalkeeper to defend a penalty corner.
The penalty stroke will start at the 23 metre line, with the player dribbling the ball forward into a 1 v 1 situation.
Non intentional use of the foot will be called play on, outside of the circle. Inside the circle, normal rules will apply.
A goal from inside the circle will be worth 2 goals, A goal from insid ethe half way line but, outside the circle will count as one goal.
Kookaburra hockey balls will be used at the tournament. Players and officials are excited about the new rules. If succesful you will see this form of hockey rolled out across the world. Again, if succesful, expect to see some major rule changes in the 11 player format too.