Behind The Whistle (Video)
QUESTION: Time-outs for high school are a total length of 90 seconds. When the umpire blows her whistle and signals the time-out, when does the 90 second clock begin ticking? Does it begin rightaway or only after the teams are huddled?
ANSWER: The 90-second time-out begins immediately. The total time without play should be 90 seconds. The manner in which a team uses the time-out period is a coaching decision. There is no requirement for either team to huddle.
QUESTION: A player shoots on goal from inside the circle. She lifts the ball high into the air but the ball goes through the net at the back of the goal. Neither the umpire in the circle, nor the other umpire sees the ball go into the cage at all. Is it a goal?
ANSWER: When the umpires arrive they should check the netting, minimizing the likelihood that this type of thing will happen. Regardless, if the umpires as you describe do not recognize that the ball went through the netting they can only judge it as a wide shot. If the umpire recognizes that the ball did actually go through the netting then a goal is awarded.
QUESTION: If a goalie has attempted to block a shot with a dive, and is then stormed by several players who begin swinging thier sticks wildly at the ball and the ball goes under the goalie on a subsequent shot should this be a stroke for covering, or should the wild swingers be called for dangerous play?
ANSWER: All players have the responsibility to play safely. No player is allowed to obstruct an opponent from reaching the ball. Based on your description, the action of the goalkeeper is perfectly legal. As long as the goalkeeper does not intentionally move onto the ball or pull the ball under himself or herself, it is the responsibility of the attacker to play safely and do something constructive with the ball. Beating it under the goalkeeper is not constructive and is dangerous. Therefore, based on your description of the play, a free hit to the defense should be awarded for the danger involved with this play.
Please check out the video of Level I Umpire Olivia Albanese. At 15 years of age, she is one of the youngest (if not the youngest) USA Field Hockey certified Level I Umpires. She started officiating at the Regional Futures Tournament when she was 11 years old and is taking her officiating skills to the 2010 National Hockey Festival in November.