Penalty shootout versus penalty stroke
For many years, followers of field hockey have lamented over the Penalty Stroke competition being used to separate two teams, particularly for Olympic and World Cup Gold and Silver Medals. Indeed it is relevant and equally frustrating at all levels of performance.
The 'Shootout' is a welcomed option by many. It has been tried over the years in different countries and the spectator focus is a clear indicator of its popularity. Yes, it is close to the 2012 Olympics and teams will have the Champion's Challenge and Trophy events to see it in play.
The attacker starts in the center of the 25 with the goalkeeper behind the goal line. From the whistle both players can move. There is an eight second window inside which the attacker must have the ball in the back of the net. There will be five attacks from each team with sudden death being implemented if required.
More hockey skill is involved in the execution of the 'Shootout' with eight seconds passing by very quickly if the attacker is not decisive with their chosen style of scoring.
Our international game continues to evolve. One of the few on the International stage where the challenge of change is inevitable.
For those who haven't witnessed the 'Shootout'; I think you're in for a treat. Will it be good for us in the USA? Yes, I think it will. At the International Level we will certainly be using it in all our preliminary series and tournaments.