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Behind the Whistle Indoor Scenario: Free Push Played into the Circle

Jan. 14, 2021, 1 p.m. (ET)

With the New Year beginning, USA Field Hockey is hopeful to get back to playing indoor field hockey and will look to post “Behind the Whistle” scenarios associated with indoor hockey in January and February. The popular “Behind the Whistle” feature is designed to help the entire field hockey community better understand rules and rule application. USA Field Hockey encourages anyone with an Indoor Rules question, video or scenario to please submit it to Submissions will be selected to be featured in upcoming “Behind the Whistle” postings.

Remember to check out last week's indoor scenario, "Ball off the Pitch" by clicking here

Behind the Whistle Indoor Scenario: Free Push Played into the Circle

The attacking team is awarded a free push inside their attacking half near the right sideboard. The player taking the free push plays the ball off the sideboard 1-meter away and then the ball travels another 4 meters untouched into the circle. (see the diagram)…The umpire should:

The correct answer is “Award a free push to the defending team at the point where the free push originated”.

FIH Indoor Rule 13.2.e: From a free push awarded to the attack within the half of the pitch they are attacking, the ball must not be played into the circle until it has traveled at least 3 meters, not necessarily in a single direction, or has been touched by a defending player. The ball may also be played into the circle off the side-boards, providing that it has traveled at least 3 meters before bounding off them.

Guidance: The ball would have had to travel a minimum of 3 meters before hitting the sideboard for this action to be legal. Since the attacker only played the ball over a distance of 1-meter before the ball rebounded off the board, this is a free push to the defense. The ensuing defense free push out is taken where the original free push was attempted, in the same way as if this push was sent directly into the circle untouched.