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Behind the Whistle Indoor Scenario: Mask Left on Court

Jan. 21, 2021, 2:45 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,"Free Push Played into the Circle" by clicking here. 

Behind the Whistle Indoor Scenario: Mask Left on Court

After the completion of a penalty corner, a defender takes off their mask and attempts to throw it off the pitch. The mask does not get completely off the pitch and is still in the circle. Play turns around and now the ball is in the circle and hits the mask lying on the court. The ball hitting the mask does not prevent the ball from going into the goal. The umpire should:


The correct answer is…Award a Penalty Corner.

Rule9.17: Players must not throw any object or piece of equipment onto the pitch, at the ball, or at another player, umpire or person.

Following a penalty corner, if the ball hits any discarded equipment, such as a hand protector, knee pads or a face mask, a free push should be awarded if this occurs outside the circle,a penalty corner awarded if this occurs inside the circleor a penalty stroke if this prevents a certain goal from being scored.

Guidance: Umpires must be aware when equipment is still on the pitch. The only concern comes when the ball is played in and around the equipment. It is not a foul for the equipment to be on the pitch, only when the ball hits it would it be a foul.