Raising the ball in indoor is a no-no, unless we're shooting on goal. But when do we call it, and when do we let it go? We've got the answer in this #RuleyTuesday.
Roiling with reservations regarding raised balls? Rest assured, this indoor #RuleyTuesday is a recipe for reconciliation. Let’s do this!
Hey friends! I’m Keely of FHumpires with a hot take on one hockey rule. Don’t forget that if you are loving our efforts to keep Tuesdays Ruley, please consider enrolling in our $3/mo. fhu3t Green membership. We appreciate your support!
9.9 is another very indoor rule, which is geared to keeping the ball on the court.
9.9 Players must not raise the ball off the pitch except for a shot at goal.
The guidance continues:
It is not an offence if the ball rises unintentionally off the pitch by less than 100 mm unless an opponent is within playing distance of the ball.
Time to get out the cm rulers?
If you’ve been playing at home, you’ll know that this is the point at which we talk about why the rule is the rule and if you said, “what is danger, Alex?”, you’d be absolutely right. Keeping the ball on the hardcourt during play except when shooting keeps everyone’s teeth in their faces where they belong. Closer proximity of players combined with high rates of ball speed, yada yada, you’ve heard this before, right?
Bad, Bad Guidance
Now, the first part of the rule is clear enough, so let’s breeze on through to this highly-problematic guidance section. If you’re wondering where the heck 100mm comes from, it’s the height of the boards. So what the guidance purports to indicate, if you apply, you know, inferential reasoning, is that if a the ball is raised less than 100mm off the court it’s not a foul unless an opposing player is within playing distance, that means it IS a foul if the ball is raised more than 100mm even if an opposing player ISN’T within playing distance.[Awkward GIF]
The problem with this wording which leads one down the garden path of absolutism interpretation is that it directly contradicts 12.1. You’ve heard me talk about it such hit shows as, well, pretty much every other Ruley Tuesday because it applies to every decision an umpire makes in awarding a foul. It’s the Golden Rule. Not only do we all know that we’re not going to award a penalty when a player hasn’t been disadvantaged by an opponent breaking the Rules, we know that the objectives talk about how we’re not here for blowing our whistles for technical infringements because it’s annoying AF. So what’s an umpire to do?
Far be it for me to yet again point out a rule that makes it harder for umpires to do their jobs well, but ain’t nobody got time for this. Look; read the room. You’ll notice in the clips that players understand the concept of disadvantage quite well and even those who may appeal for tick-tacky foul will stop when they consider what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. So continue to apply the Golden Rule and, Rules Committee: select all and delete that nonsense.
What Is a Disadvantage?
Now that’s settled, what kind of raises disadvantages opposing players? It’s a sliding scale. The closer an opponent is to the ball that’s been lifted, the smaller the raise can be when it will affect that player’s ability to tackle or correctly read what should happen with the ball next. Half a court away? Mistraps of any height ain’t no thing. Within playing distance? A board-height raise *could* be enough to change things for the worse.
Don’t forget, there are also raises which occur on push passes. These can be tough to pick up at certain angles, especially if the flooring gives off a glare that removes shadows or blurs your vision on the ball. A raise that goes right over a defender’s stick is by definition disadvantageous. A slight raise that deflects the ball off the top edge of their stick: the same thing. A raise at that height that goes between players and their ability to intercept is in no way affected by the lift? Play that on.
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Chau for now!
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