This week's hockey rules problem: how do you handle when a ball doesn't leave the circle before a shot is taken on goal during a penalty corner? We'll give you the answer on this #RuleyTuesday!
When it comes to hockey rules, 13.3(k) is the absolute WORST. This episode of #RuleyTuesday we'll pick apart the rule that tells us when we can score on a penalty corner and what to do when the ball doesn't leave the circle.
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Hey friends, I’m Keely Dunn of FHumpires back with another Ruley Tuesday; a hot take on just one rule in the book.
Big thanks to Matt Bullen and the man known only as Godders for today’s challenge: scoring a goal on the penalty corner after the ball has left the circle.
Subtitle: is 13.3(k) the worst rule in the book, or just the worst rule in the book?
Let’s get to it!
Rule of Hockey 13.3(k)
So everyone knows that in order to score a goal on the penalty corner, the ball must leave the circle first. Here’s the exact wording:
Oh wait, that’s ALL of 13.3, the longest subclause in the history of ever. THIS is the sub-sub-clause we’re looking for, our wee friend (k). “A goal cannot be scored until the ball has travelled outside the circle.”
What this means is just what it says on the tin: you can’t score until the ball has exited the circle.
It’s great that players don’t have to inject the ball directly out of the circle—as an injector, I thank our Ruley overlords for not penalizing the occasional whiff that needed a little assistance to get all the way over the line.
More importantly, it’s not a foul to shoot at goal before the ball has exited the circle: you just can’t score. Let me repeat that: it’s not a foul to shoot at goal even if the ball hasn’t left yet.
As an umpire, you can’t blow your whistle for a free hit absent any other foul like danger, and you simply have to call a 15m free hit if the ball flies cleanly over the goal line as if it passed on either side of the posts, or a 23m restart if the last touch was by a defender. And I HATE that journey for you.
How To Handle The Worst Rule in Hockey
So what do you do? You can tell the players what you’ve seen. “Not out, not yet”…so that your out of bounds decision is less of a surprise. Now, you’re not coaching them because you’re not telling the attackers what to do, but telling everyone on both teams what you’ve seen. You’re not the boss of them, they can decide how to live their best lives.
Bonus: Rule Change Alert
What could the rule say instead: how about: “no attacker is permitted to shoot at goal before the ball has left the circle.” It allows the team to fumble around and fix a bad injection or use their trick play, but allows the umpire to blow their whistle when every reasonable hockey person expects you to and minimizes unexpected and potentially dangerous shots from flying in. FIH Rules Committee: you’re welcome. I’ll be here all week.
In sum: attackers can shoot but not score if the ball hasn’t left the circle on a PC, you can tell them where the ball has NOT gone, and you learned it here on Ruley Tuesday.
Thanks for hanging out. If you have a rule burning a hole in your pocket for the next #RuleyTuesday, slide into the comments or replies and lay it on me. Also, if you have $3/month also burning a hole in your pocket every month, help us keep the maple syrup flowing with a FHU Third Team Green membership. Check that out at fhu3t.com.
Chau for now!