Does our sport of field hockey need a Twenty 20 version of it?
Now this is an argument which has been debated and discussed now for some time, and there has never been any real conclusions. For a long time now the great World and Australian Hockey Coach Dr Ric Charlesworth has advocated that our sport needs to change to the Nine-a-side format which he introduced when coaching the Kookaburras (Australian Men) from 2005-2014. Now this could well be the way forward yes-
We all remember the Super 9's tournament which was held in Perth, for those that don't check out this link to refresh your memory-
An while this tournament certainly was exciting, initially and had big crowds in its first year, it died away very quickly and has pretty much now disappeared, the only one that is advocating and pushing for this now is pretty much Dr Ric Charlesworth.
Now we have Hockey 5's which is being played at Youth Olympic level, and yes this is a good format, and I do believe that we should be pushing to have this included at Olympic level in addition to the current 11-a-side format, but again it is not really a format that will work as a T20 version of hockey.
So what is my solution, well I am thinking that perhaps we don't need a solution, as that our game is perhaps right now in terms of number of the field fine. Perhaps what we should be looking at is tweaking rules instead. There has all ready been a number of good rule changes around the world of hockey that I think should be brought in across the board to make the game more exciting. These are-
- In the Indian Hockey League a field goal being worth 2 rather than 1.
- The introduction of quarters, which I still think know coach at international level is yet to truely harness to their teams advantage.
However I would look at introducing these other rules changes as well-
- 3 point shot for a goal scored by a player if they hit it from outside the attacking d but inside the 5 yard broken line.
- Teams can nominate twice per game for a period of 3 minutes an attacking power play where all goals scored through this period double.
- Eliminate the draw, by re-introducing golden goal extra time for all game's, with a twist that both teams must drop from 11 players to 9 players and they are only allowed 2 subs. The time period would be 7 minutes only 1 way, then it goes to shoot-out.
So there just a few changes I might make to the game, I welcome other comments what does everyone else think, do we need a T20 version or are we ok as we are, do we need to change some rules to make the game more exciting or are we ok as we are. If you were in administration what would you do with our game, look forward to hearing from you.