The experimental rule of 'shootout' to break the deadlock at the end of the match, introduced by the international hockey federation (FIH), will not be implemented in the ongoing Hockey India Senior National Hockey Championship.
The rule would have come into effect in the knockout stage starting on Thursday. Instead, teams will have to go through the penalty shootout in case of deadlock after the extra-time.
The shootout involves a one-on-one confrontation between the attacker and goalkeeper with the custodian getting a better chance to stop the attacker.
FIH introduced the rule this January to make the tiebreaker more competitive and interesting. Earlier, the rule had been introduced during the Premier Hockey League (PHL).
Shakeel Qureshi, tournament director and international umpire, told HT that a prior approval from the FIH is needed for implementing the experimental rule and the same could not be obtained for this event.
Coaches not happy
Some of the coaches, however, felt the experimental rule should have been tested as it would have helped the players and officials get acquainted with the latest development.
Kalu Charan Choudhary, the Orissa coach, said the shootout could have made the knockout stage more interesting. "Organisers should have tested it as it would not only have apprised players and officials of the rule but also made the matches interesting," he said. Ashok Dhyanchand, Olympian and coach of MP Hockey Academy, believes the initiative can bring skill and magic of the sport back.
"Every team now wants expert drag-flickers who can score goals and none of them like skilful players who can mesmerise viewers. The rule will at least give an opportunity to such players to exhibit their skills," he added.