New Delhi, Sep 14: In its bid to keep the artistic flavour of the game intact, a field goal will be counted as two in the next year's Hockey India League (HIL) as new rules and regulations take effect in season 4.
With auctions for the 2016 season slated for September 17, wherein 135 Indian and 141 foreign players will go under the hammer, HIL chairman Narinder Batra announced the new rules at a press conference in a city hotel here today.
Apart from the goal-scoring system, which is the highlight of the new innovation, franchisees will also have 20, instead of the usual 24 players, in their squad. It will be a composition of 12 Indian and 8 foreign players per side.
The squad must have minimum of two goalkeepers sitting on the bench and all the players of 20-member hockey squad will be mentioned in the match sheet and must be present at their respective team's dug-out during the HIL matches.
As per the new goal-scoring points system, the HIL 2016 will be known as the most competitive and first of its kind in any hockey competition where field goals will be given more priority than penalty corners.
In the HIL 2016 matches, 2 goal points will be awarded for every Field Goal to encourage more skillful and tactical hockey. To curb rough tackles and maintain discipline among players, 2 goal points will awarded to every Penalty-Stroke Goal scored other than resulting from penalty corner.
Two goals will also be awarded for every goal scored from a penalty stroke resulting from a penalty corner where a goal being scored is prevented by a deliberate foul.
The new goal-scoring system is approved by the FIH Competitions Committee and Rules Committee, which will promote spirited hockey and fair play among all players.
The rest of the goal-scoring point system remains the same where penalty corner goals, goal scored from a penalty stroke resulting from a penalty Corner (where a goal being scored is prevented as a results of the ball hitting a foot or body) as well as a goal from a direct shoot-out and penalty stroke goals in a shoot-out competition will be considered as one goal point.
The new regulations are also aimed to reduce aggressive moves and maintain discipline among players. Speaking on the announcement Hockey India president, Batra said, "Penalty corners give undue advantage to those teams which have penalty corner specialists. The teams also fight to earn penalty corners rather than scoring goals through field penetration."
"The new system will encourage teams and players to play to score goals instead of looking for penalties. The system will surely enhance players' skills and mentality of playing good hockey.
"HIL is committed to promoting the world's best hockey and with this new rules, players will improve themselves in a competitive environment. We expect Hockey India League to continue its legacy of high-class hockey and take the sport to a new level."
Earlier in August 2015, HIL had provided all the franchisees the option to retain upto three Indian and as many foreign players, while releasing the rest of the squad.
With 276 players to get auctioned, each franchisee will be looking at a strong team with the hope of having the required edge over others.