FIH keen to introduce HIL's two-goals-for-one-field-goal rule in World Hockey

FIH keen to introduce HIL's two-goals-for-one-field-goal rule in World Hockey

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The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is contemplating to introduce Hockey India League's ‘two-goals-for-one-field-goal' rule in the international arena. FIH CEO Jason McCracken is personally very impressed with the innovative rule, which is aimed at increasing the percentage of field goals.

In a bid to develop the artistic flavour of the game, the Hockey India had brought a new rule in the 2016 edition, in which a field goal would be counted as two in the Hockey India League. The move was basically aimed at increasing the percentage of field goals and encouraging attacking hockey. With the rule finding success at HIL, McCracken said that the world body is seriously considering implementing the "innovative" system in the international arena.

"I have been in India earlier this year during the Hockey India League and I was personally very impressed with the two goals for a field goal rule. It has revived the attacking style of hockey. The rule is very interesting and innovative," McCracken told PTI in an interview from London.

"We at FIH will certainly look at it and consider it. But it generally takes time to implement a new rule because we have to give time to national teams to get used to it.

"Till the 2018 World Cup, we can't make any changes to playing rules but we will seriously consider it after that. We at FIH are open to innovative ideas. The video umpire was first introduced in European Hockey League and we later implemented in international hockey after reviewing it," the Kiwi said.

McCracken also believes that the just-announced Hockey Pro League will witness the revival of India-Pakistan rivalry on the turf.  In this league, each country will play the other eight in a double round-robin format at home and away, culminating in a grand finale at the end of the year between the top four teams.

For the Hockey Pro League, Pakistan has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Scottish Hockey to conduct its home matches in Scotland because of security reasons back home. India are scheduled to host the Pakistan at home, but the world body has kept up a back-up plan in case it doesn't happen because of continued diplomatic tensions between the two nations.

"Scotland has agreed to host Pakistan's games. Scotland has sizeable Pakistani population. But we want India to host Pakistan in India," the FIH CEO said.

"But we are aware of the diplomatic situation between the two countries. FIH president Narinder Batra is in close dialogue with the Indian government. We understand it's complex but we are trying hard and hoping the rivalry will continue on Indian soil," McCracken said.

"But we have kept alternatives. That's a possibility (India hosting Pakistan in a neutral venue) but our effort will be to see India play Pakistan at its own soil."

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