USA Field Hockey


NewsBehind the Whistle

Behind the Whistle: Playing Advantage

by USA Field Hockey

Each week, USA Field Hockey's Umpiring Department will provide video clips for educational purposes on recent plays/calls.

Scenario: Goalkeeper plays the ball legally which in turn hits the foot of a defender. The ball continues to be close enough for an attacker to collect it and take a shot. The umpire plays advantage and eventually awards 23 meter restart.  The attacking teams asks for a video referral for the ball off the foot of the defender after being awarded the long hit.

Rule 9.11: It is not always an offense if the ball hits the foot, hand, or body of a field player. The player only commits an offense if they gain an advantage or if they position themselves with the intention of stopping the ball in this way.

Umpiring  2.2…Advantage:

  1. It is not necessary for every offense to be penalized when no benefit is gained by the offender; unnecessary interruptions to the flow of the match cause undue delay and irritation
  2. When the Rules have been broken, an umpire must apply advantage if this is the most severe penalty
  3. Possession of the ball does not automatically mean there is an advantage; for advantage to apply, the player/team with the ball must be able to develop their play
  4. Having decided to play advantage, a second opportunity must not be given by reverting to the original penalty
  5.  It is important to anticipate the flow of the match, to look beyond the action of the moment and to be aware of potential developments in the match.

Guidance: The umpire recognized that the attacker had the opportunity to play the ball and control it with the opportunity to shoot on the goal. Just because the defender gets the stick on the ball to stop it from going into the goal, the umpire cannot go back to the original foul as it was determined the foot had no effect on the shot on goal. If the shot would have not been blocked by the defender, the attack would have surely preferred the goal. Proper application and composure by the umpire.

Video clips and photos are being utilized for educational purposes only and not meant to critique individual players, coaches or officials.