20th March 2014: The FIH has announced changes to the structure of the game that will result in a higher intensity, faster paced and more exciting game of hockey. As of 1 September, major FIH events such as the Champions Trophy, Hockey World League Final and Rio 2016 Olympic Games will assume a new format that includes moving to four 15-minute quarters and having 40-second time-outs when a penalty corner is awarded and after a goal is scored.
Leandro Negre, President of FIH, said: “The decision demonstrates our commitment to fan engagement. With the additional breaks, fans will have the opportunity to enjoy more replays and be more engaged with the event, whether in the stadium or watching from a far, while hockey commentators will be allowed more time to provide sport analysis between plays. In addition, coaches and players will see improvement in their performance with the additional opportunities to re-hydrate and re-strategize.”
Overall game time will move from 70 minutes (previously two 35-minute halves) to a 60-minute game with four 15-minute quarters. The additional time-outs for penalty corners and after goals ensures that the new 60-minute format is primarily actual playing time and eliminates the dead time associated with penalty corner set up while allowing for teams to enjoy their goal celebrations.
Photograph: Santi Freixa (EHF/Frank Uijlenbroek (c))