THE AUSTRALIAN HOCKEY LEAGUE (AHL)
4 - 11 October 2014, Adelaide and Brisbane
The Australian Hockey League (AHL) is Australian hockey’s premier competition; a national championships contested by eight teams representing the eight states and territories of Australia. Athletes from the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos - Australia’s national teams - and the development and national under 21 squads compete for their home state alongside the top non-national team players in that state.
Amongst a number of developments, this year’s tournaments in Brisbane (women) and Adelaide (men) will see the competition take a giant step by introducing the new quarters format with matches played in four periods of 15 minutes.
The change is being implemented for the AHL only with special permission from the International Hockey Federation (FIH), who are introducing quarters to international hockey from 1 September. A similar quarters format has been in operation in the Euro Hockey League and Hockey India League for some time, although those leagues have, until now, used four periods of 17.5 minutes.
The format change will also see the introduction of a 40 second time stoppage immediately following the award of a penalty corner or a goal. Where a penalty corner is re-awarded the clock will not be stopped.
A two minute break after the completion of the first and third quarters will see the teams remain on the pitch while half time remains a ten minute break with the teams leaving the field of play.
Athletes and spectators alike will benefit from another of the changes to have occurred in international hockey in recent years with AHL umpires set to allow athletes to play the ball with their sticks above shoulder height provided it is not dangerous.
And staying with the umpires, if a defending player breaks the line early prior to the taking of a penalty corner they will be sent to the halfway line (or, in the case of the goalkeeper, a defending teammate will be sent halfway), while green cards will see an offending player serve a two minute suspension.
Permission for the changes outlined above has been granted specifically by the FIH for the Australian Hockey League and do not apply to other domestic competitions in Australia. For the full AHL tournament regulations click here.