I had a very unusual occurrence during a penalty stroke competition at domestic age-group championship several weeks ago. I thought I'd share it and canvass some opinions on other ways to deal with the situation - especially from those who've had a similar incident. This was the gold medal game and I was the controlling umpire. I forget exactly what the score was in the competition but this particular stroke was the decider in that if the stroke-taker missed, the game was over and the GK's team would win. The stroke-taker placed the ball on the spot, and when the players were in position and ready, I blew my whistle. The stroke-taker was positioned with her stick very close to the ball and reached out slightly and nudged it such that it moved a tiny amount. The GK said quietly and without moving, "She touched the ball." I replied, "I'm fine with that." The players were set in their positions, 3-5 seconds elapsed and the stroke-taker flicked the ball straight at the GK for the save - game over. The complaint made to me after the fact was not that the player touched the ball before taking the stroke (possibly a violation of 13.5(i) or (k)), but the other team complaining that the GK spoke during the taking of the stroke and that distracted the player. I'm not going to be able to convey all the nuances of the timing, the body language of the players and other factors that went into my decision. In my view, both players were committed to taking the stroke. Neither "pulled out", which, under the circumstances and in the spirit of the game, would have prompted me to restart the stroke from the beginning. Neither even looked at me, moved their bodies in any other way, and between the time that I told the GK I was ok with everything, a suitable amount of time elapsed such that neither was the stroke-taker taking advantage of the disruption nor was she hurried into taking her stroke. Obviously I'm second-guessing my decision not to completely reset the stroke. At the time I went with my instincts and the feel of the situation but is this a time where everything must be completely by the book? If so, given that there's no rule against either player speaking prior to the taking of the stroke - or would that be considered "during" the stroke? - was the only fouling player the stroke-taker? Your thoughts please.