Penalty Stroke Competition: Managing an odd situation

Discussion in 'PS and Goalkeeping' started by keely, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. keely

    keely FHF Legend

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    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.
     
  2. justin-old

    justin-old FHF Legend

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    OK here's my 2c.

    I think my instincts, as one who's done a bit of athletics starting, would have been to say "Hold it please....let's start again" to both players, as soon as the keeper spoke, then to re-set the stroke.

    The keeper, in your judgement, wasn't disadvantaged by the 'touch', but I think the whole incident could be said possibly to have upset the concentration of either or both.

    If the striker repeated her action, I'd give a hit-out..... the stroke being, technically IMO, over as soon as she moved the ball. .... but I wouldn't say anything 'extra' to either player after the first 'go', as it could give the defence some justification for asking why she was getting a second go at all.
     
  3. controller

    controller FHF Legend

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    This is one of those situations which can of gone two ways.

    You used common sense and allowed it to continued.

    In regard to the keeper speaking, there is nothing as you say for this not to happen as long as it can not be consider unsportsmanlike, but in a game I have had the striker talking to himself to calm his nerves and again there is noting against it.

    I do agree with Justin
    But then again, as I said earlier common sense took place.
     
  4. redumpire

    redumpire FHF All Time Great
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    Sitting here now, at my desk in a comfortable chair with a cup of tea, I'm pretty sure that I'd re-set the stroke in those circumstances. I'm also sure that if those circumstances arise in a future game that I umpire I'll re-set it, having been given this opportunity to think it through. But, that's not to say that I think you got it wrong Keely. As Controller kind of says, at the time you went with what felt right in a situation that was "outwith" the rules and that's all we can ever be expected to do. If the goal had been scored I doubt the issue would even have arisen.
     
  5. Hockeyjon

    Hockeyjon FHF Regular Player

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    I think takers team have a bit of a nerve... Technically they have broken the rules by touching the ball, that in itself could've unnerved the GK. So I think they are morally wrong to question the GK's vocal comment.
    I don't think the level of game is relevent. I would've stopped the stroke immediately the GK made the comment & reset. Made comment to the striker reminding him/her not to repeat the incident. The result would have meant both teams would've been reasonably satisfied with that outcome, that's probably an effective way of managing the situation to everones satisfaction..
     
  6. philthy

    philthy FHF All Time Great

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    Yes I think it's very easy to sit here and say "you should have re-set the stroke", but from a player's perspective I think keely handled it exactly as I'd expect it to be handled.

    She touched it
    That's fine
    Play on

    Sounds like the stroke taker's team wanted an excuse because she'd missed her flick.

    The keeper was probably looking for an excuse not to have to face it by saying "she touched it" - if she'd been truly distracted by it she'd've made more of it
     
  7. justin-old

    justin-old FHF Legend

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    I agree with red... armchair umpiring is very easy :) It's an interesting scenario.

    However, although a reasonable case can be, and has been, made for either playing-on or re-setting, I do think this is one of those 'high-tension' situations, especially as it was such a crucial PS, where the slightest 'variation from the norm' can be very distracting (a bit like the hooter going , mid-PC!).
    Here we had the striker touching (and moving) the ball, the goalkeeper complaining and the umpire saying "I'm fine with that"....three 'variations', which probably none of the persons involved had previously experienced.

    If I were the keeper, I'd have stepped-out & said "Please wait!", or done something to get the PS re-set (whatcha gonna do, yellow card me?), because I'd be thinking along the lines "She's not supposed to do that!", and would, therefore feel distracted from my need to focus. (But this was a young keeper, possibly not very 'street-wise'!)

    The striker was, possibly, thinking "Phew, lucky break!" and was also not focused.

    And the umpire is possibly wondering "That was my gut-instinct, but was it correct?"...... not so critical, especially for an experienced umpire, but a less experienced one might be distracted to the point of forgetting the correct procedure if something else happened!

    A brief 'time-out' and re-set allows everyone to settle-down.
     
  8. keely

    keely FHF Legend

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    Good points, everyone. Knowing that I'm still thinking about it weeks later is a good sign that I agree I should have done something differently. I figured it was worth sharing as it was an unusual situation that perhaps having read about happening to someone else, others can avoid it happening to them in the future (that's me - making mistakes for the common good!). ;)
     
  9. justin-old

    justin-old FHF Legend

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    That's gotta be worth a point, keely (I tried to award one, but it didn't seem to work....'database error' ....you must have too many ;) )....thanks for sharing it, anyway :)

    Under the same heading, what would you do if the keeper fell on the ball and neither of you could see it or be sure whether it was over the line? (I didn't think it needed a new thread)

    (I see the rep pt worked, eventually )
     
  10. redumpire

    redumpire FHF All Time Great
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    It worked justin! I get that error whenever I award rep points too. One for the techies I think...
     
  11. nerd_is_the_word

    nerd_is_the_word FHF All Time Great

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    i think that its mainly a question of timing between when ther keeper spoke and when the striker flicked the thing. If the player had at least a second to compose herself and flick it then sorry bad luck, you dont get a second chop at the cherry. If on the other hand, the keeper said something at a time when the player was already in the motion of flicking, you would almost have to re set it.

    Lets face it, even though teams may complain, the difference between giving them 3 seconds to compose themselves, and giving them 15 seconds to compose themselves makes almost no difference when you factor in the concentration break of you re-setting the PS
     
  12. justin-old

    justin-old FHF Legend

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    (Someone else in the running for a 'Public Spiritedness Rep Point' ...... thanks, red :) )

    I think the difference is, nitw, that a re-set tends to, IMO, 'draw a line' under what has happened.....just waiting for the quoted 3-5 seconds is less likely to ensure that one or more of the parties isn't still distracted, thinking about 'who's to blame?'.
    And, as I understood it these are young players whose concentration may be suffering, at the end of a crucial game and a PS competition.

    Put yourself in the young 'keeper's position..... the whistle has gone for the stroke, so she's really hyped-up....
    the stroke-taker is positioned with her stick very close to the ball and reaches out slightly and nudges it such that it moves a tiny amount..... Keeper thinks "What the Heck is going on? I'll speak to the ump, but better keep watching the ball!"
    Umpire says "I'm fine with that."......Keeper thinks "OH, I'd better concentrate hard, then!"
    Now the striker takes 3-5 seconds, relatively quite an appreciable delay, IMO.....Keeper thinks "Is she ever gonna take it..OH, it hit me!" :rolleyes:

    I am puzzled as to why the striker felt the need to "nudge" the ball, anyway ??? Inexperience and fatigue, presumably...she was risking having the PS declared over!
     
  13. Neo

    Neo Technical Moderator

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    Keely, we have all had second thoughts about decisions we make in the management of hockey games; some have little effect on the outcome, some have more. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but it has an obverse side, which is the "re-writing of history". We can all retell our stories and chose the emphasis that we prefer. I suspect that the stroke taker, naturally nervous, just touched that ball without meaning to. There's no reason to believe that that nervousness was affected one way or the other by the GK's words. After the event, they have started to re-write their history to make it less stressful on themselves or their team mates, and/or their teammates have looked for reasons to explain the missed opportunity.

    I don't see any reason for you to doubt the decision you made in those circumstances. And as you said, all your observations lead you to believe that the adults accepted you decision and made their decisions to proceed.

    Yes, the recounting of your experience is a valuable story, and may help some of us if we ever see a similar situation in future, and as the armchair experts may point out, resetting the stroke is a "safe" way to proceed, but I'm sticking with what you chose to decide in those circumstances - it's only the regrets and the what-if's of the players that we are dealing with, really ;)
     
  14. justin-old

    justin-old FHF Legend

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    Of course, Neo, there's a good chance that the decision made no difference to the outcome.

    However, being a perfectionist, keely is asking (herself and us) "But could I have handled it (even) better?".

    I simply believe that the re-set is likely to be perceived as fairer to all parties, and hence gives them less cause to whinge.
     
  15. aussieump

    aussieump FHF All Time Great
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    Interesting one in several ways.

    The fact the player touched the ball is not considered as having played the ball definition in Rules 2007/8
    Playing the ball : field player
    Stopping, deflecting or moving the ball with the stick.

    as the ball did not move they have not played the ball.

    Is waiting 3 -5 seconds not complying

    13.5.h the player taking the stroke must not take it until the whistle has been blown
    The player taking the stroke or the player defending it must not delay the taking of the stroke.

    As others have stated it is easy from our chairs but in hindsight a reset would have been in order of the day.

    As to the part of a small mental lapse in the Penalty Stroke Competition well this happens that is why when a Penalty Stroke Competition is used the usage of the Penalty Stroke sheet makes things easier. I ensure I always have one for each game over the course of finals for such instances.


    Just my thoughts
     
  16. Goalie64

    Goalie64 FHF All Time Great

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    Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    Given that the rule on now just blowing the whistle was introduced to replace the "keeper ready/taker ready" rule in case players had language issues, I would suggest that anything arising in the flick that needs the umpire to speak should make a reset the best option.

    How you communicate this (quickly) to the players and spectators is another issue.

    OK - I'm guessing in this case both were English speakers, and to be honest in the games I umpire if a flick arises I'm quite happy to still ask if both are ready and then blow the whistle.


    In this case I think the result was the right one.
    If the taker had been distracted, they should have asked you to reset.


    As to the keeper falling on the ball so you can't see the ball. Only thing I can think of is to ask them to get up while both umpires very carefully look at where the ball is. If it is still unclear, then would a retake be the only option?

    Out of interest, what was the age group of the players?
     
  17. justin-old

    justin-old FHF Legend

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    aussieump
    But keely says the ball did 'move':
    Quote: ".......reached out slightly and nudged it such that it moved a tiny amount......" (the rules don't specify a minimum distance).
    However, she presumably decided, at the time, that the keeper had not been disadvantaged, and allowed play to continue.

    But, in view of your observations (which seem to suggest there was no reason for 'intervention'), on what basis do you believe that "a reset would have been in order of the day" (sic) ?

    As goalie64 says, I think that if there is any 'unexpected interruption' of a PS (eg dog runs on the pitch).... which you don't judge to be some sort of 'gamesmanship'.... then a re-set is probably fairest to all.

    (Perhaps we need an international "STOP!" signal for use at PSs...... perhaps just both hands raised palms forward in front of the shoulders?...pretty universally recognised by drivers when parking :) )

    Goalie64
    This other incident (keeper's body obscuring ball position) happened to me before it was common practice for the other umpire to come up to the line, so I was, effectively on my own.
    As you suggest, I told the keeper not to move, went up close and instructed him to get up , very slowly (wanted to be sure he didn't 'adjust' anything!)
    FWIW, the ball was not over the line....so no goal. :)
     
  18. keely

    keely FHF Legend

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    U19. The stroke-taker was definitely nervous, as Neo alluded to. Her intention was clearly to reach out and measure the distance to the ball to ensure her feet were in the right place, and inadvertently moved the ball by a fraction of an inch (I did say tiny!).

    The problem is that only the GK can see you as the controlling umpire. Your colleague is looking and the goal line (or they better be at that moment!) and would take a precious second or two to see your signal.

    The way I saw it in my head was that I'd have to blow my whistle, probably a couple of times, and walk forward and explain that the PS was going to be reset even though neither player had done anything wrong. Given how nervous the players were, I was worried that would be even more disruptive and very confusing for everyone, including the spectators. But still, I agree, it would have been the better option at the end of the day.
     
  19. justin-old

    justin-old FHF Legend

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    I agree you'd have to do a little "peep-peep" on the whistle to get their attention.
    I don't think there should be a problem if you say something like "Let's start again, please", as they both know that there have been 'incidents'. Any questioning would, IMO, be dissembling.

    But, I also agree that you might well decide (as you did) that it's better (ie less disruptive) just to go on as if nothing has happened.
    It's probably better if the players don't know how you might call it...it should prevent them from trying any little gamesmanship tricks to unsettle the opposition.
    (I can't think what they might do if they knew you'd always re-set if there were some sort of incident, but you know how inventively cunning some of the little darlings can be ;) )

    Whatever decision(s) one makes, some players will try to use them as an excuse for their own poor performance :yes:
     
  20. CardHappy

    CardHappy FHF Legend

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    I know how I would have dealt with it ... as a keeper!

    Keels, what would you have done as an umpire if I (as the keeper) had run out and kicked the ball off the spot?

    The attacker had touched the ball and moved it... everyone saw it..

    Everyone seems to be agreeing that a reset or what you actually did would be correct.... but...

    :eek:
     

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