UmpireHockey.com Names FHF it's Official Forum

Discussion in 'Resources, Equipment, Signals' started by UmpireHockey.com, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. keely

    keely FHF Legend

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    No worries Shep, appreciate the gracious post. I promise I won't >: next time too.
     
  2. Cascadia

    Cascadia FHF Legend

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    I love that smiley, its eyebrows remind me of the guy from the OC (off topic again, I know, but it had to be said!)

    Question for Chris: Do you know what the average monthly traffic is for umpirehockey.com? It would be interesting to know how much exposure we actually stand to gain from this!
     
  3. UmpireHockey.com

    UmpireHockey.com FHF All Time Great

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    I come to this from a web publishing background in consumer products and because there is such a relatively small number of umpires and because the goals of UmpireHockey.com have never been about traffic, the volume of traffic to the site hasn't been of much interest to me. The impact of a globally available hockey officiating publication that works hard at "getting it" right and describing things in non-FIH/NFHS/NCAA speak has been more important and has proved valuable to many people who have written the site to say so.

    I can tell you that when I was counting visitors the number of new people, eh, new IP addresses, that were coming to the site for the first time on any given day was as high as about 50 and more typically about 10. Even then, I wasn't looking at traffic volume just new visitors.

    I can also tell you that dozens of sites, including national governing body sites, have links to UmpireHockey.com (I don't think USA Field Hockey is among the sites that link to UmpireHockey.com).

    A friend recently introduced me to some free traffic analysis technology that I might employ but, like I indicated, it just isn't a driver so, I'm not terribly interested.

    I would like to be able to bring MORE to UmpireHockey.com from OUTSIDE the USA. I have a good sense of what is needed for officiating within the USA but, I'm not particularly close to the issues that need addressing in other parts of the world. Point is, I welcome article submissions aimed at helping to advance hockey by advancing officiating.

    Hope that helps...Cris

    PS: As I type this, the new lead article on UmpireHockey.com is about naming FHF as UmpireHockey.com's official forum. I plan to expand the article with some details about Steve's efforts here (Steve, see email sent to your gmail account).
     
  4. BlackCat

    BlackCat FHF Regular Player

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    Perhaps this forum will help sort out some of the erroneous information previously posted on UH.com site (e.g. forehand edge - which I know has already been debated at length already).
     
  5. UmpireHockey.com

    UmpireHockey.com FHF All Time Great

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    BlackCat –

    Please substantiate your accusation.

    I’d be happy to engage in a dialog that will improve the site and its content.

    If your intent is to simply jump at an opportunity make anonymous, backhanded, negative comments void of any substantive information about the site, then perhaps it’s just a personal issue you have with the publisher or your own self-esteem.

    Second time someone, perhaps you twice, has made a little smear comment about the site. And, as I basically said the last time, tell me what is wrong with the video (or what erroneous content is) on UmpireHockey.com and I'd be happy to fix it.

    Given that I reached out to Roger Webb and he reviewed BOTH articles and BOTH videos about the forehand edge hit PRIOR to publishing, I rather doubt the information about the forehand edge hit is (or was) erroneous.

    Months after the publication of the first article and first video, the FIH changed their description of what was to be considered illegal and that caused UmpireHockey.com to have additional conversations with Mr. Webb and update the article and the video.

    It was funny though, because after the FIH changed the description a “high status†umpire here in the US took a similar opportunity to whine to USA Field Hockey like a two-year old who didn’t get the toy he/she wanted for Christmas, about how horrible UmpireHockey.com is and held up the video on the forehand edge hit as her/his evidence.

    But, I’m sorry, I digress. Please just substantiate your accusation.

    Good game…Cris
     
  6. keely

    keely FHF Legend

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    No need to get upset, Cris - all that was said was "erroneous information." Your videos have been extensively discussed earlier in the life cycle of this forum and many posters, including me, agreed that the segment on the forehand edge hit didn't reflect the more widely-held interpretation of the rule.

    Please see these threads:

    forehand with edge of stick
    interesting Youtube stuff

    We all get called "wrong" on a regular basis here - it's part of the rigorous discussion. Sometimes, we simply don't reach an agreement as a community.

    Hope that helps.
     
  7. redumpire

    redumpire FHF All Time Great
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    Cris

    I too struggle with that video. I'll try to explain why.

    The rules state as follows:

    So there is nothing in the rule that I can see to substantiate the point that your video makes that a hit is allowed if the stick is in close proximity to the ground throughout the swing. (If that's not the point your video is trying to to make then I apologise, but that's how it comes over to me.)

    The rule says that a player can use "a long pushing motion along the ground". The Terminology section of the rules (on p9) defines a hit and a push thus:

    Using those definitions, the action used by the player in your video is, to my mind at least, a long, hard hitting motion along the ground as the stick is swung (albeit along the ground) and is never "placed close to the ball". The action is, therefore, in my opinion illegal.

    If you can prove me wrong on this I'd be quite prepared to change my view, so I'm not being antagonistic. (Oh and I'm from the UK and have never communicated with USA Field Hockey in my life!)

    Best regards,

    Red
     
  8. UmpireHockey.com

    UmpireHockey.com FHF All Time Great

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    Thanks Keely and Red.

    I read all those other posts including the one where the tackling video was inserted and discussed.

    And, Keely, I read where you reported that Roger told you that he thought both "actions" shown in the video would be called illegal.

    In discussions I had with Roger he didn't say that though the issue we focused on was that damn word "hard".

    So, the video, with all its technical faults (a very cold, very bad camera day, and thanks here to my "model" who was such a willing participant) emphasized the aspect of the action that didn't require "judgment" .. the skill being used was a hit. What made it a hit? The stick LEFT the ground on the backswing. When that happens the umpire doesn't have to judge for "hard".

    It is rather difficult to video tape what is "hard" when what is hard is subjective. (Hmm. Sounds like a Bill Clinton story about what is is.)

    I think, and I would have to look at the video again, that the video or the accompaning text says (or meant to say) that the sweep action could be legal where as the hitting action could not be. Maybe, I wasn't clear.

    BlackCat, I may be a bit sensitive on this particular topic given the bullsh*t that came my way when the FIH changed the wording, but I still feel that your comment was off base. I am here. A forum participant. I identify myself in my posts. I use my real name. My real photo (sorry about that folks). Lofting unsubstantiated comments like that into the air, I would trust, is not an example of you having put your best foot forward. Perhaps you might have said, "Hey Cris. Thank goodness you're here. It's nice to meet you. I think your video about the forehand edge hit is wrong and here's why..."

    And, what really matters is (there's that IS word again) is that probably no one is using the "skill" any more because half the umpires call it one way and then knuckleheads like me have the other half of the umpires calling it the other way. The FIH was very clear on wanting the technique eliminated from the game. Maybe I'll get a medal for adding to the confusion and contributing to the skill's quick exit!

    :p

    But seriously, it really is a dead issue isn't it. What say you BlackCat?

    For hockey...Cris
     
  9. keely

    keely FHF Legend

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    I know, so a colleague and I sent Roger another email for clarification a few months ago and he did say that unless the video was not reflective of the true pace of the stroke (such that it could be a push, rather than a hit), what was shown is illegal.

    I won't speak for Redumpire here but for me, I understand what you're saying, but your definition of "hard" is not where mine is. Given that the rule provides examples of what "not hard" is - tackling, small motions of the stick to lift the ball over another stick, etc. - the sweep action in my view cannot be legal at all.

    This also follows with my experiences at the top level where this the forehand edge is simply not ever used with the sweep hit - it has long been accepted as illegal. As you say, thankfully, the skill appears to be dying a quick death.

    The problem is, and I believe this is where BlackCat's own umbrage comes from, is that your video puts itself forward as a very definitive statement. It caused a lot of problems here in Canada when a few select coaches decided to take your video as gospel and cite it in support of arguments that their players should be permitted to use the skill. Keep in mind that all of the senior umpires in Canada (meaning those that would umpire elite programs like national and university competitions) were unanimous in our interpretation, which was significantly different from yours. It took several go-rounds to get it sorted, culminating in one of our FIH Umpires Managers stepping in and declaring that regardless of what your video said, it was illegal and that's the way we would be calling it.
     
  10. UmpireHockey.com

    UmpireHockey.com FHF All Time Great

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    Well, for what it is worth, no one has been in contact with me about the video in the last few months. Keely, I wish you had forwarded me Roger's comments.

    Since the site's inception I've demonstrated an absolute willingness to update/correct information on UmpireHockey.com. There has been an easy to reach and use contact link in the upper right corner of every UmpireHockey.com page since the day the site launched.

    Keely, perhaps you recall that when you and I traded emails about the video -- apparently before your email exchange with Roger -- you said you had understood the interpretation differently and that you were going to ask about it. I, of course, told you what I had been told.

    Your post is the first I've heard about all this with the coaches, and the senior umpires and the FIH Umpires Manager stepping in, etc.

    I suppose it just never crossed anyone's mind to contact me, the guy with the video. Heck, someone might have even invited me to join this forum. ???

    Last I heard from the FIH was that the video was fine. Even many of the words on the scrolls reflect specific edits requested from the FIH (I had wanted to include some copy that might have let on my own "umbrage" about the word "hard" and they asked that it not be quite so, hmm, pointed on that point).

    The whole point of publishing videos on UmpireHockey.com, is to help bring MORE consistency to the game, not less. I wish I had the time to shoot more videos. Actually, shooting them is easy. It's the post production work that's the trouble.

    It seems to me that we're rather satisfied as a sport with leaving SO MANY UMPIRES OFF THE PAGE about how the game should be called. Then, and I love this, the umpires in-the-know scoff at the poor dullards who didn't get the mid-year course correction memo on this, that or the other thing. AND, then they act like they understood this as if blessed by God rather than what it really was --- having access to an FIH Umpires Manager for example (not talking about you Keely).

    My goodness, if anything has been said through the ages about field hockey (and likely all sports) it's, "I just wish the umpires were consistent." Maybe the problem isn't so bad in other countries. With three rule sets, the US has special problems in the area of consistency (we've still got people calling "sticks" because they don't think girls should hit so hard). Video is the great equalizer.

    Is it fair to assume that the FIH and the senior umpires in Canada have more video production resources at their disposal than I do? Even if that means they have more access to top level players who are able to demonstrate the "allowed to" and "not allowed to" versions of the skill.

    I would have been happy to and stand ready to publish a video from the FIH on this subject but, they didn't publish one. I'd happily post the one from Canada, but they apparently don't have one or I'm sure they would have given to all those unhappy coaches. USA Field Hockey, nope.

    The UmpireHockey.com site stands ready to help any umpire anywhere on the planet in communicating to them about something as important as the banning of a widely used action, especially when the wording used to describe it was clearly DISASTEROUS.

    I dare say that there has been more discussion around the world about the WORDING than my video.

    I think a video of this action is important. The example that Keely gives demonstrates that other people think so too. So desperate the COACHES were to get clarity on what is and isn't illegal that they found a site for UMPIRES!!!!

    If you've got a video (or can run out and make one), send it to me. And, please, show examples of what hard is and what hard isn't.

    Let's make some better umpires.

    --Cris
     
  11. BlackCat

    BlackCat FHF Regular Player

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    Wow, you take an hour or two off for dinner and all h*ll breaks loose.

    Cris - your reaction to my post seems a little defensive consider I actually mentioned the exact issue I had with your site - clearly your feelings were hurt, I am sorry, nothing personal was intended. I am however, puzzled why you felt it necessary to attack my choice of annoymity and history of posts (which you can check for yourself) ???. My choice to protect my identity is personal and I will not debate the matter further.

    Both Keely and Redumpire have clearly outlined my issues with the video in question - I thank them both for their speedy responses and accurate synposes of the issue.

    As to why I made the statement - I did so because of my concern about your interpretation, with video, of the forehand hit I feel is incorrect (again for all the reason noted by Keely and Red, and previous threads). As soon as I saw this announcement, the video was the first thing I thought of, with chagrin. My gut feeling was "mixed messsages" - on the one hand, your site states and demostrates one thing, and on the other hand, this site's discussion on the matter contradicts your statement. So to quote myself:
    Perhaps I should have added, "for those who haven't had the benefit of official direction on the matter." ???

    So my question to you is, are you prepared to amend the information on the site given the discussion from this one? Or do you believe your interpretation is correct? If it is a dead issue, which I hope it is, perhaps you ought to consider removing it from your site?

    Have a lovely evening - I'm going to enjoy my dessert now. :)
     
  12. UmpireHockey.com

    UmpireHockey.com FHF All Time Great

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    Thanks Red, and I didn't consider your comments as being antagonistic .. and especially for not being the jerk who moaned to USA Field Hockey. ;)

    And, by the way, I don't know that it is possible to PROVE someone right or wrong on this, nor do I think that's my function.

    I've just revisited the video and, outside of an obvious typo near the beginning, I'm not as unhappy with the result as I thought I might be.

    The reason the video emphasizes the stick being in the air (off the ground) prior to the contact is to emphasize that the stick is swinging, or being swung. (HIT: Striking the ball using a swinging movement of the stick towards the ball.) This is part of the emphasis made in helping umpires judge what is considered a hit during indoor play as well. The ball may not be hit and, ah ha, THAT is a hit. I was told, by Roger I think, that a "swing" along the ground is not a swing. A swing on the ground is a sweep.

    The next thing you bring up is the definition of a push. Problem with the inconsistency in considering whether the action might be a push is the subjective outcome of what "placing" the stick (close to the ball) really means. How did the stick get there? Did it arrive behind the ball from a position that began from in front of the ball. Did the player run up on the ball and expertly "place" the stick without any wiggle in the approach? Did the stick stop for an instance once it was close and then start to move? If it didn't stop, is it a hit? BUT, is it a hit if the stick wasn't off the ground?!? Is it IMPOSSIBLE to "sweep" at the ball and push it?

    Further to the problem is that the edge is allowed, as stated in the video and also listed above by Keely, for certain actions. Okay. Great. So, return to the paragraph above and, again, is it impossible to "sweep" at the ball and push it (or do one of the other actions)? It is clearly possible to do some things with the forehand edge that are not "hard" and not a hit.

    Keely says (above), "...the sweep action in my view cannot be legal at all."

    Okay. But, the rule specifies that it is the hit action that is not legal. And, I, for one, think it is possible to push when approaching the ball using the sweep. Of course, sweep is many things to many people. For some it means the ball left the stick with great velocity. For others it's about the movement of the stick -- moving along the ground with little or great velocity. Is it impossible to sweep the stick hard and rapidly decrease it's velocity before making contact with the ball so that the ball moves like a soft push with the open face?

    Which brings us to hard. "Hard" was emphasized several times in the video. Keely said (above) that in her email exchange with Roger the question about the video's correctness was determined by what Roger considered to be what he thought the pace of the stroke was. So it seems, it is possible to sweep and not violate this ban .. as long as the pace of the sweep is not at a significant enough pace to violate the judgment of the umpire asked to rule on the use of the action.

    At the end of the day I think the video emphasizes what the FIH wanted eliminated from the game .. a karate/tomahawk chop at the ball, striking it with the forehand edge. If there is weakness in the video I agree that the sweeping action looks like it is probably going to impart too much velocity. However, in the video’s defense, the video repeatedly emphasizes that the hit may not be HARD (in all BOLD CAPS just like that) and when listing the things to look for the video lists HARD first.

    When this ban came out and during spring matches coaches asked about using a sweep and I think my response was along the lines of, “I am ALWAYS going to call that technique illegal if your players’ stick comes off the ground and I will certainly call using the sweep illegal if your players hit the ball hard.â€

    They would likely ask, “Well, what’s hard?â€

    My only reply would have been, “Whatever I happen to think it is. My advice to you is to tell your players not to use the forehand edge except in slow passes, little dodges, and block tackles .. things like that.â€

    Cheers...Cris
     
  13. Diligent

    Diligent FHF All Time Great
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    First of all welcome. I am sure you are right, Cris, that US umpires will find a lot of value here. Also some FHF regulars might realise that, however they grumble about their local umpiring, it could be worse!

    Second, the edge hit debate should perhaps continue on the approriate thread, but in my experience of 100+ games since the ruling, a partner has called it once (at a PC injection), I saw one but failed to blow it (by the time it sunk in the opponents had good possession), and I've probably missed a few. That is; it never caught on around here. The stick tackling video was more useful and I still watch that from time to time.

    Finally, endorsements from Roger Webb might not carry as much weight as you would hope. His unfortunate remark in 2002 along the lines that 'goal-line defenders create danger to themselves' has led to countless PS decisions unfairly ignoring dangerous play or actual injury. Only now is there some grudging acceptance that, of the various good and bad reasons to award a PS, that is possibly the worst. But that is also for another thread... :sorry:
     
  14. Cascadia

    Cascadia FHF Legend

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    I agree on the stick tackling video. That one was actually helpful to me. :)
     
  15. UmpireHockey.com

    UmpireHockey.com FHF All Time Great

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    Sorry, not sure what you mean. I too have been taught that if none GK want to take position on the goal line, rather than have been brought there by an attacker, that they are putting themselves in danger. So, a guy is standing there as a "back up" gk of sorts, gets hit in the chest and so stroke. But, you're saying that is a bad decision when that attacker, what had other options..is really close to the cage?!? The worst reason to call a stroke is when...? Sorry. It's late (for me) and I just want to be clear if that's what you're saying.

    Thanks...Cris

    PS: Thanks about the tackle video. Now, can you imagine why I had to make the thing?!? I learned how to shield the ball about 25 years ago and in our pre-season meeting two years ago (having just returned from a local camp where I saw shielding be taught) in a segment about what the players are trying to do, I had coaches and umpires arguing that the attacker can't possible foul with her stick when she's dribbling. So, a video.
     
  16. justin-old

    justin-old FHF Legend

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    Welcome, rather belatedly, Cris & UH.com to the forum.

    Please, Please let us not muddy the water by starting a discussion of what Roger Webb wrote (in a personal email to me, if not to others), about 'creating danger', all that while ago, and its possible repercussions :( We really have done that to death, and until there is an official statement by the HRB, I doubt that we will ever reach a consensus.

    And we have discussed the video's content at length in other threads, but I see no definition of a 'sweep' in the rules...for me it's just another kind of hit, in which the swing is kept on the playing surface. It's now common practice, especially on water-based astro, where it helps to keep the ball on or near the ground.
    By no stretch of imagination could it, IMO, be described as a 'push', which requires that the stickhead be in contact with the ball before the forward motion is applied. There is no 'swinging motion' at all.

    Of course if it were to be accepted as a push, then an intentional lift would be legal..... I cannot see many competent umpires' allowing intentionally lifted sweeps (although I have occasionally seen 'em allowed by the 'less competent'!) :eek:

    As to what constitutes, 'hard', I think the examples given make that quite clear, and, to be realistic most 'softly-lifted' plays...over 'obstructions' such as keepers, and opponents' sticks, are either scoops or 'jabs', anyway.
     
  17. David_Underdown

    David_Underdown FHF Regular Player

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    Personally (and I think most other English umpires I know would agree with me) I don't think there is any necessity for the backswing to leave the ground in order to call something a hit (I think perhaps this is where the main issue lies). Red's already quoted the definitions fromt he Terminology section of the rules, but consider also the guidance to 13.3.d (Taking a penalty corner)
    That suggests to me that regardless of whether the stick leaves the ground or not, such ana ction should still be called a hit.

    As to what "hard" is, it seems to me that anything which is not done as close control, e.g. to evade or make a tackle, is probably out.
     
  18. UmpireHockey.com

    UmpireHockey.com FHF All Time Great

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    Thank you everyone. This has come to a series of most excellent and helpful posts. I now have guidance that I believe can be conveyed in an updated video and information that has illustrated what should be emphasized.

    Please let me stand by the choices that were made in the development of the first two videos based on the information that was available at the time the videos were made. And, to be clear, I've always felt that a sweep was nothing but a hit but at the time the second video was under development was told otherwise. In fact, the first video showed a pretty big guy doing a very hard sweep hit and I was told that "that" was okay and what I had to emphasize was the bit about the stick coming off the ground -- I'll just have to ask you to trust me on that (and based on certain other referenced information that you have received in the past, I think you will).

    I certainly did NOT go out to make a sci-fi movie! It was always my intent to put to video what wasn't being conveyed with words .. or the understanding that wasn’t being conveyed locally about the technique.

    I think it is probably fair to say that everyone’s understanding of what is wanted (or, uh, wasn't wanted) has been refined since the time the technique was banned. I suspect that all dialog contributing to the eventual consistency regarding what the HRB meant to eliminate from the game will help streamline the new hand privileges for goalkeepers it has introduced.

    David, IMO, "close control" is an excellent summation AND gets away from other "mysteries" about whether this or that is a push or how one judges what hard is. Clearly the current video does not show close control and, for that reason, I’m taking it down -- today.

    I appreciate everyone who took time, without knowing whether I'm a complete idiot or just a blockhead who wouldn't be worth trying to have a converstation with, to provide me with information that I could actually use.

    For what it is worth, and to bring this back to the original post, this is exactly why I thought FHF should be named as the official interactive environment for UmpireHockey.com. I've been to other "global" boards (I suspect you have too). You've proved me right.

    All the best...Cris
     
  19. keely

    keely FHF Legend

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    Thanks Cris, I'm glad that you found resolution in all this.
     

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