FIH introduces New Rules for Penalty Corner and Aerial Balls

  • 18 Jan 2022

Rule 4.2

Defenders can keep wearing Protective Face Gear within 23m Area

  • To make the sport safer for its athletes, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has allowed players defending penalty corners to keep their protective equipment on even after the ball goes outside the striking circle, but must remove them at the first opportunity inside the 23m area.
  • Earlier, the players defending penalty corners were bound to remove their protective equipment immediately inside the circle once the flick was executed.
    • It was trialled in the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup in Bhubaneswar in December 2021, and received unanimous support from coaches, athletes and officials.

Rule 9.10

Aerial Balls

  • Previously, intercepting a falling aerial ball was considered to be illegitimate but now the FIH has granted relaxation to players in this regard.
  • Rule 9.10 was changed to allow for the playing of what is commonly referred to as Aerial Balls. The previous text did not cover for the possibility for players to safely intercept a falling ball, which is now seen as both legitimate and positive to the development of the game.


  • The FIH Rules of Hockey have come into effect from January 1 at the international level.
  • National Associations have discretion to decide the date of their implementation at National level, based on their domestic seasons.