Hockey changing to appeal to more people

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 12:36 21/03/2014

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Hockey is set to change and follow basketball's lead as the sport's governing body hopes to make the sport more appealing to an Olympic audience. 

As of September 1, hockey will be played in four 15-minute quarters instead of two 35-minute halves.

Forty-second time-outs will also be introduced and be implemented when a penalty corner is awarded and after goals are scored.

The purpose of the changes, according to the FIH, is to ''improve the flow and intensity f the game and increase the fan experience and opportunity for presentation and analysis''.

The FIH's release does not make it clear if the rule changes will be introduced to all levels of the sport of just international hockey.

However, the time-out appear purpose-built for top-level hockey and televised games. 

"The decision today demonstrates our commitment to fan engagement,'' FIH president Leandro Negre said.

''With the additional breaks, fans will have the opportunity to enjoy more replays and be 

more engaged with the event, whether in the stadium or watching from a far, while hockey 

commentators will be allowed more time to provide sport analysis between plays.''The four-quarter model has been tested by both the Euro Hockey League and the Hockey India League. 

The existing 10-minute halftime break will remain the same while two-minute breaks will be used after the first and third quarters.

The 40-second time-outs will not be awarded for re-awarded penalty corners. 

The new regulations will be applied to the upcoming Champions Trophy, World League Round Two, World League Semifinal and Final, all continental Olympic qualifying events as of September 1 as well as the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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- Fairfax Media

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