Many of us have noted, but perhaps not grasped the significance of, a green card being shown to a player and the latter walking off and taking a seat next to the technical table during the ongoing World Cup hockey tournament.

Normally that happens when a yellow card is shown to a player. For, rules of hockey stipulate a player can be cautioned (by spoken words), warned (by a green card), temporarily suspended for a minimum of five minutes (by a yellow card) or permanently suspended from the match in progress (by a red card).

The FIH last year brought in a two-minute suspension through a green card warning for its major tournaments, the World Cup qualifiers in France, New Zealand and Argentina, and the Champions Trophy (Melbourne) and the Champions Challenge I (Salta, Argentina) tournaments.

That rule has been extended to the current World Cup. Another variation to the rules, apart from the video referrals by teams, is the one relating to “breaking at penalty corner”.

This was also applied in the Melbourne Champions Trophy and is being followed here. The normal rules would have required defenders being cautioned, warned or temporarily suspended, with a replacement for the “removed” player on the defending side being possible.

Now, the offending player, who breaks the back-line, is sent beyond the centre-line and cannot be replaced by another player. Thus the defending side would be reduced to four players, including the goalkeeper, instead of the normal five.

The application of the rule has already been witnessed in this tournament.

The “breaking-at-penalty-corner” rule also requires that the “pusher” from the back-line does not feint at playing the ball. If he does, then he shall be replaced by another “attacker”.

An offending “attacker” (one who enters the circle before the ball is played during a penalty corner) will also be required to go beyond the centre-line.

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