In HIL 2016, each field goal to count as two!

New Delhi, Sep 14 (IANS) The fourth edition of the Hockey India League (HIL) will see a new set of rules and regulations being implemented, the most important being that a field goal will be counted as two to encourage more skilful and tactical hockey.

In the first of its kind in any hockey competition, field goals will be given more priority than penalty corners in HIL 2016. Also, to curb rough tackles and maintain discipline, two goals will be awarded for every goal scored from a penalty stroke resulting from a penalty corner where a goal being scored is prevented by a deliberate foul.

But for the rest — penalty corners, strokes and shoot-outs — the usual one goal will be awarded for conversions. The new goal-scoring system has been approved by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Competitions and Rules Committee, HIL chairman Narinder Batra said here on Monday.

“Penalty corners give undue advantage to those teams which have penalty corner specialists. The teams also fight to earn penalty corners rather than score goals through field penetration. The new system will encourage teams and players to score goals instead of looking for penalties,” said Batra.

“The system will surely enhance players’ skills and mentality of playing good hockey. HIL is committed to promoting the worlds best hockey and with these new rules, players will improve themselves in a competitive environment.”

In other changes, franchises can now only have a squad of 20 players, four less than last time, comprising 12 Indians and eight foreigners. The squad must have at least two goalkeepers and all players should be mentioned in the match sheet and be present at the team dug-outs.

The HIL auction will be held here on Thursday where 277 players — 135 Indians and 142 foreigners — from 20 countries will go under the hammer. Earlier in August, the HIL governing council had provided all six franchises the option of retaining up to three Indians and foreigners each while releasing the rest of the squad.

The auction will be conducted by Bob Hayton, who had also managed the inaugural HIL auction. The renewed contract of the players will be for two years.

The auction will be broadcasted live on DD Sports and Youtube and there will be live updates on social networking sites — Facebook and Twitter.

HIL is also in talks of renewing their contract with title sponsor Hero after the previous three-year deal expired earlier this year.

“We have offered them a five-year deal, now it’s up to them to take it,” said Batra.

They are also in talks with broadcaster Star Sports for renewing the contract.

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