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Field hockey

Anybody able to give me a reasonably simple explanation of the current obstruction rules? I used to play a lot years ago. Watching recently, and in particular at the Olympics, I’ve considered that the offence of obstruction no longer exists. It certainly seems not. But today the commentators suddenly started saying something looked like obstruction. To me it looked pretty much like what most of the players are doing most of the time, so I’m a bit baffled.
Certainly a huge amount of the play nowadays would have been disallowed before (apart from things like “sticks”, dangerous play, etc).

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I think the rule is that if you shield the ball from an opponent with your body or stick while stationary or ‘dawdling’ then it is obstruction. If you are moving quickly you get away with it😉 Or something like that. We are in the same boat having played lots in our earlier lives, it is a very different game these days but we still enjoy watching the top level sides.


Yes, I was trying to research this on the internet and there was certainly a lot about moving. It wasn’t at all clear and the upshot seemed to be that there wasn’t really any obstruction in practical terms. I don’t think I’ve seen any given so far in the several games I’ve watched.

I enjoy them too even if I’m unclear about some of the rules. The strike rate for short corners seems fairly low though - maybe it’s all the protective gear!

There are some pretty poor penalty corner routines in comparison with our recollection of previous years. GB women particularly culpable. Maybe keeping their special routines for later in the tournament, or just don’t have the specialists they had in previous years.

Just thought perhaps they hadn’t been able to get together to practise as much as usual in recent months.

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But when I see the second goal against India I struggle to think it’s okay! It just doesn’t seem right, even if she was moving all the time.