NFHCA forwards recommendations to NCAA regarding the college game format

GILBERT, Ariz. — During the Collegiate Breakout Meeting at the 2019 NFHCA Annual Convention, the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) collegiate membership voted on several rules recommendations to pass onto the NCAA.

The recommendations put forth by the NFHCA collegiate membership focused on the format of the college game. The NFHCA also provided discussion notes and feedback from divisional meetings to the NCAA regarding several other proposals.

The membership voted to strike NCAA Rules Modifications 4.1 and 4.4 which modify the rules set forth by the International Hockey Federation (FIH). NCAA Rules Modification 4.1 states "the duration of the game shall be two periods of 35 minutes each." NCAA Rules Modification 4.4 relates to timeouts, allowing collegiate coaches to use a two-minute timeout once per game.

If these modifications are removed from the NCAA Rules, the collegiate game will move to a four-quarter format where teams will play four 15-minute periods without the use of timeouts. This is the format mandated in the FIH's "Rules of Hockey."

The recommendations have left the hands of the NFHCA and have been forwarded to the NCAA Division I, Division II and Division III Field Hockey Championship Committees. The committees will deliberate over the recommended changes and determine rules proposals which will be followed by a two-week comment period. During the comment period, coaches and conferences commissioners are given the opportunity to see and respond to the exact language of the proposals.

After the comment period closes, the rules proposals and comments will be sent to the Playing Rules Oversight Panel (PROP). PROP is charged with considering rules proposals' financial implications, safety concerns and harm to the image of the game. Items approved by PROP are incorporated into the rules modifications.

The NFHCA will share any communication from the NCAA regarding the rules proposals with the NFHCA membership.

To learn more about the NCAA Playing Rules Process, click here.