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29. What is the procedure for developing a rules change?


Some of the other FAQs provide more details about various stages in the process such as trials and mandatory experiments, but overall the main steps are: 

  • ideas come from a variety of sources including players, coaches, umpires, the media, officials at events, and so on;
  • ideas either come through National Associations and other groups or are referred directly to the Hockey Rules Board (HRB);
  • ideas are analysed and discussed in the HRB usually over a period of time in two or three meetings;
  • if the change is a relatively minor one, the HRB may then be able to recommend a change;
  • if a significant change is involved, further investigations will take place and a working group is sometimes set up to look in detail at all the implications;
  • significant changes are progressed through trials and mandatory experiments – and there is more about these steps in answers to other FAQs;
  • having received comment and advice, the HRB will come to a conclusion;
  • it then prepares a report about proposed rules changes for the Executive Board of the FIH (which will also have sanctioned related trials and mandatory experiments if they have taken place);
  • the Executive Board will either agree the change or refer it back for further consideration by the HRB; the Executive Board cannot directly amend a proposed change;
  • it does not happen often, but a change might then have immediate effect;
  • otherwise the change is incorporated in the next Rules Book.


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