Power Plays, pink balls, bonus points and ‘sportainment’ – Varsity Sports is about innovation and breaking the mould of sport. In 2017 Varsity Hockey will double the reward for players and double the entertainment for fans.
Varsity Cup introduced nine-point and seven-point tries in 2016, rewarding running rugby and tries beginning with play deep inside a team’s own half. In 2017 Varsity Hockey will do something similar.
In addition to the Power Play rule seen in previous seasons of Varsity Hockey, whereby each team can select to implement a two-minute period where goals count two and the opposition must bench two players, field goals will now count two.
Teams scoring field goals (goals from open play) will receive twice the reward, as goals count two. Penalty strokes and penalty corners will still count as one, except during a Power Play (note: a field goal scored during a power play still counts two and not four). And there are still no draws in Varsity Hockey – matches drawn after regular time go straight into a penalty shootout where players attempt to dribble past goal keepers starting outside the D.
“We’re excited to announce this Varsity Hockey rule change for the 2017 season,” said Varsity Hockey Code Manager, Jana Arlow. “By awarding two goals to a team scoring a field goal, we hope to encourage an entertaining brand of hockey for spectators, while offering something unique for the players too.
“Matches will now also be contested right until the final whistle even if a team is two or three goals down.”
So look forward to matches going down to the wire, even when teams are trailing by two or three. Keep an eye and ear out for the intense two-minute Power Plays as teams defend with nine players while their opponents look to score double.
Don’t miss the live DJs, giant hockey game at half time, penalty shootouts, Mugg and Bean coffee and snacks and the finest hockey talent in the country.