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So, hockey then.

Cracking performance by the GB Women earlier - a very, very comfortable 4-0 against Japan. As long as the couple of injuries we picked up aren't serious (and I don't think they will be) that's fairly ideal.

I'm going on Friday, which'll be nice.

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I was just about to post in the main thread about the hockey - really impressive performance, though I don't actually know how we rate on the world stage. Do we have a chance of a medal?

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I was just about to post in the main thread about the hockey - really impressive performance, though I don't actually know how we rate on the world stage. Do we have a chance of a medal?

For the women's, I think we have a pretty strong chance with the home advantage, a lot of teams are roughly at the same level and that gives us a bit more of an edge. I wouldn't bet my house on it or anything, but I equally won't be shocked. I think for the men's it's a bit more ambitious...It'd be a fair shock if we won gold, but I suppose a bit of luck bronze wouldn't be impossible.

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Do they still have those silly rules about not being able to shoot off the ground because it's dangerous? But you can do if it's from a penalty corner, so most of the goals come from them? And you get a penalty corner if the ball hits an opponents feet, so people just twat the ball as hard at possible at people so they are penalised?

Or was I understanding thing wrong last time I tried to watch it, years ago?

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The rules are (I think...there might be a few more specifics) anything under knee height is fine, anything at close range to another player and higher than knee height is dangerous and every other situation is an umpire's decision.

To confuse the hitting rules, and I think what you might be talking about the the penalty corner bit, is that players now (well, for a fair while) do an entirely terrifying drag flick shot - as the flick doesn't follow height rules. Basically spin the ball around you, get the stick low enough so the ball is just over the stick and fire it when you're pointing at the goal, slingshot stylee. It can go like a rocket:

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See, if that's allowed why have the height rules at all?

And was I right about it being an accepted tactic to hit the ball hard into the area with the aim of hitting someone's legs because then you get a penalty corner?

Obviously I don't understand the sport very well, but these things annoyed me when I watched at a previous Olympics. Happy to have them better explained to me.

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The drag-flick follows the words of the law exactly, it just doesn't follow the intent of the law. The trouble is, it does make a better spectacle of it so that's probably why the governing body hasn't done anything about it beyond bringing in laws.

I've certainly seen a few bits of penalty corner earning, but it depends on the team. Some teams benefit more from penalty corners than others, but I don't think you'll see much of it to be honest.

Australia v South Africa coming up this morning. Should be a good one!

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I do love some field hockey, wish we had more of it on TV over here (same could be said for most sports actually).

Great performance from the ladies, looking very strong, just a shame about injuries.

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Yeah, it does seem like Walsh is going to be out now. She spent the night in hospital, which isn't a great sign.

In the mens, Australia pretty much walked their first half, South Africa just don't seem to have turned up at all.

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To those who were asking about the British women's team's chances there was a good article in the Guardian at the weekend on them. They went professional 3 years ago and since then have been steadily moving up the rankings. Last night was a good result and I'm looking forward to seeing them hopefully going all the way to the final. The article is here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/london-2012-olympics-blog/2012/jul/27/london-2012-team-gb-women-hockey-ruthless?mobile-redirect=false

edit: @ Mal a penalty corner is only awarded if there's foot-ball contact in the defensive circle. They do get played for quite a bit, especially at high level.

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Sorry, that's right and I see you've already grasped the rule. Nothing to stop anyone sending the ball in looking for a penalty corner, to answer your question. I can't say it bothers me even when it's more prevalent in matches - I mainly watch club and age-group hockey - but as with most tactics in sport ymmv.

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Don't they all put on protective headgear before a penalty corner, so it's not as dangerous as a high ball in general play?

I don't really care what the rules are, I could just watch (the women's matches) all day for those legs. Oh lordy lord, those thighs.

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Fair enough, just seems odd that they have the height rule ostensibly to prevent danger, then allow stuff which looks far more dangerous. I watched a bit of Australia stuffing South Africa earlier though and I quite liked it.

A hockey ball hitting your feet or shinpads at full pace isn't that worrying - it's not great, but you're usually entirely protected from it even if you can't get out of the way.

(The drag-flicks are a stupid bit of rule setting and they shouldn't be allowed by any logic other than the it's-not-hitting version they're currently explaining it with.)

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Some news about Katie Walsh - she was in hospital overnight due to the fact she'd fractured her jaw. She's had a plate inserted and they'll make a decision about her playing when she gets back to the village.

What a trooper. Bit mental. But still.

EDIT: I'm not doing 3 posts in a row, so I'll add here - the match between Holland and India is great, the second Indian goal was just lovely.

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Um...South Africa were playing Australia!

Although, in other news, GB men also whooped Argentina (which I assume was why they were in your head). Would have been nice to keep a clean sheet, but GB had more or less packed up and were waiting for the next match by then.

EDIT: And South Africa v New Zealand women's starting shortly.

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