The latest rules testing on the recent tournaments under FINA are here and ready for the Congress which will be held in December. According to Tamás Molnár, the decisions are manageable, except for the 11-players teams for the Olympics.
The experimental rules have been applied in the World Summer Championships of FINA and in the Women’s and Men’s World Cup. Tamás Molnár, the vice president of the Hungarian Water Polo Association, and the Hungarian member of the technical committee of the international and European alliance talked to waterpolo.hu in order to clarify his opinions.
The situation is still not quite clear. The most of it refers to the solutions applied to the International Olympic Committee regarding the decision about the numbers in teams (teams of 11 people).
From a certain perspective, it’s awkward given the International Olympic Committee’s decision regarding squads of eleven and solutions must be found. “It’s absolutely positive that we aren’t talking about instant rule changes, but that trial runs on the basis of which sensible decisions can be made at the Congress in China in December,” said Molnár. “The situation now is that a technical committee is sifting through the feedback, added to which, former national team coaches have also given their views and observations.”
“Overall it can be said that we’re moving in the right direction as grounds for comparison. The number of goals and shots has increased, which has long been a popular theme. Due to the reduction in the number of fouls, referee cooperation is less spectacular, and there are no unnecessary time-out calls. The burning question is that of the teams’ sizes. The teams of eleven at the Olympic Games can’t be changed but there is strong lobbying for it to be possible for an extra two players to be included and not just in the case of injury, but that coaches can alter their teams from match to match, just like in the World Cup. It’s risky for one goalkeeper to play a whole tournament, but with two in the team, it only allows three field player substitutes, which because exclusions is also a huge risk.”
Molnár also provided his observations along with Attila Bíró and Tamás Märcz on three of the many proposed rule changes. “I think a three-minute break at half-time is a bad decision, even though I know it is dictated by the TV. They are saying that a match must fit inside an hour which I believe also includes pre-match introductory pieces and post-match reports, and I don’t believe reducing half-times by two minutes will have much of an effect.
“About letting keepers cross the half-way mark, I reasoned that statistically fewer goals are scored with seven against six, meaning that it would be expedient if coaches could change their keepers for an outfield player, such as in handball. I also thought it very important that the rules concerning the award of a penalty be much more precise, and the wording cleared up. I feel that given the short time period there has been much confusion in this area, as not every referee has interpreted the rules in the same way”.