Why do we love hockey? Maybe because its unpredictable nature. It is a sport in constant change in a world we experience as determined and unchangeable. Hockey live its own life. Compared with the conservative Football hockey evolve as a sport. It’s a survivor. Hybrid icing is an example of that.
Previously there were two variants of icing :
1. No-touch icing. One team shoots the puck from their ow half and it ends up behind the opponent’s extended goal line: Automatic icing. Problems: Boring and many unnecessary breaks in the play.
2. Touch icing. Same scenario as above except that if the attacking team get a hold of the puck, play continues. Problems: High risk of injury when the players race after the puck at high speed near the boards .
How to solve hockey what seems to be an incompatibility problem then? Well, you will create a third option which is a mixture of 1 & 2:
3. Hybrid icing : Same scenario as 1 & 2, but if the referee determines that the attacking team clearly will reach the puck first, there is no icing. Lower risk of injury and more enjoyable games. The teams can still use icing tactically in a form of dump and chase without too much chase. If it is impossible for the referee to decide what team will reach the puck first or if the defending team is thought to reach it then there will be icing.
The only possible downside to this rule is that referees sometime make wrong decisions. However, this applies to most other situations on the ice too.
Football vs hockey
Football has something to learn from hockey. Too few goals? Reduce the goalie’s pads and create bigger attacking zones by moving the blue-lines. Did the puck pass the blue-line? Ask the video referee! Not room for all the teams in Europe in the World Cup of Hockey 2016? Create a mixed team!
Despite all this math and these clear rules ice hockey is still always … unpredictable !