Swatting the ball with the left hand
I understand that I cannot redirect the ball with my hands when the ball is in the air, but I am not sure if I can use my left hand to swat the ball away on the ground. At the camp I went this summer my coach said it was okay but I don’t know if she was correct. Can you clear this topic up for me?
Please check the Aerial Balls tip on the OBO website. The rules of hockey specifically allow a keeper to deflect, or redirect a ball in the air. You can do that by angling your hand or body to take the ball to safety, even to the extent of being allowed to deflect the ball over the endline or over the crossbar. You cannot propel your hand forward to bat the ball away, while either in the air or on the ground. Umpires usually look to see how you’re moving your arm when redirecting the ball. If you’re angling your hand or body, moving with the shot, you’re usually alright. If you’re using your forearm and pushing at the ball without moving your body, you risk being called for batting the ball. The penalty for batting the ball away is a penalty stroke. Depending on the level you play at and the standard of umpiring you might have different interpretations of deflecting/redirecting aerial balls. It never hurts for you or your coach to check with the umpires before the game to make sure what their interpretation is. Better safe than sorry.