"This as a great advancement and it has been a great success," observes Baptist minister Mark Tronson, international hockey writer and author of five books on field hockey.
The rules are specific. Each team is permitted one video appeal, and if their appeal is shown to be the correct 'call', then that team retains their right of appeal (that is, they can appeal again). They retain this right as long as the appeals are upheld.
On the other hand, if a team appeals and the video replay shows that the original decision was correct (that is, the appeal 'failed' ), then that team has lost their right to appeal again.
This has raised the issue as to which team members are permitted to risk the one appeal for the whole team. During this World Cup, it has not always been the captain who called for the appeal.
In some situations, for example, it became clear that the team members were debating the likelihood of the appeal succeeding, and the considered opinion of team members was not to take the risk and so play continued.
It seems that the rules allow some retrospectivity. In one case, the game had played on, the contested decision had been at the other end of the park, yet an appeal was made to the umpire. Nevertheless, the umpire called for the video and a decision was made for an incident that had occurred a little time ago.
The video decision is made by a third umpire whose role it is to make the video decision. All three umpires, the two on the field and the video umpire are all in communication and the public listens in.
For example, an umpire was heard: "Spain says that the ball touched the body of an Australian and are calling for a penalty corner." We, the spectators, are shown a view of the video footage from several different angles before the umpire's decision is made. Then there is the announcement – in this case: "Yes, the ball did touch the Australian and the ruling is a penalty corner."
It would seem that this is definitive and that players would not be able to argue against such an open situation, but this is not always the case. In one situation the Australian appealed against a penalty corner being awarded when the consensus of the team was that the offence took place outside the 23 yard line. The video showed the initial offence did start outside the 23 yard line but the offence appeared to continue over the line.
The video umpire interpreted the official Hockey Rules that, because the offence continued over the line, the penalty corner decision was applicable. One of the Australians conversant with the Hockey Rules challenged that interpretation in that the initial offence was punishable, not the kinetic energy that carried the players over the 23 yard line.
This therefore is a Hockey Rule that needs to be clarified, in which an interpretation of an unclear Hockey Rule could determine the result of a match, possibly a semi-final berth.
What the video system has shown is that umpires (like all humans) are indeed fallible. With so many hockey sticks and legs and bodies contesting such a small white ball within a confined space within the circle, little wonder the players on the spot see things the umpire physically are unable to.
There was one situation in the Spain -Australia pools round match where the umpire called a 'foot' and awarded a penalty corner. The Australians had already called their appeal and lost and had none left, yet the replay showed clearly that the stick of the Australian, not his foot, touched the ball.
This video system and listening in to the umpires, has added a most interesting component to field hockey at this level. More so that everyone is able to be involved; the players, the umpires, the spectators and those at home watching it all on television.
M V Tronson says that the Scriptures lend themselves to this interpretation: that there will come a day, when everything we have done, said and thought will be revealed for the world to see. Jesus Christ as an advocate for those who accepted his death on the Cross for their sin, will clear them to their eternal reward.