The Rio Olympics – Indian Style

There’s been a lot of talk about the excitement created in the Hockey India League with the introduction of a new points system for scoring goals. In last season’s competition, it was decided to bring in a system which would encourage teams to score more field goals by awarding just one point for a penalty corner and two points for a field goal. We certainly saw a different approach by the teams when they were behind, but should it be introduced worldwide?

I’m on the fence with this one, so I decided to conduct an experiment. I wondered what would have happened at the Rio Olympics if the Indian scoring rule had been in place, so I went through every game to see how it would pan out.

There were a few surprises, and indeed, looking at it, the Indian points system would have made a difference. In Pool A the match between Australia and USA it ended with a USA victory, but under Indian rules it would have ended in a draw. In Pool B, the match between Netherlands & New Zealand, which ended in a draw, would have actually been a win for the Black Sticks, as the Dutch scored a penalty corner against the New Zealand field goal.

It was also the same in the match between China and Germany in Pool B. One field goal versus one penalty corner secured a point for the teams in Rio, but in India it would have been a win for the Chinese. Indeed, those results in Pool B made a big difference. in the final Pool B standings, China missed out on the quarter finals, finishing in 5th. However, with Indian rules, the Chinese would have finished in 3rd and Spain would have gone home.

When you take this into account, the quarter finals would have seen Great Britain take on Germany (rather than Spain) and the USA would have faced China (rather than Germany). Who knows what would have happened in that scenario?

The biggest difference of all, though, would have been in the final. In a memorable match, finishing 3-3, we were treated to an amazing, emotional penalty shuttle finish. It was a piece of history all hockey fans will remember for a long time, but if we’d have used the Indian system, Great Britain would have won 5-4 in 60 minutes and we wouldn’t have had those penalties!

For those of you that love your stats, below are all the results and tables showing the comparison between standard scoring and the Indian system.

Pool Matches Comparison


Tables Comparison


Knockout Stages Comparison

Joanne Pilson

Joanne Pilson is from Doncaster, England and is the Communications Officer for Worksop Ladies Hockey Club, writing original, topical content about hockey and women's sports. Joanne plays hockey, cricket and football and enjoys them with a passion, although she's only done so for the last five years. Sport has done so much to enhance her life, she continuously encourages others to take part and does all she can to promote it..