In today’s day, it is highly improbable, if not impossible, to witness a game of hockey without witnessing a penalty corner. In professional hockey, from several hours, days to months are put in to perfect the penalty corners. Teams all across wish to establish penalty corner specialists. While the revamping of the game has brought with it numerous changes, one change that has also tagged along is the common use of drag flicks in hockey.
And this has statistically been shown as well. Teams that tend to focus more on set pieces, that is, the penalty corner tend to acutely focus on perfecting it. However, there are variations to the penalty corner as well: dummies, stick deflections are also seen very commonly in matches these days.
For one thing, one statistic matters a lot for teams: the Penalty Corner Conversion rate. Textbooks define it as the percentage of goals scored from penalty corners obtained. If a conversion rate is high, more goals are converted and the team is more likely to win, or at the least, compete fiercely.
A low conversion rate could point towards other lag in performances. Therefore, it serves as a good metric of quality play displayed by a particular side on a given day. The rules of the penalty corner are as follows; one player approaches the sideline with the ball, while the team defending keeps a maximum of 5 players in the goal, including the goalkeeper. The ball is flicked from the sideline and must be allowed to be travel outside the circle, after which the ball can be drag-flicked, passed or shot at the goal.
The technique seems rather straightforward, but with the level of hockey being played and newer technological advancements being brought to the game, there is a need for teams to become creative with their Penalty Corner techniques to ensure a high Penalty Corner conversion rate.