The main changes that have been highlighted in the England Hockey summary document (see link at top of page) are as follows:
Removal of Player with Goalkeeper Privileges (self explanatory)
Amendments to Attacking Free Hits within the 23m – essentially all attacking free hits within the attacking 23m (outside the D) should be treated the same as they are all other areas of the pitch as far as defenders are concerned: if you have time to retreat 5m away from the location of the hit you should be attempting to do so; if not (hit is taken quickly) do not attempt to tackle until the ball has travelled 5m. Remembering of course that, for an attacking hit within the 23m, all attackers must also be 5m+ from the free hit location.
Defensive Free Hits awarded within the defensive circle – free hit awarded within the defensive D can be taken anywhere in the D or taken up to 15m from the back line in line with the location o the offence.
Amendments to ruling around Attackers entering the circle at a PC – if this is spotted (often by the disengaged umpire) the injector must be sent to the half-way line and replaced by another attacker.
To add to the above, there are a number of alterations which are worth a mention:
Danger – the paragraph in the Rules which use to say “Players must not play the ball dangerously or in a way which leads to dangerous play” with a sub-para saying “a ball is also considered dangerous when it causes legitimate evasive action by players“. That sub-para now says “a ball is also considered dangerous when it causes legitimate evasive action by opponents“. So now if, for instance, the ball whistles past your ear and it was raised off the stick of one of your own team – that is not danger (play on).
Goalkeeper propelling the ball in any direction with gloves – the Rule has been amended which allows the GK to propel the ball over long distances with his/her gloves (rather than just deflect it).
Protective headgear worn by players defending a PC – there is now allowance made for a defender to take a quick free hit out of the D prior to dispensing with their protective headgear.
Please check out the useful summary of Peter Hammond’s reading of the Rule changes here