Field hockey is a team game of the hockey
family. The game can be played on grass, water turf, artificial turf or synthetic field as
well as an indoor board surface. Each team plays with eleven players, including the goalie.
Players use sticks made out of wood, carbon fibre, fibre glass or a combination of carbon
fibre and fibre glass in different quantities (with the higher carbon fibre stick being
more expensive and less likely to break) to hit a round, hard, plastic ball. The length
of the stick is based on the player’s individual height. Only one face of the stick is allowed
to be used. Goalies often have a different kind of stick, however they can also use an
ordinary field hockey stick. The specific goal-keeping sticks have another curve at
the end of the stick, this is to give them more surface area to save the ball. The uniform
consists of shin guards, shoes, shorts, a mouth guard and a jersey.
Today, the game is played globally, mainly in parts of Western Europe, South Asia, Southern
Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, and parts of the United States (primarily
New England and the Mid-Atlantic states). Known simply as “hockey” in many territories,
the term “field hockey” is used primarily in Canada and the United States where ice
hockey is more popular. In Sweden, the term “landhockey” is used and to some degree also
in Norway where it is governed by Norway’s Bandy Association.During play, goal keepers
are the only players who are allowed to touch the ball with any part of their body (the
player’s hand is considered part of the stick if on the stick), while field players play
the ball with the flat side of their stick. If the ball is touched with the rounded part
of the stick, it will result in a penalty. Goal keepers also cannot play the ball with
the back of their stick. Whoever scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If
the score is tied at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes
into extra time or a penalty shootout, depending on the competition’s format. There are many
variations to overtime play that depend on the league and tournament play. In college
play, a seven-aside overtime period consists of a 10-minute golden goal period with seven
players for each team. If a tie still remains, the game enters a one-on-one competition where
each team chooses 5 players to dribble from the 25-yard line down to the circle against
the opposing goalie. The player has 8 seconds to score on the goalie keeping it in bounds.
The play ends after a goal is scored, the ball goes out of bounds, a foul is committed
(ending in either a penalty stroke or flick or the end of the one on one) or time expires.
If the tie still persists more rounds are played until one team has scored.
The governing body of field hockey is the International Hockey Federation (FIH(,Fédération
Internationale de Hockey) in French), with men and women being represented internationally
in competitions including the Olympic Games, World Cup, World League, Champions Trophy
and Junior World Cup, with many countries running extensive junior, senior, and masters
club competitions. The FIH is also responsible for organizing the Hockey Rules Board and
developing the rules for the game. A popular variant of field hockey is indoor
field hockey, which differs in a number of respects while embodying the primary principles
of hockey. Indoor hockey is a 5-a-side variant, with a field which is reduced to approximately
40 m × 20 m (131 ft × 66 ft). With many of the rules remaining the same, including
obstruction and feet, there are several key variations: Players may not raise the ball
unless shooting on goal, players may not hit the ball (instead using pushes to transfer
the ball), and the sidelines are replaced with solid barriers which the ball will rebound
off. In addition, the regulation guidelines for the indoor field hockey stick require
a slightly thinner, lighter stick than an outdoor stick.==History==There is a depiction of a field hockey-like
game in Ancient Greece, dating to c. 510 BC, when the game may have been called Κερητίζειν
(kerētízein) because it was played with a horn (κέρας, kéras, in Ancient Greek)
and a ball. Researchers disagree over how to interpret this image. It could have been
a team or one-on-one activity (the depiction shows two active players, and other figures
who may be teammates awaiting a face-off, or non-players waiting for their turn at play).
Billiards historians Stein and Rubino believe it was among the games ancestral to lawn-and-field
games like hockey and ground billiards, and near-identical depictions (but with only two
figures) appear both in the Beni Hasan tomb of Ancient Egyptian administrator Khety of
the 11th Dynasty (c. 2000 BCE), and in European illuminated manuscripts and other works of
the 14th through 17th centuries, showing contemporary courtly and clerical life. In East Asia, a
similar game was entertained, using a carved wooden stick and ball prior, to 300 BC. In
Inner Mongolia, China, the Daur people have for about 1,000 years been playing beikou,
a game with some similarities to field hockey. A similar field hockey or ground billiards
variant, called suigan, was played in China during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644, post-dating
the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty). A game similar to field hockey was played in the 17th century
in Punjab state in India under name khido khundi (khido refers to the woolen ball, and
khundi to the stick). In South America, most specifically in Chile,
the local natives of the 16th century used to play a game called chueca, which also shares
common elements with hockey.In Northern Europe, the games of hurling (Ireland) and Knattleikr
(Iceland), both team balls games involving sticks to drive a ball to the opponents’ goal,
date at least as far back as the Early Middle Ages. By the 12th century, a team ball game
called la soule or choule, akin to a chaotic and sometimes long-distance version of hockey
or rugby football (depending on whether sticks were used in a particular local variant),
was regularly played in France and southern Britain between villages or parishes. Throughout
the Middle Ages to the Early Modern era, such games often involved the local clergy or secular
aristocracy, and in some periods were limited to them by various anti-gaming edicts, or
even banned altogether. Stein and Rubino, among others, ultimately trace aspects of
these games both to rituals in antiquity involving orbs and sceptres (on the aristocratic and
clerical side), and to ancient military training exercises (on the popular side); polo (essentially
hockey on horseback) was devised by the Ancient Persians for cavalry training, based on the
local proto-hockey foot game of the region.The word hockey itself has no clear origin. One
belief is that it was recorded in 1363 when Edward III of England issued the proclamation:
“Moreover we ordain that you prohibit under penalty of imprisonment all and sundry from
such stone, wood and iron throwing; handball, football, or hockey; coursing and cock-fighting,
or other such idle games.” The belief is based on modern translations of the proclamation,
which was originally in Latin and explicitly forbade the games “Pilam Manualem, Pedivam,
& Bacularem: & ad Canibucam & Gallorum Pugnam”. It may be recalled at this point that baculum
is the Latin for ‘stick’, so the reference would appear to be to a game played with sticks.
The English historian and biographer John Strype did not use the word “hockey” when
he translated the proclamation in 1720, and the word ‘hockey’ remains of unknown origin.
The modern game grew from English public schools in the early 19th century. The first club
was in 1849 at Blackheath in south-east London, but the modern rules grew out of a version
played by Middlesex cricket clubs for winter game. Teddington Hockey Club formed the modern
game by introducing the striking circle and changing the ball to a sphere from a rubber
cube. The Hockey Association was founded in 1886. The first international competition
took place in 1895 (Ireland 3, Wales 0), and the International Rules Board was founded
in 1900. Field hockey was played at the Summer Olympics
in 1908 and 1920. It was dropped in 1924, leading to the foundation of the Fédération
Internationale de Hockey sur Gazon (FIH) as an international governing body by seven continental
European nations; and hockey was reinstated as an Olympic game in 1928. Men’s hockey united
under the FIH in 1970. The two oldest trophies are the Irish Senior
Cup, which dates back to 1894, and the Irish Junior Cup, a second XI-only competition instituted
in 1895.In India, the Beighton Cup and the Aga Khan tournament commenced within ten years.
Entering the Olympics in 1928, India won all five games without conceding a goal, and won
from 1932 until 1956 and then in 1964 and 1980. Pakistan won in 1960, 1968 and 1984. In the early 1970s, artificial turf began
to be used. Synthetic pitches changed most aspects of field hockey, gaining speed. New
tactics and techniques such as the Indian dribble developed, followed by new rules to
take account. The switch to synthetic surfaces ended Indian and Pakistani domination because
artificial turf was too expensive in developing countries. Since the 1970s, Australia, the
Netherlands, and Germany have dominated at the Olympics and World Cup stages.
Women’s field hockey was first played at British universities and schools. The first club,
the Molesey Ladies, was founded in 1887. The first national association was the Irish Ladies
Hockey Union in 1894, and though rebuffed by the Hockey Association, women’s field hockey
grew rapidly around the world. This led to the International Federation of Women’s Hockey
Association (IFWHA) in 1927, though this did not include many continental European countries
where women played as sections of men’s associations and were affiliated to the FIH. The IFWHA
held conferences every three years, and tournaments associated with these were the primary IFWHA
competitions. These tournaments were non-competitive until 1975.
By the early 1970s, there were 22 associations with women’s sections in the FIH and 36 associations
in the IFWHA. Discussions started about a common rule book. The FIH introduced competitive
tournaments in 1974, forcing the acceptance of the principle of competitive field hockey
by the IFWHA in 1973. It took until 1982 for the two bodies to merge, but this allowed
the introduction of women’s field hockey to the Olympic games from 1980 where, as in the
men’s game, The Netherlands, Germany, and Australia have been consistently strong. Argentina
has emerged as a team to be reckoned with since 2000, winning the world championship
in 2002 and 2010 and medals at the last three Olympics.
Outside North America, participation is now fairly evenly balanced between men and women.
For example, in England, England Hockey reports that as of the 2008–09 season there were
2488 registered men’s teams, 1969 women’s teams, 1042 boys’ teams, 966 girls’ teams
and 274 mixed teams. In 2006 the Irish Hockey Association reported that the gender split
among its players was approximately 65% female and 35% male. In its 2008 census, Hockey Australia
reported 40,534 male club players and 41,542 female. However, in the United States of America,
there are few field hockey clubs, most play taking place between high school or college
sides, consisting almost entirely of women. The strength of college field hockey reflects
the impact of Title IX which mandated that colleges should fund men’s and women’s games
programmes comparably. The game’s roots in the English public girls’
school mean that the game is associated in the UK with active or overachieving middle
class and upper class women. For example, in Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell’s novel
set in a totalitarian London, main character Winston Smith initially dislikes Julia, the
woman he comes to love, because of “the atmosphere of hockey-fields and cold baths and community
hikes and general clean-mindedness which she managed to carry about with her.”The game
of field hockey is also very present in the United States. Many high schools and colleges
in the U.S. offer the sport and in some areas it is even offered for youth athletes. It
has been predominantly played on the East Coast, specifically the Northeast in states
such as New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. It recent years however
it has become increasingly present on the West Coast and in the Midwest. Field hockey
is still not played much in the Southern states of the U.S. but it is offered at a few colleges
in Tennessee and Kentucky.==Field of play==Most hockey field dimensions were originally
fixed using whole numbers of imperial measures. Nevertheless, metric measurements are now
the official dimensions as laid down by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) in the
“Rules of Hockey”. The pitch is a 91.4 m × 55 m (100.0 yd × 60.1 yd) rectangular field.
At each end is a goal 2.14 m (7 ft) high and 3.66 m (12 ft) wide, as well as lines across
the field 22.90 m (25 yd) from each end-line (generally referred to as the 23-metre lines
or the 25-yard lines) and in the center of the field. A spot 0.15 m (6 in) in diameter,
called the penalty spot or stroke mark, is placed with its centre 6.40 m (7 yd) from
the centre of each goal. The shooting circle is 15 m (16 yd) from the base line.===Playing surface===
Historically the game developed on natural grass turf. In the early 1970s, “synthetic
grass” fields began to be used for hockey, with the first Olympic Games on this surface
being held at Montreal in 1976. Synthetic pitches are now mandatory for all international
tournaments and for most national competitions. While hockey is still played on traditional
grass fields at some local levels and lesser national divisions, it has been replaced by
synthetic surfaces almost everywhere in the western world. There are three main types
of artificial hockey surface: Unfilled or water based – artificial fibres
that are densely packed for stabilisation, requires irrigation or watering to avoid pitch
wear Dressed or sand dressed – artificial fibres
can be less densely packed and sand supports the fibres for part of the pile depth
Filled or sand filled – artificial fibres can be longer and less densely packed and
sand supports the fibres for 100% of the pile depthSince the 1970s, sand-based pitches have
been favoured as they dramatically speed up the game. However, in recent years there has
been a massive increase in the number of “water-based” artificial turfs. Water-based synthetic turfs
enable the ball to be transferred more quickly than on sand-based surfaces. It is this characteristic
that has made them the surface of choice for international and national league competitions.
Water-based surfaces are also less abrasive than sand-based surfaces and reduce the level
of injury to players when they come into contact with the surface. The FIH are now proposing
that new surfaces being laid should be of a hybrid variety which require less watering.
This is due to the negative ecological effects of the high water requirements of water-based
synthetic fields. It has also been stated that the decision to make artificial surfaces
mandatory greatly favoured more affluent countries who could afford these new pitches.==Rules and play==
The game is played between two teams of whom eleven, 10 field players and one goal keeper,
are permitted to be on the pitch at any one time. The remaining players may be substituted
in any combination. There is an unlimited number of times a team can sub in and out.
Substitutions are permitted at any point in the game, apart from between the award and
end of a penalty corner; two exceptions to this rule is for injury or suspension of the
defending goalkeeper, which is not allowed when playing with a field keep, or a player
can exit the field, but you must wait until after the inserter touches the ball to put
somebody back in. Players are permitted to play the ball with
the flat of the ‘face side’ and with the edges of the head and handle of the field hockey
stick with the exception that, for reasons of safety, the ball may not be struck ‘hard’
with a forehand edge stroke, because of the difficulty of controlling the height and direction
of the ball from that stroke. The flat side is always on the “natural” side
for a right-handed person swinging the stick at the ball from right to left. Left-handed
sticks are rare, but available; however they are pointless as the rules forbid their use
in a game. To make a strike at the ball with a left-to-right swing the player must present
the flat of the ‘face’ of the stick to the ball by ‘reversing’ the stick head, i.e. by
turning the handle through approximately 180° (while a reverse edge hit would turn the stick
head through approximately 90° from the position of an upright forehand stroke with the ‘face’
of the stick head). Edge hitting of the ball underwent a two-year
“experimental period”, twice the usual length of an “experimental trial” and is still a
matter of some controversy within the game. Ric Charlesworth, the former Australian coach,
has been a strong critic of the unrestricted use of the reverse edge hit. The ‘hard’ forehand
edge hit was banned after similar concerns were expressed about the ability of players
to direct the ball accurately, but the reverse edge hit does appear to be more predictable
and controllable than its counterpart. This type of hit is now more commonly referred
to as the “forehand sweep” where the ball is hit with the flat side or “natural” side
of the stick and not the rounded edge. Other rules include; no foot-to-ball contact,
no use of hands, no obstructing other players, no high back swing, no hacking, and no third
party. If a player is dribbling the ball and either loses control and kicks the ball or
another player interferes that player is not permitted to gain control and continue dribbling.
The rules do not allow the person who kicked the ball to gain advantage from the kick,
so the ball will automatically be passed on to the opposing team. Conversely, if no advantage
is gained from kicking the ball, play should continue. Players may not obstruct another’s
chance of hitting the ball in any way. No shoving/using your body/stick to prevent advancement
in the other team. Penalty for this is the opposing team receives the ball and if the
problem continues, the player can be carded. While a player is taking a free hit or starting
a corner the back swing of their hit cannot be too high for this is considered dangerous.
Finally there may not be three players touching the ball at one time. Two players from opposing
teams can battle for the ball, however if another player interferes it is considered
third party and the ball automatically goes to the team who only had one player involved
in the third party.===The game===
A match ordinarily consists of two periods of 35 minutes and a halftime interval of 5
minutes. Other periods and interval may be agreed by
both teams except as specified in Regulations for particular competitions. Since 2014, some
International games have four 15 minute quarters with 2 minutes break between each quarter
and 15 minutes break between quarter two and three. At the 2018 Commonwealth Games Held
on the Gold Coast in Brisbane, Australia the hockey games for both men and women had four
15 minute quarters. The game begins with a pass back from the centre-forward usually
to the centre-half back from the halfway line, the opposing team can not try to tackle this
play until the ball has been pushed back. The team consists of eleven players, the players
are usually set up as follows: Goalkeeper, Left Fullback, Right Fullback, 3 half-backs
and 4 forwards consisting of Left Wing, Left Inner, Right Inner and Right Wing. These positions
can change and adapt throughout the course of the game depending on the attacking and
defensive style of the opposition.===Positions===When hockey positions are discussed, notions
of fluidity are very common. Each team can be fielded with a maximum of 11 players and
will typically arrange themselves into forwards, midfielders, and defensive players (fullbacks)
with players frequently moving between these lines with the flow of play. Each team may
also play with: * a goalkeeper who wears a different color
shirt and full protective equipment comprising at least headgear, leg guards and kickers;
this player is referred to in the rules as a goalkeeper; or
* a field player with goalkeeping privileges wearing a different color shirt and who may
wear protective headgear (but not leg guards and kickers or other goalkeeping protective
equipment) when inside their defending 23m area; they must wear protective headgear when
defending a penalty corner or stroke; this player is referred to in the rules as a player
with goalkeeping privileges; or * Only field players; no player has goalkeeping
privileges or wears a different color shirt; no player may wear protective headgear except
a face mask when defending a penalty corner or stroke.====Formations====
As hockey has a very dynamic style of play, it is difficult to simplify positions to the
static formations which are common in football. Although positions will typically be categorized
as either fullback, halfback, midfield/inner or striker, it is important for players to
have an understanding of every position on the field. For example, it is not uncommon
to see a halfback overlap and end up in either attacking position, with the midfield and
strikers being responsible for re-adjusting to fill the space they left. Movement between
lines like this is particularly common across all positions.
This fluid Australian culture of hockey has been responsible for developing an international
trend towards players occupying spaces on the field, not having assigned positions.
Although they may have particular spaces on the field which they are more comfortable
and effective as players, they are responsible for occupying the space nearest them. This
fluid approach to hockey and player movement has made it easy for teams to transition between
formations such as; “3 at the back”, “2 centre halves”, “5 at the front”, and more.====Goalkeepers====
When the ball is inside the circle they are defending and they have their stick in their
hand, goalkeepers wearing full protective equipment are permitted to use their stick,
feet, kickers or leg guards to propel the ball and to use their stick, feet, kickers,
leg guards or any other part of their body to stop the ball or deflect it in any direction
including over the back line. Similarly, field players are permitted to use their stick.
They are not allowed to use their feet and legs to propel the ball, stop the ball or
deflect it in any direction including over the back line. However, neither goalkeepers,
or players with goalkeeping privileges are permitted to conduct themselves in a manner
which is dangerous to other players by taking advantage of the protective equipment they
wear.Neither goalkeepers or players with goalkeeping privileges may lie on the ball, however, they
are permitted to use arms, hands and any other part of their body to push the ball away.
Lying on the ball deliberately will result in a penalty stroke, whereas if an umpire
deems a goalkeeper has lain on the ball accidentally (e.g. it gets stuck in their protective equipment),
a penalty corner is awarded. * The action above is permitted only as part
of a goal saving action or to move the ball away from the possibility of a goal scoring
action by opponents. It does not permit a goalkeeper or player with goalkeeping privileges
to propel the ball forcefully with arms, hands or body so that it travels a long distance
When the ball is outside the circle they are defending, goalkeepers or players with goalkeeping
privileges are only permitted to play the ball with their stick. Further, a goalkeeper,
or player with goalkeeping privileges who is wearing a helmet, must not take part in
the match outside the 23m area they are defending, except when taking a penalty stroke. A goalkeeper
must wear protective headgear at all times, except when taking a penalty stroke.===General play===
For the purposes of the rules, all players on the team in possession of the ball are
attackers, and those on the team without the ball are defenders, yet throughout the game
being played you are always “defending” your goal and “attacking” the opposite goal. The match is officiated by two field umpires.
Traditionally each umpire generally controls half of the field, divided roughly diagonally.
These umpires are often assisted by a technical bench including a timekeeper and record keeper.
Prior to the start of the game, a coin is tossed and the winning captain can choose
a starting end or whether to start with the ball. Since 2017 the game consists of four
periods of 15 minutes with a 2-minute break after every period, and a 15-minute break
at half time before changing ends. At the start of each period, as well as after goals
are scored, play is started with a pass from the centre of the field. All players must
start in their defensive half (apart from the player making the pass), but the ball
may be played in any direction along the floor. Each team starts with the ball in one half,
and the team that conceded the goal has possession for the restart. Teams trade sides at halftime.
Field players may only play the ball with the face of the stick. If the back side of
the stick is used, it is a penalty and the other team will get the ball back. Tackling
is permitted as long as the tackler does not make contact with the attacker or the other
person’s stick before playing the ball (contact after the tackle may also be penalized if
the tackle was made from a position where contact was inevitable). Further, the player
with the ball may not deliberately use his body to push a defender out of the way.
Field players may not play the ball with their feet, but if the ball accidentally hits the
feet, and the player gains no benefit from the contact, then the contact is not penalized.
Although there has been a change in the wording of this rule from 1 January 2007, the current
FIH umpires’ briefing instructs umpires not to change the way they interpret this rule.Obstruction
typically occurs in three circumstances – when a defender comes between the player with possession
and the ball in order to prevent them tackling; when a defender’s stick comes between the
attacker’s stick and the ball or makes contact with the attacker’s stick or body; and also
when blocking the opposition’s attempt to tackle a teammate with the ball (called third
party obstruction). When the ball passes completely over the sidelines
(on the sideline is still in), it is returned to play with a sideline hit, taken by a member
of the team whose players were not the last to touch the ball before crossing the sideline.
The ball must be placed on the sideline, with the hit taken from as near the place the ball
went out of play as possible. If it crosses the back line after last touched by an attacker,
a 15 m (16 yd) hit is awarded. A 15 m hit is also awarded for offences committed by
the attacking side within 15 m of the end of the pitch they are attacking.===Set plays===
Set plays are often utilized for specific situations such as a penalty corner or free
hit. For instance, many teams have penalty corner variations that they can use to beat
the defensive team. The coach may have plays that sends the ball between two defenders
and lets the player attack the opposing team’s goal. There are no set plays unless your team
has them.====Free hits====
Free hits are awarded when offences are committed outside the scoring circles (the term ‘free
hit’ is standard usage but the ball need not be hit). The ball may be hit, pushed or lifted
in any direction by the team offended against. The ball can be lifted from a free hit but
not by hitting, you must flick or scoop to lift from a free hit. (In previous versions
of the rules, hits in the area outside the circle in open play have been permitted but
lifting one direction from a free hit was prohibited). Opponents must move 5 m (5.5
yd) from the ball when a free hit is awarded. A free hit must be taken from within playing
distance of the place of the offence for which it was awarded and the ball must be stationary
when the free hit is taken. As mentioned above, a 15 m hit is awarded
if an attacking player commits a foul forward of that line, or if the ball passes over the
back line off an attacker. These free hits are taken in-line with where the foul was
committed (taking a line parallel with the sideline between where the offence was committed,
or the ball went out of play). When an attacking free hit is awarded within 5 m of the circle
everyone including the person taking the penalty must be five metres from the circle and everyone
apart from the person taking the free hit must be five metres away from the ball. When
taking an attacking free hit, the ball may not be hit straight into the circle if you
are within your attacking 23 meter area (25 yard area). It must travel 5 meters before
going in.====2009 experimental changes====
In February 2009 the FIH introduced, as a “Mandatory Experiment” for international competition,
an updated version of the free-hit rule. The changes allows a player taking a free hit
to pass the ball to themselves. Importantly, this is not a “play on” situation, but to
the untrained eye it may appear to be. The player must play the ball any distance in
two separate motions, before continuing as if it were a play-on situation. They may raise
an aerial or overhead immediately as the second action, or any other stroke permitted by the
rules of field hockey. At high-school level, this is called a self pass and was adopted
in Pennsylvania in 2010 as a legal technique for putting the ball in play.
Also, all players (from both teams) must be at least 5 m from any free hit awarded to
the attack within the 23 m area. The ball may not travel directly into the circle from
a free hit to the attack within the 23 m area without first being touched by another player
or being dribbled at least 5 m by a player making a “self-pass”. These experimental rules
apply to all free-hit situations, including sideline and corner hits. National associations
may also choose to introduce these rules for their domestic competitions.====Attacking-free hit from quarter line
====A free hit from the quarter line is awarded
to the attacking team if the ball goes over the back-line after last being touched by
a defender, provided they do not play it over the back-line deliberately, in which case
a penalty corner is awarded. This free hit is played by the attacking team from a spot
on the quarter line closest to where the ball went out of play. All the parameters of an
attacking free hit within the attacking quarter of the playing surface apply.====Penalty corner====
The short or penalty corner is awarded: for an offence by a defender in the circle
which does not prevent the probable scoring of a goal;
for an intentional offence in the circle by a defender against an opponent who does not
have possession of the ball or an opportunity to play the ball;
for an intentional offence by a defender outside the circle but within the 23-metre area they
are defending; for intentionally playing the ball over the
back line by a defender; when the ball becomes lodged in a player’s
clothing or equipment while in the circle they are defending.Short corners begin with
five defenders (usually including the keeper) positioned behind the back line and the ball
placed at least 10 yards from the nearest goal post. All other players in the defending
team must be beyond the centre line, that is not in their ‘own’ half of the pitch, until
the ball is in play. Attacking players begin the play standing outside the scoring circle,
except for one attacker who starts the corner by playing the ball from a mark 10 m either
side of the goal (the circle has a 14.63 m radius). This player puts the ball into play
by pushing or hitting the ball to the other attackers outside the circle; the ball must
pass outside the circle and then put back into the circle before the attackers may make
a shot at the goal from which a goal can be scored. FIH rules do not forbid a shot at
goal before the ball leaves the circle after being ‘inserted’, nor is a shot at the goal
from outside the circle prohibited, but a goal cannot be scored at all if the ball has
not gone out of the circle and cannot be scored from a shot from outside the circle if it
is not again played by an attacking player before it enters the goal.
For safety reasons, the first shot of a penalty corner must not exceed 460 mm high (the height
of the “backboard” of the goal) at the point it crosses the goal line if it is hit. However,
if the ball is deemed to be below backboard height, the ball can be subsequently deflected
above this height by another player (defender or attacker), providing that this deflection
does not lead to danger. Note that the “Slap” stroke (a sweeping motion towards the ball,
where the stick is kept on or close to the ground when striking the ball) is classed
as a hit, and so the first shot at goal must be below backboard height for this type of
shot also. If the first shot at goal in a short corner
situation is a push, flick or scoop, in particular the drag flick (which has become popular at
international and national league standards), the shot is permitted to rise above the height
of the backboard, as long as the shot is not deemed dangerous to any opponent. This form
of shooting was developed because it is not height restricted in the same way as the first
hit shot at the goal and players with good technique are able to drag-flick with as much
power as many others can hit a ball.====Penalty stroke====A penalty stroke is awarded when a defender
commits a foul in the circle (accidental or otherwise) that prevents a probable goal or
commits a deliberate foul in the circle or if defenders repeatedly run from the back
line too early at a penalty corner. The penalty stroke is taken by a single attacker in the
circle, against the goalkeeper, from a spot 6.4 m from goal. The ball is played only once
at goal by the attacker using a push, flick or scoop stroke. If the shot is saved, play
is restarted with a 15 m hit to the defenders. When a goal is scored, play is restarted in
the normal way.===Dangerous play and raised balls===
According to the current Rules of Hockey 2019 issued by the FIH there are only two criteria
for a dangerously played ball. The first is legitimate evasive action by an opponent (what
constitutes legitimate evasive action is an umpiring judgment). The second is specific
to the rule concerning a shot at goal at a penalty corner but is generally, if somewhat
inconsistently, applied throughout the game and in all parts of the pitch: it is that
a ball lifted above knee height and at an opponent who is within 5m of the ball is certainly
dangerous. The velocity of the ball is not mentioned
in the rules concerning a dangerously played ball. A ball that hits a player above the
knee may on some occasions not be penalized, this is at the umpire’s discretion. A jab
tackle, for example, might accidentally lift the ball above knee height into an opponent
from close range but at such low velocity as not to be, in the opinion of the umpire,
dangerous play. In the same way a high-velocity hit at very close range into an opponent,
but below knee height, could be considered to be dangerous or reckless play in the view
of the umpire, especially when safer alternatives are open to the striker of the ball.
A ball that has been lifted high so that it will fall among close opponents may be deemed
to be potentially dangerous and play may be stopped for that reason. A lifted ball that
is falling to a player in clear space may be made potentially dangerous by the actions
of an opponent closing to within 5m of the receiver before the ball has been controlled
to ground – a rule which is often only loosely applied; the distance allowed is often only
what might be described as playing distance, 2–3 m, and opponents tend to be permitted
to close on the ball as soon as the receiver plays it: these unofficial variations are
often based on the umpire’s perception of the skill of the players i.e. on the level
of the game, in order to maintain game flow, which umpires are in general in both Rules
and Briefing instructed to do, by not penalising when it is unnecessary to do so; this is also
a matter at the umpire’s discretion. The term “falling ball” is important in what
may be termed encroaching offences. It is generally only considered an offence to encroach
on an opponent receiving a lifted ball that has been lifted to above head height (although
the height is not specified in rule) and is falling. So, for example, a lifted shot at
the goal which is still rising as it crosses the goal line (or would have been rising as
it crossed the goal line) can be legitimately followed up by any of the attacking team looking
for a rebound. In general even potentially dangerous play
is not penalised if an opponent is not disadvantaged by it or, obviously, not injured by it so
that he cannot continue. A personal penalty, that is a caution or a suspension, rather
than a team penalty, such as a free ball or a penalty corner, may be (many would say should
be or even must be, but again this is at the umpire’s discretion) issued to the guilty
party after an advantage allowed by the umpire has been played out in any situation where
an offence has occurred, including dangerous play (but once advantage has been allowed
the umpire cannot then call play back and award a team penalty).
It is not an offence to lift the ball over an opponent’s stick (or body on the ground),
provided that it is done with consideration for the safety of the opponent and not dangerously.
For example, a skillful attacker may lift the ball over a defenders stick or prone body
and run past them, however if the attacker lifts the ball into or at the defender’s body,
this would almost certainly be regarded as dangerous.
It is not against the rules to bounce the ball on the stick and even to run with it
while doing so, as long as that does not lead to a potentially dangerous conflict with an
opponent who is attempting to make a tackle. For example, two players trying to play at
the ball in the air at the same time, would probably be considered a dangerous situation
and it is likely that the player who first put the ball up or who was so ‘carrying’ it
would be penalised. Dangerous play rules also apply to the usage
of the stick when approaching the ball, making a stroke at it (replacing what was at one
time referred to as the “sticks” rule, which once forbade the raising of any part of the
stick above the shoulder during any play. This last restriction has been removed but
the stick should still not be used in a way that endangers an opponent) or attempting
to tackle, (fouls relating to tripping, impeding and obstruction). The use of the stick to
strike an opponent will usually be much more severely dealt with by the umpires than offences
such as barging, impeding and obstruction with the body, although these are also dealt
with firmly, especially when these fouls are intentional: field hockey is a non-contact
game. Players may not play or attempt to play at
the ball above their shoulders unless trying to save a shot that could go into the goal,
in which case they are permitted to stop the ball or deflect it safely away. A swing, as
in a hit, at a high shot at the goal (or even wide of the goal) will probably be considered
dangerous play if at opponents within 5 m and such a stroke would be contrary to rule
in these circumstances anyway. Within the English National League it is now
a legal action to take a ball above shoulder height if completed using a controlled action.===Warnings and suspensions===
The penalty cards Hockey uses a three-tier penalty card system
of warnings and suspensions: When shown a green card, the player may have
to leave the field for two minutes, depending on national regulations, though at international
standards the player has to leave the field for two minutes, but any further infractions
will result in a yellow or red card. A yellow card is an official suspension similar
to the penalty box in ice hockey. The duration is decided by the umpire issuing the card
and the player must go to a pre-defined area of the pitch as chosen by the umpires, or
by the local/state/national association of that country; in this case generally it will
be in the rule book where that player must go to, at the beginning of the match. Most
umpires will opt for a minimum of five minutes’ duration without substitution; the maximum
time is at the discretion of the umpire, depending on the seriousness of the offence; for example
the second yellow to the same player or the first for danger might be given ten minutes.
(In some modes, including indoor, shorter periods of suspension are applied, dependent
on local rules.) However it is possible to send a player off for the remainder of the
match if the penalty time is longer than the time remaining in the match.Depending on national
rules, if a coach is sent off a player may have to leave the field too for the time the
coach is sent off. A red card, just like in association football,
is a permanent exclusion from the rest of the game, without substitution, and usually
results in the player being banned for a certain period of time or number of matches (this
is governed by local playing conditions, rather than the rules of field hockey). The player
must also leave the pitch and surrounding area.If a coach is sent off, depending on
local rules, a player may have to leave the field for the remaining length of the match.
In addition to their colours, field hockey penalty cards are often shaped differently,
so they can be recognized easily. Green cards are normally triangular, yellow cards rectangular
and red cards circular. Unlike football, a player may receive more
than one green or yellow card. However, they cannot receive the same card for the same
offence (for example two yellows for dangerous play), and the second must always be a more
serious card. In the case of a second yellow card for a different breach of the rules (for
example a yellow for deliberate foot, and a second later in the game for dangerous play)
the temporary suspension would be expected to be of considerably longer duration than
the first. However, local playing conditions may mandate that cards are awarded only progressively,
and not allow any second awards. Umpires, if the free hit would have been in
the attacking 23 m area, may upgrade the free hit to a penalty corner for dissent or other
misconduct after the free hit has been awarded.===Scoring===
The teams’ object is to play the ball into their attacking circle and, from there, hit,
push or flick the ball into the goal, scoring a goal. The team with more goals after 60
minutes wins the game. The playing time may be shortened, particularly when younger players
are involved, or for some tournament play. If the game is played in a countdown clock,
like ice hockey, a goal can only count if the ball completely crosses the goaline and
into the goal before time expires, not when the ball leaves the stick in the act of shooting. In many competitions (such as regular club
competition, or in pool games in FIH international tournaments such as the Olympics or the World
Cup), a tied result stands and the overall competition standings are adjusted accordingly.
Since March 2013, when tie breaking is required, the official FIH Tournament Regulations mandate
to no longer have extra time and go directly into a penalty shoot-out when a classification
match ends in a tie. However, many associations follow the previous procedure consisting of
two periods of 7.5 minutes of “golden goal” extra time during which the game ends as soon
as one team scores.===Rule change procedure===
The FIH implemented a two-year rules cycle with the 2007–08 edition of the rules, with
the intention that the rules be reviewed on a biennial basis. The 2009 rulebook was officially
released in early March 2009 (effective 1 May 2009), however the FIH published the major
changes in February. The current rule book is effective from 1 January 2019.
The FIH has adopted a policy of including major changes to the rules as “Mandatory Experiments”,
showing that they must be played at international level, but are treated as experimental and
will be reviewed before the next rulebook is published and either changed, approved
as permanent rules, or deleted.==Local rules==
There are sometimes minor variations in rules from competition to competition; for instance,
the duration of matches is often varied for junior competitions or for carnivals. Different
national associations also have slightly differing rules on player equipment.
The new Euro Hockey League and the Olympics has made major alterations to the rules to
aid television viewers, such as splitting the game into four quarters, and to try to
improve player behavior, such as a two-minute suspension for green cards—the latter was
also used in the 2010 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. In the United States, the NCAA has its own
rules for inter-collegiate competitions; high school associations similarly play to different
rules, usually using the rules published by the National Federation of State High School
Associations (NFHS). This article assumes FIH rules unless otherwise stated. USA Field
Hockey produces an annual summary of the differences.In the United States, the games at the junior
high level consist of four 12-minute periods, while the high-school level consists of two
30-minute periods. Many private American schools play 12-minute quarters, and some have adopted
FIH rules rather than NFHS rules. Players are required to wear mouth guards
and shin guards in order to play the game. Also, there is a newer rule requiring certain
types of sticks be used. In recent years, the NFHS rules have moved closer to FIH, but
in 2011 a new rule requiring protective eyewear was introduced for the 2011 Fall season. Further
clarification of NFHS’s rule requiring protective eyewear states, “effective January 1, 2019,
all eye protection shall be permanently labeled with the current ASTM 2713 standard for field
hockey.” Metal ‘cage style’ goggles favored by US high school lacrosse and permitted in
high school field hockey is prohibited under FIH rules.==Equipment=====Field hockey stick===Each player carries a “stick” that normally
measures between 80–95 cm (31–38″); shorter or longer sticks are available. Sticks were
traditionally made of wood, but are now often made also with fibreglass, kevlar or carbon
fibre composites. Metal is forbidden from use in field hockey sticks, due to the risk
of injury from sharp edges if the stick were to break. The stick has a rounded handle,
has a J-shaped hook at the bottom, and is flattened on the left side (when looking down
the handle with the hook facing upwards). All sticks must be right-handed; left-handed
ones are prohibited. There was traditionally a slight curve (called
the bow, or rake) from the top to bottom of the face side of the stick and another on
the ‘heel’ edge to the top of the handle (usually made according to the angle at which the handle
part was inserted into the splice of the head part of the stick), which assisted in the
positioning of the stick head in relation to the ball and made striking the ball easier
and more accurate. The hook at the bottom of the stick was only
recently the tight curve (Indian style) that we have nowadays. The older ‘English’ sticks
had a longer bend, making it very hard to use the stick on the reverse. For this reason
players now use the tight curved sticks. The handle makes up about the top third of
the stick. It is wrapped in a grip similar to that used on tennis racket. The grip may
be made of a variety of materials, including chamois leather, which many players think
improves grip in the wet. It was recently discovered that increasing
the depth of the face bow made it easier to get high speeds from the dragflick and made
the stroke easier to execute. At first, after this feature was introduced, the Hockey Rules
Board placed a limit of 50 mm on the maximum depth of bow over the length of the stick
but experience quickly demonstrated this to be excessive. New rules now limit this curve
to under 25 mm so as to limit the power with which the ball can be flicked.===Field hockey ball===Standard field hockey balls are hard spherical
balls, made of plastic (sometimes over a cork core), and are usually white, although they
can be any colour as long as they contrast with the playing surface. The balls have a
diameter of 71.3–74.8 mm (2.81–2.94 in) and a mass of 156–163 g (5.5–5.7 oz).
The ball is often covered with indentations to reduce aquaplaning that can cause an inconsistent
ball speed on wet surfaces.===Goalkeeping equipment===The 2007 rulebook saw major changes regarding
goalkeepers. A fully equipped goalkeeper must wear a helmet, leg guards and kickers, and
like all players, they must carry a stick. Goalkeepers may use either a field player’s
stick or a specialised goalkeeping stick provided always the stick is of legal dimensions. Usually
field hockey goalkeepers also wear extensive additional protective equipment including
chest guards, padded shorts, heavily padded hand protectors, groin protectors, neck protectors
and arm guards. A goalie may not cross the 23 m line, the sole exception to this being
if the goalkeeper is to take a penalty stroke at the other end of the field, when the clock
is stopped. The goalkeeper can also remove their helmet for this action. While goalkeepers
are allowed to use their feet and hands to clear the ball, like field players they may
only use the one side of their stick. Slide tackling is permitted as long as it is with
the intention of clearing the ball, not aimed at a player.
It is now also even possible for teams to have a full eleven outfield players and no
goalkeeper at all. No player may wear a helmet or other goalkeeping equipment, neither will
any player be able to play the ball with any other part of the body than with their stick.
This may be used to offer a tactical advantage, for example, if a team is trailing with only
a short time to play, or to allow for play to commence if no goalkeeper or kit is available.==Tactics==
The basic tactic in field hockey, as in association football and many other team games, is to
outnumber the opponent in a particular area of the field at a moment in time. When in
possession of the ball this temporary numerical superiority can be used to pass the ball around
opponents so that they cannot effect a tackle because they cannot get within playing reach
of the ball and to further use this numerical advantage to gain time and create clear space
for making scoring shots on the opponent’s goal. When not in possession of the ball numerical
superiority is used to isolate and channel an opponent in possession and ‘mark out’ any
passing options so that an interception or a tackle may be made to gain possession. Highly
skillful players can sometimes get the better of more than one opponent and retain the ball
and successfully pass or shoot but this tends to use more energy than quick early passing.
Every player has a role depending on their relationship to the ball if the team communicates
throughout the play of the game. There will be players on the ball (offensively – ball
carriers; defensively – pressure, support players, and movement players.
The main methods by which the ball is moved around the field by players are a) passing
b) pushing the ball and running with it controlled to the front or right of the body and c) “dribbling”;
where the player controls the ball with the stick and moves in various directions with
it to elude opponents. To make a pass the ball may be propelled with a pushing stroke,
where the player uses their wrists to push the stick head through the ball while the
stick head is in contact with it; the “flick” or “scoop”, similar to the push but with an
additional arm and leg and rotational actions to lift the ball off the ground; and the “hit”,
where a swing at ball is taken and contact with it is often made very forcefully, causing
the ball to be propelled at velocities in excess of 70 mph (110 km/h). In order to produce
a powerful hit, usually for travel over long distances or shooting at the goal, the stick
is raised higher and swung with maximum power at the ball, a stroke sometimes known as a
“drive”. Tackles are made by placing the stick into
the path of the ball or playing the stick head or shaft directly at the ball. To increase
the effectiveness of the tackle, players will often place the entire stick close to the
ground horizontally, thus representing a wider barrier. To avoid the tackle, the ball carrier
will either pass the ball to a teammate using any of the push, flick, or hit strokes, or
attempt to maneuver or “drag” the ball around the tackle, trying to deceive the tackler.
In recent years, the penalty corner has gained importance as a goal scoring opportunity.
Particularly with the technical development of the drag flick. Tactics at penalty corners
to set up time for a shot with a drag flick or a hit shot at the goal involve various
complex plays, including multiple passes before deflections towards the goal is made but the
most common method of shooting is the direct flick or hit at the goal.
At the highest level, field hockey is a fast moving, highly skilled game, with players
using fast moves with the stick, quick accurate passing, and hard hits, in attempts to keep
possession and move the ball towards the goal. Tackling with physical contact and otherwise
physically obstructing players is not permitted. Some of the tactics used resemble football
(soccer), but with greater ball speed. With the 2009 changes to the rules regarding
free hits in the attacking 23m area, the common tactic of hitting the ball hard into the circle
was forbidden. Although at higher levels this was considered tactically risky and low-percentage
at creating scoring opportunities, it was used with some effect to ‘win’ penalty corners
by forcing the ball onto a defender’s foot or to deflect high (and dangerously) off a
defender’s stick. The FIH felt it was a dangerous practice that could easily lead to raised
deflections and injuries in the circle, which is often crowded at a free-hit situation,
and outlawed it.==International competition==The biggest two field hockey tournaments are
the Olympic Games tournament, and the Hockey World Cup, which is also held every 4 years.
Apart from this, there is the Champions Trophy held each year for the six top-ranked teams.
Field hockey has also been played at the Commonwealth Games since 1998. Amongst the men, India lead
in Olympic competition, having won 8 golds (6 successive in row). Amongst the women,
Australia and Netherlands have 3 Olympic golds while Netherlands has clinched the World Cup
6 times. The Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament and Sultan Ibrahim Ismail Hockey Tournament
for the junior team, both tournaments held annually in Malaysia, are becoming prominent
field hockey tournaments where teams from around the world participate to win the cup.
India and Pakistan dominated men’s hockey until the early 1980s, winning eight Olympic
golds and three of the first five world cups, respectively, but have become less prominent
with the ascendancy of Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, and Spain
since the late 1980s, as grass playing surfaces were replaced with artificial turf (which
conferred increased importance on athleticism). Other notable men’s nations include Argentina,
England (who combine with other British “Home Nations” to form the Great Britain side at
Olympic events) and South Korea. Despite their recent drop in international rankings, Pakistan
still holds the record of four World Cup wins. Netherlands, Australia and Argentina are the
most successful national teams among women. The Netherlands was the predominant women’s
team before field hockey was added to Olympic events. In the early 1990s, Australia emerged
as the strongest women’s country although retirement of a number of players weakened
the team. Argentina improved its play on the 2000s, heading IFH rankings in 2003, 2010
and 2013. Other prominent women’s teams are China, South Korea, Germany and India.
As of November 2017 Argentina’s men’s team and the Netherlands’ women’s teams lead the
FIH world rankings. This is a list of the major International
field hockey tournaments, in chronological order. Tournaments included are: Olympic Games – held every four years.
World Cup – held every four years, in between the Olympics.
Champions Trophy – scrapped since 2018. Champions Challenge – eventually replaced
by now defunct World Hockey League. Champions Challenge II – eventually replaced
by now defunct World Hockey League.Although invitational or not open to all countries,
the following are also considered international tournaments: Commonwealth Games – held every four years
between members of the Commonwealth of Nations Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament – held
annually in Malaysia, an invitational tournament. Sultan Ibrahim Ismail Hockey Tournament – held
annually for athletes aged under-21 in Malaysia, an invitational tournament.==Variants=====Hockey5s===
As the name suggests, Hockey5s is a hockey variant which features five players on each
team (which must include a goalkeeper). The field of play is 55 m long and 41.70 m wide—
this is approximately half the size of a regular pitch. Few additional markings are needed
as there is no penalty circle nor penalty corners; shots can be taken from anywhere
on the pitch. Penalty strokes are replaced by a “challenge” which is like the one-on-one
method used in a penalty shoot-out. The duration of the match is three 12-minute periods with
an interval of two minutes between periods. The rules are simpler and it is intended that
the game is faster, creating more shots on goal with less play in midfield, and more
attractive to spectators.An Asian qualification tournament for two places at the 2014 Youth
Olympic Games was the first time an FIH event used the Hockey5s format. Hockey5s was also
used for the Youth Olympic hockey tournament, and at the Pacific Games in 2015.==Hockey in popular culture==
Hockey features in F. J. Campbell’s 2018 novel No Number Nine, the final chapters of which
are set at the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Field Hockey has prominently featured in Indian
films like Chak De! India and Gold.==See also

Tagged : # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #

Dennis Veasley

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *