Field Hockey« Back to About Our Sports

Field hockey is a team sport of the hockey family. The earliest origins of the sport date back to the Middle Ages in Scotland, the Netherlands, and England. The game can be played on a grass field or a turf field as well as an indoor board surface. Each team plays with eleven players including the goalie. Players use sticks made out of wood or fiberglass to hit a round, hard, rubber like ball. The length of the stick depends on the player's individual height. There are no left hand sticks in field hockey, and only one side of the stick is allowed to be used. The uniform consist of shin guards, cleats, skirts or shorts, and a jersey. At the turn of the 21st century, the game is played globally, with particular popularity throughout western Europe, the Indian subcontinent, and Australasia. Field hockey is the national sport of Pakistan, and is sometimes assumed to be India's national sport as well, although officially India does not have a national sport. The term "field hockey" is used primarily in Canada, the United States, Eastern Europe and other regions of the world where the sport of ice hockey is more popular.

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'), with this only applying within the shooting circle (also known as the D, or shooting arc, or just the circle), while field players play the ball with the flat side of their stick. The team that 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 and/or a penalty shootout, depending on the competition's format.

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 field 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 utilizing pushes to transfer the ball), and the sidelines are replaced with solid barriers which the ball will rebound off.