The game of hockey, or field hockey as it is sometimes known as, originated thousands of years ago. It is traditionally played on grass, but can be played on a variety of surfaces including gravel and sand-based or water-based artificial turf. Commonly hockey is now played on synthetic surfaces – particularly at the higher levels like the Olympics. In basic terms, hockey is a two-team sport which sees each team using curved sticks to move a small hard ball about the pitch – the ultimate aim being to get the ball into the goal.
11 players make up a hockey team, and each team is allowed up to five substitutes. The rules related to substitutions are not as rigid as some sports, as hockey teams can make as many substitutions as they like during a game.
Hockey Player positions
As well as the goalkeeper, the positions in a hockey team can be broadly categorised as defenders, midfielders and attackers. These are known as the ‘field players’ and while only the goalkeeper has a pre-determined role, the field players generally stick to either attacking or defending, with the midfielders joining in both roles!
Hockey Stick handling
Stick handling, or ‘stick work’, is an essential hockey skill. A good hockey player needs to be able to control the ball, pass it, shoot and of course dribble. Hockey sticks have a round side and a flat side, and players are only allowed to touch the ball with the flat side – which is why, in a high-tempo game, the art of stick-work is essential.
STRYK Burst Beginner Field Hockey Stick Package
- ENTRY LEVEL PACKAGE: includes all the essential equipment needed for a field hockey beginner along with a rainbow colored ball.
- STICK: Wooden construction for excellent durability. A 20mm bow and Midi head give the stick versatility, allowing it to work for any position in the field.
- FIRST TOUCH TOE: Designed to reduce rebound and provide a forgiving feel, giving the stick excellent control. Ideal for those players developing their basic skills.
- STICK BAG: Large main compartment holds two sticks, while the breathable mesh pocket is perfect for shin guard or cleat storage. The small zipper pocket stores small items securely. Also comes with adjustable padded shoulder strap.
- SHIN GUARDS: Molded plastic provide exceptional protection for shins and ankles. Adjustable straps and venting holes offer breathability and secure fit. Sized to fit a player's height based on stick size.
Spinningdaisy High Gloss Crystal Field Hockey Stick with Ball Necklace
$9.99 in stock
- 16" long chain and 1.5" tall and 1.25" wide charm
- High gloss finish
- Crystal embedded
- Lead Compliant and Imported
- Packed in a protective sleeve
During general hockey play, players are not allowed to hit the ball high in the air. The ball can be lifted by scooping, but it is at the referee’s discretion whether this constitutes dangerous play. Players are not allowed to play the ball if it is above shoulder height, unless they are attempting to block a shot on goal. Shots on goal tend to be raised as this is the most effective way of scoring goals.
Hockey Scoring Rules
Scoring in hockey can only be done in a few ways: from a Field Goal, Penalty Corner or Penalty Stroke.
Hockey Field Goals
‘Field Goal’ refers to a goal from open play, which can only be scored from within the shooting circle.
Hockey – Penalty Corners
Penalty Corners are awarded when the defending team breaks a rule inside the shooting circle. They can also be awarded if a defender commits a bad foul inside the defending quarter of the field – signified by a line 23 metres from the goal. When a penalty corner is awarded, play is stopped and both teams organise themselves into their respective defence and attack positions. An attacker stands with the ball on the goal-line, with the rest of the attackers usually positioned at the top of the shooting circle. The defenders and goalie position themselves behind the goal-line during a penalty corner – ready to rush the attackers once the ball is pushed out to them. When the ball is pushed out, it must leave the shooting circle before another attacker can touch it. The receiver can then push it into the circle to shoot themselves, or set up another attacker to shoot.
Hockey – Penalty Strokes
Penalty strokes are usually given when a defender has committed a foul that prevented a goal being scored. Penalty strokes in hockey are similar to penalty kicks in soccer, in that the attacker shoots unopposed, with only the goalkeeper to beat. The hockey ‘penalty spot’ is seven yards from goal.
Length of a hockey match
Hockey matches are made up of two halves of 35 mins, and there is usually a half-time break of between 5 and 10 mins. In some tournaments, a match that ends in a tie will go to extra time, where the first team to score is the winner.
There are two umpires in every hockey game – each controlling their own half of the pitch and collaborating on decisions that happen in the middle. There is a 3 card system for penalising players in hockey. A green card is shown by the umpire as a warning to the player. A yellow card suspends the recipient for a minimum of 5 minutes and a red card excludes the player from the rest of the match – with the team unable to replace them with a substitute.
Futures Sports provides summer hockey camps to children of all ages throughout the summer.
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