Learn the Game
Field Hockey is played both indoors and outdoors.
- Outdoor field is 100yds by 60 yds
- The Outdoor Game has 10 field players and a goalie. Usually, Attack, Mid Field, Defense, Goalie
- Game starts at the 50 with a pass by one team. Also after every goal.
- (2) 30 or 35 min halves.
- To score the attacking team hit the ball within or touch the ball within the 16 meter circle.
- The ball cannot touch your feet even if it is unintentional! Or any part of your body for that matter.
- You can not use the rounded side of the stick but you can use the thin sides!
- There is a reverse by turning the stick around.
- Penalties within the 16 meter circle by defense result in a penaltys corner.
- Penalties by offense in the 16 meter circle are a free hit out at top of circle.
- Players awarded a free hit can self start.
- On a free hit, defending players must be 5 yds or not play the ball until it has move 5 yards.
- Players can not purposely block the ball or obstruct another from getting the ball with their body except momentarily.
- The ball is out of bounds when the entire ball goes over the side or end lines. It can be played on the line.
- If a defender hits the ball over the end line, the attacking team gets the ball at the 25 yd line even with where it went out.
- Although the field set up is similar to soccer there is no off sides.
- There are free Substitutions
- Indoor field hockey is played on a hard surface with sideboards marking the sidelines and keeping the ball in play.
- Field size is smaller than outdoor and so is the goal.
- Played by 5 field players and a goalie on each team
- The indoor stick is thinner and lighter.
- Players usually wear gloves as the game is much tighter, players play lower and the ball pops up more due to the surface.
- Players can not hit the ball. They must push or sweep except they can lift into goal.
- There is a Team USA National Indoor team and Indoor World Cup
A Field Hockey Stick
(see selecting a stick)
- Sticks are only right handed but a lefty can have an advantage as strength in that arm is a plus!
- Outdoor & Indoor Sticks are different (indoor much lighter and thinner)
- Sticks are different sizes for youth 25”-35” and generally 36.5 or 37.5 for High School and above
- Sticks can vary by the materials they are composed and their bow.
- Selection of the proper stick is by age, level of play and skill set.
- Specifically made for field hockey game about 9” circumference of hard plastic.
- Necessary to play the game.
- The ball is hard!
- Field Hockey specific shin guards protect the shins and sensitive ankle bone.
- Breathable is preferred.
- They are available with a washable interior!
- Do not play field hockey without a mouthguard!
- Some leagues require them. USAFH does not allow them in their sponsored events.
- Dribbling/Tracking: moving the ball with your stick as you move down the field
- Pass: moving the ball to another player
- Dodge/Elimination: skills to get the ball around a defending player
- Tackle: Skill to take the ball away from someone else who has it.
- Channel: Getting a attacking player to go where you want them to with out tackling
- Hit: Making contact with a swinging motion to move the ball hard and fast. Long pass, shot on goal
- Sweep: Low sweeping motion along the ground to hit the ball usually a pass.
- Lift/ 3D: Putting the ball in the air Scoop: low over another stick, Aerial: high over players down the field Flick: mix between pass and lift usually used as a shot on goal or on a penalty stroke.
- Reverse: hitting the ball on your left side with the side of your stick
- Chip: front or reverse hard lift by hitting ball with side of stick; used to score goals.
- Started in the British Isles in the 19th Century
- Introduced in the USA by Constance Applebee to several private universities as a women’s game in 1901.
- Third most popular sport worldwide after soccer & cricket
- In most countries it is played by both men & women
- Played Worldwide by over 3 Million in over 100 countries
- The small Netherlands has close to 300,000 field hockey players and has won many Olympic Medals
- The Dutch have won the most Olympic Medals in the sport: Women 8 Medals and the Men’s team 9
- There are over 50,000 High School Players in the USA an over 260 College Programs (DI,II, III)
- TEAM USA has BOTH Mens and Women’s National Teams that participate in the Olympics, World Cup & Pan America Games
- Team USA Women’s won a Bronze Medal in the 1984 Olympics and 5th place finish in 1996 & 2016
- The governing body in the USA is USAFH
World wide it is the International Hockey Federation or FIH and there is a Pro League
- Field Hockey has the fastest swing speed, faster than golf or baseball.