Field Hockey: Rules, Equipment, And More

Field Hockey: Rules, Equipment, And More

Hockey is a popular and dynamic game played all over the world in various countries. Some of the countries where field hockey is widely popular include New Zealand, Great Britain, India, Netherlands, and Pakistan. 


Hockey, the pinnacle of the field sports, comes from the Olympics, where it is one of the most loved and attended sports since it was reinstated in 1928.


In the article below, we will tell you all the aspects of this energizing field game, including its variants, rules, and more. 


Variants of Hockey Game

There are mainly four variants of the hockey game. These are:


The objective of the Field Hockey

The object of the hockey game is to hit the field hockey ball using a hockey stick into the goal of the opposing team. Every time a team sends the ball into the goal, a point is awarded to them.


The hockey teams that score more goals than the other at the end of the game are declared winners. However, if in an event both the hockey teams have the same amount of goals at the end of the hockey, then a draw is considered. The referee in such events calls the match a draw. 


Field Hockey Equipments and Players

In the game of hockey, each of the hockey teams consists of 11 players. Each of the hockey teams is split into two sets, out of which one is a goalkeeper, and the other 10 are field players.


Out of these ten players, the team is divided between midfielders, attackers, and defenders. The amount of the positions depends on the formation the hockey teas adopt for the game. It is also not uncommon for the hockey teams to have the goalkeeper at the ending of the game. This is done if they are losing a match or trying to win. 


The hockey pitch is 60 yards wide and 100 yards long in size. There are three lines on the pitch, out of which two are 25-yard lines and a midline, which divides the field into two equal halves. These lines are to signify a certain section of the hockey field. On each side of the pitch, there is a goal post that is 4 yards wide in size. There is a 16 yards line around the goals, which is the only section on the field from which the players can shoot the field hockey ball into the goal. 


If a player shoots the ball while being out from this 16 yards line, then the goal point is not awarded. The ball is also turned over to the opposing team. 



  • A hard field hockey ball is used in the hockey ball.
  • The next piece of equipment in this variant of the hockey game is a wooden field hockey stick, which every player has for them.
  • The hockey stick can be turned around by the players for hitting the ball both ways.
  • For protection, the players wear gum shields and shin pads, and these equipment are an essential piece of equipment in field hockey.
  • The goalkeepers in the hockey game wear a lot more protective equipment in comparison to players. This is essential as the ball flies more often in their direction. 
  • The goalkeeper’s equipment includes a face mask, padded gloves, leg guards, helmet, and chest pads. 
  • Some players also wear face masks and eyewear. However, it is according to the preference and not compulsory. 


These are some of the equipment pieces which are an essential part of field hockey. The equipment is not only essential for playing the game but also for protection. 



  • A goal in field hockey is scored when a player hits the hockey ball into the posts while being within the 16-yard area. 
  • The hockey ball should be struck with the hockey stick and not the body. If a player uses the body instead of the stick, it is an infringement and not a goal. 
  • Goals from the penalty corner can also be scored. The penalty corners are awarded when a foul is committed in the sixteen yards area.
  • All the members of the defending team line up on the goal line from the penalty corner. 
  • The attacking team members must be outside the 16 yards area when their one teammate hits the ball from the ten yards line on either side of the goal line. 
  • As the hockey ball is back played, then the other mate stops it before striking it again at the goal. 


Winning The Game

The winner of the field hockey game is decided at the end of the game. The hockey team, with the most goals is declared the winner. 


Each hockey game lasts for 35 minutes and has halves with a 5-minute rest gap in between the game. In an event where at the end of a 70-minute hockey game if the score of both teams is the same. The game ends in a draw. 


Field Hockey Rules

  • Hockey teams are made up of 11 teams with six substitutes available on the field.
  • Every player has a hockey stick. They can only use one side of the stick to hit the ball, although they can use both ends between passing players. 
  • The hockey ball should be dribbled or passed by using the hockey stick. No other body part must be used intentionally, or else it is foul. 


Rules For Foul

  • If a player tries to hit a ball in a dangerous way with the intention of harming another fellow player. 
  • Intentional use of any body part for stopping or moving the hockey ball.
  • If a player hits the ball with the round side of the hockey stick.
  • Raising their hockey stick above the height of their waist.
  • If a player hits, the opponent team players stick with theirs with the intention of interfering in the gameplay.


Final Words

Field hockey is a dynamic and energetic outdoor sport played and loved around the world in many countries. 


Some of the countries where hockey is a popular game include India, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Netherlands, and Great Britain. 


Jatin Choudhary

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