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Hockey Tournaments

National

  • Investec Women’s Hockey League
  • Pensions Men’s Hockey League
  • Senior Women’s Knockout
  • Senior Men’s Knockout
  • Senior Mixed Knockout
  • County Championships

International

  • Olympic Games
  • Men’s Championship Trophy
  • Women’s Championship Trophy
  • Men’s World Cup
  • Women’s World Cup
  • Commonwealth Games
  • Hockey Champions Challenge
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Hockey Rules

Rules

The basics:

  • Only 11 players per team are permitted on the pitch at one time
  • A team consists of 1 goal keeper, defenders, midfielders and attackers
  • Line-up of players depends on the team’s strategy
  • The game is started with a push-back from the centre spot
  • The game is split into 2 halves of about 30 minutes each. (game times depend on level of hockey)
  • Goals can only be scored from inside the shooting circle
  • Hockey is a non-contact sport
  • Only the flat side of the stick can be used to hit or control the ball
  • Players must not play the ball with the stick when it is above shoulder height

Fouls

The following fouls are penalised with a free hit:

  • Obstructing the ball from an opponent with body or stick
  • Contacting the opponent
  • Raising the stick above the waist when attempting to play or stop the ball
  • Playing or stopping the ball with other means that the hockey stick
  • Interfering with an opponent’s stick

Penalty Corner (Short Corner)

If a foul is committed within the shooting circle a corner is awarded to the other team. It is also awarded when a defender deliberately plays the ball over the goal line. In a penalty corner, the ball is placed on the goal line about ten yards from the nearest goal post. The ball is then passed to a player who is positioned outside of the shooting circle. That player then attempts to shoot at goal or pass to a team member in order to create a chance to score.

hockey short corner

Rules

  • The pass must be received outside the shooting circle
  • No shot or pass may be taken until the ball is stopped outside of the circle
  • All attackers must be outside the circle until the pass is taken
  • Only 5 defenders are permitted to stand behind the goal line when the penalty corner is taken
  • The remaining defenders must stand behind the centre line
  • Only when the pass has been taken can the defender move from the goal line to defend the ball

Long Corner

A corner is awarded to the opposing team when a defender hits the ball over the goal line (outside the circle lines). In a long corner, the attacker takes a free hit on the side line 5 m from the corner closest to where the ball went out of play.

16 – Yard Hit: A free pass is awarded when an attacking player hit the ball over the opponents goal line. It is taken 16 yards from where the ball was hit over the goal line.

Side-line Hit: A free pass is awarded to the opposing team if any player hits the ball over the side line. All players must be 5 feet from where the ball is placed when the pass is taken.

Penalty Stroke

A penalty stroke (also known as a penalty flick) is awarded when a defender commits a deliberate foul in the circle which deprives the attacker of possession or opportunity to play the ball, when a goal would be a probable outcome. The attacker takes the penalty stroke against the goalkeeper, and is taken from a spot 6.4 m out, central and directly in front of the goal. The goalkeeper must stand with feet on the goal line, and cannot move them until the ball is played, whilst the attacker must start behind the ball and within playing distance. On the umpire’s whistle, the striker may push or flick the ball at the goal and the goalkeeper attempts to save it. The attacker is not permitted to play the ball more than once, to fake the shot, or to move towards or interfere with the goalkeeper once the shot is taken. Hitting or dragging the ball is also forbidden.

hockey penalty stroke

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Hockey Equipment

 What do I need to play hockey?hockey stick and ball

  • hockey stick
  • hockey ball
  • mouth guard
  • shin pads
  • hockey pitch
  • 2 teams of 11 players
  • Goal keeper kit
  • umpire

The Pitch

The pitch is 100 yards by 60 yards (91.4 metres x 55 metres)

hockey pitch

There are two main types of hockey pitches; natural grass and synthetic turf. The preferred surface is artificial turf.

The most common types of pitches are:

  • Sand-dressed pitch (also known as astro-turf)
  • Water-based pitch

The water or sand acts as a wearing factor for the carpet.

Hockey Sticks

The hockey stick is used to dribble or hit the ball. Traditionally hockey sticks were made of a wood called Mulberry, however as the game evolved so did the hockeyhockey stick sticks. Technology advancements of the 1990s gave rise to the use of materials such as carbon fibre, Kevlar and fibreglass in the manufacture of hockey sticks, using composite materials. Today composite sticks are widely used and are the preferred choice over old fashioned wooden sticks.

There is a degree of variation in the size and shape of hockey sticks. Defenders often prefer to have a longer stick than attackers as they can achieve a greater reach when stopping a moving ball. The attackers generally prefer a shorter stick as it permits greater control of the ball.

Defenders may also prefer a heavier stick in order to make powerful hits of heavier tackles, whereas a attacker may prefer a lighter stick for easier ball handling. However a player’s strength may also influence their choice of stick.

The head shape of a stick can also be a factor when choosing a hockey stick. The most common shapes that are found are:

  • Shorti head
  • Maxi head
  • Hook head

hook shorti maxi

The increased surface area and more open recurve of the ‘Maxi’ head has resulted in its usage universally, with about 95% of international players opting for the ‘maxi´.

The main brands of sticks include TK, Grays, Slazenger, Byte, Kookaburra, Malik, Dita, Voodoo, Adidas, Gryphon, UberHockey, Woodworm, Brabo, Mercian and Wasp.

Hockey Ball

The hockey ball is made of hard, solid plastic and is spherical in shape. A hockey ball’s circumference normally ranges from about 8.8 inches to 9.2 inches and should weigh between 5.5 and 5.75 ounces.

Goal Keeper Kit

A fully equipped goalkeeper must wear a helmet, leg guards and kickers. Usually the hockey goalkeepers wear additional protective equipment including chest guards, padded shorts, padded hand protectors, groin protectors, arm guards, they must also carry a stick.

 

 hockey goal keeper

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History of Hockey

Origins

Early variations of hockey can be dated back to 200 BC in Ancient Greece, however the modern game grew from British schools in the 19th century. The game was modified by various London clubs seeing the change from a rubber cube to a sphere ball and the introduction of the shooting circles. The first international hockey match took place between Ireland and Wales in 1895.

The Hockey Association was founded in 1886 and Hockey was introduced into the Olympics in 1908.

Popularity

The popularity of women’s hockey increased rapidly around the world leading to the establishment of the Fédération Internationale de Hockey sur Gazon (FIH) in 1924 and later the International Federation of Women’s Hockey Associations (IFWHA) in 1927. Almost 43 years later men’s hockey was recognised under the FIH in 1970 and has surged in popularity since. Today England Hockey reports more registered men’s teams than women’s.

history of hockey