Hockey is a family of sports in which two
teams play against each other by trying to
maneuver a ball or a puck into the opponent's
goal using a hockey stick. In many areas, one
sport (typically field hockey or ice hockey) is
generally referred to simply as hockey.
Field hockey is played on gravel, natural
grass, sand-based or water-based artificial
turf, with a small, hard ball approximately
73 mm (2.9 in) in diameter. The game is
popular among both males and females in
many parts of the world, particularly
in Europe, Asia, Australia, New
Zealand and South Africa. In most
countries, the game is played between singlesex sides, although they can be mixed-sex.
There is a depiction of a hockey-like
game from 200 BC in Ancient
Greece when the game may have been
called "Κερητίζειν" ("kerētízein")
because it was played with a horn
("κέρας" in Greek) and a ball-like
object. In East Asia, a similar game was
entertained, using a carved wooden
stick and ball prior to 300 BC.
Rules: The Game
Two halves 20 – 25 minutes each with a 5
minute half time.
11 players per side, including the
The ball must be passed or dribbled down
the field with the flat side of the stick.
A goal is scored when an attacker strikes the
ball into the goal from within the striking
Shield or obstruct the ball from an opponent
with the body or stick. All players must have an
equal chance to gain control of the ball as it is
dribbled or passed down the field.
Play the ball with the rounded side of the stick.
Charge, hit, shove or trip an opponent.
Play the ball in a potentially dangerous way.
Raise the stick above the waist in a dangerous
manner while attempting to play or stop the ball.
Advance the ball by any means other than with
Stop or deflect the ball in the air or on the
ground with any part of the body.
Hit, hook, hold or interfere with and opponents
Each player carries a "stick" that normally
measures between 80–95 cm (31–38") long;
shorter or longer sticks are available. Sticks
were traditionally made of wood, but are
now often made also
with fiberglass, Kevlar and/or carbon
Standard field hockey balls are hard
spherical balls, made of plastic (sometimes
over a cork core), and are usually white,
although they can be any colour as long as
they contrast with the playing surface.
The 2007 rulebook has seen major changes
regarding goalkeepers. A fully equipped
goalkeeper must wear a helmet, leg guards
and kickers. Usually the field hockey
goalkeepers must wear extensive additional
protective equipment including chest
guards, padded shorts, heavily padded
hand protectors, groin protectors, neck
guards, arm guards, and like all players,
they must carry a stick.
The basic tactic in field hockey, as in association
football and many other team games, is to
outnumber the opponent in a particular area of
the field at a moment in time. When in
possession of the ball this temporary numerical
superiority can be used to pass the ball around
opponents so that they cannot effect a tackle
because they cannot get within playing reach of
the ball and to further use this numerical
advantage to gain time and create clear space for
making scoring shots on the opponent's goal.
When not in possession of the ball numerical
superiority is used to isolate and channel an
opponent in possession and 'mark out' any
passing options so that an interception or a
tackle may be made to gain possession.
Olympic Games - held every four years.
World Hockey Cup - held every four years,
in between the Olympics.
Champions Trophy - currently held every
year, for the top 8 ranked nations.
Hockey Champions Challenge - held every
year for teams ranked 9th-16th in the world.
Hockey Champions Challenge II - held
every year for teams ranked 17th-24th in the