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Field Hockey 101

Field Hockey

Background: Originally considered far too dangerous for female participation, field hockey became popular in the mid 1800’s with women whose previous introduction to sport included the “socially acceptable” outdoor activities of croquette and lawn tennis.

The Basics

  • Two halves, 35 minutes each in collegiate and international play, 30 minutes in high school play
  • 11 players per side, including the goalkeeper
  • The pitch is 100 yards long and 60 yards wide divided by a center line and a 25-yard line on each side of the field. A striking circle is marked 16 yards out from each goal post. All international matches are played on artificial turf.
  • Goal cages are 7 feet high, 12 feet wide and 4 feet deep. Boards on the back and side of the cages are 18 inches high.
  • Using sticks that are flat on one side and curved on the other, teams hit and dribble a solid plastic ball down the field and try to shoot it past a goalkeeper into a goal cage. Shots may only be taken from within the striking circle; a semicircle extending 16 yards from the goal.
  • The ball must be passed or dribbled with the flat side of the stick.
  • A goal is scored when an attacker strikes the ball into the goal from within the striking circle.
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