Rules and Regulations Of Hockey

For the purposes of the rules, all players on the team in possession of the ball are attackers, and those on the team without the ball are defenders, yet throughout the game being played you are always “defending” your goal and “attacking” the opposite goal.

Set plays

Set plays are often utilized for specific situations such as a penalty corner or free hit. For instance, many teams have penalty corner variations that they can use to beat the defensive team. The coach may have plays that sends the ball between two defenders and lets the player attack the opposing team’s goal. There are no set plays unless your team has them.

FREE HITS

Free hits are awarded when offences are committed outside the scoring circles (the term ‘free hit’ is standard usage but the ball need not be hit). The ball may be hit, pushed or lifted in any direction by the team offended against. The ball can be lifted from a free hit but not by hitting, you must flick or scoop to lift from a free hit. (In previous versions of the rules, hits in the area outside the circle in open play have been permitted but lifting one direction from a free hit was prohibited). Opponents must move 5 m (5.5 yd) from the ball when a free hit is awarded. A free hit must be taken from within playing distance of the place of the offence for which it was awarded and the ball must be stationary when the free hit is taken.

PENALTY CORNER

The short or penalty corner is awarded:

A group of five defenders, including the goalkeeper, prepare on the back line for a short corner.

  1. for an offence by a defender in the circle which does not prevent the probable scoring of a goal;
  2. for an intentional offence in the circle by a defender against an opponent who does not have possession of the ball or an opportunity to play the ball;
  3. for an intentional offence by a defender outside the circle but within the 23-metre area they are defending;
  4. for intentionally playing the ball over the back line by a defender;
  5. when the ball becomes lodged in a player’s clothing or equipment while in the circle they are defending.

Short corners begin with five defenders (usually including the keeper) positioned behind the back line and the ball placed at least 10 yards from the nearest goal post. All other players in the defending team must be beyond the centre line, that is not in their ‘own’ half of the pitch, until the ball is in play. Attacking players begin the play standing outside the scoring circle, except for one attacker who starts the corner by playing the ball from a mark 10 m either side of the goal (the circle has a 14.63 m radius). This player puts the ball into play by pushing or hitting the ball to the other attackers outside the circle; the ball must pass outside the circle and then put back into the circle before the attackers may make a shot at the goal from which a goal can be scored. FIH rules do not forbid a shot at goal before the ball leaves the circle after being ‘inserted’, nor is a shot at the goal from outside the circle prohibited, but a goal cannot be scored at all if the ball has not gone out of the circle and cannot be scored from a shot from outside the circle if it is not again played by an attacking player before it enters the goal.

PENALTY STROKE

A penalty stroke is awarded when a defender commits a foul in the circle (accidental or otherwise) that prevents a probable goal or commits a deliberate foul in the circle or if defenders repeatedly run from the back line too early at a penalty corner. The penalty stroke is taken by a single attacker in the circle, against the goalkeeper, from a spot 6.4 m from goal. The ball is played only once at goal by the attacker using a push, flick or scoop stroke. If the shot is saved, play is restarted with a 15 m hit to the defenders. When a goal is scored, play is restarted in the normal way.

Warnings and suspension

Hockey uses a three-tier penalty card system of warnings and suspensions:

A Penn State player receives a green card.

  • When shown a green card, the player may have to leave the field for two minutes, depending on national regulations, though at international standards the player has to leave the field for two minutes, but any further infractions will result in a yellow or red card.
  • A yellow card is an official suspension similar to the penalty box in ice hockey. The duration is decided by the umpire issuing the card and the player must go to a pre-defined area of the pitch as chosen by the umpires, or by the local/state/national association of that country; in this case generally it will be in the rule book where that player must go to, at the beginning of the match. Most umpires will opt for a minimum of five minutes’ duration without substitution; the maximum time is at the discretion of the umpire, depending on the seriousness of the offence; for example the second yellow to the same player or the first for danger might be given ten minutes. (In some modes, including indoor, shorter periods of suspension are applied, dependent on local rules.) However it is possible that a player is send off for the remainder of the match due to that penalty time is longer than the match time.

Depending on national rules, if a coach is sent off a player may have to leave the field too for the time the coach is sent off.

  • A red card, just like in association football, is a permanent exclusion from the rest of the game, without substitution, and usually results in the player being banned for a certain period of time or number of matches (this is governed by local playing conditions, rather than the rules of field hockey). The player must also leave the pitch and surrounding area.

Scoring

The teams’ object is to play the ball into their attacking circle and, from there, hit, push or flick the ball into the goal, scoring a goal. The team with more goals after 60 minutes wins the game. The playing time may be shortened, particularly when younger players are involved, or for some tournament play.

Tie breaking

In many competitions (such as regular club competition, or in pool games in FIH international tournaments such as the Olympics or the World Cup), a tied result stands and the overall competition standings are adjusted accordingly. Since March 2013, when tie breaking is required, the official FIH Tournament Regulations mandate to no longer have extra time and go directly into a penalty shoot-out when a classification match ends in a tie. However, many associations follow the previous procedure consisting of two periods of 7.5 minutes of “golden goal” extra time during which the game ends as soon as one team scores.