A point is scored when a player
hits the ball into the opponent’s net from within the
striking circle, a zone that stretches 14.6 meters in front
of the goal.
The object is to score
by hitting the ball into the opponent’s goal with a stick
that is curved at one end and flattened on one side (the striking
side). Field hockey does not allow playing the ball with the
feet, although the goalkeeper (goalie) may use any part of
the body to stop the ball, and may kick it only when it is
in the striking circle. Penalties for fouls committed in that
area are more severe than for those committed outside it. A
penalty stroke is awarded for an intentional foul by a defender
within the circle, or when a defender stops a sure goal by
committing a foul. When a foul is called by the umpire, a free
hit is awarded that must be taken from where the foul occurred.
The ball is put in play in midfield through
a procedure called a bully. One player from
each team taps the ground and the opponent’s
stick three times before hitting the ball.
Each team is composed of 11 players, usually
5 forwards, 2 fullbacks, 3 halfbacks, and 1
goalkeeper, but the formation ma\y be changed
by the team captain. The game is divided into
two halves of 35 minutes each, with a change
of goals at the end of the first half.
In international (or tournament) play where
a winner advances to another, higher round,
games that are tied at the end of regulation
play require a maximum of two 7 1/2-minute
sudden death overtime periods. In “sudden
death,” the first team to score wins.
If, after two overtime periods, the score remains
tied, then a penalty stroke competition may
be used to determine the winner. In this competition,
each team selects five players who take alternating
penalty strokes against the opposing goalkeeper.
and Fast Facts
General Sports Links
Olympians will compete in dozens of sports this summer. Even though Gateway
to the Summer Games can't feature them all, you can learn about each and
every one by visiting the sites listed below.