Hockey is one of the games played in many countries include Netherlands, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand, and India among others. The game originates way back in 1928 and attracts huge crowds in major tournaments, especially the Olympics.
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The Goal of the Game
The main objective in field hockey is to hit the ball into a hockey goal, which is similar to what happens in football. Also, similar to football, every time the ball goes into the goal, the team gets a point.
The winner of the match is the team with the most goals at the final whistle. If both teams have an even number of goals, the game ends in a draw.
Equipment and Players
In field hockey, each time will have a maximum of 11 players on the field. Ten players will be the outfield players while one, the goalkeeper, guards the goal. The outfield players are split into three categories:
- The attackers
- The midfielders
- The defenders
The difference comes in the numbers playing in specific positions and is determined by the coach based on the tactics.
The playing surface is 60 yards wide and 100 yards long and has 3 lines. The middle line splits the pitch into two halves. One for either team and each side has a goal 4 yards wide. It’s around this goal that players are allowed to shoot from and it’s marked with a line 16 yards around the goal.
The equipment includes a wooden stick with a flat side on one end used to hit a hard ball. Using the back will attract a foul. Since the ball is hard, players use shin guards to protect themselves against injury.
Goalkeepers have enhanced protection due to the force the opponents use to hit the ball. This includes padded gloves, leg guards, a helmet which covers the head and face and a chest pad.
How to Score
To score, a player must hit the ball into the goal and should hit it from the 16-yard area. Also, the player must use the hockey stick to hit the ball. The use of any body part will attract a foul.
Also, players can score from a penalty corner which is awarded after an opponent commits a foul in the 16-yard area. In this scenario, players will line up on the goal line to defend. On the other hand, the attacking team will line up outside the 16-yard area and one player will try and hit the ball from the 10-yard area to score.
How to Win
The team with the highest number of goals will walk away as winners. however, there are instances where the game ends in a draw, which means both teams have an even score.
The game lasts a total of 70 minutes split into two for the two halves. In between is a 5-minute break where players get to rest and receive more instruction from their coaches.
There you have it. All you need to know about the interesting game of hockey. Just like any other sport, there’re rules governing hockey and with this article, you’ll have a heads up before joining the sport.
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