If you are new to sports in general, get a feel for all of the positions before deciding on where you want to play. But, if you played a similar position in your previous sport, some of those skills may transfer over. To better understand your position, watch the game. Search for videos, international games, local games, or anything else you can find.
When you watch, pay attention to the player in your position. The more you watch, the better you will understand the game. More important than being in shape is refining your stick skills.
By perfecting your skills, every aspect of your game will improve. Listed below are a few tips to help you develop your stick skills faster. Because they are so light, dribbling a golf ball will teach you to have light, accurate touches on the ball. This will make dribbling a field hockey ball more fluid. To practice, set up cones and maneuver through them with the golf ball.
You may also practice by moving the ball around your house, while switching between your strong stick and reverse stick. Aerial Dribbling Develop your hand-eye coordination with aerial dribbling.
This technique helps your practice getting your stick in line with the ball. See how many taps you can make before dropping the ball. Later, you can make it more interesting by adding tricks. To master your hits, you need to practice. Hits are very important for game play. To perfect these, go to a local park and hit against a fence or backstop. Line up about four or five balls a few yards from the fence and practice hitting each one. Focus on your technique at first, and then add power to your hit.
This will help you improve your technique in a short period of time. Approach every practice with a game-like mentality. Always be first to the ball. There are no set plays unless your team has them. 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.
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. These free hits are taken in-line with where the foul was committed taking a line parallel with the sideline between where the offence was committed, or the ball went out of play.
When taking an attacking free hit, the ball may not be hit straight into the circle if you are within your attacking 23 meter area 25 yard area. It must travel 5 meters before going in. In February the FIH introduced, as a "Mandatory Experiment" for international competition, an updated version of the free-hit rule. The changes allows a player taking a free hit to pass the ball to themselves.
Importantly, this is not a "play on" situation, but to the untrained eye it may appear to be. The player must play the ball any distance in two separate motions, before continuing as if it were a play-on situation. They may raise an aerial or overhead immediately as the second action, or any other stroke permitted by the rules of field hockey. At high-school level, this is called a self pass and was adopted in Pennsylvania in as a legal technique for putting the ball in play.
The ball may not travel directly into the circle from a free hit to the attack within the 23 m area without first being touched by another player or being dribbled at least 5 m by a player making a "self-pass". These experimental rules apply to all free-hit situations, including sideline and corner hits. National associations may also choose to introduce these rules for their domestic competitions. A free hit from the quarter line is awarded to the attacking team if the ball goes over the back-line after last being touched by a defender, provided they do not play it over the back-line deliberately, in which case a penalty corner is awarded.
This free hit is played by the attacking team from a spot on the quarter line closest to where the ball went out of play.
All the parameters of an attacking free hit within the attacking quarter of the playing surface apply. The short or penalty corner is awarded:.
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.
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. However, if the ball is deemed to be below backboard height, the ball can be subsequently deflected above this height by another player defender or attacker , providing that this deflection does not lead to danger.
Note that the "Slap" stroke a sweeping motion towards the ball, where the stick is kept on or close to the ground when striking the ball is classed as a hit, and so the first shot at goal must be below backboard height for this type of shot also. If the first shot at goal in a short corner situation is a push, flick or scoop, in particular the drag flick which has become popular at international and national league standards , the shot is permitted to rise above the height of the backboard, as long as the shot is not deemed dangerous to any opponent.
This form of shooting was developed because it is not height restricted in the same way as the first hit shot at the goal and players with good technique are able to drag-flick with as much power as many others can hit a ball. 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. 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. According to the current Rules of Hockey  issued by the FIH there are only two criteria for a dangerously played ball. The first is legitimate evasive action by an opponent what constitutes legitimate evasive action is an umpiring judgment.
The second is specific to the rule concerning a shot at goal at a penalty corner but is generally, if somewhat inconsistently, applied throughout the game and in all parts of the pitch: The velocity of the ball is not mentioned in the rules concerning a dangerously played ball. A ball that hits a player above the knee may on some occasions not be penalized, this is at the umpire's discretion.
A jab tackle, for example, might accidentally lift the ball above knee height into an opponent from close range but at such low velocity as not to be, in the opinion of the umpire, dangerous play.
In the same way a high-velocity hit at very close range into an opponent, but below knee height, could be considered to be dangerous or reckless play in the view of the umpire, especially when safer alternatives are open to the striker of the ball. A ball that has been lifted high so that it will fall among close opponents may be deemed to be potentially dangerous and play may be stopped for that reason. The term "falling ball" is important in what may be termed encroaching offences.
It is generally only considered an offence to encroach on an opponent receiving a lifted ball that has been lifted to above head height although the height is not specified in rule and is falling. So, for example, a lifted shot at the goal which is still rising as it crosses the goal line or would have been rising as it crossed the goal line can be legitimately followed up by any of the attacking team looking for a rebound.
In general even potentially dangerous play is not penalised if an opponent is not disadvantaged by it or, obviously, not injured by it so that he cannot continue. A personal penalty, that is a caution or a suspension, rather than a team penalty, such as a free ball or a penalty corner, may be many would say should be or even must be, but again this is at the umpire's discretion issued to the guilty party after an advantage allowed by the umpire has been played out in any situation where an offence has occurred, including dangerous play but once advantage has been allowed the umpire cannot then call play back and award a team penalty.
It is not an offence to lift the ball over an opponent's stick or body on the ground , provided that it is done with consideration for the safety of the opponent and not dangerously. For example, a skillful attacker may lift the ball over a defenders stick or prone body and run past them, however if the attacker lifts the ball into or at the defender's body, this would almost certainly be regarded as dangerous.
It is not against the rules to bounce the ball on the stick and even to run with it while doing so, as long as that does not lead to a potentially dangerous conflict with an opponent who is attempting to make a tackle.
For example, two players trying to play at the ball in the air at the same time, would probably be considered a dangerous situation and it is likely that the player who first put the ball up or who was so 'carrying' it would be penalised. Dangerous play rules also apply to the usage of the stick when approaching the ball, making a stroke at it replacing what was at one time referred to as the "sticks" rule, which once forbade the raising of any part of the stick above the shoulder during any play.
This last restriction has been removed but the stick should still not be used in a way that endangers an opponent or attempting to tackle, fouls relating to tripping, impeding and obstruction. The use of the stick to strike an opponent will usually be much more severely dealt with by the umpires than offences such as barging, impeding and obstruction with the body, although these are also dealt with firmly, especially when these fouls are intentional: Players may not play or attempt to play at the ball above their shoulders unless trying to save a shot that could go into the goal, in which case they are permitted to stop the ball or deflect it safely away.
Within the English National League it is now a legal action to take a ball above shoulder height if completed using a controlled action.
Hockey uses a three-tier penalty card system of warnings and suspensions:. 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. If a coach is sent off, depending on local rules, a player may have to leave the field for the remaining length of the match. In addition to their colours, field hockey penalty cards are often shaped differently, so they can be recognized easily.
Green cards are normally triangular, yellow cards rectangular and red cards circular. Unlike football, a player may receive more than one green or yellow card. However, they cannot receive the same card for the same offence for example two yellows for dangerous play , and the second must always be a more serious card. In the case of a second yellow card for a different breach of the rules for example a yellow for deliberate foot, and a second later in the game for dangerous play the temporary suspension would be expected to be of considerably longer duration than the first.
However, local playing conditions may mandate that cards are awarded only progressively, and not allow any second awards. 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.
If the game is played in a countdown clock, like ice hockey, a goal can only count if the ball completely crosses the goaline and into the goal before time expires, not when the ball leaves the stick in the act of shooting.
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 , 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. The FIH implemented a two-year rules cycle with the —08 edition of the rules, with the intention that the rules be reviewed on a biennial basis. The rulebook was officially released in early March effective 1 May , however the FIH published the major changes in February.
The current rule book is effective from 1 January The FIH has adopted a policy of including major changes to the rules as "Mandatory Experiments", showing that they must be played at international level, but are treated as experimental and will be reviewed before the next rulebook is published and either changed, approved as permanent rules, or deleted. There are sometimes minor variations in rules from competition to competition; for instance, the duration of matches is often varied for junior competitions or for carnivals.
Different national associations also have slightly differing rules on player equipment. The new Euro Hockey League and the Olympics has made major alterations to the rules to aid television viewers, such as splitting the game into four quarters, and to try to improve player behavior, such as a two-minute suspension for green cards—the latter was also used in the World Cup and Olympics.
This article assumes FIH rules unless otherwise stated. USA Field Hockey produces an annual summary of the differences. In the United States, the games at the junior high level consist of four minute periods, while the high-school level consists of four minute periods.
Players are required to wear mouth guards and shin guards in order to play the game. Also, there is a newer rule requiring certain types of sticks be used. Metal 'cage style' goggles favored by US high school lacrosse and permitted in high school field hockey is prohibited under FIH rules. Sticks were traditionally made of wood, but are now often made also with fibreglass , kevlar or carbon fibre composites.
Metal is forbidden from use in field hockey sticks, due to the risk of injury from sharp edges if the stick were to break. The stick has a rounded handle, has a J-shaped hook at the bottom, and is flattened on the left side when looking down the handle with the hook facing upwards. All sticks must be right-handed; left-handed ones are prohibited. There was traditionally a slight curve called the bow, or rake from the top to bottom of the face side of the stick and another on the 'heel' edge to the top of the handle usually made according to the angle at which the handle part was inserted into the splice of the head part of the stick , which assisted in the positioning of the stick head in relation to the ball and made striking the ball easier and more accurate.
The hook at the bottom of the stick was only recently the tight curve Indian style that we have nowadays. The older 'English' sticks had a longer bend, making it very hard to use the stick on the reverse. For this reason players now use the tight curved sticks. The handle makes up about the top third of the stick. It is wrapped in a grip similar to that used on tennis racket.
The grip may be made of a variety of materials, including chamois leather , which many players think improves grip in the wet. It was recently discovered that increasing the depth of the face bow made it easier to get high speeds from the dragflick and made the stroke easier to execute. 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 balls have a diameter of The ball is often covered with indentations to reduce aquaplaning that can cause an inconsistent ball speed on wet surfaces. The 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 goalkeeper can also remove their helmet for this action. If play returns to the circle without them having opportunity to replace the helmet, this player still has "goalkeeping privileges", that is, they are not limited to using their stick to play the ball whilst it is in the circle, and the helmet must be worn whilst defending penalty corners and penalty strokes but the best thing to do would be to wear it at all times.
While goaltenders are allowed to use their feet and hands to clear the ball, they too are only allowed to use one side of their stick. Slide tackling is permitted as long as it is with the intention of clearing the ball, not aimed at a player. It is now also even possible for teams to have a full eleven outfield players and no goalkeeper at all. No player may wear a helmet or other goalkeeping equipment, neither will any player be able to play the ball with any other part of the body than with their stick.
This may be used to offer a tactical advantage, or to allow for play to commence if no goalkeeper or kit is available. 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. Feb 21, Messages: Ive now played two games in goal, first game was great fun, despite losing, the second game was not so much.
My belief is that in the first game having never played in goal before when ever i saved the ball i felt a sense of achievement and relief then in the second game i went into it thinking i was going to do as well as i did first time round. Fact is I didnt. Conceeded one through the legs easy lesson there, keep my legs together! Enough waffle, My thoughts and those of people i spoke to after the game were that ive got the instintive shot stopping fine and its just fine tuning position and balance that needs work.
Comment of the day was "you didnt look out of place or like a novice" which made me feel a bit better. Can anyone out here give me some pointers, the basics really, to help me perform better in goal? Sep 9, Messages: Communication with your defenders, tell them what you want them to do to make your job easier. Most of all just have fun and practice. Sep 10, Messages: Positioning is something you have to practice practice practice!
You should be side stepping back and forth on that mini D. Now, put some balls on the real D and imagine that there is a string going straight from the ball to the centre of your back-board.
Even get real rope if you need to! You should be standing on your mini D with the rope running between your legs to cover the goal for each shot angle. Every time you move around to make saves, take a quick look at where you ended up and try to put yourself back on that rope! I'll try again if it's too confusing Keep at it, soon you will automatically put yourself in the best spot almost all the time.
Feb 6, Messages: As a new keeper concentrate on the basics first before moving on to things as communication, closing down attackers, sliding, etc. What are the basics? Feet shoulder width apart, stand on the balls of your feet; hands just outside the torso, just under shoulder level, elbows in front of the body, hands open; Knees slightly bent, upper body as vertical as possible, shoulders over knees over toes. Return to the ready position after every shot.
Don't just put something in the way of the ball, but make active saves through the ball. This way you get more energy into the ball to get rid of it first go, giving away less opportunities for a second shot. Moreover it makes it easier to return to the ready position after the save. Know your position in the D and make sure you cover the angles correctly. To get an idea of the correct angles you can draw the D onto paper and use a piece of string and some pins to simulate the position of the attacker.
Or see if you can use a real life equivalent. It takes time to automatically know your position, until then: The stroke-dot is your friend!
And the most important thing: Don't let anyone get to you, just do your thing as best as you can.