Are you new to field hockey or want to brush up on the basics? Then this is the spot for you! This post is designed to educate players and parents on some of the most important aspects of the game; from the field, to the scoring, to the players, this is field hockey 101.
How many players are on the field?
In the game of field hockey, there are eleven players on the field, including the goalie. Typical lineups include 5-3-2-1 and 3-3-3-1-1, but lineups may vary slightly depending on the team.
What does a field hockey field look like?
Below is a picture of a field hockey field with marks indicating where penalty strokes, penalty corners, and long-hits* are taken, as well as the 50-yard and 25-yard field lines and the 16-yard shooting circle. The field is 100 yards long and 60 yards wide.
*Long-hits in high school are being replaced with 25-yard free hits. Click here to find out more.
How does a game start and how are teams’ set-up on the field?
Before a game can begin, the referees gather the captains from each team and conduct a coin toss. This is done to determine which team will begin with possession of the ball or which goal they will defend first. Then, each individual takes their position on the field, with each team set-up on opposite sides of the 50-yard line.
At halftime, each team trades sides of the field as well as possession of the ball.
What happens when a goal is scored?
A goal is scored in field hockey when the ball crosses the goal line. Each goal is worth one point. For a goal to count, it must be shot or deflected from inside the 16-yard shooting circle.
Once a goal is scored, the match is re-set and the opposing team begins with possession of the ball.
What are common fouls?
- When the ball hits your foot
- Third party obstruction
Click here to see the NFHS field hockey penalty signals.
How long does a field hockey game last?
There are two halves in field hockey. In high school, each half lasts 25 minutes for JV and 30 minutes for Varsity. However, collegiate and international games have 35 minute halves.