A backboard is also placed at the foot of the back net. This backboard must measure 45cm in height and 3.6m in length. Sideboards measuring 1.2m in length are also placed at the base of the side nets.
Teams and game format
A hockey match is played between two teams of 11 players. One player is the goalkeeper, the rest are attackers, defenders or midfielders. Goalkeepers wear helmets with face masks and protective clothing.
Before the start, captains toss a coin and the winning captain decides which goal posts he wants to use or whether he would prefer ball possession at the start of the game. The first half of the game is played in 25 to 35 minutes (depending on the league); with a five to ten minute break for halftime. Teams then return to the field for the second half.
Understanding the basic rules
The aim of hockey is to score goals in the opponents’ goal post. Players use the flat side of their hockey sticks to pass the ball across the field to score a goal. The game starts from the centre of the field with a pass-back. A goal is scored when the ball passes under the crossbar of the goalposts.
Goals can only be scored from inside the shooting circle. Players may not obstruct the ball with their sticks or body, play the ball with the round side of the stick or play dangerously. Free hits are awarded by the umpire if a team player causes a foul. Umpires also use a card system similar to soccer to maintain discipline. The team with the most goals at the end of the game wins the match.
Tools of the trade
The hockey stick and ball are essential pieces of equipment for the game. Here are some interesting facts:
• The hockey ball is a hard, spherical ball, usually made of plastic, sometimes with a cork core.
• It weights between 156g and 163g. It should not be larger than 224mm to 235mm in circumference. Dimpled balls are used in outdoor games on turf, while smooth balls are used in indoor courts or for training.
• The hockey stick has a rounded handle, a flat left side and a curved splice at the end.
• They are about 150cm to 200cm long and different sizes are available to accommodate players.
• A hockey stick must weigh less than 793g, but be heavier than 340g – the weights also depend on size.
• The toe is the bottom part of the stick that strikes the ball. There are four main styles and the style you choose will depend on the position you play.
• Traditionally, all sticks were made of wood but modern technology has improved the way they are made.Fibreglass or graphite are common materials used to make them today.
Published By: Bronwyn Kemsley