Introduction to field hockey

Field Hockey, an olympic sport 

Hockey first appeared at the Olympic Games in London in 1908. India has dominated the Olympics for a long time, with 7 gold medals out of 8 won by the Indian men national team between 1928 and 1964. The defending champions are currently Argentina (Men) and Great Britain (Women) since the Rio Olympic Games of 2016. 

Basic principles of the game

Field hockey (or outdoor hockey) is an outdoor game played by two teams of 11 players on an artificial turf field (slightly smaller than a football field). During a match composed of two halves of 35 minutes each, the players must make circulate the ball between them to bring it it the opposite goal. The ball can be played in several different ways: pushed or hit straight ahead or behind, on the ground or (in outdoor hockey only) in the air.

The ball can only touch the flat side of the hockey stick and at no time is the ball allowed to touch the player’s body (except for the goalie). Let’s also remind that Hockey is a non-violent sport and consequently, dangerous moves are forbidden.

Finally, a goal is given to an attacking team only if the ball was touched by a player within the circle before crossing the goal line.

Indoor and Outdoor: the two seasons of Hockey


In Winter (November-March), Hockey is played by two teams of 6 players “indoor” (in a gymnasium). The way of playing is faster and more dynamic, contrasting with the outdoor field and its wide spaces. In Indoor season, rules are a bit adapted. The most visible change is the prohibition of lifted balls (excepted in case of shooting to the goal). 

Equipment for field hockey players and the goalie

Hover your cursor over the people below to find out what equipment players and the goalie require.


To have a better idea about the game of hockey, there nothing is better than watching a top grade game in action – the inspiration of our players!

For more replays and excerpts of matches, click here.

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