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Hockey Rules and Equipment


Two teams of eleven players compete using hockey sticks to hit, push, pass and dribble a ball with the aim of scoring a goal in their opponents net. A game consists of two 35-minute halves and is controlled by two umpires.

The ball must be played with the hockey stick. Only the Goal Keeper can control the ball with their feet, hands or any other part of their body. A ball must not be played if it is above the shoulder.


All goals must be hit from inside the ‘circle’.

A field goal is scored from open, continuous play.

For a penalty corner goal, play is stopped and teams take up their positions: attackers around the circle, Goal Keeper/four Defenders behind the goal line and the rest of the defenders behind the centre line.

One attacker hits or pushes the ball from the back line to the attackers on the top of the circle. The ball must travel outside the circle before a shot on goal can be taken. Defenders are not allowed to move until the ball has been pushed out on the penalty corner.

A penalty stroke is a shot taken for goal by a chosen player and defended only by the Goal


Hockey Stick
A hook-shaped, hardwood stick with a flat face for hitting the ball and curved on the back side. Materials like fibreglass and Kevlar are often added to improve its qualities. They are usually about 1m long and weigh 340g to 790g.

Made of a hard plastic (PVC) covering with a composite material inside. The ball is about 23cm in circumference and weighs about 160g.

Shin Guards
Worn by all players. They are often made with foam materials to make them light.

Worn by all players.

Groin protector
Worn by all players.

Men usually wear shorts, a shirt, and hockey boots while women wear the same except for skirts. Often men and women wear Lycra shorts underneath their shorts or skirts.

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