Field Hockey Regulations
Field hockey regulations are drafted and enforced by the Fédération Internationale de Hockey (International Federation of Hockey), a body founded in 1924. These rules outline the field condition, players' code of conduct, field hockey match specifications, standard equipment and uniform, captaincy, legality of plays, umpiring and scoring. Classified into juniors, male and female tournaments, field hockey is an official sport celebrated at the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, the Junior World Cup and the Pan American Games. Each year, the rules and regulations for field hockey are always altered and revised.
- Field hockey regulations demand that the dimensions of the grounds measure 91.4 meters long by 55 meters wide. The lines on the field mark the periphery, penalty areas, and goal boundaries. Goals are set on opposite sides of the field at the center. Flag posts stand on each of the four corners of the hockey field. Center lines indicate the middle of the field while 23 meter lines further divide the field hockey arena.
- Field hockey regulations control the number of team members for specific matches. For example, the limit of members per side for a tournament is eleven. If a field hockey team count exceeds this required number, the team with the lesser has the privilege to score a penalty against the offending team. Each field hockey team must include a goalkeeper and another team player with goalkeeping ability. These members distinguish themselves wearing different colored tee shirts and stipulated full protective gear to safeguard the headgear, leg, knee and elbows. Substitutions are permitted at any point of play.
- Field hockey regulations dictate that each hockey team ought to carry one captain each with a deputy to stand by in case of disqualification. Field hockey captains have to wear arm or shoulder bands to show their rank and authority. Captains bear responsibility for the actions of field hockey players.
- Field hockey players must don the standard uniform including gloves, tee shirts, gear guarding the mouth, shin and ankle. Face masks are permitted for solely medical reasons. These masks must be close to the natural skin's complexion or transparent. Gear must be exact and must fit the players' body frame without enlarging the appearance of the natural limbs. All field hockey players are equipped with a field hockey stick with a "J" shape and flat, curved head.
- The field hockey rules state that the match has a duration of two intervals of thirty five minutes with a half time of 5 minutes. The outcome is determined by which team scores the most number of goals. If there is a conclusion with nil goals, the match is drawn, however, some officials may elect to either extend the playing time or may have a shoot-out where each team is allowed an equal number of opportunities to score penalties.
- The field hockey regulations guide the system of starting a match. First at the flip of a coin, both team captains choose a side. The team which got the toss first decides between attacking goal posts or launching the match with a center pass. This decision is valid only for the first half of the game.
- Field hockey guidelines caution that when the hockey ball falls outside the limits of the hockey field, play has to be temporarily suspended. The team side which caused the ball to land outside the field must defer to the opposing team to handle the ball and continue the game. In this case, the other side has right to a free hit. When play is resumed, the ball has to be positioned five to fifteen meters from the point the ball crossed the border and left the field.
- Field hockey safety and harassment regulations enforce that players must not touch or handle other players' sticks, clothing or persons. Players are not allowed to intimidate, restrict the movement of another, or swing the hockey stick above the head of another. Players cannot touch the ball with the back of the hockey stick. The field hockey ball is not allowed to rise above shoulder height during play.