Field hockey has existed for hundreds of years. It’s an incredible sport that has been passed down from generation to generation. Even the earliest civilizations, such as the Romans, Persians, and Greeks competed in it. It wasn't until the mid-1800s that field hockey was modernized and regarded as an official sport in England.
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From the mid-1800s to the present day, field hockey has transformed in countless ways. Concepts, regulations, and rules have been fine-tuned to perfect the sport we have today. The modern rules for field hockey may be difficult to understand for the novice player or fan. Simply put, you don’t know what you don’t know.
So what are the rules for field hockey?
There are a ton of rules that official field hockey players must abide by. It can get overwhelming if you’re just starting to understand the basics. To save you from that headache, I’ll cover the basic and most essential rules that you must know for field hockey.
Possibly the most commonly known field hockey rule, players are only allowed to play the ball with the flat side of their stick. In field hockey, you cannot use both sides of the stick, unlike ice hockey, which allows you to use both sides. In field hockey, one side of the stick is flat, while the other side is intentionally curved. You can use this side to strike the ball.
If you’re acting as the goalie you can use any part of your body to block the ball, as long as you’re inside the circle. The second you step outside the goalie circle you can only use your stick.
It’s impossible to avoid physical contact in field hockey entirely, it’s necessary to bump into players to play the game efficiently. This is known as legal contact. That being said, it’s still considered a non-contact sport. You can't intentionally come into contact with another player to cause harm. So no tripping or pushing is allowed at any time during the game. This is known as illegal contact.
If you’re expecting to join a field hockey team you’ll have to wear protective equipment. This includes shin guards and a mouthguard. If you plan to become a goalie you will need a face mask, and handguards as well.
Field hockey is an awesome sport. It’s existed for hundreds of years and has been modified and fine-tuned countless times. There are more than a dozen rules to learn that pertain to field hockey.
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Trying to learn them all at once can get tedious and overwhelming. Instead of jumping down that rabbit hole, I opted for the four most basic and essential rules you’ll need to know. Memorizing these rules will definitely.