The game is played between two teams of whom eleven are permitted to be on the pitch at any one time. The remaining players may be substituted in any combination. There is an unlimited amount of times a team can sub in and out. Substitutions are permitted at any point in the game, apart from between the award and end of a penalty corner  two exceptions to this rule is for injury or suspension of the defending goalkeeper, which is not allowed when playing with a field keep, or a player can exit the field, but you must wait until after the inserted touches the ball to put somebody back in.
Players are permitted to play the ball with the flat of the ‘face side’ and with the edges of the head and handle of the field hockey stick with the exception that, for reasons of safety, the ball may not be struck ‘hard’ with a forehand edge stroke, because of the difficulty of controlling the height and direction of the ball from that stroke.


hockey positions are discussed, notions of fluidity are very common. Each team can be fielded with a maximum of 11 players and will typically arrange themselves into forwards, midfielders, and defensive players (fullbacks) with players frequently moving between theses lines with the flow of play.  A goalkeeper who wears a different color shirt and full protective equipment comprising at least headgear, leg guards and kickers; this player is referred to in the rules as a goalkeeper.

Goal keepers

When the ball is inside the circle they are defending and they have their stick in their hand, goalkeepers wearing full protective equipment are permitted to use their stick, feet, kickers or leg guards to propel the ball and to use their stick, feet, kickers, leg guards or any other part of their body to stop the ball or de?ect it in any direction including over the back-line.

Set plays

Set plays are often utilized for specific situations such as a penalty corner or free hit. For instance, many teams have penalty corner variations that they can use to beat the defensive team. The coach may have plays that sends the ball between two defenders and let the player attack the opposing teams goal. There are no set plays unless your team has them.

Free hits

Free hits are awarded when offences are committed outside the scoring circles (the term ‘free hit’ is standard usage but the ball need not be hit). The ball may be hit, pushed or lifted in any direction by the team offended against. The ball can be lifted from a free hit but not by hitting, you must flick or scoop to lift from a free hit. (In previous rules versions hits in the area outside the circle in open play have been permitted but lifting one direction from a free hit prohibited). Opponents must move 5 m (5.5 yd) from the ball when a free hit is awarded. A free hit must be taken from within playing distance of the place of the offence for which it was awarded and the ball must be stationary when the free-hit is taken.


A corner is awarded if the ball goes over the back line after last being touched by a defender, provided they do not play it over the back line deliberately, in which case a penalty corner is awarded. Corners are played by the attacking team and involve a free hit on the sideline 5 m from the corner of the field closest to where the ball went out of play, this rule, however, was changed in 2015. The ball is taken up to the 23 metre line, in line with where it went out, the rest of the rules for a long corner stayed the same. These restarts are also known as long corners (as opposed to short corner which is an alternative name for the penalty corner). The defense must wait until the offender passes the ball in. The offender has to pull the ball out of the circle before trying to make a goal.

Penalty corner

The short or penalty corner is awarded:
A group of five defenders, including the goalkeeper, prepare on the back line for a short corner.

  1. for an offence by a defender in the circle which does not prevent the probable scoring of a goal
  2. for an intentional offence in the circle by a defender against an opponent who does not have possession of the ball or an opportunity to play the ball
  3. for an intentional offence by a defender outside the circle but within the 23-metre area they are defending
  4. for intentionally playing the ball over the back-line by a defender
  5. when the ball becomes lodged in a player’s clothing or equipment while in the circle they are defending

Penalty stroke

A penalty stroke is awarded when a defender commits a foul in the circle (accidental or otherwise) that prevents a probable goal or commits a deliberate foul in the circle or if defenders repeatedly run from the back line too early at a penalty corner. The penalty stroke is taken by a single attacker in the circle, against the goalkeeper, from a spot 6.4 m from goal. The ball is played only once at goal by the attacker using a push, flick or scoop stroke. If the shot is saved, play is restarted with a 15 m hit to the defenders. When a goal is scored, play is restarted in the normal way.