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Field Hockey Rules and Fouls

field hockey player1- History & Object of the Game
2- The Essentials (Offense & Defense, Scoring, etc.)
3- Fouls
4- Field Diagram & Positions
5- Glossary of Field Hockey Terms

Common Referee Signals

Two umpires govern the game to ensure fair and safe play. The umpires signal action on the field, such as starting play and indicating goals. Umpires also enforce penalties, which include advancing, blocking, tripping, raised ball, pushing, charging, obstruction, and playing with the wrong side of the stick (players can only use the flat side). When a penalty is committed, umpires blow a whistle and signal the penalty. For most penalties, a free hit is awarded. The non-offending team is awarded the ball at the spot of the foul, and all opponents must stand at least five yards away from the ball. The hitter must hit or push the ball, and may not play it again until it has been touched by another player. Note: umpires sometimes use discretion and allow play to continue during a penalty because of the “advantage” rule, which states that a penalty is only called if the offending team gains an advantage by committing the violation or in cases of dangerous play. This rule greatly speeds up the pace of the game.

A penalty corner is awarded for fouls committed within the striking circle. The object of the penalty corner is to get one really good shot at the goal. All players must remain outside the striking circle until the ball is played. The ball is placed on the end line, 10 yards from the goal post. The player executing the penalty corner passes the ball to a teammate near the top of the striking circle, and the offense must control the ball before taking a shot (in college and international play, the ball must exit the striking circle before the shot). When a violation of the rules prevents a likely goal, a penalty stroke is awarded to the offense, and one offensive player receives a one-on-one shot against the goalkeeper from the penalty stroke line. For serious violations of the rules, players are called for misconduct and can receive a suspension.

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