Basic Rules of Hockey
With Ireland’s Women’s Hockey Team’s upcoming games, our Saba Superfan Correspondent, Ruth is here to teach you the basic rules of hockey!
- A squad consists of 16 players, with 11 players on the pitch including a goalkeeper. For the Olympics this year, a matchday squad of 16 can be named from the wider list of 18 players which can be changed from game to game. Previously, a member of the initial 16 could only be replaced on medical grounds.
- Matches are played in quarters of 15 minutes each. A 2-minute break is taken between Q1and Q2 and Q3 and Q4. Halftime of 15 minutes between Q2 and Q3.
- Players may only use the flat side of the stick.
- The clock is stopped for penalty corners. Both teams have a maximum of 45 seconds to set up for a penalty corner.
- Rolling substitutions are permitted from the named 16 panel throughout the match. you will often see the first substitutions happen within the first 2 or 3 minutes
- Players can “auto-pass” or “self-pass” when starting a match, restarting, or when taking a free.
- Hockey players (other than the goalkeeper) are not allowed to use their feet, or any other parts of the body, to control the ball at any time.
- The goalkeeper can only use their pads when inside the defending circle. If the goalkeeper travels outside the circle they must only make contact with the hockey ball using their stick
- Hockey players may not trip, push, charge, interfere with, or physically handle an opponent in any way. Hockey is a non-contact sport and all fouls result in a free hit or a ‘penalty corner’ for the non-offending team depending on where the infringement took place and the severity of the foul.
- Goals can only be scored when inside the “circle” or the “D”, it must connect with at least one attacking player’s stick in the circle to be deemed a goal.
- Two umpires officiate a hockey match and there will also be a video umpire for referrals.
- A team can refer a decision to the video umpire just once in a match and if their referral is upheld then they can retain the referral to use again. If the referral is not upheld then they lose it.
- There is no off-side rule in hockey
- There are 3 cards in hockey. Green is a 2-minute suspension usually for minor offenses. A yellow card can be given for a 5 to 10-minute suspension depending on the severity of the foul. A yellow card can also be given for a player receiving a second green card for the same reason as their first green card. A red card is a full suspension from the rest of the match.