|Highest governing body||International Hockey Federation|
|First played||19th century, England, United Kingdom|
|Team members||10 field players, 1 goal keeper|
|Type||outdoor and indoor|
|Equipment||Hockey ball, hockey stick, mouthguard, shin guards|
|Olympic||1908, 1920, 1928–present|
Field hockey is a widely played team sport of the hockey family. The game can be played on grass, watered turf, artificial turf or synthetic field, as well as an indoor boarded surface. Each team plays with ten field players and a goalkeeper. Players use sticks made of wood, carbon fibre, fibre glass, or a combination of carbon fibre and fibre glass in different quantities, to hit a round, hard, plastic hockey ball. The length of the hockey stick is based on the player's individual height: the top of the stick usually comes to the players hip, and taller players typically have longer sticks. The sticks have a round side and a flat side, and only the flat face of the stick is allowed to be used. Use of the other side results in a foul. Goalies often have a different design of stick, although they can also use an ordinary field hockey stick. The specific goal-keeping sticks have another curve at the end of the stick, which is to give it more surface area to block the ball. The uniform consists of shin guards, shoes, shorts or a skirt, a mouthguard and a jersey.
The game is played globally, particularly in parts of Western Europe, South Asia, Southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, and parts of the United States, primarily New England and the Mid-Atlantic states.
Known simply as "hockey" in most territories, the term "field hockey" is used primarily in Canada and the United States where ice hockey is more popular. In Sweden, the term landhockey is used, and to some degree in Norway, where the game is governed by the Norges Bandyforbund.
During play, goal keepers are the only players allowed to touch the ball with any part of their body, while field players can only play the ball with the flat side of their stick. A player's hand is considered part of the stick if holding the stick. If the ball is touched with the rounded part of the stick, it will result in a penalty. Goal keepers also cannot play the ball with the back of their stick.
The team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is tied at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time, or there is a penalty shoot-out, depending on the format of the competition. There are many variations to overtime play that depend on the league or tournament rules. In American college play, a seven-aside overtime period consists of a 10-minute golden goal period with seven players for each team. If a tie still remains, the game enters a one-on-one competition where each team chooses five players to dribble from the 25-yard (23 m) line down to the circle against the opposing goalie. The player has eight seconds to score against the goalie while keeping the ball in bounds. The game ends after a goal is scored, the ball goes out of bounds, a foul is committed (ending in either a penalty stroke or flick or the end of the one-on-one) or time expires. If the tie still persists, more rounds are played until one team has scored.
The governing body of field hockey is the International Hockey Federation (FIH), called the Fédération Internationale de Hockey in French, with men and women being represented internationally in competitions including the Olympic Games, World Cup, World League, Champions Trophy and Junior World Cup, with many countries running extensive junior, senior, and masters club competitions. The FIH is also responsible for organizing the Hockey Rules Board and developing the rules of the game.
A popular variant of field hockey is indoor field hockey, which differs in a number of respects while embodying the primary principles of hockey. Indoor hockey is a 5-a-side variant, using a field which is reduced to approximately 40 m × 20 m (131 ft × 66 ft). Although many of the rules remain the same, including obstruction and feet, there are several key variations: players may not raise the ball unless shooting at goal, players may not hit the ball, instead using pushes to transfer it, and the sidelines are replaced with solid barriers, from which the ball will rebound and remain in play. In addition, the regulation guidelines for the indoor field hockey stick require a slightly thinner, lighter stick than an outdoor one.
The American game is regionally centered. The most intense support and popularity extends from Massachusetts down the Eastern seaboard to Virginia and pretty much stops there. The best programs tend to be in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, though states like Maryland and Delaware are slowing growing field hockey prowess.