Field Hockey History, Field, Players, And Rules History of Field Hockey Games played with curved sticks and a ball have been found throughout history and the world. Exactly when and where the sport originated from is not known but drawings that are thought to be 4,000 years old have been found in the Beni-Hasen tomb in the Nile Valley in Egypt depicting men playing the sport An English woman named Constance Applebee introduced field hockey to the United States in 1901. Excitement about field hockey spread quickly and soon a number of other women's schools took up the sport. In 1922 the United States Field Hockey Association was founded to help promote the sport and create more enthusiasm for it . Women's field hockey continued it's popular and successful spread in the United States. At the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games the United States captured the bronze medal. From there the US would appear at the Olympics in 1988 in Seoul and at Atlanta in 1996. The women's team also continued to qualify for the FIH (International Hockey Federation) World Cup after the first one in 1975. Men's field hockey started in the United States in 1928 with a game between the Westchester Field Hockey Club and the Germantown Cricket Club. The Field Hockey Association of America was formed in 1930, the FHAA became the fourteenth member of FIH. The U.S. men's team competed in their first Olympic games in 1932 at Los Angeles where they captured the bronze in a three-team tournament. Field Diagram Positions and Player Strengths • There are 11 players on the field per team, including the goalie and 10 field players. Formations often consist of four forwards, three halfbacks, three fullbacks, and one goalkeeper, known as a 4-3-3 formation. Variations, such as the 5-3-2, are also used, depending on the coach’s strategy. Player Positions Positions and Player Strengths Continued… • Forwards: Primary scorers who spend most of their time between the midfield and the opponent’s goal. Positions and Player Strengths Continued… • Midfielders: Must be able to play both defense and offense and have the stamina to run the field in the transition between offense and defense. Also called “links.” Positions and Player Strengths Continued… • Fullbacks/Sweeper: Primarily defend the opposing forwards and attempt to clear the ball when it gets close to the goal. Positions and Player Strengths Continued… • Goalie: Stands in front of goal to block shots with his/her body and stick. Must have quick reflexes and ability to communicate defensive strategies to teammates The Game: Two halves 20 – 45 minutes each with a 5-15 minute half time. 11 players per side, including the goalkeeper. The ball must be passed or dribbled down the field with the flat side of the stick. A goal is scored when an attacker strikes the ball into the goal from within the striking circle. Fouls: A player may not: Shield or obstruct the ball from an opponent with the body or stick. All players must have an equal chance to gain control of the ball as it is dribbled or passed down the field. Play the ball with the rounded side of the stick. Charge, hit, shove, or trip an opponent. Play the ball in a potentially dangerous way. Raise the stick above the waist in a dangerous manner while attempting to play or stop the ball. Fouls: A player may not: Advance the ball by any means other than with the stick. Stop or deflect the ball in the air or on the ground with any part of the body. Hit, hook, hold or interfere with and opponents stick. Penalty Corner: In a penalty corner, the ball is placed on the goal line at least 10 yards from the nearest goal post. One attacking player hits the ball to a teammate just outside the striking circle line. No shot on goal may be taken until the ball is stopped or comes to rest on the ground outside the circle. All attackers must be outside the circle before the hit is taken. On defense, a maximum of five defenders may be behind the goal line while the remaining defenders must be positioned beyond the center line. Penalty Corner: Penalty Corner: Typically, the attacking player taking the free hit passes the ball to her teammate positioned outside the striking circle. An offensive player will stop the ball with the stick while another player will strike the ball at the goal. A penalty corner is awarded for the following offenses: Any breach of the rule by a defender within the circle that would have resulted in a free hit to the attacking team if the breach had occurred outside the circle. An intentional hit over the goal line by a defender from any part of the field. The Push-In/Hit In A push-in or hit-in is awarded to the opposition if a player hits the ball over the sideline. All players and their sticks must be at least 5 yards away from the spot where the ball is put into play. Field Hockey • Field hockey is a fast paced, adrenaline rushing game for anyone who has the desire to play. • Real field hockey is played on water based synthetic turf which is really fast, the top men can drag flick the ball at 75 MPH or faster.
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