How to watch field hockey? Here is a useful guide
Indian hockey seems to have resurrected in the last few days. The Indian men clinched their first Olympic medal in 41 years, at the Tokyo Games. Meanwhile, the women's team reached the semis stage at Olympics for the first time. The Indian hockey contingent has certainly pulled millions in India toward the sport again. Here, we present a guide to watch hockey.
The basics of field hockey
One must understand the basics of field hockey to watch the sport. Each team plays with 11 players, including a goalkeeper. The players can only hit the ball with the flat side of their stick. They are not allowed to use any other part of the body to control the ball. Only goal-keepers are allowed to touch the ball with any body part.
How long does a hockey match last?
Earlier, a match had two periods of 35 minutes with a half-time break. The matches now have four quarters (15 minutes each). A two-minute break is taken after the first and third quarter, while the break between the second and third extends to 15 minutes.
Penalty corner in hockey
A penalty corner is awarded to the attacking team when the defense either commits a foul inside the striking circle or intentionally clears the ball. It is taken on the end-line 10 yards away from the goal post. All other attackers must stand outside the striking circle. Five defenders, including the goalkeeper, stand behind the end-line until contact is made with the ball.
What is a free hit?
'Free hit' is a type of punishment in field hockey. It is a free play that is awarded on any offense which takes place outside of the scoring circle. The players can make use of the free hit at the location of the violation. All opposing players must stand at least five yards away from where the hit gets taken.
A penalty stroke is taken by a single attacker
A penalty stroke is awarded to the attacking side when an offense or foul is committed inside the circle. It is inflicted when the defending side attempts to prevent a certain goal. The stroke is taken by a single attacker who has only the goal-keeper to beat. It is taken seven yards from the goal.
What is long corner?
A long corner is a free hit taken from the 23-meter line. The attacking side is awarded the same if the ball goes over the back-line if touched by a defender. In case the defending side does it deliberately, a penalty corner is awarded. The long corner is taken in line with the point at which the ball crosses the goal-line.
The umpires can show green, yellow, and red cards
A game of hockey comprises two umpires who can show a green, yellow, or red card to players who breach the rules. A green card is an initial warning given to a player, who then receives a two-minute suspension. Meanwhile, a yellow card results in a player being sent off for five minutes. A red card means permanent suspension from the match.