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A brief description of the rules of field hockey are provided below.
Provided by USA Field Hockey

2006 Field Hockey Rules
Field Hockey Basics

Using sticks that are flat on one side and curved on the other, two teams hit and dribble a solid plastic ball down the field and try to shoot it past a goalkeeper into a goal cage. Goals can only be scored when a shot is taken from within the striking circle; a semicircle extending 16 yards from the goal.

The team with the most goals at the end of the game is declared the winner.

The Game
-Two Halves, 35 minutes each in collegiate and international play, 30 minutes in high school play
-11 players per side, including the goalkeeper
-the back and side of the cages are 18 inches high.
-Two umpires on the field officiate the match. An additional umpire may sit at the scorer's table.
-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.
-Players may not shield the ball using their body or stick. All players must have an equal chance to play the ball.

The Equipment
-The Field
The field, or pitch, is 100 yards long and 60 yards wide (91.40m x 55.0m) divided by a center line and a 25-yard line on each side of the field. A striking circle is marked 16 yards (14.63m) out from each goal post. Although the game is often played on grass, all official international matches are played on watered down artificial turf.

-The Stick
The stick has a curved head, is rounded on one side and is flat on the left-hand side. The ball can only be touched with the flat side of the stick. The stick is made of hardwood with a minimum weight of 12 ounces and maximum weight of 28 ounces.

-The Ball
The ball, slightly larger than a baseball, weighs between 5 1/2 ounces and 5 3/4 ounces with a circumference of 8 13/16 inches to 9 1/4 inches. The hardwood sticks are 36-38 inches long. Players may strike the ball only with the flat side of the stick.

-The Goals
Goal cages are 7 feet (2.14m) high, 12 feet (3.66m) wide and 4 feet (1.22m) deep. Boards on

Extra Time/Overtime
-In international play, in classification rounds or games that require a winner to advance to the next round, if the score is tied after regulation, extra time of two, 7 1/2 minute periods is played. The game is ended when one team scores a goal. If the score remains tied after overtime, penalty strokes may be used to determine the winner. In penalty stroke competition, each team selects five players to take alternating penalty strokes against the opposing goalkeeper.
-In high school federation play, if the score is tied after regulation time has expired, an overtime period of two, 10-minute halves is played with each team reducing the number of players to 7 per side. If the score remains tied after overtime, penalty strokes may be used to determine the winner. In penalty stroke competition, each team selects five players to take alternating penalty strokes against the opposing goalkeeper.

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.
-Interfere in the game without a stick
-Charge, hit, shove or trip an opponent
-Play the ball in a potentially dangerous way.
-Use the foot or leg to support the stick in order to resist an opponent
-Raise the stick in a dangerous or intimidating manner while approaching, attempting to play or stop the ball
-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 an opponents stick

Free Hit
-A free hit is awarded to the non-offending side following an infraction and are usually taken at the spot the foul occurs.
-No player of the opposing team may be within 5 yards of the ball when hit.
-The ball must be stationary and the striker must push or hit it. The hitter may not replay the ball until another player has touched it.
-If the infraction is committed by a defender within the shooting circle, the attacking team is awarded a penalty corner.

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. A shot on goal may be attempted once the ball is played back into 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.
-Typically, the attacking player taking the free hit passes the ball to teammates positioned outside the striking circle. An offensive player will either slow or stop the pass with the stick for another player to strike the ball at the goal, or play the ball back into the circle.
-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;
-Any intentional breach of the rule by the defenders outside the circle but within the 25-yard line;
-An intentional hit over the goal line by a defender from any part of the field. A penalty stroke is one-on-one, offensive player seven yards in front of the goal vs. goalkeeper on the goal line, with all other players beyond the 25-yard line.
-A penalty stroke is awarded for any intentional breach by the defenders in the circle or for an unintentional breach by the defenders which prevents a sure goal.

Penalty Stroke
-A penalty stroke is a one-on-one confrontation between an offensive player seven yards in front of the goal vs. a goalkeeper on the goal line. All other players must stand behind the 25 yard line. The goalkeeper must stand with both feet on the goal line and may not move either foot until the ball has been played. The offensive player may push, flick or scoop the ballfrom the penalty spot. A penalty stroke is awarded for any intentional breach by the defenders in the circle or for an unintentional breach by the defenders which prevents a sure goal.

16-Yard Hits
-When the attacking team plays the ball over the backline, the defense receives a 16-yard hit. The free hit is taken 16 yards from the spot where the ball crossed the backline.

The Push-In/Hit-In
-A push-in or hit-in is awarded to the opposition if a player hits the ball wholly over the sideline. All other players and their sticks must be a least 5 yards away from the spot where the ball is put into play.

Offenses & Misconduct
For rough or dangerous play, misconduct or any intentional offense, the umpire may
-Caution the offending player
-Warn the offending player with a green card
-Temporarily suspend the offending player for a minimum of 5 minutes with a yellow card
-Permanently suspend the offending player with a red card

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