Field hockey is a team sport structured in standard hockey format, in which each team plays with ten outfield players and a goalkeeper. Matches are played on grass, watered turf, artificial turf, synthetic field, or indoor boarded surface. Players wear a standard kit consisting of jersey, shorts or skirt, shoes and, for safety, shin guards and a mouthguard. Each player carries a hockey stick which is made of wood, carbon fibre, fibreglass, or a combination of carbon fibre and fibreglass in different quantities. Using their sticks, the team endeavours to drive the round hockey ball, made of hard plastic, towards the rival team's goal. The stick has two sides; one rounded and one flat. Only the flat face of the stick is allowed to progress the ball. During play, goalkeepers are the only players allowed to touch the ball with any part of their body. A player's hand is considered part of the stick if holding the stick. If the ball is "played" with the rounded part of the stick (i.e. deliberately stopped or hit), it will result in a penalty (accidental touches are not an offense if they do not materially affect play). Goalkeepers often have a different design of stick; they also cannot play the ball with the round side of their stick. The match is won by the team that scores the most goals.
Team sport played with sticks and a spherical ball
This article is about the team sport played on fields using a round hockeyball. For the overall family of sports involving sticks and goals, see Hockey. For the team contact sport played on ice, see Ice hockey.
The modern game was developed at public schools in 19th century England and it is now played globally. The governing body is the International Hockey Federation (FIH), called the Fédération Internationale de Hockey in French. Men and women are represented internationally in competitions including the Olympic Games, World Cup, World League, Champions Trophy and Junior World Cup. Many countries run extensive junior, senior, and masters club competitions. The FIH is also responsible for organizing the Hockey Rules Board and developing the sport's rules. The sport is known simply as "hockey" in countries where it is the more common form of hockey. The term "field hockey" is used primarily in Canada and the United States where "hockey" more often refers to ice hockey. In Sweden, the term landhockey is used. A popular variant is indoor field hockey, which differs in a number of respects while embodying the primary principles of hockey.