What You Need to Know About Field Hockey

Coker College is gearing up for the return of field hockey in the fall of 2018. The Cobras, a member of the South Atlantic Conference, will compete in field hockey for the first time since the school last sponsored the sport back in 1977. The sport of field hockey has grown throughout the country and has continued to increase in popularity in the southeast region of the United States. Here’s a quick tutorial on the sport of field hockey.

What is Field Hockey?
Simply put, field hockey is a game where teams come together on a field and use hockey sticks to drive a ball into a net in order to score points. The winner is determined by whoever has the most points at the end of the game.

The Basics
College field hockey is a fall sport and typically lasts from mid-to-late August to late October. Postseason play begins in November. At the collegiate level, field hockey games are separated into two halves, each lasting 35 minutes with a seven-minute half time in between.

Each team consists of 11 players, one goalkeeper and 10 outfield players. The outfield positions include defenders, midfielders and attackmen. The amount of which positions are on the field vary based on the style a team adopts and who has the ball.

Each goal scored in field hockey posts a single point for the team. There are different types of goals, however. A field goal is a traditional goal scored within the shooting circle. A penalty corner goal is one that is scored after play is stopped and repositioned in response to a foul by a defender within the shooting circle. A penalty stroke goal is one that is scored after a more serious foul where a player is able to shoot one-on-one with the goalie. Additionally, there’s a shootout goal, which happens in overtime, before strokes. The player starts at the 23-meter line and has eight seconds to score on the goalkeeper.

Field and Equipment
Field hockey is played on a grass or turf field that stretches 100 yards long and 60 yards wide. Three lines run across the width to signify to players certain sections of the field. At each end, a four-yard wide goal rests with a 16-yard line around it, showing players where they are allowed to shoot within. This is called the shooting circle or the “D” for the defensive team. Goals scored outside of this section are not considered goals, and the ball is given to the other team from there.

Field hockey uses a hard ball with a weight between 5.5 to 5.75 ounces. Some hockey balls have small dimples on the surface. Usually the difference depends on the field surface that the game is being played on. Dimple balls are used on AstroTurf (carpet style), while the regular/smooth balls are used on field turf/grass/indoor surfaces. However, all have a non-elastic plastic shell around them.

Outfield position players wear shin guards and have the option to wear goggles. Similar to an ice hockey goalie, field hockey goalkeepers wear helmets, large shin and arm pads, and are equipped with a goalie stick.

Coker Field Hockey Info
The Coker College field hockey team will open up their season at home on Sept. 5 when they host conference opponent, Newberry College at 4 p.m. on the Coker Athletic Field.

To stay up to date on Coker field hockey news, visit www.cokercobras.com and follow our social media accounts on Facebook (Coker College Cobras), Twitter (@Coker_Cobras), and Instagram (@cokercobras). Additionally, be sure to follow the Coker field hockey social media accounts on Twitter (@CokerCollegeFH) and Instagram (@cokerfieldhockey).

Author: Rachel Howell

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