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Field Hockey Field Diagram and Positions

1- History & Object of the Game
2- The Essentials (Offense & Defense, Scoring, etc.)
3- Fouls
4- Field Diagram & Positions
5- Glossary of Field Hockey Terms

Field of Play

A field hockey field, often called the “pitch,” has some important markings:

Sideline: Boundary along the length of the field. Balls that cross the sideline result in a side-in.

End line: Boundary along the width of the field. Balls that cross the end line result in a long hit, penalty corner, or 16-yard hit. The goal-line is the part of the end line between the goal posts.

Center line: Divides the field in half.

25-yard line: Intentional fouls between this line and the end line result in a penalty corner.

Striking circle: For a goal to count, shots must be taken from within the striking circle or deflect off an offensive player within the circle. Also called the “D.” Fouls within the circle result in penalty corner. The 5-yard mark is five yards outside of the circle and penalty corners end when the ball crosses this line.

Penalty stroke line: Penalty strokes are taken from this mark.

Substitution area: Substitutions may take place during the game through this area only. The player must exit the field before her replacement enters the field.


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.

Forwards: Primary scorers who spend most of their time between the midfield and the opponent’s goal.

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.”

Fullbacks: Primarily defend the opposing forwards and attempt to clear the ball when it gets close to the goal. Some coaches assign a single defender, called a “sweeper,” who plays closest to her own goal behind the fullbacks.

Goalie: Stands in front of goal to block shots with her body and stick. Must have quick reflexes and ability to communicate defensive strategies to teammates

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