indoor hockey rules

What are the Rules for Indoor Field Hockey?

Field hockey is traditionally and mainly played as a pastime by outdoor field hockey players during the off-season or when conditions are unsuitable for outdoor play, though if you play in Australia or Asia you will be lucky to play all year round if you wish.

  • Two teams of six players, including goalkeepers
  • Team including subs – no more than 15 players
  • Two 25 periods per game (20 at international level)
  • Goals can be scored only from within the scoring circles
  • Goals can only be scored by pushing, flicking or scooping the ball

Back in colder climes, while I opened my curtains and regarded dimly a swathe of charcoal cover what was once blue my thoughts began to spin off about hockey in the winter and the indoor game. When one door begins to close another opens I thought as I warmed my palms on the wall radiator.

Interesting Hockey Hooked fact: In the German indoor league, teams play 30 minute halves with the rule to call time outs as in basketball.

Indoor hockey is played in local national and international championships within the hockey playing world.

A key difference between indoor hockey and its cousin, outdoor hockey is in the indoor game you may not slap or hit the ball with a sweeping motion or even with long pushes.

Players must move the ball down the pitch using a push shot or deflection. In the circle, attackers may flick, push, scoop or deflect the ball to try to score.

Playing Field Rules

The playing field is smaller than an outdoor fields so the game can be played in indoor sports halls. An indoor pitch is 18m to 22m wide by 36m to 44m long, divided by a center line. The shooting circle is a semicircle measured out 9m from each goal post. Side-boards mark the sidelines to help keep the ball in play.

Indoor hockey field layout
An Indoor Hockey Pitch Layout

Time periods in more depth: The halftime break is a period of 15 minutes.

In case of a regulation tie two 5 minute golden goal overtime periods are played. In the event of no golden goal the game will be decided by penalty strokes – 5 rounds for each team followed by sudden-death rounds in case of continued ties).

Equipment: Sticks

The stick rules are the same for both indoor and outdoor hockey. However players often prefer a lighter, quicker stick especially made for indoor use.

Indoor Balls: Made of solid plastic, the ball has a circumference of between 224 mm and 235 mm. It weighs between 156 grams and 163 grams. Usually white in color, other colors (red and yellow) are used as agreed.

Indoor hockey nets: Goals are smaller than in outdoor hockey for easier portability and to reflect the smaller fields at 2m high x 3m wide and a minimum of 1m deep

Popularity of the Jndoor Field Hockey Game

The game has a remarkable following in Germany, Poland and Belgium.

The first world cup was held in Leipzing in 2003 with the German men and the Netherlands women winning the first championship.

Peak viewing audience reached 889,000 viewers during the opening Poland vs.USA match. Germany and Poland, Euro sport’s two strongest markets, were the largest audiences with more than 4 million different viewers watching in Germany and more than 1.5 million viewers from Poland.

Arnaud Simon, Euro sport’s Program Director commented: “The first Indoor World Cup was a very exciting event, well suited for television and with good production standards. These characteristics were rewarded with very strong ratings, particularly considering that many of the matches were aired at off-peak viewing times.”

The current men’s indoor hockey champions are Austria while the current women’s champions are Germany.

Check out our list of reviewed indoor sticks.

Here are the in depth official FIH 2016 rules >>

by your faithfull hockey blogger, Eddie

1 thought on “What are the Rules for Indoor Field Hockey?”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *