Rules for men and women are essentially the same. The game is played on a level field, measuring 50 to 60 yd by 90 to 100 yd (46 to 55 m by 82 to 91 m), by two teams of 11 players each (five forwards, three halfbacks, two fullbacks, and a goalkeeper). A face-off in the center of the field starts the game. Teams direct their play toward advancing the ball—made of white leather over a cork and twine center and about 9 in. (23 cm) in circumference—down the field with their sticks (wooden, with a flat head on only one side of the striking surface). A point is scored by putting the ball through goal posts, which are 7 ft (2.13 m) high, 12 ft (3.66 m) apart, and joined by a net. Play can be physically punishing and fouls result in penalty strokes and free hits.
See M. J. Barnes and R. G. Kentwall, Field Hockey (2d ed. 1978).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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