Sports Notes for SSB Interview: Field Hockey, Check All Details

By Dhruv Kumar|Updated : July 11th, 2020

I do not think man's intelligence could have conceived of a more fascinating game than Hockey. Perhaps I am wrong because I have not played other games. But tell me which Game is as fast as Hockey? Which Game is packed with so many thrilling moments in the short space of 70 minutes? In which Game are you asked to wield dangerous weapons such as sticks, and yet use them with so much skill that no one gets hurt.

                                                   -Dhyanchand in his autobiography 'Goal'.

The above-quoted lines aptly describe the beautiful Game of Field Hockey (also referred commonly as Hockey). Hockey is the oldest known stick and ball game and is one of the most popular outdoor field games of the world. Playing Hockey requires intelligence, keen eyes, powerful wrists, physical fitness and speed of mind & body. The Game also calls for great sportsmanship, tolerance and coolness. Thus, the Game of Hockey demands the best in you, both as a player and as a person.

History of the Hockey Game:

  • Evidence of various forms of Field Hockey being played has been found from ancient Egypt (4000 years ago), Records also indicate Field Hockey being played in Ethiopia around 1,000 BCE and in Iran around 2000 BCE.


Relief depicting a form of Field Hockey being played by Ancient Greeks.

  • The modern form of field hockey has its origin in England in the mid-18th century. Its development is largely associated with the emergence of public schools, such as Eton.
  • The Amateur Hockey Association was formed in England in 1876. The association standardised rules of Hockey and drew up the first formal set of rules. The association was revived in 1886.
  • The first international Field Hockey match was organised in 1895 between Ireland and Wales (Ireland 3, Wales 0), and the International Rules Board was established in 1900.
  • Hockey was included as a sport in the 1908 Olympics with six participating teams (England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Germany and France).
    • Hockey became a permanent Olympic sport from the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics.
    • Artificial turfs were introduced at the 1976 Olympics.
    • Women's Hockey was introduced at the Moscow Olympics (1980).
    • Most Successful team at Olympics: India (8 Gold Medals, 1 Silver Medal and 2 Bronze Medals)
  • The Game was spread to other parts of the world by the British Soldiers and families.


Prominent Players



Dhanraj Pillay


Jamie Dwyer


Ties Kruize


Teun de Nooijer


Sohail Abbas


Hassan Sardar


Ric Charlesworth


Florian Kunz


Sean Kerly


Luciana Aymar (w)


Ellen Hoog (w)


Maddie Hinch (w)


Stacey Michelsen (w)

New Zealand

Eva De Goede (w)


2. Equipment:

2.1 The Playing Field:

  • The playing ground for Hockey is rectangular (91.40 metres long and 55 metres wide).
  • Side-lines: 91.40 metres long perimeter lines and backlines: 55 metres long perimeter lines.
  • The Centre-Line divides the ground into two halves.
  • The vertical Goal post joined by a horizontal bar is located at each end of the field. The height of the goal post is 2.14 m (7 ft), and its width is 3.66 m (12 ft).



  • The two 23 metres lines are marked across the field 22.90 metres from each backline (as shown in the picture above).
  • The penalty circle has a radius of 15m (16yd) and is a straight line with two-quadrant arcs drawn at either side, that forms a 'D' shape against the backline.
  • Flag-posts (height between 1.20 and 1.50 metres) are placed at each corner of the field.
  • 75 mm wide lines are drawn to clearly demarcate playing area.

Field Hockey was mainly played on natural grass, which was marked by the slow movement of the ball. However, during the 1970s, the synthetic turfs began to be used, and as a result, the Game gained speed and generated excitement among the players as well as spectators.

  • All marks must be made in white.


2.2 Hockey Stick:

  • The stick is the most important equipment of the Game. It has a traditional shape with a handle and a curved head which is flat on its left side. The Hockey Stick:
    • must be smooth and must not have any rough or sharp parts
    • must be able to pass through a ring with an interior diameter of 51 mm.
    • The edges and the backside of the hockey stick must be rounded and must have a continuous smooth profile.
    • The edges or back of the stick should not be flat.
  • The length of the hockey stick for an adult is usually in the range 89–95 cm.
  • A maximum length of 105 cm and a maximum weight of 737 grams was fixed by FIH in 2016.
  • Maximum players use Hockey stick with its weight in the range 538 g - 623 g.


2.3 Hockey Ball:

  • The ball used for field hockey is spherical in shape and has a circumference of between 224 mm and 235 mm
  • Weight of the ball: between 156 to 163 grams.


2.4 Goalkeeper's Equipment:

  • Hand Protectors:
    • Each with a maximum width of 228 mm and length of 355 mm.
  • Leg Guards:
    • Each with a maximum width of 300 mm.


  1. Rules of the Game:


  • The Game is played between two teams consisting of 11 players each (10 field players and a goalkeeper).
    • The goalkeeper is not allowed to take part in the match outside the 23 metres area they are defending, except when taking a penalty stroke
  • A match comprises of four quarters (of 15 minutes each)
    • 2 minutes interval between quarter 1 and 2
    • 2 minutes interval between quarter 3 and 4 and
    • 5 minutes interval at half- time (between quarter 2 and 3)
  • A coin is tossed at the beginning of the match, and the winner of the toss decides:
    • which goal to attack in the first half (first two quarters) or
    • to start the match with the centre pass.
  • If the toss winning team decides which goal to attack, the other team starts the match and vice-versa.
  • The playing halves are reversed after the half-time.
  • A goal is scored when the ball passes over the goal-line after being hit by the attacker inside the circle.
  • The team with the more number of goals scored is the winner.

3.1 Penalties:

3.1.1 Free Hit:


  • It is awarded for an:
    • Offence done by any player between 23-meter areas.
    • Offence done by an attacker within the 23 metres area in the presence of a defender.
    • Unintentional offence by a defender outside the circle but within their own 23 metres area.

3.1.2 Penalty Corner:


  • Penalty Corner is given for:
    • Any offence by a defender within the circle he is defending that does not obstruct scoring of a goal.
    • Intentional offence by a defender against an opponent.
    • Intentional play by a defender which results in ball crossing the backline.
    • When the ball is attached to any clothing of defender within the circle.

3.1.3 Penalty Stroke:


  • A penalty Stroke is awarded for an offence by a defender in the circle which prevents the probable scoring of a goal and for an intentional offence by a defender in the circle against an opponent in possession of the ball.

The difference in player's position during Penalty Corner and Penalty stroke:


  1. Terms Associated with Field Hockey:

  • Field Player, Goalkeeper, Attack (Attacker), Defence (Defender), Back-line, Goal-line, Side-line, Circle, 23 metres area, Shot at goal, Hit, Push, Flick, Scoop, Forehand, Playing distance, Tackle, Offence, Bully, Dribble, Short corner, Hat trick, Goal, Penalty Corner, Penalty stroke, Push-in, Cut, Centre forward, Halfback, Astroturf, Sudden death, Left in, Left out, Off-side, Tiebreaker, Carried, Stick, Striking circle etc.
  1. Governing Bodies:

  • The Federation Internationale de Hockey sur Gazon (FIH) was founded in 1924 at Paris by Paul Leautey (first president of the FIH).
  • The International Federation of Women's Hockey Associations (IFWHA) was established in 1927.
  • In 1982, the two organisations merged to form a single body to administer Field Hockey.
    • Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland
    • Motto: FairPlay Friendship Forever
  • Five Continental Associations:
    • African Hockey Federation (AFHF)
    • Asian Hockey Federation (ASHF)
    • European Hockey Federation (EHF)
    • Oceania Hockey Federation (OHF)
    • Pan American Hockey Federation (PAHF)
  1. International tournaments:

  • World Cup (Men's)
    • First Edition: 1971 (Host- Barcelona, Winner- Pakistan)
    • Latest Edition: 2018 (Host- Bhubaneswar, Winner- Belgium)
    • Next Edition: 2023 (Host- Bhubaneswar & Rourkela)
    • Most Successful Team: Pakistan (4 titles)
  • World Cup (Women's)
    • First Edition: 1974 (Host- France, Winner- Netherlands)
    • Latest Edition: 2018 (Host- London, Winner- Netherlands)
    • Next Edition: 2022 (Host- Spain and Netherlands)
    • Most Successful Team: Netherlands (8 titles)
  • Indoor World Cup
  • Hockey Junior World Cup
  • FIH Series Open
  • FIH Series Finals
  • FIH Pro League
  • Hockey World League
  • Olympic Games
  • Youth Olympic Games
  • African Championships
  • Asian Championships
  • European Championships
  • Oceania Championships
  • Pan American Championships
  • Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament
  • Sultan Ibrahim Ismail Hockey Tournament
  • Oldest trophies: Irish Senior Cup (Since 1894) and the Irish Junior Cup (Since 1895)
  1. Field Hockey in India:


  • British introduced Field Hockey to India, and at first, the Game was played only by members of the Indian Army.
  • Calcutta HC, established in 1885, was the first professional field hockey club outside of England.
  • Hockey is the National Game of India. India has produced some of the finest hockey players of the world and dominated Hockey at international level in the 20th
  • The performance of the Indian Hockey team is the only bright spot in India's performance at the Olympic Games over the years.
    • Such was the dominance of the Indian Hockey Team that it won a total of 8 Olympic Gold Medals with six consecutive Gold medals from 1928 to 1956.
    • During this period India was unbeaten in 30 consecutive matches, and scored 197 goals, giving away only eight.
  • The biggest score in an international hockey match is the 24-1 victory of India over the USA, played on August 11, 1932.
  • The Indian Men's Hockey team stood third in the first Hockey world cup, second in the Second Hockey World Cup and Won the Third Hockey World Cup in 1975.

Governing Body:

  • Hockey India established on May 20, 2009, is the governing body to direct and conduct all activities for both men's and women's hockey in India.
    • Headquarters: New Delhi

Achievements of the Indian Hockey Team:

  • Indian Men's team performance in Various Tournaments:
    • Olympic Games
      • Appearances: 20 (first in 1928)
      • Best result: 1st (1928, 1932, 1936, 1948, 1952, 1956, 1964, 1980)
  • byjusexamprep 
  • World Cup
    • Appearances: 14 (first in 1971)
    • Best result: 1st (1975)
  • Asian Games
    • Appearances: 16 (first in 1958)
    • Best result: 1st (1966, 1998, 2014)
  • Asia Cup
    • Appearances: 10 (first in 1982)
    • Best result: 1st (2003, 2007, 2017)
  • Major Dhyanchand is referred to as 'Wizard of Hockey' and also as 'Magician of Hockey'.
    • He was born in Allahabad on August 29, 1905, and his birthday is celebrated as National Sports Day in India.
    • He joined the Indian Army in 1922, and for the next four years, he took part in several regimental tournaments.
    • He, along with his brother, helped India in Winning the Olympic Gold at 1928, 1932 and 1936 Olympic Games.
    • He captained the team at the 1936 Berlin Olympics and famously turned down the offer of German citizenship given to him by Adolf Hitler.
    • He died at AIIMS, New Delhi on December 3 1979.
  • Beighton Cup started in 1895 is one of the oldest field hockey tournaments of the world.
  • Captain Suraj Lata Devi led the Indian Women team to the Gold during the 2002 Commonwealth Games (the event which inspired the film Chak De India), the 2003 Afro-Asian Games, and the 2004 Hockey Asia Cup.
  • The First Olympic Gold of an Independent India was also won by Indian Hockey team at 1948 London Olympics.
  • Manpreet Singh became the first Indian to win the FIH Men's Player of the Year 2019 award.
  • Rani Rampal became the first-ever hockey player to win the prestigious 'World Games Athlete of the Year 2019' award.


Prominent Indian Players:

  • Men: Dhyanchand, Roop Singh, K. D. Singh, Jaipal Singh Munda, Richard Allen, Leslie Claudius, Raghbir Singh Bhola, Prithipal Singh, Balbir Singh, Sr., Ajit Pal Singh, Zafar Iqbal, Sandeep Singh, Jugraj Singh, Ignesh Tirkey, Dhanraj Pillai, Vasudevan Bhaskaran, Pragat Singh, Adrian D'Souza, Gagan Ajit Singh, Deepak Thakur, Prabhjot Singh, Bimal Lakra, Aslam Sher Khan, Bharat Chettri, Sardar Singh and Dilip Tirkey.
  • Women: Suraj Lata Devi Waikhom, Rani Rampal, Vandana Katariya, Deep Grace Ekka, Sunita Lakra, Ritu Rani, Jaspreet Kaur, Savita Poonia, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Amandeep Kaur, Punam Barla, Lalremsiami, Helen Mary, Nikki Pradhan, Monika Nayak, Mary D'Souza Sequeira, Pritam Rani Siwach and Mamta Kharab.

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