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Did you know… top facts about Australian field hockey

Field hockey is one of Australia’s favourite sports, but what exactly makes it so popular and what are the top facts about the game?

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Field hockey basics

There are 11 players in a hockey team, consisting of 10 outfield players and a goalkeeper, just like in football. Unlike in football, however, the game is overseen by an umpire rather than a referee, and there is no offside rule. While a hockey stick might look fairly unwieldy to the uninitiated, experienced players can use it to complete powerful shots on goal, as well as precision passes to teammates. The hockey players are only allowed to strike the ball with the flat side of the hockey stick, but are able to use nearly the entire length of the stick, providing the ball doesn’t come into contact with their hands. The three main ways of hitting the ball in hockey are: push pass, drive and sweep hit.

If you’re interested in learning more about the rules of field hockey, the Australian Hockey Federation has put together an engaging and straightforward guide covering all the basics. Presented as an eye-catching infographic, the guide helpfully breaks down the game and explains many of the rules of the sport, including the fact that players can be substituted as many times as the coach likes.

Getting involved in the sport

Whether you haven’t played since school, or have never so much as picked up a hockey stick, it’s never too late to discover the fast-paced thrill of the game. The best way to get involved is to check out your national hockey federation website to find a local club you can get in touch with. If you’d like to do a little homework before you rock up to your local hockey club, you might find it useful to take a look at online field hockey drills, such as those at https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Hockey/drills.jsp.

The popularity of hockey

As well as being Holland’s national sport, field hockey is currently played by in excess of 3,000,000 people all over the world. One of the world’s oldest competitive sports, it continues to enjoy huge popularity not just in Australia, but New Zealand, Pakistan and India in particular. In total, the sport is enjoyed across five continents and in well over 100 countries!

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