Our quick guide to the Maxinutrition Hockey 5s Finals

Celebration at the Maxinutrition Hockey 5s

This Sunday the much-anticipated Maxinutrition Hockey 5s Finals takes place Wembley Arena, so we've put together some of the key info we think you need to know, before you go!

If you're yet to buy your tickets, you can buy them here.

Why 5?

The FIH announced last year that the previously 6-a-side format of indoor hockey was to change to 5 effective from the 1 September 2013, in line with the FIH’s strategic vision of enhancing and evolving rules and formats to maintain hockey’s position as one of the most progressive sports on the Olympic Programme. The aim was to create more space on the field of play, ensuring even more exciting action for the spectators and television audiences around the world.

Key differences between Indoor and Outdoor

Beside the ever-useful presence of a roof in these cold winter months, here’s a few other key changes between indoor and outdoor hockey:

  • Fewer players – it’s called the Maxinutrition Hockey 5s for a reason – five on the pitch, and another seven allowed on the bench
  • Smaller pitch – 44 metres long and 22 wide (less than half an outdoor pitch)
  • Substitutions – Time isn’t stopped to substitute goalkeepers
  • Time – Matches are made of two periods of 20 minutes
  • Time-outs – one-minute (maximum) time-outs can be called once by each team in each half
  • Play – Players can’t hit the ball, they can only push it, and they can’t raise it off the pitch
  • Distance – players must be three (as opposed to five) metres away when a bully/free push takes place

Stats

You'll be kept on the edge of your seat at Wembley Arena as the goals come thick and fast - the change to 5-a-side has seen the average goals per game at almost two goals higher than previous years.

This year East Grinstead are looking for their sixth consecutive win, a streak they began back in 2006 when the Indoor Finals moved to the National Indoor Arena after playing at Crystal Palace.

  • East Grinstead – won every one of their eight fixtures
  • Reading – only lost one game
  • Canterbury – were the highest scorers in the division
  • Holcombe – flew through on goal difference after a tense 5-4 victory

The Women’s Final is a repeat of the match-up that we had from 2011. Back then Bowdon Hightown took the crown, while Reading came top last year – what do you think will happen this time round?

  • Bowdon Hightown – only dropped 2 points en route to Wembley.
  • Reading – have the greatest positive goal difference in their Division

Tactics

We’ve spoken to players about what they think has changed with the change in numbers. Here’s a selection of those thoughts:

  • More intensity in running off the ball when in possession, and more use of one-on-one elimination skills.
  • A reduction in defensive, zonal defending.
  • Watching when to change the goalkeeper out, as there's no more stopping of time.
  • More emphasis on development of individual trapping *and* shooting, as using a cover defender leaves only two players at the top of the circle.
  • Passing and quick decision-making are key.

On top of the hockey there are loads of activities going on Wembley Arena, and YOU can get involved!

Take On The Maxinutrition Hockey Bungee Challenge!
The four fastest times from the Maxinutrition Hockey Bungee Challenge– two men and two women – do battle at half-time in the Men’s and Women’s final to be in with a chance to win a visit to the Maxinutrition High Performance Lab, £500 of Maxinutrition products and a signed England replica shirt. Pick a challenger and cheer them on!

Get Up On The Big Screen
Send us your Twitter messages using #Maxi5s and we’ll put the best ones on the big screen and share them with the crowd!

Play Your Shirts Right
Two lucky contestants pit their wits in the ultimate game of chance! Make your voice heard – should it be ‘higher’ or ‘lower’?

The Best Seat In The House
See that comfy white leather sofa by the side of the pitch (you may have to use your imagination here)? With the free snacks and drinks? Keep your eyes and ears peeled on how you can win the chance of taking your place on our Super Sofa in Wembley Arena.

Want to take part? You can only do that if you're at Wembley Arena on Sunday 2 February! If you've got tickets already, then we'll see you there - if not, there's still time to get tickets through Wembley Arena or on the day.