Rules Of Hockey

Understand the rules of hockey, in both indoor & outdoor formats


Hockey (or field hockey as it is known) is a game that can be played either indoors or outdoors. More commonly seen, the outdoor version of the game is 11-a-side and is played on a pitch similar in size to a football pitch. Each player has a stick with a rounded head to play the ball, with the ultimate aim of scoring goals by hitting the ball in to the other team’s goal.

The rules of outdoor hockey are very similar to the laws of football, except that players must use their sticks and not their feet to play the ball. Only the goalkeepers are able to use their feet, hands and any other part of their body in conjunction with their stick to play the ball.

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is responsible for the Rules of Hockey. There are two different publications: one representing outdoor hockey and the other representing indoor hockey. They are reviewed on an ongoing basis and there is normally a new edition every two years.

The rules of hockey can easily be found on the link on the right of this page for both formats of our game.

An online version of the Outdoor Rules of Hockey are available on the Hockey Hub.  This includes videos demonstrating the rules in action, specific sets of rules for individuals playing hockey in smaller sided versions of our game, as well as the rules of Quicksticks and In2Hockey.