Hockey is practiced as a field and indoor sport. Depending on the age group, you play on different sized fields and with different numbers of players. The field is divided into quarters by lines, which are important for the rules. If you use the entire space, this is called a large field. If you place a goal on the quarter line, the field is shortened by a quarter and thus reduced to a three-quarter field. If you play across half of the playing field, this is called half field. For very young players, 2 cone goals are set up per team, the width of which should be approx. 1.5.
Field of hockey – the dimensions
The field hockey pitch
The sport of hockey has its origins in England, which is why all units of measurement for measuring the field come from the imperial system. The field hockey field has a size of 100 by 60 yards (91.4 x 55 m) and is quartered by lines. Accordingly, each quarter corresponds to a dimension of 25 by 60 yards (22.9 x 55 m). In addition, each goal also has a shooting circle. This consists of a semicircle which, starting from the center of the goal, corresponds to a radius of 16 yards (14.6m). There is a penalty kicks marker within the firing circle 7 yards from the goal. According to the official Game rules of the DHB (Deutscher-Hockey-Bund), playing fields must also have an outlet that is at least 5m on the base lines and at least 4m on the side lines. The surface of the playing field today is most often made of artificial turf. The purchase of such an artificial turf, including an irrigation system, is very expensive, which is why a few clubs still play on natural turf today.
The large field
Large field is played over the entire area of the field hockey field. For youth teams from U14, in active league operations of adults and for youth teams from U16 must be played on the large field. Each team plays with 10 field players and a goalkeeper. This one wears a special one protective equipment . The large size of the playing field is necessary because the tall players mean that a higher risk of injury cannot be ruled out.
The three-quarter field
Three-quarter field describes a shortening of the length of the playing field, but this does not affect the width of the playing field. Youth teams between U12 and U14 play on the three-quarter field, with 8 field players and one goalkeeper per team. The DHB suggests a smaller pitch size for young people between 11 and 14 years of age, because this way, physical differences caused by puberty mean no major advantages or disadvantages. The focus in this age group is more on stick technique.
The half field
Half-field, as the name suggests, is only played over half of the field hockey field. The half field, also known as small field, is played by youth teams in the U10 age group. Both teams play on the small field, each with 6 field players and a goalkeeper. The goals are placed along the sideline in the middle of the quarter line. Thus, the direction of play changes and the sidelines are converted to baselines. The original baseline and the center line now form the side boundaries of the playing field. This means that two half-field games can take place on a large field at the same time.
The playing field for children up to 8 years
For the very young players of the age group U8 and younger, a horizontal strip of the small field is divided off with the help of cones. Two cone goals per team are placed on the baseline. There are no rules for the size of the cone gates, but a size of about 1.50 m is recommended for orientation. To play, however, you first mark a line of fire that is parallel to the baseline and 2m in front of the cone gates. The game is now played with 4 field players per team.
The indoor hockey field
The boundaries of the playing fields are much easier for indoor hockey than for field hockey, because all youth groups from U10 and even adult teams play on the same playing field. The only exception here are the youth teams under U8.
The playing field for U10s and older
The game is played with 5 field players and a goalkeeper. The playing field has a length of 36-44m and a width of 18-22m, so it corresponds to the size of one Handball playing field . In contrast to handball, boards are laid out along the sidelines to play hockey. Thus, in theory, a sideline is not possible, since you can only play the ball flat in the hall. In addition, a center line divides the playing field in two halves. In addition, semicircles with a radius of 9m encircle both gates and thus form a shot mark. These semicircles are called the weft circle. Centrally located in front of the gates, points 7m away mark the spot for a penalty shot, the so-called seven meters.
The playing field for children up to 8 years
However, indoor hockey is also offered for children under U8. On the small field you play with 4 players per team. In order to make the playing field ready for play, boards are laid across. This means that several games can be played at the same time. In addition, 2 cone goals are placed per team, which, like field hockey, should not be larger than 1.50 m. In addition, a line of fire 2m away from the goals is marked with a hat, or it is masked off on the hall floor.