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Sport Overview

Contested outdoors by two teams of 11 players on a pitch approximately the same size as an American football field, players use short hooked sticks to pass, shoot and defend the sport’s hard ball. Because players can only contact the ball with one side – the flat side – of the stick, the skill in the flips, turns and twists of the stick are boggling. Shots on net often come from forceful swings while the opposing players are in close contact, making this an exciting, action-filled sport.

The Pan American Games see many of the world’s top teams compete, including Canada and Argentina, who have quite a rivalry. Since 1975, both countries have battled for the men’s gold medal at every Pan American Games.

On the women’s side, Argentina is a perennially strong team but the host Canadians are a young, skilled and highly motivated team looking to defend their home turf.

The winning men’s and winning women’s teams at the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games will qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.


History

While the origins of field hockey can be traced to a Persian ball-and-stick game from 2000 BC, the modern version of the sport was developed in England in the mid-1800s. Concepts and rules changed over time and today field hockey is played in more than 100 countries.


How it works

Two teams of 11 players face off on a field, or pitch, measuring roughly 91 metres (99.5 yards) by 55 metres (60.1 yards). Using only the flat side of their hook-shaped stick and skillful stick work, players advance a hard ball toward their opponent’s goal to set up scoring opportunities. Players may not use their feet, while goalkeepers may use any part of their body to stop a shot.

Each field hockey game consists of two 35-minute halves.

The winning men’s and winning women’s teams in the 2015 Pan Am Games will qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Terminology

Green card
A warning card issued by the umpire, resulting in a two-minute suspension.

Obstruction
Using the body or stick to block or hinder an opposing player from hitting the ball.

Penalty stroke
A one-on-one shot awarded when a foul prevents a likely goal.

Red card
A card issued by the umpire, resulting in a game suspension.

Shooting circle
A D-shaped area in front of each goal in which an attacking player must shoot from in order to score a goal.

Yellow card
A card issued by the umpire indicating a player’s suspension.

Additional Information

Additional Information