True, the game is, simply put, outdoor hockey played indoors. It is using the same fundamentals, the same sticks, etc. But indoor hockey can cruelly expose a player’s deficiencies and showcase another’s strengths. The indoor game is much faster and more scoring opportunities are offered. Technical and tactical speeds are emphasized. A bad touch or a slow recovery will almost always result in a loss of possession, and quite often end with a goal scored by the opposition.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...?
Hockey even in harsh winter weather ...
Indoor hockey developed in Europe in the 1950s mainly to allow for keen hockey players to continue enjoying their sport during periods of bad winter weather. But as it is an exciting and enjoyable version of the game, it is now played in many countries around the world. Indeed, its emerging status as a worldwide sport has been recognized by its governing body, the International Hockey Federation (FIH), which organized the inaugural FIH World Indoor Hockey Championships in Germany in February 2003.
Rules in a nutshell ...
Indoor hockey can be played on any hard, smooth and flat surface but is usually played in a sports hall. The pitch is therefore smaller than an outdoor field. It is only 44 by 22 meters at most and has 10 cm boards down the longer pitch sidelines which keep the ball in play more and so helps to create a fast, flowing and exciting game.
Two teams of six players (and with six substitutes who can be used throughout the match) compete against each other. The ball may only be pushed and not hit or flicked and, except for a shot at goal, it may only be played along the ground. The head of a hockey stick has a rounded side (the right side) and a flat side (the left side). Only the flat, left hand, side of the stick can be used to play the ball. So, field players are not allowed to use their feet (or any other parts of their bodies for that matter) to control the ball. Only the goalkeepers are allowed to use stick, hands, feet, etc. to stop the ball when defending in the semi-circular area in front of their goal.
Field goal shots may only be taken by attackers from the "shooting circle," a roughly semi-circular area in front of the opponents' goal. If a ball is played from outside the circle and goes into the goal, it does not count as a score.
A penalty corner, a penalty ...
If a defending team breaks certain rules, the other team may be awarded a “penalty corner.” To take a penalty corner, play is stopped to allow the teams to take their positions in attack and defense. One attacker stands with the ball on a designated spot on the back-line that marks the shorter boundary of the pitch and on which the goal is placed. This player will 'push out' the ball to other attackers, waiting to take a shot at goal. The other attackers usually wait at the top of the shooting circle to receive the ball. But in any case, all attackers have to be outside the shooting circle until the penalty corner begins.
A penalty stroke is a shot at goal defended only by the goalkeeper. All other players must stand in the other half of the pitch. A penalty stroke may be awarded for various reasons, the most common being an offense by a defender in the circle to prevent the probable scoring of a goal. The shot is taken from a spot 7 meters directly in front of the goal. Match time is stopped when a penalty stroke is being taken.