Koa Sports

Foul Reduction

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Congratulations to our U14 club team for finishing off the fall tournament season strong. Today I will discuss why the whistle blows so much in field hockey.

As a new parent or player to the sport of field hockey you may wonder why the whistle blows so much. Just like any sport, field hockey has a lot of rules. Many of these rules can be confuse both the athlete and spectator, especially when new to the sport.

Youth Field Hockey

When first learning field hockey it is easy to commit a lot of fouls. The main fouls that are committed at a young age are advancing (feet), obstruction, and high stick. During youth games, referees try their best to not call all fouls (at times verbally instruct) to create some flow of the game. If a foul causes an advantage to the other team the foul must be called.  At this age the referees try their best to call a fair game that allows both teams to play and develop a love for the game.

High School Field Hockey

Referees in high school tend to call more fouls than at any other age. Not only are girls starting to understand the rules, the referees have a higher expectation at this level. Spectators tend to get frustrated when the whistle often blows, even though the girls know what fouls are being called, but do not have all of the skills to avoid the infraction.

College Field Hockey

In college, the referees are extremely tough on players, however the whistle doesn’t blow as much. Players at this level understand the rules and typical cause fewer fouls than the high school players.  Here are a couple examples of common fouls at this level, a team wants to slow play down, and allow their teammates to catch up/regroup. Or on the field the offensive team forces the defensive team to make a foul by purposely hitting the ball into their feet.
The next time you are watching a field hockey game remember the athletes are trying their best to not commit a foul and the referees are trying their best to call a fair game that allows the athletes to play.