The fall season is officially over, and a lot of you are getting ready to participate in indoor field hockey. Indoor hockey was created so players can enjoy more field hockey and when the weather gets too cold to be outside. Why not move the game inside to until the weather breaks. If you are new to indoor, we’ll educate you on the differences so you will be ready to play!
Indoor field hockey is played on any hard surface, generally in indoor facilities that have a basketball court. The field (or court) is smaller, and surface plays must faster than grass or turf.
Field and equipment – As mentioned earlier, the field is smaller than outdoor fields. Sidelines are replaced with sideboards (“boards”) there is no sideline out of bounds and the ball rebounds quickly off the boards in play. Indoor sticks are used, they are lighter than outdoor sticks, which helps players dodge and maneuver quicker, to keep up with the fast pace of play. The goals are the same size as outdoor cages.
Positions – Six players are allowed on the field at one time – that’s five field players and one goalkeeper compared to the 11 on the field in outdoor. Instead of the typical forward, midfield, defense, positions are divided into two categories: Attackers and Defenders. Although there are specific roles, everyone must play defense, just like outdoor.
Stick handling – Smaller fields and the addition of sideboards indoor requires more technical stick skills. Stick handling skills are the main components of the game. Like outdoor, a player can only use the flat side of this stick. Players are not not allowed to lift or hit the ball outside of the circle in indoor. Players are only allowed to push, pass, deflect, of dribble the ball. AGAIN, no hitting! The ball my only be lifted in the circle ONLY as a shot on goal. Otherwise, keep the ball on the ground or it is a foul.
Free Pushes – The free push (not hit like outdoor) takes place where the foul occurred. The player taking the free push is allowed to either pass the ball to a teammate or self-start by dribbling the ball. Unlike the 5-yards that opponents have to be away from the person taking the free hit outdoor, inside opponents have a 3 yard buffer.
Goal Scoring – Just like outdoor. A goal can be scored by a field goal (a player taking a shot on goal from anywhere on the field as long as the ball is touched inside the circle to be considered a goal), during a penalty corner (awarded to the attacking team when a foul is committed by the defense inside the shooting circle), or a penalty stroke ( a single shot is taken against the goalie by one player. The player chosen from the attacking team is allowed to either push, flick, or scoop the ball at the goal for the shot).
Indoor and outdoor field hockey are similar. The indoor game is faster and requires more control because of the limited space. Indoor improves player’s stick skills and field vision. If you have played outdoor field hockey, the building block of skills are valuable to indoor, and you will be able to learn even more about stick handling! Now that you have the guidelines for indoor we hope to see you all inside!