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How to select a stick? Terminology Player Positions Umpire Signals

Age Requirements

The game of field hockey is a stick and ball game with origins dating back thousands of years. It is traditionally played on grass but can be played on synthetic surfaces as well.  In hockey players compete against each other using a stick to manipulate a small ball with the object of getting it into the opponent's goal.  Children who participate in hockey should be aggressive, competitive, and coordinated.

Today field hockey varies by age, sex and skill group. Most programs are offered to both boys and girls, however age divisions available may vary based on the league.  These organizations are often feeder programs for high school field hockey teams.

The goal of these programs is to teach beginner, intermediate and/or advanced field hockey skills, while providing an opportunity for competitive play in a team environment.

The youth divisions are normally Under-8, Under-11, Under-15 and Under-19.  Many organizations will break age groups into the following categories:

League Age Details
PeeWee  6-7 Play is on a field that is half the size of the regulation field (50 yd field)  with seven girls at a time. Four ten minute quarters  and a 10 minute half.
Midget 8-10 Play on a regulation field (100 yds) with 11 players.  Two levels of play available Recreational and Competitive.  Four ten minute quarters  and a 10 minute half.
Junior 10-12 Play on a regulation field (100 yds) with 11 players.  Two levels of play available Recreational and Competitive. Four twenty-five minute quarters  and a 10 minute half.
School Programs 12 - 19 Hockey programs and try-outs through school. In high school games consists of two 30 minute halfs.

All divisions are based on birth date and your child must meet the restrictions to play the division.  Birth certificates are required for all players. 


Registration for Fall season is in the beginning of May through June 1.

Forms for registration can be obtained on the organization's web site or at your local sporting good store.  In addition, many schools will distribute flyers for the organizations announcing the registration time frames.  Organizations will often give you the option to register on line at their web site. A birth certificate is required at this time to prove the age of your child. 

Must have a valid USA Field Hockey membership to register.


The regular Fall season will run from the beginning of September through early November.  Some leagues have a Spring season which will begin in February and end in May.

Most games are played on Saturday with occasional mid-week or Sunday games.  There are approximately 12 games per season. Practice times and days are determined by the coaches but will normally be 2 to 3 times per week.  Fall season practice begins early to mid August .  Games will begin after Labor day and continue through the beginning of November.



The cost of most programs will run from approximately $40 to $100 depending on the organization and the age group.   USA Field Hockey membership, which is valid for one year, will range from approximately $25 - $40 based on age level.



Basic Field Hockey equipment includes a stick, ball, and protective gear.  Players wear shin/ankle guards and mouth guards. In addition, low-cut turf shoes or cleats are necessary so that you have traction on your playing surface.

Shin guards can be made out of plastic, fiberglass or rubber, but you want them to cover the length of your shin to protect you from the ball, others' cleats and wild sticks.  Approximate cost $25.
A mouth guard may look funny and make it harder to talk, but it could also save all that expensive orthodontics from stray balls and high sticks. Approximate cost $2 unless a special guard is needed due to orthodontic work.
Protective eye gear is necessary to prevent injury. Price range from $20 - $60.
Most of the balls for field hockey are plastic and are made to specific measurements for the sport. Approximate cost:$6-$7 per pack

Outdoor stick

Indoor stick

Sticks will vary in substance and length according to player preference. See selecting a stick for more details,
Turf shoes for field hockey.  Approximate cost $80.

Beginner packages are available and you can probably purchase all of the equipment for under $100.

Goalie Equipment

The goalies wear helmets, chest protectors, leg guards (much like ice hockey goalies), kickers and hand protectors.


Gloves approximate cost $80.
Goalie Stick approximate cost $90.
Goalie Pads approximate cost $600 -$700.
Goalie Helmet approximate cost $200 - $300.


Did You Know

No jewelry permitted on the field.  Players are permitted to play up an age group but can not play down. 

Players move the ball with their sticks only.  They are not permitted to touch the ball with hands, legs, feet or any other part of the body.

A goal can only be scored from within the striking circle and must have been struck by an attackers stick. If the goal hits any part of a defenders body and rolls into the cage, it does not count as a goal.