Hockey is a team sport of the hockey family, and is referred to as field hockey in the USA, Canada and European countries where ice hockey is played. A hockey team has 11 players, including a goalie, and the game is played outdoors on an artificial turf.Read more
Hockey is a team sport of the hockey family, and is referred to as field hockey in the USA, Canada and European countries where ice hockey is played. A hockey team has 11 players, including a goalie, and the game is played outdoors on an artificial turf.
The New Zealand Women have qualified for Rio. While they finished fourth at the FIH World League Semi-Finals in Antwerp in June/July 2015 and just missed out on qualification, they reserved a spot when the host nation Brazil failed to satisfy the criteria set by the IOC and FIH, and had to relinquish its place.
For the men and women, the winners of the five continental tournaments qualify for the Rio Olympics (Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Oceania).
For New Zealand, this tournament was the Oceania Cup held in Stratford in October 2015. Men's and women's teams from Australia, Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand competed, and the Australian men's and women's teams were the two winners.
The six highest-placed teams in the Hockey World League Semi-Finals not qualified under the continental tournaments, or as the host country, also qualify.
The New Zealand Men finished sixth at the Buenos Aires Semi-Finals, failing to automatically qualify for Rio. They then finished second to Australia in a hard-fought Oceania Cup, missing out once again on an Olympic quota spot. After a nail-biting wait they were finally offered a spot at Rio after the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) turned down an invitation to their men's and women's hockey teams.
This decision is in line with the official FIH Qualification System for the Games of the XXXI Olympiad – Rio 2016, section F. This states that if an allocated quota place is declined by the National Organising Committee, the quota place will be reallocated to the next highest-placed team from the Hockey World League Semi-Finals not already qualified.
“With both the Black Sticks Men and Women confirmed to compete at the Rio Olympic Games, our full focus is on developing our group of players and building depth ahead of what will be a tough selection process later in the year.
“Both teams will have programmes that will include periods of centralised training, along with targeted opportunities for international competition.” Terry Evans, Hockey New Zealand High Performance Director
Twelve men's teams and 12 women's teams will compete at Rio. There are 16 players in each team, with 11 players on the turf at any one time.
Preliminaries - Sunday 7 August to Tuesday 16 August
Semi-finals - Wednesday 17 August to Thursday 18 August
Finals - Bronze medal game Friday 19 August
Gold medal game Saturday 20 August
There are two pools of six teams. After pool play, the top two teams from each pool (based on points) progress to the semi-finals. The winners of each semi-final play in the gold medal match. The losers of each semi-final play in the bronze medal match. All remaining teams play-off for a final position in the tournament.
Games will comprise of four 15 minute quarters (previously two 35 minute halves).
There will be 40 second time-outs following both penalty corner awards and the scoring of the goal - to enable replays for viewers and commentary analysis.
1 GOLD – 1976 Montreal
Paul Ackerley, Selwyn Maister, John Christensen, Barry Maister, Trevor Manning, Arthur Borren, Greg Dayman, Arther Parkin, Alan Chesney, Tony Ineson, Neil McLeod, Mohan Patel, Less Wilson, Jeff Archibald, Ramesh Patel, Alan McIntyre
The Olympics bring out the best performances from the world’s best players and provide an unparalleled opportunity to showcase the sport to a wider audience.
The Germans, Dutch and Australians are at the top of the ranking table and were all medalists at the 2012 London Olympics.
International players to keep an eye on are Germany's Moritz Furste who has a gold medal from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, as well as the 2006 World Cup, and Australia's Mark Knowles who was awarded the FIH World Player of the Year in 2014 and has previously been named the World Young Player of the Year.
Closer to home, New Zealand captain Simon Child has etched his mark as one of the world's premier strikers with his unbelievable stick skills having devastating effects on opposition defences. After making his debut in 2005 as a 16-year-old, Simon was the youngest Black Stick to play 100 matches and is likely to become our most capped player.
The Dutch team along with Australia and Argentina are ranked highest in the world, with New Zealand in fourth position.
High profile international stars include Holland’s Maartje Paumen who won gold at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and was the tournament's top goal scorer at the 2010 and 2014 FIH World Cup.
Argentina has made big changes to their side since the London Olympics, and striker Carla Rebecchi and sisters Agustina and Florencia Habif are expected to be big threats for any opposition.
Mid-fielder Anita Punt is the speed-star in the New Zealand squad, with her times over 10m rating in the top eight of the men's squad.
Other players to keep an eye on ahead of Olympic selection will be Whangarei-based Stacey Michelsen, who was named World Young Player of the Year in 2011, and fellow mid-fielder Gemma Flynn, originally from Tauranga, who will be playing in her third Olympic Games.
Long corner - Awarded to attacking team when the ball is accidentally hit out the back line by the defending team. Free hit taken from the 25 yd line.
Substitution - A player can replace a team-mate on the pitch any number of times and at any point in the match, except when a penalty corner is being taken.
Goals - Ball must be hit or touched in the goal circle by the attacking team, and must pass over the goal line. If a field goal (ie, a goal scored from open, continuous play), then the ball can hit the net or back board. If a penalty corner, then the ball must strike the back board if the shot is hit, but if it is drag-flicked then it can be higher than the board and hit the net.
Free hit - Awarded to a player when there is an infringement by an opposing player. The 5m rule applies – all players have to be 5m away from the player taking the free hit, and the ball must travel 5m before it can be passed to another player.
Penalty corner - Awarded to attacking team when there is accidental infraction by a defender or goalie in the circle, or an intentional infraction inside the 25 yard line, or the defender intentionally hits the ball out the back line.
How it is played out - Five defenders behind goal line; ball pushed out by attacker from point 10 yds from post (any side), defenders can run out after ball; ball must move outside the circle and then go back inside before a shot at goal taken. If shot is HIT it must be not be higher than backboard (18") – if FLICKED it can be higher.
Penalty stroke - Awarded to the attacking team when there is intentional infraction in the circle or an unintentional infraction preventing a sure goal.
How it is played out - Time-out called. All players behind 25 yd line except goalie and striker. Goalie stationary with heels on line. When umpire sees both goalie and striker are 'ready' – blows whistle. Striker must start behind ball and must then push or flick ball – not hit. If Goalie saves the ball or striker misses goal, defending team receives a 16 yd hit.
So what do the 'cards' mean?
Green card (You're off for 2 minutes) - A card signifying the umpire has suspended a player.
Yellow card (You're off for 5 or 10 minutes) - A card signifying the umpire has suspended a player. The umpire indicates the length of suspension by signaling one hand or two hands.
Red card (You're off for good) - A card shown by the umpire to suspend a player for the rest of the game.
Bully - A method of restarting play following a stoppage not caused by a breach. Two players face each other, and tap their sticks on the ground and together before contesting the ball.
Circle - Short for the "striking circle", "goal circle" or "shooting circle" or "D" – a D-shaped area in front of each goal. An attacker must take a shot from inside the circle to score a goal.
Drag-flick - Drag-flicking is a scoring technique and is used as a variant to the "straight shot" or hit. The drag-flick is classified as a push as the player drags the ball a small distance before flicking it towards the goal. Drag-flicks are especially common during penalty corners.
Field goal - A goal scored from open, continuous play.
Hit-in - A free hit from the sideline after the ball has gone out of play over the line. It is taken by the team not last to touch the ball.
Obstruction - The offence of using the body or stick to shield or hinder another player from hitting the ball, or of physically interfering with an opposing player.
Until the 1970s hockey was played on grass turfs. The introduction of synthetic turfs in the early 1970s has made for a much faster and more exciting game.
Elite-level competitions, such as the Olympic Games and the World Cup, require a water-based turf – a synthetic turf with shorter fibres and wetted turf which reduces friction and increases the speed at which the game can be played.
New Zealand's only Olympic medal was won in 1976 when the men's team, coached by Ross Gillespie, caused an upset in Montreal by beating Australia 1-0 to win gold.
The Indian men's team dominated Olympic hockey between 1928-1956, with six consecutive titles, remaining unbeaten in 30 consecutive matches, scoring 197 goals, and giving away only eight.
All the Black Sticks players wear GPS units on the back of their shirts during a game. Petrea Webster and Anita Punt have run around 8.5km in about 55 minutes of play, which equates to 154m per minute.
Goal keepers are the only players who are allowed to touch the ball with any part of their body.
A goalie wears a helmet, leg guards, kickers, chest guards, padded shorts, heavily-padded hand protectors, groin protectors, neck guards, arm guards, and like all players, they must carry a stick. It takes a goalie about 15 minutes to put all their gear on.
Some of the new hockey sticks are made of carbon fibre and use material to keep the stick light, but still allow the player to hit with power.
There are no left-handed sticks in field hockey and players may use only one side of the stick.
Some Black Sticks take six different types of sticks when they travel to a tournament.
Hockey is an extremely quick game and the players regularly take various fitness, strength and speed tests – Black Stick George Muir can run 10m in 1.54 seconds, team-mate Kane Russell can run 40m in 4.70 seconds and Anita Punt can run 100m in 12.06 seconds.
There are 65,000 registered hockey players in New Zealand.
Mid-late 1800s - Game developed by cricket players from Middlesex club in England, looking for a winter sport other than football, using sticks and cricket balls.
Late 1880s - Introduction of the game around the Commonwealth, primarily via the British army. First clubs in India established in 1885 in Calcutta.
1886 - Amateur Hockey Association formed in London.
1908 - Hockey introduced to Olympic Games in London, with only three men's teams – England, Ireland and Scotland.
1928 - Men's hockey returned to the Olympic Games in Amsterdam and then became a permanent fixture on the Olympic programme.
1980 - Women's hockey debuted at the Moscow Olympics.
Hockey Games History
Olympic Summer Games Tokyo 2020
Olympic Summer Youth Games Buenos Aires 2018
Commonwealth Games Gold Coast 20181 1
Olympic Summer Games Rio 2016
Olympic Summer Youth Games Nanjing 2014
Commonwealth Games Glasgow 20141
FISU Summer Universiade Kazan 2013
Olympic Summer Games London 2012
Commonwealth Games Delhi 20101 1
Olympic Summer Youth Games Singapore 20101