For a better browsing experience please switch your browser out of compatability mode.

USA Field Hockey

All questions, unless otherwise indicated, are answered by Steve Horgan, our nation's rules interpreter. If you have a question, please look through the questions that have already been answered. If your question hasn't been asked, please use this form to submit your question.


Q: In a college match, does the speaking captain need to be on the field?  What if a yellow card needs to be given to the speaking captain and she is not in the game?

A: The Captian does not have to be on the field at all times. If a yellow card is awarded to the captain when the captian is sitting as a substitute, the captain will serve the suspension and the team will play short for the duration of the suspension. The Captainship should now change hands to a  designated captain.

The following parameters apply to Captains: 

RULE 3.1...One player of each team must be appointed as captain.
Only one per team per game whether on the field or as a substitute on the bench. This Captian is still responsible for their teams on the field issues.

RULE 3.2...A replacement captain must be appointed when a captain is suspended.
Only in the case of Injury or Suspension / Ejection would a replacement be designated. Any change to the original captain must be recorded and the umpires informed.

RULE 3.3...Captains must wear a distinctive arm-band or similar distinguishing article on an upper arm or shoulder.

This is allowed to be worn around the shin guard as well. At a minimum, the umpires should record the number of each captain for reference if necessary during the game.

RULE 3.4...Captains are responsible for the behavior of all players on their team and for ensuring that substitutions of players on their team are carried out correctly.
A personal penalty is awarded if a captain does not exercise these responsibilities.

Any card issued for illegal substitution, misconduct, or "on field issues" (including substitutions) for a team warning should be given to the captain.

[ED: In NFHS games, the team's head coach is accountable for illegal substitutions and so any card issued for illegal substitution(s) should be given to the head coach.]