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 2011-09-23: Does the NCAA require that the balls used during a game have the official NCAA stamp on them?

A: No.


Q 2011-09-15: My partner and I were about to umpire a college game when the timer asked us when we wanted the clock to stop. The question surprised us and I asked her what she meant. She told us that the umpires who did their last game told her to stop it with one minute remaining.

A: Visible clocks should always run to zero, regardless of whether or not there is an automatic horn. This is all covered in the FIELD AND EQUIPMENT SPECIFICATIONS section of the NCAA modifications.

RULE 7.1...Visible Clocks

  1. Visible clocks are required.
  2. The visible clock will be the official game clock. The on-field umpires or alternate umpire shall keep a back-up clock. The time kept by the on-field umpires or alternate umpire will become the official time in the event of a clock malfunction.
  3. Players shall play to the whistle not the horn. If the penalty corner is not finished, then play continues until the umpire stops play.

Q: Will a broken/dashed 3 meter circle be added to the pitch as in outdoor, now that indoor has permanently adopted moving the ball 3 meters away from the circle for a free-push when a foul occurs by the defense within 3 meters of the defending team’s circle? If not, please recommend a change for the next edition of the rulebook. It will greatly enhance in assisting the interpretation of the proper distance. During the NIT qualifiers in Richmond the ball was too often played by the attacking team within 3 meters, especially on quick self-passes. They would also assist establishing the 3 meter rule when taking a 9 meter free-push going the other direction.

A: The USA Field Hockey Rules of Indoor Hockey for 2011 were just published with the pitch diagram and markings from the FIH. There are no proximity markings 3 meters from the circle in this the newest edition of the rules so for at least this indoor season, proximity lines will not be on the pitch.