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Every sport in the world has a certain unique lingo attached to it. If you are new to some sport it is definitely difficult to understand what longtime fans and experts of the sport throw in some of these terminologies casually during discussions. It thus becomes mandatory to have a basic understanding of these terms.

Here, we bring to you the meaning of all the frequently used terms in the sport of Field Hockey.


The equipment which all the players in the field use to pass, control, dribble and hit the ball is called a stick or a hockey stick.

Penalty Corner

A Penalty Corner is a play awarded to the attacking team in case of a foul committed by the defensive team inside the shooting circle. The attacking team is required to place the ball at the backline and eject it outside of the circle, wherein his/her teammate tries to shoot it inside the goal.

Drag Flick

Drag Flick is a move used by the players to take a shot on the goal during a penalty corner.

Penalty Stroke

A Penalty Stroke is awarded to the attacking team when any defender commits a major foul on any attacker. The attacking team is expected to take a shot from a seven-yard distance of the goal post, which only the goalkeeper is allowed to defend


A drive is a shot played with both the hands on the top of the hockey stick.


Flick is the action of raising the ball from the ground with a quick movement of the stick. The ball, however, should not raise more than 18 inches from the turf.

Reverse hit

Reverse hit is a shot played from the flat side of the stick by moving it 180 degrees above the ball.

Reverse Drive

Reverse Drive is a shot played from the inside edge of the stick using a backward swinging motion.


The action of controlling the ball with the stick using short strokes while being on the move.


Scoop is an action where a player raises a stationary or slowly moving ball in the air for a pass.


Jink is the action of lifting the ball over the defenders' sticks in a controlled manner.


A type of shot wherein the stick is kept very close to the ground while striking the ball.

Centre Pass

Centre Pass is a technique used to start the game of hockey. The ball is placed in the centre of the field from where the centre forward passes it at least one meter back to his teammate to get the action going.

Back Pass

A pass which is made towards the team in possession's own end is called a back pass. A back pass is usually made to either slow the game down or hold the possession for longer duration.

Flat Pass

A pass which is made straight to the left or right of a teammate is called a flat pass.


A foul committed by kicking the ball or using your legs to gain an unfair advantage.

Green Card

A card issued for minor violation or fouls by the referee. A green card warrants a two-minute suspension of the player from the play.

Yellow Card

A card shown to the player for intentional foul by a player during the play. A yellow card warrants a suspension of five-minute or more to the player depending on the referee's discretion.

Red Card

A card shown to the player for intentional foul like deliberate body contact or verbally abusing the referee. A red card warrants complete suspension of the player from the remaining duration of the match and for the team's next match.


Hooking is a type of foul called by a referee when a player puts his stick on an opponent's stick or any body part.

High Stick

A foul called by the referee for raising the hockey stick above the shoulder level is called high stick.


Obstruction is a type of foul wherein a defender tries to stop the attacker using a stick or block the attacker using the body.


Swatting is a foul called on the goalkeeper for making a swinging motion at the ball.

Raised ball

Raised Ball or High Ball is a foul called when a player hits the ball above 18 inches of the ground.


Hacking is a type of foul where a player hits the opponent's stick instead of the ball.

Dangerous Play

A foul called for anything which could result in a serious injury for a player is called Dangerous Play. It could be for anything like pushing, hacking, raising the ball towards an opponent less than five-yards away etc.


Circle or shooting circle is the semi-circle mark drawn in front of the goal post. It is also called The D.


A field or pitch is the playing area. A field is usually 91.4 meters long and 55 meters wide, which is divided by a center line.

Long Corner

A long corner is a shot awarded to the attacking team on the sidelines five yards from the backline. It is usually awarded when a defender sends the ball over the backline either intentionally or unintentionally.


Marking is a defensive strategy wherein the defenders position themselves in such a way as to clear the ball from the defensive zones.


Interception is the art of stealing the ball from the opponents.


Channel is a defensive tactic in which the defenders force the attackers to the sidelines and away from the goal.


Clear is a defensive approach to send the ball out of the 25-yard area.


Bully is a call made by the referee for restart of the play. The ball is put between two opposing players, who have to tap the stick thrice on the ground before trying to take the possession at the restart.


Tackle is an attempt to steal the ball from the opponent.

Side in

Side in or Push in is a pass made which brings the ball back into play after it has gone out of bounds.


Charging is a technique used to make the opponents commit fouls. In charging an attacker runs into a defender with the intention of playing the ball; if the defender blocks the charge with his body then he might be called for an obstruction foul.


A player in the team whose primary task is to score goals is called a striker or a forward.


The one player who is allowed to use protective gears and defend the goal is called a goalkeeper.


Defenders are the players who prevent the opposing team's attackers from having a shot at the goal post.


Players who play in the middle of the field are called midfielders. They have the responsibility of both attacking and defending. They are also called as the 'link'.

Center Forward

An attacker who plays in the middle section of the offense is called as a center forward. They are also referred to as strikers and their main duty is to score goals.

Center Halfback

The center halfback is usually one of the most vital cog in the wheel of a hockey team. A center halfback is required to play everything from offense to defence while ensuring the ball reaches everywhere from side to side and back to front.


A Fullback is a position in the defensive line and the player's main focus is on preventing the opponents from scoring.


The player who is given the duty of rushing forward to block a drag-flick during a penalty corner is called a rusher. Usually the rushing duties are handled by defenders of the team.


The player who injects the penalty corner from the backline is called an injector.


The pass which leads to a goal is called an assist.

Back line

The back line or end line is a painted line which indicates the end of the playing area. It is as big as the length of the field.

Goal line

The line between the goal post is called a goal line. A goal is considered to have been scored only if the ball crosses the goal line.


When an attacker is one on one against the goalkeeper having gone past all the defenders is called a breakaway.


Kicker is a protective gear worn by the goalkeepers which covers the front and sides of their shoes and thereby allows them to kick the ball with ease.

Passing Lane

The gap between two players which is exploited to pass the ball back and forth is called a passing lane.


Rebound is a term used to describe the ball getting back into play after the goalkeeper's successful save attempt.


Deflection means the redirection of the ball from its original path after a player's stick has touched the ball.