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UK Sports

How long is a field hockey match?


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May 04, 2010 11:04PM

A field hockey game has two halves of 35 minutes (this is often shortened for younger grades and some tournaments) with a halftime of 5 minutes (also often increased to 10 minutes in higher grades and internationals). Time is stopped at certain points in the game - at the umpire's discretion only - for injuries, penalty strokes, personal penalties and disruptions to the game.

Depending on competition rules, the game may be lengthened by a set amount of time in the event of a draw/tie; in international competition this is often a period or two of 7.5 minutes, ending as soon as one team scores. If the score is still tied, the game moves to penalty strokes where 5 players from each team take alternate turns to score a goal from the penalty spot against the goalkeeper. If scores are still tied after the 10 strokes (5 from each team) then the game is set to sudden death - the first team to fall behind in score loses.

Thus, a game normally lasts around 80 minutes. An injury or other timestop can bring this up to 90 minutes. A very badly behaved game can take this further to 95. A game that requires extra time will extend the game by up to 20 minutes, and strokes can add another 10 minutes (more for sudden death). The longest a game might take is then about 120 minutes, or 2 hours from starting whistle to finishing goal.