What you need to know about the field hockey offense?

Elvis Elvis

In order to score goals in field hockey, you need a strong field hockey offense. To achieve this you need to position yourself for the best shots on the field. Theoretically, it is very simple to make this statement. But in reality it is far more difficult to achieve. The activities in the hockey field, a field of 100 yards* 60 yards (91.4 meters* 55 meters) rectangular in shape is not uncontrolled or a free for all.

When the game is played inside this rectangular field it involves convenient and not so convenient rules to make the game attractive, competitive and above all to reduce the sustaining of injuries to the lowest possible level.

The violation or infringement of any of these rules in the field will result in the abrupt stopping of play by the umpire with a “change over” occurring. A change over is when the field hockey offense releases control of the ball to the defense.

Infringements or violations may be anything from an unintentional obstruction to contact of the opposing player’s foot. A defender of the team who has been awarded the possession comes forward to take the ball, keeping all other players 5 yards away from the ball. The defender may either sweeps, hit or pass on the ball to a convenient seam. She pushes the ball to a line of waiting players who all simultaneously rush forward attempting to gain control of the ball.

What you need to know about the field hockey offense?

This limitation of the game can be over come with the understanding of the advantages of the zone. We have to divide the field into 5 zones with the imaginary line of demarcation. If one stand in the centre of the field and look into the other goal post, the place where one stand ahead of it is 1(one), the 2nd is the left side of the 1(one), the 3rd is the right side of the 1(one), 4th is the left side of the 2(two) and the 5th is right side of the 3(third), like below:

(4)     (2)      (1)
(3)    (5)

Even numbers are on the left side and the odd numbers are on the right side.

This type of imaginary demarcation of the field in the mind of the players will improve the tactical dealings of the game. The player who is in possession of the ball evaluate the best possible zone and pass on the ball aiming that zone after give a shout of the number of the zone. This will help the other team mates to visualize how they are supposed to react and unleash the attack. The goal is aimed from different places and the rushing players will take position behind the defending players.

For this we have to consider the formation of the team. Though there are more than one formation are being practiced, the most commonly practiced formation is 3-2-2-3. How this is shown in the field with 11 players:

(4)   (2)    (1)  (3)     (5)

LW       CF       RW

LFL         RFL

LDL         RDL

LHB       FB     RHB


Goal. The Goal Keeper

LHB. Left Half Back

FB. Full Back

RHB. Right Half Back

LDL. Left Defense Link

RDL. Right Defense Link

LFL. Left Forward Link

RFL. Right Forward Link

LW. Left Wing

CF. Centre Forward.

RW. Right Wing

The four links i.e. the RFL, LFL, RDL and LDL are kept as two pairs to give the needed thrust in the field. They have to act as both defensive and offensive as the situation warrants. In the event of a forward thrust, the two i.e. LFL and RFL rushes forward and to be with the forward players to give the absolute support of the attack. At the same time the back links i.e. LDL and RDL will be moving up and down and mostly to up to give the ball always at the end of the opponents. This gives the seven players at the attacking end to have full concentration and at the same time the three at the back gives the solid defense. Though the three defenders i.e. LHB, FB and RHB may move up to have any unforeseen support they have to be totally committed to push and clear the ball so that it will have to be at the attack zone. The figurative representation is as follows i.e. the ATTACK:

(4) (2) (1) (3) (5)




If on the other hand if the attackers have to be forced to the defensive position, then the attacking part will be taking a reverse position, till the ball is again pushed towards the opposite. This representation is as follows i.e. the defense.

(4) (2) (1) (3) (5)




The three forward line players will remain on or above the 25 yard line to keep up the momentum of attack at the appropriate time. They are not supposed to cross the 25 yard line of their own defense line.

This method we have to take in such a way that the defenders take defense in the defensive zone and the forwards take on field hockey offense and defense in the opponent’s defensive area. The two pairs of the links i.e. LFL, LDL and RFL, RDL are the skilled players in the field. They will reinforce the defenders increasing to five at the time defensive action and the same pairs will reinforce the attackers to seven for a concentrated attack on the opponent’s defense.

One of the important aspects is that as the ball reaches the scoring area the forwards have to be in a controlled state of movement. It is to be ensured that they may not go too far inside but to keep a comparatively safe distance. As the ball reaches to them they are to take and rush towards the goal. On the other hand if they are too much deep inside, the situation may come in such a fashion that they have to return back and get the ball and again rush towards the goal. This definitely is not a clear step in the field hockey offense game.