Field Hockey 101

How big is a hockey field?

A hockey field is approximately 100 yards long and 60 yards wide. The field is divided by 4 25-yard lines. At each end of the field a 16-yard semicircle (penalty circle) is also clearly marked. Five yards outside the penalty circle is another broken circle.

What equipment do we need?

Every player must have a stick, mouthguard, eye guards, and shin guards. No jewelry may be worn during game play. This includes any earrings, bracelets (including rope ones) and metal hair clips. The home team is usually in white shirts and socks and the visitor wears dark.

Side note: Every stick is right-handed. The left hand should always be at the top of the stick with the right hand below it. Unless performing a jab, two hands should be on the stick at all times.

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How long is a game?

Middle school game times may be agreed upon by the coaches, but a typical game consists of two 20-25 minute periods with a running clock. If a game is tied at the end of the second half, the score remains a tie. C and JV games are usually 25 minute halves with a running clock. Varsity games are 30 minute halves with time stoppage after each goal. At the varsity level, if the game is tied at the end of regulation time, one 10 minute 7 v 7 full field sudden victory period is played, followed by a 1 v 1 to goal, if necessary.

How many players are on a field and what are the positions?

A full field game consists of 10 field players and a goalkeeper. The positions are forwards, midfielders, and defensive players.

What do all those whistles mean?

  • The ball can only be hit with the flat side of the stick. Call: wrong side of the stick.
  • The ball cannot be played with the feet or hands. Call: advancing.
  • The stick cannot be used to hit another player or their stick. Call: stick obstruction, or hacking.
  • Player must be in control of her stick at all times. Swings should be kept below shoulders. Call: dangerous stick.
  • A ball cannot be played in the air into a crowd of players. Call: dangerous play.
  • Ball may be lifted into space or over players. A lifted shot to goal is legal
  • A player may not use her body to keep an opponent from getting the ball. Call: obstruction (sometimes when players are dribbling and the ball gets behind them or in between their legs, the team gets a whistle called for obstruction. To prevent this, players should try to keep the ball in front of them while dribbling.)
  • A teammate may not set a “pick” or keep an opponent from getting to the ball. Call: second or third player obstruction. (This is called when players bunch up.)

To begin the game:

All teammates are lined up on their half of the field. Ball is placed in the center of the field and at the sound of the whistle may be put into play. The ball may be passed back or forwards to a teammate.

Free hits and restarts:

Every time there is a whistle blown, the official will point which direction the ball is heading. The fouling team must back five yards away from the ball. We discourage the girls from “helping” to put the ball where the foul occurred for the other team, as this can be misinterpreted as poor sportsmanship and may result in the opponent getting to move the ball up 10 yards. (Call: Advance 10)

The team who is awarded the free hit may restart the ball by passing it to a teammate or simply by dribbling. Once the call has been made and the ball is stationary, the awarded team may self-start and does not have to wait for the fouling team to organize. Therefore, we encourage quick self-starts when on attack.

When taking a free hit inside our attacking 25-yard line, we must move the ball five yards to either side by either dribbling or passing before hitting straight into the penalty circle.

The ball must be shot from inside the penalty circle to count as a goal.

Penalty corners:

  • If a defensive foul occurs inside the circle, a penalty corner is awarded to the attacking team. The ball is placed on a hash line outside the goal and an attacker (inserter) puts the ball into play by passing it to a teammate at the top of the circle. The ball must come out of the circle before it is brought back in for a shot to goal.
  • Defense may have four players plus a goalkeeper back when a corner is taken. We have a “rusher” who goes to the ball, two “trailers” who go on either side of the rusher to make a wedge. The “post” player lines up behind the keeper to clear any loose balls.

Long hits:

  • If a defender clears a ball out of bounds or unintentionally across the end line, a long hit is awarded to the attacking team. The ball is placed on the sideline five yards up from the end line. Since the ball is inside the 25, it must go five yards before it is hit into the circle.

16-Yard Hit:

  • If the attacking team fouls inside the circle or hits a ball out of bounds, a 16-yard hit is awarded to the defensive team. A defender picks up the ball with her hand and places it even with the top of the circle. The ball should come straight up from where the foul occurred.

The Weekly Rundown

2016-17 Season

10/11  Varsity field hockey brought home another W with a 5-0 victory over Brentwood. Goals scored by: Morgan Sickels, Ashley Peterman, Callie MacDonald, Taylor Siebenman, and Haley Schmer. Assists by Schmer, Peterman, Sickels and Hallie Kaiping. Shutout by Sarah Melaragno. Great work, Cats!

10/6   Yesterday, Varsity field hockey celebrated their seniors in an intense match up versus Barat academy. After going down 1-0 the first half, Sidney Keane found Lexi Berra who broke through the defense to tie the game. After 10 minutes of overtime, the game went into 1 v 1s. Thanks to goals by Morgan sickles and Sophie Clement, and the goaltending skills of Sarah Melaragno, the cats were able to prevent a lost, with a 3-3 tie.

10/3  The C team won against Villa Saturday 3-1! Ava Bidner scored all three goals with an assist by Abrielle Danna.

9/29  The Varsity Wildcats get another W with a 5-1 victory against Notre Dame. Goals were scored by Morgan Sickels, Sidney Keane, Lexi Berra, and 2 for Haley Schmer. Assists by Schmer, Berra, and Keane. A stellar defense by Bekah Warren helped secure the win.

9/23  Yesterday JV field hockey won 1-0 with an assist by Claudia Calvo and a goal by Rachel Rothrock. Emma Kaiping also stepped up to play goalie even though she’d never done it before for a shutout.

9/21  Varsity field hockey battled back from a 0-3 deficit against University City, scoring 3 goals in the last 15 minutes of play. The Lions defeated the Cats in OT but kudos to our girls for staying in the game and never giving up! Haley Schmer and Morgan Sickels tallied a goal and an assist a piece. Hallie Kaiping earned her first assist and Taylor Siebenman found the back of the net for her third goal of the season! Sarah Melaragno came up with 9 huge saves to keep the Cats in the game.

9/16 Great day for WCA field hockey. All together, varsity, JV, and middle school out scored their opponents 8-0! Varsity had a 3-0 win over Clayton, thanks to an unassisted goal by Haley Schmer and 2 (yes, 2) Lexi Berra to Taylor Siebenman goals AND a shutout by our birthday girl, Sarah Melaragno. JV brought home a 4-0 win over Clayton. Melaragno and newcomer Meredith Grass shared the shut out. A pair of goals were scored by Olivia Dimitri and an amazing team effort was given by all! And finally, the middle school team brought home their first victory with a score of 1-0 over Whitfield!

9/15  Varsity beat Clayton 3-0 and JV won 4-0  with Olivia Demetry scoring two goals and Lily Rohlfing scoring one.

9/8  WCA field hockey continues to gain momentum. Ava Bidner found the back of the net to help the C team tally a 1-1 tie to John Burroughs. JV defeated Webster Groves 1-0, thanks to Claudia Calvo’s game winner and a shutout by Sarah Melaragno. Varsity let 2 quick goals by in the first 10 minutes but then held the Statesmen scoreless for the last 50 minutes of play, thanks to a stellar defense lead by Hannah Sturr and Alayna Marusiodis. 

2015-16 SeasonRead more

10/21  V Field Hockey pulled out a 2-1 win against Lindberg last night to end their 2015 season with a WIN!   Losing 0-1 mid game, they tied it up 1-1 during the second half. They scored again with less than 2 minutes to go in the game to win 2-1. Congrats JV!!

9/22  Double W for WCA! V 1-0, JV 2-1.  Two intense games…two phenomenal wins!n  Both Varsity and JV WCA Field Hockey won their games today against Clayton today at home. Way to go Cats!!!! We are proud of you.

9/15  Congrats to the Varsity field hockey team for their First Win… First Shutout… and First Hat Trick. Beating Brentwood 5-0.

9/10  Last night, under the lights, on the turf, the WCA JV Field Hockey team won 1-0 against Pattonville.   The game proved to be a display of heart and hard work. The girls dominated the entire game, keeping the ball in the opponents’ end and firing numerous shots on goal.  Though we mainly play on grass, the girls demonstrated great pushes, sweeps, pulls, and other effective stick work that is essential on turf.  We continue to be proud of the girls.

9/4  Wow…what a game. WCA JV tied previously undefeated Parkway South 0 to 0.WCA displayed excellent passing, stick work, block tackles, shots on goal, and drives. We were on offense much of the time. Our girls communicated on the field, encouraged one another, and played with obvious intensity. They hustled, regardless of the heat. One of our shots went into the goal but was called back.
They did not hold back. The game was again, a group effort.

8/24  History was made yesterday at Lutheran South. Lucy Kehr scored the first varsity field hockey goal EVER at WCA. If YOU want to be a part of WCA history, come to the varsity field hockey home opener this Friday, 8/28, at 4:15.
C team won 2-0 again Ursuline and lost 0-2 against Marquette.  So proud of the girls for putting in all their effort during a double header!!

Girls Field Hockey

It has only taken three short years for the Westminster girls field hockey program to evolve into a five-team program that includes over 60 girls. This year, the Wildcats will play a full varsity, JV, and C schedule as well as participate in 7th and 8th grade middle school contests.

This season, the girls are determined to establish themselves as a thriving and competitive program. Moreover, they are proud to be making Westminster history by participating in the 2015 inaugural season.

Field Hockey Coaches

Nancy Schmer
Varsity Head Coach

Jamie Kuhn
Varsity Assistant Coach

Jennifer Johnston
C-Team Coach

@wcafieldhockey