2019 Field Hockey Rules Book

By Sabbie Heesh

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) updates the official field hockey rules every two years. Ensure you are up to date with the latest FIH rules released in 2019. The FIH will avoid making any major changes to these rules until after the next Olympic Games (Tokyo, 2021).

The 2019 edition of the rules book came into effect on January 1st 2019 at International level, with National Associations free to choose the date of their implementation. It is important to note that the same rules also apply to all top domestic league levels, unless a National Association chooses to opt out of certain rules by applying to the FIH to do so. Additionally, National Associations may also apply to the FIH to opt out of certain rules at levels below their top domestic leagues and/or for particular age groups.

A summary of the adjustments to the Rule of Hockey 2019 can be found below:

  • The match format of four quarters is now standard.
  • A mandatory experiment is introduced with effect from 1 January 2019 taking out the option for teams to play with a Field Player with Goalkeeping Privileges. Teams have now two options: they either play with a Goalkeeper who wears protective equipment comprising at least headgear, leg guards and kickers and who is also permitted to wear goalkeeping hand protectors and other protective equipment, or they play with Field Players only. Any change between these options should be treated as a substitution.
  • Rule 13.2.f. It has now been made clear that players other than the attacker taking the free hit, must be at five metres distance, including when they are in their circle. If the attacker however chooses to take the free hit immediately, then defenders who are inside the circle and within five metres from the ball, may shadow around the inside of the circle as per the explanation of the Rule before 2019.
  • As in Indoor Hockey a defender may now take a free hit awarded in the circle anywhere inside the circle or up to 15 metres from the backline in line with the location of the offence, parallel to the side-line.
  • Rule 13.6 that described the completion of a penalty corner for substitution purposes and for a penalty corner at the end of a period, was deleted. The option that a penalty corner is completed when the ball travels outside the circle for the second time, no longer exists.


All changes or clarifications in the Rules of Hockey 2019 are indicated by a line in the left-hand margin against the relevant text.


To download the FIH Rules of Hockey 2019, click here.

Source: FIH 






More News