In news– India hosted the ongoing 15th Men’s FIH Hockey World Cup.
About Mens Hockey World Cup-
- The Men’s FIH Hockey World Cup is an international field hockey competition organised by the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
- The tournament was started in 1971. It is held every four years, bridging the four years between the Summer Olympics.
- Pakistan is the most successful team, having won the tournament four times.
- The Netherlands and Australia have each won three titles, and Germany has won two titles. Belgium and India(1975) have both won the tournament once.
- The 2018 tournament was held in Bhubaneswar, India from 28 November to 16 December.
- Belgium defeated Netherlands in a penalty shoot-out 3–2 after the match ended in a 0–0 draw to win their first World Cup title. The World Cup expanded to 16 teams in 2018.
- 16 teams per gender qualify to participate in the FIH Hockey World Cup through the Hockey World Cup Qualification Tournaments will participate in the FIH Hockey World Cup.
- The 2023 Men’s FIH Hockey World Cup is the quadrennial world championship for men’s national field hockey teams organized by the International Hockey Federation.
- The tournament was held at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar and at the Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium in Rourkela, India from 13 to 29 January 2023.
- This is the fourth time that India hosted the tournament including, 2018, 2010,1982.
India’s previous wins-
- Defined by break-neck pace, on the surface, hockey is a simple game to follow.
- Field hockey is a team sport played between two teams of 11 players each.
- Each team has one goalkeeper, who is permitted to use his hands and feet to prevent goals, defenders, midfielders and attackers, who are only allowed to use their sticks to control the ball.
- The coach determines the formation of a team which decides the distribution of the outfield players in the playing 11.
- The aim of the game is to score in the opposing team’s goal while preventing the opposition from scoring in yours.
- To advance the ball, players can either pass to their teammates using their sticks or dribble the ball – this is done by pushing the ball forward while running with it.
- Crucially, to score a goal, the scorer has to enter the opposition D – the D-shaped box 16 yards in front of the goal. A shot from outside the D is not counted.
- The playing area is a rectangle, marked with white lines on the blue astroturf on which the game is played.
Key terms used in Hockey-
Following are some of the commonly used terms by the commentators to describe hockey-specific rules and ways of play:
Types of hockey hits
Playing hockey requires tremendous skill and technique from the players. Players have to master various ways to hit the ball with their sticks and know the right situations to use them. Importantly, the players can only touch the ball with the flat part of the stick. A few common hitting techniques are,
- Standard hit: the most basic and commonly used technique to hit the ball. The player uses a swinging motion of the stick towards the ball to hit it.
- Sweep/Slap Hit: a similar motion as the one above, except closer and more parallel to the turf. It uses more power and generally, the ball sticks to the ground. Players will often use this type of hit to score a goal.
- Scoop: a hit where a player raises the ball off the ground by getting the head of the stick under the ball and using a lifting motion. This can be used with deftness to lift the ball above an outstretched goalkeeper as well as with more power to make long passes.
- Flick: a useful technique which also lifts the ball up, but with a jerking action of the wrists. It is generally used to score goals.
- Tomahawk/Reverse backhand: played with the edge of the stick when the stick is held in the reverse grip (sometimes called the frying pan grip). This is a useful technique, especially for right handed players playing on the left side and can be used to shoot or pass.
- Jink: is a typical skill used by a player while dribbling to lift the ball over the stick of another player.
Ways to win the ball-
An important aspect of hockey is defenders trying to win the ball back from the offence. To do this, they can employ some of the following techniques.
- Tackle: players are allowed to dispossess opponents using their sticks. A clean/legal tackle manages to dispossess the opponent by hitting them or their sticks with the defenders own stick.
- Interception: players can also intercept passes to regain possession.
Offences and resulting penalties-
- During the game, players can commit various offences which are then penalised. Some common fouls entail the ball touching your feet, tackling from behind, third party interference (two players are not allowed to tackle an attacking player at the same time), obstruction (when a player or a stick comes in between the ball and the other player) and dangerous play.
- Dangerous play can be called when the stick is raised above one’s waist or when the umpire deems that a player endangers the opponent in any way while attacking or defending the ball.
- Hitting the ball in the air is also not allowed, though this is often a subjective call made by referees.
Fouls are penalised in different ways-
- Free hits are awarded to the team against which a foul has been committed. Players are allowed to pass or carry the ball (upto three yards) during a free hit.
- Penalty Corners are awarded to the attacking team for an offence or foul committed by the defensive team in their own D. The ball will be placed on the baseline, and then passed to the teammates at the top of the attacking D for a shot on goal. Players use a technique called a drag flick to convert penalty corners. Penalty corners are among the most lucrative opportunities for teams to score.
- Penalty strokes are awarded for intentional fouls on an attacker who has possession of or opportunity to play the ball in the circle or for fouls in the penalty circle that prevent a “certain goal.” These are the most severe penalties given in hockey.