Indoor Hockey is Born

1. The ball can only be pushed – No back swing is allowed.

– When the push is made the stick must be near the ball and both the ball and the stick on the pitch.

– Players are not permitted to deliberately push the ball hard (or drill) into a player from close proximity.

– A “hit” involving a swinging movement towards the ball is NOT allowed. The stick is allowed some movement off the ball but movement greater than 30cm will be classed as a hit and a free hit should be awarded to the opposition.

– ‘Slap’ hitting is NOT allowed – A stick swing arc of approximately more than 30cm is also considered a hit. (Note: When the opposition player is within playing distance this distance should be lessened. Some discretion will be allowed when the ball is moved in defence and opposing player is over 5 metres away)

2. The ball must not be lifted (strictly enforced) EXCEPT when the ball is directly shot at goal.

 – Balls unintentionally rising less than 10cm (approximately ball height) should not be penalised unless an opponent is in the direct playing line or within playing distance of the ball.

 – No JINKING is allowed – unless the ball is being played as a shot ONLY DIRECTLY at the goal.

 3. The ball may be played off of the sideboards.

– Holding the ball against the boards to prevent a tackler from getting the ball is an offence

– If the ball travels over the boards a free push taken where it crossed the sideboards (unless inside the circle) play is re-started by a player of the team which was not the last team to touch or play the ball before it went out of play – the procedures for taking a free push apply.

4. A player may not play the ball while on the ground or while placing a knee, arm or hand on the pitch (other than the hand holding the stick).

-Three Point rule; a player cannot play the ball with more than two “points” on the ground. (One hand holding the stick does not count) This also applies to goalies when the ball is outside the circle.

5. On a free push the ball should be stationary

– all defenders must be at least 3 metres from the ball.

– if the free push to the attack is inside the attacking half the free push must be taken

3m from the circle and at least 1m from the side boards

ALL players must be 3 metres away

– The ball must not travel directly into the circle from the free push 3 metres from circle

– It may be deflected by a player or by the boards

6. If the ball is played over the back line

Unintentionally by ANY player, the award is a free push 9.10metres from the back line (or the level with the top of the circle) in line with where the ball went over.

– If the defence pushes the ball over the back line intentionally, the result is a penalty corner for the other team.

– Only if the Goalkeeper intentionally plays the ball over the back line should a corner be awarded


– The goalkeeper can play the ball in the circle while lying on the ground.

– A goalkeeper on the ground must not play the ball outside the circle.

– A goalkeeper can play the ball outside their own circle but they are treated as a field player.

– A goalkeeper or player with goalkeeping privileges wearing headgear cannot enter the attacking half.

– A goalkeeper may deflect the ball over the back line, but cannot play (push, kick, hit) it over the back line.

– If the ball becomes lodged in the keepers leg guards the games a penalty corner is awarded.


– A penalty is awarded for unintentional offences by defenders inside the circle, or intentional offences between the half-line and the circle.

– On a penalty corner only the keeper may be in the goal all other defenders must be behind the back line opposite the pusher out or behind the half line.

– Before a shot on goal can be taken the ball must travel outside the circle.

-The ball is placed 6 metres from either post and the pusher out must have one foot behind the back line.

– The ball can be flicked or lifted only directly at the goals.

– A Maximum period of 30 seconds is allowed for both attacking and defending teams to prepare if either team is not ready 1st offence green card, 2nd offence yellow card for 2 minutes.

9. Players MUST NOT obstruct the opposition player from playing the ball

– Players cannot back into another player

– Players cannot interfere with the stick or body of another player

– Players cannot shield the ball from a legitimate tackle with their stick or body

– Tacklers should not push into the opponent’s stick—the focus is on block tackling.

– The tackler or ball carrier cannot charge another stationary player

– A player must not tackle using their body or stick contact

– A player should not tackle the opposing player from behind.

10. Locked Ball: If the ball becomes ‘locked’ between two players facing in opposite directions, the players must attempt to allow the ball to be released.

– A player that carries the ball into the lock should be given the opportunity to release the ball – if the LOCK remains for more than 3-5 seconds the player that carried the ball into the lock should be penalized with a free hit against them.

– Where one player pulls back to allow the ball to release, the other player must not place the ball back into a ‘locked’ situation by pushing it forward (“Snowploughing”) a free hit should be awarded against this player.

– Umpires are encouraged to avoid using a bully to release the locked ball, and should encourage the players verbally to release the ball, if the umpire is uncertain of who caused the Lock a bully could be called.

– Defenders working together must not use the boards to block an opponent in and force them to drill out. The tackling team must allow a gap of at least 200mm (two ball widths) in their ‘wall’ to allow the player in possession to play the ball out if they wish. The player in possession must be firmly punished if they drill out of a ‘box’ when there is a gap provided.

11. Drilling: – The forceful playing of the ball deliberately into the opposing player or player’s stick that is positioned in front of the defending player intentionally to manufacture a free hit

– The opposing player would usually be set in a stationary position with the stick in a horizontal position in front of them and usually within 5 metres of the ball. The ball played deliberately into the set player or the players hand that is set should be penalized under the dangerous play provision

1st offence green card 2nd offence yellow card for 2 minutes. ** (If the ball is aimed wide of the player’s normal stance this should not be penalized)

 12. Spinning: (Rifling, Reefing) The deliberate act of circling with the ball in front of an opposing player and then forcefully playing the ball into the opposing player’s feet, stick or hands to intentionally force a foul. The ball carrier will generally either circle, spin or turn with the ball to protect the ball from the opposing players tackle then attempt to manufacture a free hit by drilling the ball into the opposing player. 1st offence green card 2nd offence yellow card for 2 minutes.