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Charge into the fast-paced universe of field hockey with the essential jargon that makes the sport tick!

Whether you’re a stick-wielding dynamo on the turf or a sideline strategist, mastering these 30 core terms will transform your chatter from novice to expert stick-handler.

Prepped to talk like a field hockey ace?

Dive stick-first into the game!

Must-Know Field Hockey Terms, Phrases and Slang:

  1. Backstick
  2. Bully
  3. Center pass
  4. Dribble
  5. Flick
  6. Goal circle
  7. Hit
  8. Injector
  9. Jink
  10. Long corner
  11. Marking
  12. Midfielder
  13. Obstruction
  14. Penalty corner
  15. Push
  16. Scoop
  17. Striker
  18. Tackle
  19. Tomahawk
  20. Trap
  21. Umpire
  22. 16-yard hit
  23. Advantage rule
  24. Carry
  25. Drag flick
  26. Flat stick
  27. Free hit
  28. Reverse stick
  29. Stick check
  30. Sweep

#1 Backstick

An illegal move where a player hits the ball with the rounded back side of their field hockey stick. It leads to a foul and possession is turned over to the other team.

#2 Bully

A method used to restart the game where two players tap their sticks together before competing for control of the ball. It’s a tradition reminiscent of how games were started in the past.

#3 Center Pass

The pass that starts the game and begins play after a goal is scored, taken from the center of the field. It’s a strategic moment for teams to gain initial control of the ball.

#4 Dribble

The act of maneuvering the ball on the field by tapping it with the stick while running. Dribbling requires skill and control to evade opponents and maintain possession.

#5 Flick

A quick, wrist-driven shot that propels the ball into the air towards the goal. A flick is often used during penalty corners and strokes due to its accuracy and speed.

#6 Goal Circle

Also known as the shooting circle, it’s the D-shaped area where attacking players must be inside to score a goal. Goals shot from outside this circle are disallowed.

#7 Hit

A powerful stroke made by swinging the stick at the ball, usually for long-distance passing or shooting at the goal. It’s a fundamental skill demonstrating both strength and precision.

#8 Injector

In field hockey, the injector is the player who puts the ball into play during a penalty corner. The injector pushes the ball out from the backline to their teammates positioned around the shooting circle, initiating the play.

#9 Jink

A nimble maneuver where a player swiftly lifts the ball over an opponent’s stick to avoid a tackle, effectively maintaining possession. This skillful technique adds a surprise element, often creating space for a shot or pass.

#10 Long Corner

Awarded to the attacking team when the ball is unintentionally played over the backline by a defender, a long corner involves a free hit from the corner of the pitch. It’s an opportunity to press the attack just outside the goal circle.

#11 Marking

A defensive strategy where a player is assigned to stay close to an opponent to prevent them from receiving the ball or making effective plays. Effective marking can restrict the opponent’s contribution to the game.

#12 Midfielder

A versatile player positioned in the middle area of the field, playing a crucial role in both defense and attack. Midfielders must have good stamina and ball-handling skills to support their team across the entire pitch.

#13 Obstruction

A foul occurring when a player uses their body or stick to prevent an opponent from playing the ball. The obstructing player may be penalized with a free hit awarded to the opponent.

#14 Penalty Corner

A vital set-piece awarded for an offense by the defending team inside their goal circle or for an intentional offense in the penalty area. The attacking team gets a chance to shoot on goal from a designated spot near the goal circle edge.

#15 Push

A basic but essential skill in field hockey, a push is a method of passing or shooting where the player uses a controlled movement to slide the stick along the ground before releasing the ball. This technique allows for accuracy and speed in ball distribution.

#16 Scoop

A technique used to lift the ball into the air by sliding the stick under the ball and lifting it quickly. The scoop is often used to pass the ball over longer distances or to clear defenders in congested areas.

#17 Striker

The forward-most player on a field hockey team whose primary role is to score goals. Strikers need to have a keen sense of positioning, precise stickwork, and a quick shot to outmaneuver defenders and the goalkeeper.

#18 Tackle

A defensive move aimed at taking the ball away from an opponent by intercepting their stick or the ball itself. Effective tackling requires good timing and coordination to avoid fouls and regain possession for the team.

#19 Tomahawk

Also known as the reverse stick hit, the tomahawk is a type of shot or pass made using the reverse side of the stick. This skillful maneuver is often used to surprise defenders and goalies with an unexpected shot angle.

#20 Trap

The action of stopping and controlling the ball, often using the stick, to gain possession or prevent the ball from going past a player. A good trap is essential for maintaining ball control and allows players to prepare for their next move.

#21 Umpire

An official responsible for enforcing the rules of the game during field hockey matches. Umpires ensure fair play, monitor for fouls, and manage the timing and safety of the game through their calls and signals.

#22 16-yard hit

A free hit awarded to the defending team when the attacking team unintentionally hits the ball over the backline or when an attacker commits a foul within the shooting circle. The hit is taken 16 yards from the goal line, approximately the top of the shooting circle.

#23 Advantage rule

A rule that allows play to continue if the team against which an infraction has been committed benefits more from the play continuing than from having the infraction called. The umpire may call back the play and penalize the original infraction if the advantage does not ensue.

#24 Carry

In field hockey, to carry means to maintain possession while moving the ball around the field with the stick. It’s crucial for advancing the ball and evading defenders, often seen in skilled dribbling maneuvers.

#25 Drag Flick

A drag flick is an advanced skill where the player propels the ball with a sweeping motion at high speed towards the goal, typically used during a penalty corner. It combines the power of a hit with the control of a push.

#26 Flat Stick

A defensive technique, the flat stick refers to placing the stick flat on the ground to stop or deflect the ball. This maneuver is effective for blocking shots or passes and is a fundamental defensive skill.

#27 Free Hit

After a minor foul, a free hit is awarded to the non-offending team similar to a free kick in soccer. It’s taken from where the infraction occurred and the opposing team must stand 5 meters away.

#28 Reverse Stick

The reverse stick is when a player uses the opposite, or backside, of the stick to control or shoot the ball. It’s a versatile move that adds unpredictability and can catch opponents off guard.

#29 Stick Check

A stick check is a defensive move aimed at dispossessing the opponent by knocking the ball away with one’s stick. However, careless stick checking can lead to fouls if not executed properly.

#30 Sweep

A sweeping motion used to hit the ball, where the player extends their arms and swings the stick in a wide arc close to the ground. This technique is used for passing over longer distances and can also be effective in defensive situations to clear the ball from danger areas.


What are some Field Hockey terms for beginners?

“Backstick,” “Dribble,” and “Push” are some Field Hockey terms beginners should start with. These relate to essential playing techniques and rules newcomers need to understand.

What are some funny Field Hockey terms?

“Bully” and “Jink” are some funny Field Hockey terms which add character to the sport, with ‘bully’ referring to a method to start or restart play and ‘jink’ describing a quick move to dodge opponents.

What is a famous Field Hockey phrase?

“A great save and clear by the keeper!” is a famous Field Hockey phrase, often exclaimed when the goalkeeper successfully stops a shot and clears the ball, highlighting a crucial defensive play.

Meet Rev, one of our dedicated team members who embodies the essence of sports passion. When heโ€™s not immersed in the world of sports content creation, Rev is busy honing his skills in esports and exploring the great outdoors through activities like hiking and basketball.

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