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Field Hockey Rules

What we bring
- Team uniforms

What you bring
- Sneakers or cleats (no metal cleats)
- A field hockey stick
- Mouthguard (recommended)
- Please do not wear any jewelry

Teams
- Games are 5v5 including a goalie. 
- If a team does not have a goalie, then they may have 5 players on the field. A defender can play in front of the goal line but not on the goal line, however they are still a field player and do not assume the abilities of a goal (i.e. no stick above the waist, no blocking ball with body). 

Sub Policy
- Please refer to the league "Subs" page: http://mercerclubsports.leagueapps.com/pages/subs.
- If you do not have enough players for the evening, you may borrow players from other teams in the league. There will be a 1 goal penalty for borrowing an in-league player. If a second in-league player is also substituting, then another goal penalty will be added to the previous 1 goal.
- You may register a Non-Rostered Substitute player as a substitute. Non-Rostered Subs must be registered through our website prior to arriving at the field. Non-Rostered Subs will pay $10 to play (given to the league manager) and must show proof of registration to referee when arriving at the field.
- Teams that require more than two subs to field a team will automatically forfeit.  Opposing team may choose to offer players to compete in scrimmage game if desired. The opposing team will be awarded a 5-0 score.

Playoffs

- The number of teams that make the playoffs will vary by league size.  
- Regular season play identifies the teams that will make the playoffs as well as seeding for playoff schedule.  If regular season win/loss records result in a tie for a playoff spot or higher playoff seeding, the playoff tiebreaker rules are as follows:

- Head to head match ups. If still tied, then refer to:
- Highest point differential in head to head match ups - if still tied, then refer to: 
- Highest point differential through entire season.

- Substitutes within the league are not allowed during playoffs.
Registered subs must have played at least 2 regular season games with the same team in order to be eligible as subs in playoff games.

Overtime
- A coin toss will determine possession.
- Regular season games will have a 5 minute overtime limit. Game will end in a tie if no score within 5 minutes.
- Playoff games will continue indefinitely, untimed until there is a score.

Game & Field Set-up
- Games consist of two 22 minute halves with a running clock. 
- Players can substitute at any time during active play without needing to stop the clock.
- Each team can use 2 timeouts per half. Timeouts are for one minute and play clock begins at the end of one minute.
- Direction of play will switch at half-time.
- A coin toss will determine which team gets the ball. 

Gameplay - Rules
- The ball starts at midfield.
All players other than the player taking the centre pass must be in the half of the pitch which includes the goal they are defending.
- Players must not obstruct an opponent who is attempting to play the ball. Players obstruct if they:
      - back into an opponent;
      - physically interfere with the stick or body of an opponent; or
      - shield the ball from a legitimate tackle with their stick or any part of their body.
- A stationary player receiving the ball is permitted to face in any direction
- A player with the ball is permitted to move off with it in any direction except bodily into an opponent or into a position between the ball and an opponent who is within playing distance of the ball and attempting to play it.
- A player who runs in front of or blocks an opponent to stop them legitimately playing or attempting to play the ball is obstructing (this is third party or shadow obstruction). This also applies if an attacker runs across or blocks defenders when a penalty corner is being taken.
- A goal is scored when an attacker pushes, flicks or scoops into the opponent's goal from within the scoring circle.
If a ball is played from outside the 'shooting circle' and it goes directly into the goal or is only touched by a defender on the way, it does not count as a score.

Gameplay - Safety
- A player may not lift the ball any higher than the knee.
- If a referee states that a backswing is dangerous to due the other players proximity then the ball will be awarded to the other team.
- No hacking
- No backswing

Penalties/Free Hits/Corners
- Three defenders are allowed on a corner.
- A penalty is awarded only when a player or team has been disadvantaged by an opponent breaking the rules. If awarding a penalty is not an advantage to the team which did not break the rules, play will continue.
A free hit is awarded to the opposing team:
      - For an offense by an attacker in the half of the pitch they are attacking; or
      - For an unintentional offense by a defender outside the circle but within the half of the pitch they are defending.
- A penalty corner is awarded:
      - For an offense by a defender in the circle which does not prevent the probable scoring of a goal; or
      - For an intentional offense in the circle by a defender against an opponent who does not have possession of the ball or an opportunity to play the ball; or 
      - For an intentional offense by a defender outside the circle but within the half of the pitch they are defending.



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