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Players competing for the ball at hockeyPlayers competing for the ball at hockey Hockey (known as field hockey in the USA and Canada where the word “hockey” is used for ice hockey) is a game in which two teams of 11 players attempt to strike a small, hard ball into the opponent's goal using a hockey stick. Hockey is played in two 35-minute halves. The team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. The game is popular among both sexes in many parts of the world. Men's hockey has been played at the Olympic Games since 1908 (except for 1912 and 1924), while the women's game has been an Olympic sport since 1980.

A hockey pitchA hockey pitch


Once played on grass, nowadays hockey is usually played on synthetic surfaces made from densely packed artificial fibres. The dimensions of the hockey pitch and goals were originally measured in yards and feet, but now their metric equivalents have been officially adopted. The pitch is 91.4 by 55 metres (100 by 60 yards). At each end is a goal 2.14 metres (7 feet) high and 3.66 metres (12 feet) wide. There are lines across the field 23 metres (25 yards) from each end-line and in the centre of the pitch. A penalty spot is positioned 6.4 metres (7 yards) from the centre of each goal. The shooting circle (actually a semicircle), also known as the D, extends a maximum of 15 metres (16 yards) from each end-line.

Hockey is the national sport of Pakistan. It was the national sport of India until 2012, when the Indian government declared that it had no national sport.

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