About the game
Ball in the air
In general play, the ball cannot be raised into the air when hit. It can though be raised by using a scooping or long pushing action of the stick. A player will be penalised if they lift the ball in a way which is dangerous to another player. When the ball is in the air, a player must not play it above shoulder height. A defender can use their stick at any height to save a shot at goal - because attackers are allowed to raise the ball when trying to score a goal. Many shots are raised because it is an effective way of scoring goals.
Field goals may only be scored from within the 'circle', which is actually a roughly semi-circular area in front of the opponents' goal. If an attacker hits the ball from outside the 'circle' and it goes into the goal or is touched by a defender on the way, it does not count.
If a defending team breaks certain rules, the other team can be awarded a 'penalty corner'. Normally this happens when a team breaks a rule within their own 'shooting circle', but these can also be awarded when a defender is guilty of a particularly bad foul in the defending quarter of the field.
For a penalty corner, play is stopped to allow the teams to take their positions. One attacker stands with the ball on the back-line. This player will 'push out' the ball to other attackers waiting to take a shot. The other attackers wait at the top of the shooting circle to get the ball.
Up to five defenders (including the goalkeeper) position themselves behind the back-line to defend. The rest must stay behind the half way line until the 'push out' is taken. The ball is 'pushed out' to one
of the attackers. Before a shot can be taken, the ball must first travel outside the circle. The receiver then usually pushes it back into the circle for a shot either by themself or another attacker.
If the first shot is a hit (as opposed to other types of shots, like a 'flick' or a 'scoop'), the ball must enter the goal no higher than than 460mm. It is easy to tell if the ball is at that height because the board at the back of the goal is the same height.