About the game
If the first shot is a 'scoop' or a 'flick' (shots that are lifted into the air with a long scooping or pushing action of the stick) then the ball can cross the goal-line at any height. Once the attacker on the back-line begins to push the ball out, the defenders on the back line may move into the circle.
A penalty stroke may be awarded for a number of reasons, the most common being an offence by a defender in the circle that prevented a goal. In a penalty stroke, a shot is taken by one player and defended only by the goalkeeper. The shot is taken from 6.4 meters directly in front of the goal. All other players must stand outside the circle, about 23 metres away. Match time is stopped during a penalty stroke.
For general offences, a free hit is given against the team which fouled. Common fouls are obstructing an opponent from playing the ball, interfering with the stick or body when tackling, kicking the ball and playing the ball dangerously.
For a free hit, opponents are given the ball where the offence took place. The ball is initially stationary and play will often be re-started by passing the ball to a teammate nearby while all opponents are 5 metres away. However, the player taking the free hit can also begin to dribble the ball him/herself.
Duration of a match
A regulation hockey match lasts 70 minutes - which is broken into two halves of 35 minutes each with a break of 5 to 10 minutes. The team with the most goals at the end of the 70 minutes is the winner.
It is also possible for a match to end in a draw. But in some matches - such as a championship game - there must be a winner. In those cases, a match which is tied, it goes into extra time (the first team to score wins), and if necessary, to a shootout.