? Table of Contents


6.1 A game shall be played between 2 teams of not more than 16 players each, but not more than 11 players of each team shall be on the field at the same time. Each team is permitted to substitute from the maximum of 16 players.

6.2 Substitution:

  1. permitted at any time except after the award and during the taking of a penalty corner when substitution is only permitted for injury to or suspension of the defending goalkeeper
  2. no limit to the number of players who may be substituted at the same time nor to the number of times any player may substitute or be substituted
  3. substitution of a player may be made only after a player from the same team has left the field
  4. time shall not be stopped for substitutions except for goalkeepers
  5. substitutes shall not be permitted for suspended players during their suspension
  6. after completing a suspension, a player may be substituted without first returning to the field
  7. players leaving or entering the field shall do so at the centre-line or such other place on the side of the field decided by the umpires before the game.

6.3 Each team must have one goalkeeper on the field:

  1. an incapacitated or suspended goalkeeper shall be replaced immediately by another goalkeeper
  2. where no substitute goalkeeper is available, the field player replacing the goalkeeper must wear protective headgear and a shirt of a colour different from those of either team and shall be permitted to put on, without time-wasting, other protective equipment
  3. during the suspension of a goalkeeper, the team must have one less player on the field.

6.4 During play only players and umpires may be on the field unless authorised by the umpire.


7.1 Each team must have a captain on the field who must wear a distinctive arm-band.

7.2 Captains shall:

  1. toss a coin; the winner shall have choice of ends or possession of the ball to start the game
  2. indicate to the umpires any replacement captain
  3. be responsible for the substitution of players
  4. be responsible for the behaviour of all their team players.


Two umpires shall control the game and apply the Rules; they are the sole judges of fair play. Players and substitutes, whether on or off the field, including any period of temporary or permanent suspension, are under the jurisdiction of the umpires.

8.1 Umpires shall be:

  1. primarily responsible for the decisions in their half of the field, for the whole of the game without changing ends
  2. responsible for ensuring that the full or agreed time is played and for indicating the end of the first half and of the game if time is prolonged for completion of the penalty corner
  3. solely responsible for decisions on the ball going out of play for the full length of their nearer side-line and back-line
  4. solely responsible for decisions on corners, penalty corners, penalty strokes and goals in their own half and free hits in their own circle
  5. responsible for keeping a written record of goals scored and warnings/suspensions
  6. debarred from coaching during a game and during half-time.

8.2 Umpires shall blow the whistle to:

  1. start and end each half of the game
  2. enforce a penalty
  3. start and end a penalty stroke
  4. indicate, when necessary, that the ball has passed wholly outside the field
  5. signal a goal
  6. re-start the game after a goal has been scored or awarded
  7. re-start the game after a penalty stroke in which a goal was not scored or awarded
  8. stop the game for any other reason and re-start after such a stoppage.