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The playing field for field hockey is 91,4 m × 55 m. The two halves of the pitch are each divided by a quarter line 22.9 m from the goal line. 6.40 m from the centre of the goal is the 7-metre point for penalty kicks. Outside of the regular point game, small field hockey (half a field) is also played. Today, the game is played predominantly on artificial turf, in former times on natural grass and hard pitches.
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Goal of the game
The goal is to shoot the plastic ball (approx. 7.5 cm diameter, previously made of leather or pressed cork) into the goal, whereby the ball is only played with the flat side of the bat and the goal shot is only allowed in the shooting circle. The ball must have been touched within the shooting circle by a player of the attacking team before crossing the goal line.
In hockey, protective equipment is mandatory to prevent injuries. The field player’s equipment is different from that of the goalkeeper. The field player wears a club jersey, trousers/skirt, shin pads, socks and a tooth guard. The goalkeeper wears a helmet, upper body protection under the jersey, padded trousers, plastic splints on the legs and kickers as shoes. In the hall, more and more wooden clubs are used again, while the plastic clubs have established themselves in the field.
A field hockey team consists of a goalkeeper and 10 field players (on the small field 6 field players and a goalkeeper (in hall 5 field players plus goalkeeper). Up to five substitutes are allowed, who may change at any time (interchanging). It is allowed to change as often as you want. Only between the imposition and completion of a penalty corner may there be no change. Exception in case of injury or suspension of the TW.
In contrast to other ball sports, hockey is basically a disembodied game, i.e. the opponent may not be pushed away or actively blocked. The ball may only be played with the bat. The hand on the racket may touch the ball but may not play actively. Only the goalkeeper may play with his whole body, foot and hand – but only in his own shooting circle. He may not play the ball in such a way that it becomes dangerous for another player. A ball is considered dangerous if it moves upwards from knee height near a player. It is allowed to play the ball while lying in the field, but not in the hall.
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Field hockey games last two times 35 minutes in the adult area and two times 30 minutes in the indoor area; in the youth area the game is played for a shorter time depending on the age group.
In contrast to indoor hockey, the ball may be hit or played high in field hockey as long as nobody is endangered. In the hall, flicking is only allowed as a goal shot. In field hockey, flicking is also used on the field to overcome greater distances and opponents. High balls in the shooting circle are allowed if they are goal shots. A goal counts if the shot was taken within the circle and even if a shot from outside the circle is still touched by an attacker in the circle. In the case of a penalty corner, the hit ball may rise higher than the goal board during its flight phase, but must have lowered back to board height up to the goal line. Alensball may hit the goal at any height. If a goal is prevented by a rule violation (e.g. foot, stick foul etc.), there is a 7M.
In the case of intentional rule violations in the shooting circle, the decision must be made on the basis of seven metres. In the case of intentional rule violations outside the shooting circle in one’s own quarter, the decision is to be made on the penalty corner. In the case of rule violations such as unintentional play with the foot or hitting a stick, the decision is made on free stroke for the disadvantaged team. If the ball crosses the side line, the opponent receives an impact from the point where the line was crossed. For free shots, a minimum distance of 5 metres must be maintained in the hall 3 metres (in this case also for other players).
The referees can show the players green cards (warning), yellow cards* and red cards. If a player breaks a rule a second time, which in the first case would have to be punished with the yellow card, he will be shown yellow-red and excluded from the game.
- Hall: 2m for disembodied fouls and 5m for physical fouls
- Field: 5m for disembodied and 10m for physical fouls
For the youth games, we are dependent on the fact that either older players than the parents who play or parents who travel with them lead the game, so that the coaches can take care of the teams. As a spectator or as a player, you perceive many situations differently from a referee. It is an important experience not only for adolescents to take on responsibility and then decide in fractions of a second and then carry this decision or even revise it.
What’s the goal in hockey?
A hockey stick made of reinforced wood or plastic and a hard plastic ball the size of a tennis ball are used as play equipment. The goal of the game is to score more goals than the opponent. The sport is played in the field on artificial turf or grass pitches (11vs.11), in winter indoor hockey (6vs.6) is played on handball sized pitches. Field hockey is of greater international relevance as it is an Olympic discipline. Nevertheless, indoor hockey is very popular among the spectators due to its speed and many goal scenes. In addition to the European Championships, World Championships are now also held every four years in the hall.
Why should you play hockey?
What makes hockey so fascinating – every active hockey player will surely give you an individual assessment. There are characteristics that are assigned to this sport more than others and that can often be heard in answers to the question of fascination. These include dynamics, technique, coordinative demands as well as fairness and team spirit.
Due to the fast-paced play of 22 active players (in hall 12 active players), who play with a wooden or plastic bat for the possession of the ball, a goal or the prevention of a goal, the rules are designed to prevent injuries. This works extraordinarily well in hockey if you look at the rather low ranking of the sport in the injury statistics.
What is fascinating about hockey is that girls find access to this sport as quickly as boys and practice it with just as much enthusiasm and success – after all, Germany’s men as well as its hockey ladies are bronze medallists at the Olympics and also reigning European champions.
Hockey can be played in all age groups. Thus, in addition to the league operation of children’s, youth and adult players, organized units and competitions take place in the parental area as described above, as well as on a national and international level in senior hockey.
The “hockey family” is first of all only a term that describes the strong cohesion among hockey players not only in Germany, but worldwide. The cohesion of this hockey family can be seen on all levels, in positive events and successes as well as in isolated strokes of fate.
At what age does it make sense to start hockey?
It is possible to familiarize a child from the age of 3 years with the sport of hockey in an appropriate training group (“Minis”, “Bambinis”).
What is the distribution of boys/girls?
In the youth field between 7 and 18 years this is quite balanced.
From the age of 19 it is currently about 60% men and 40% women.
Do boys and girls play hockey together?
In the lowest age groups the teams are mixed. From the age of 8 they are divided into girls’ and boys’ teams.
How many hours per week will hockey take?
- The children’s area usually offers 1-2 training sessions per week and regular weekend tournaments.
- In the youth and adult area the training expenditure amounts to on the average 2, in the performance area also 3-4 training units per week with the corresponding employments in the league enterprise at the weekend.
- The cadre athletes have additional units and measures on their training plans.
- One training unit for children lasts between 60 and 90 minutes. For adults, the training unit is usually 90-120 minutes.
How often do you train?
In the children’s area 1-2 units per week, in the youth area 2 (sometimes 3) units per week.
Is hockey played all year round or are there breaks?
In summer, outdoor hockey takes place on artificial or natural grass pitches. In winter hockey takes place in the hall. These are two separate competition rounds with partly different rules. During the school holidays there are normally no competitions in the junior area. During this time the training of the clubs is the responsibility of the respective clubs.
What is the minimum age for competitions?
Even the youngest hockey players take part in tournaments in which they play 3 or 4 games of up to 15 minutes in one day.
How many competitions take place?
The number of competitions depends on the respective tournament rounds of the respective age groups in the national federations.
How far are the journeys to competitions?
This is very different from region to region. While in conurbations such as Berlin, Hamburg or Munich many clubs are located in one city and thus short distances can be made possible, the clubs of regional associations have further journeys.
How much can/must one be involved as a parent?
Depending on the respective club structures, the parents are also involved in the necessary organisation, as is the case with other team sports. Most clubs now offer parental hockey as a sporting activity for the parents. Many parents have found their way to active hockey as “lateral entrants”.
What are the approximate membership fees?
- The membership fees are very different and depend on the structure of the association.
- They can start at approx. 100 Euro per year, but can also be as high as 450 Euro or more per year.
What equipment do you have to buy yourself and what does it cost?
Children’s racquets for field and indoor hockey can be purchased from approx. 20 euros. You need one racket for the hall and one for the field. Many clubs also have racket equipment available for newcomers. For this you need sports shoes for the field and the hall. Also recommended are shin guards (from approx. 10 Euro) and a mouthguard (from approx. 10 Euro).
How often is new equipment needed?
Hockey sticks for children should be adapted to your body size and must therefore also be purchased depending on it. Shoes should be purchased as needed.
What is the risk of injury?
The risk of injury is relatively low. The rules prevent any danger to the players as well as any action affecting the body.
Which injuries are typical?
Muscle and joint injuries in hockey are just as frequent or rare as in other team ball sports. Injuries caused by the material (hockey stick or ball) are rather rare.
Are there any long-term health effects?
In hockey, the usual late effects occur as in other (competitive) sports.