There are several ways to score a goal in field hockey. But, the most important rule to remember is that the ball must be touched within the shooting circle to count as a goal — there are no exceptions. Goals can be scored on a:
Understanding short corners can be very confusing. It is a power play awarded to the offensive team when the defense commits a foul inside the shooting circle. The offensive team is allowed to set up around the shooting circle with as many field players as desired.
The defensive team is only allowed five players (including the goalie) to defend the goal. The remainder of the defensive team must wait behind the center line until the ball is put into play by the offense. At that point, the players waiting behind the line may run back to help defend.
For a few seconds during this power play, the offense almost doubles the number of defensive players. This is why most goals are scored off short corners.
Another way to score is with a field goal — a goal scored during regular field play. The only catch to this form of scoring is that the ball must be touched within the shooting circle for it to count as a goal. So, if you’re a parent at your son or daughter’s game, think twice about jumping up for a long goal — it may not have counted.
Lastly, goals can be scored by penalty strokes. These are shots awarded to a player whose team was severely fouled inside the shooting circle. A player chosen by the fouled team is allowed to take a single shot, one-on-one, with the goalie. If she makes it, she receives a point for her team. If she misses, the defensive team takes a 16-yard hit after the play has ended.