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All You Need to Know About Field Hockey 5s

All You Need to Know About Field Hockey 5s

Hockey 5s is a variation of the traditional and much-loved game of field hockey. It has been gaining traction in the last few years, thanks to its increased accessibility, affordability, and excitement. This guide will introduce the basics of hockey 5s and explain why it’s becoming so popular. 

What Is Hockey 5s? 

Hockey 5s is an intense variation on regular field hockey that focuses on speed, agility, and strategy. The main difference between it and traditional field hockey is that the teams are reduced from 11 players to just five (4 Field players and a goalie), the field is less than a quarter of a traditional hockey field and is surrounded by rebound boards so the ball is always in play. This smaller team and field size in conjunction with the rebound boards requires players to think quickly on their feet in order to succeed while also allowing them to develop more advanced skills since they have fewer teammates to rely on.

Using the rebound boards like cushions on a pool table adds a new dimension the game with players being able to bounce balls around opponents. The smaller team size forces everyone into a more involved and strategic role since there are fewer people covering each position. Added to that goals can be scored from anywhere within the attacking teams half which means the goalies are always in the action.

Benefits of Hockey 5s 

The biggest benefit of Field Hockey 5s for clubs and associations is its reduced player numbers. Creating teams is considerably easier allowing clubs to grow in player numbers especially at junior level. Since there are fewer players, games move much faster than regular field hockey games do. This also pushes each player’s fitness level higher since they need to be able to sprint back and forth across the pitch at a moment's notice.

Additionally, this version of the sport helps improve reaction time as well as ball control skills; with only five players on each side, every player has more opportunities for touches which can help improve their technique over time. Finally, because it moves so quickly, it encourages teams to communicate better since they don't have time to ponder their next move before executing it. 


Rules of Hockey 5s 

Essentially the rules of Hockey 5s are same as traditional field hockey with the exception of a few.

  • Shoot anywhere from within attacking half to score.

  • Ball can be deflected off the perimeter rebound boards

  • Ball may be lifted any height provided it is safe.

  • Full hit allowed but can be limited for safety to suit ability levels.

  • Goalkeepers can kick ball within their own half.

  • 1 v 1 challenges from quarter line for accidental fouls in the challenge area.

  • Penalty stroke for intentional or goal stopping fouls in the challenge area.


Hockey 5s offers many benefits that are appealing for associations, clubs, and individual players alike. With its shorter duration, reduced cost, and increased excitement factor, it's no wonder that this variation on our favourite sport has become so popular in Europe over the past few years! 

If you are a club or association looking for ways to grow your sport in your area Hockey 5s is the ideal vehicle. With its fast-paced action players are always involved and never left out of the action.

In our next post we will go into some of the rules of Hockey 5s



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