Hockey combines pace, skill and teamwork in a high-intensity
contest that is regarded as one of the top team-sport drawcard at each Olympic
Two teams of 11 players, face-off over 60minutes (15min
quarters) with the key objective, to outscore your opponents.
Goals can only be scored from inside the semi-circle at
either end of the pitch, with shots from outside this area, requiring a touch
or deflection once inside the circle to be considered legal.
Both teams sport 10 outfield players with a goal keeper, wearing
protective padding, defending the last line. Goal Keepers are the only players
permitted to touch the ball with their body. All outfielders must use the open
faced-side of their hockey stick, to control, dribble, pass and shoot.
Fouls committed within the circle, are penalised with the
award with a penalty corner, allowing the attacking team to inject the ball from
the baseline to the outer edge of the circle, where it can then be re-entered,
for a strike on goal.
Hockey has been an Olympic sport since 1908 (London) with India’s
men’s team once recording a 32 year stranglehold of the Olympic gold medal,
until rivals Pakistan broke their sequence by claiming gold in Rome 1960.
Women’s hockey entered in Moscow 1980 – with Zimbabwe
claiming the first ever gold medal. Many countries – Australia included – didn’t
compete at this edition due to a political boycott.
Australia has won gold in both men’s and women’s competition
previously, with the men heading into Rio as the gold medal favourites. They’ve
earned bronze in the two most recent editions at Olympic level, but are ranked
world number one in Brazil, having won the most recent World Cup.
The women’s team are eyeing their first Olympic medal since
they claimed gold at Sydney 2000. The Netherlands and Argentina remain the
Hockeyroos’ sternest challenge to Rio success.
Three Western Australian athletes will be in action in
Brazil, with the Kookaburras fielding triple Olympian Fergus Kavanagh and
debutant Aran Zalewski, whilst Kathryn Slattery is the sole WA rep for the
To follow WA’s hockey athletes in Rio, view their bios
below, including information on when they’re in action in Brazil.