The Rules of Walking Hockey – 4 February 2018

The Rules follow:

“The rules are the appropriate rules of 11-a-side field hockey except for the following…”

  • All players are restricted to walking, meaning that when in motion at least one foot must be touching the pitch at all times
  • No goalkeepers
  • The ball must stay below knee height
  • The stick must remain below waist height
  • Slapping of the ball is not allowed
  • No hitting
  • No physical contact
  • In social / recreational competitions and social sessions there is leniency on feet and back of stick use
  • If the ball gets accidently raised (squeezed) it must drop to the pitch before it can be played.

Player numbers and pitch dimensions

  1. This is a five-a-side game, with substitutes
    1. There is no goal keeper. There is no option to play with a kicking back.
    2. The format can be single-gender or mixed
      1. If mixed, at least 2 players of each gender must be on the pitch at all times
    3. The playing area will measure 23m wide by 27.5m long


  1. At each end, there will be a ‘Scoring Zone’ 9m from the baseline of the pitch and running across the full width of the pitch. Goals may only be scored from within this zone. The normal rules affecting play in an 11-a-side pitch ‘D’ apply in this zone unless otherwise stated
    1. Shots cannot be lifted and only count if they cross the goal line at pitch level

Restarts, corners and free-hits

  1. In the case of any free-hit or restart being awarded, all players should be at least 3 meters away from the ball carrier
    1. Defenders caught within 3 meters are not allowed to interfere with play until the ball has travelled 3 meters
    2. The ball must be moved 3 meters before a shot is taken. These 3 meters can be taken directly in to the Scoring Zone
  2. Clearance – (equivalent of a ‘16’ hit) – If the ball has travelled over the baseline and was last hit by the attacking team, play restarts with the defending team in possession on the Scoring Zone line, in-line with where the ball went out of play
  3. PowerPlay – (equivalent of a long corner) – If the ball has been unintentionally hit over the baseline by the defending team, play restarts with the attacking team in possession on the Scoring Zone line in-line with where the ball went out of play
    1. The ball must travel 3 meters before a shot can be taken. These 3 meters can be directly in to the Scoring zone
  4. Penalty corners and Penalty Flicks will be replaced by a ‘Challenge’


  1. The procedure for a Challenge is as follows:
  2. Time and play is stopped
  3. One attacking ball carrier starts with the ball 2 meters outside the Scoring Zone line, on the challenge marker
  4. One defending player is permitted.
    1. The defender starts 3 meters inside the Scoring Zone line, on the challenge marker. As soon as the ball has been played by the attacking player, the defending player is permitted to move. The defender still plays as an outfield player and can only use their stick to play the ball
  5. All other players must position themselves on the half way line
  6. When the attacker and defender are in place, the whistle is blown
  7. As soon as the attacker plays the ball, all players are permitted to re-engage, attempt to play the ball, and open play resumes as normal
  8. If an intentional foul is committed:
    1. By the attacker, then the defence are awarded a free hit
    2. By the appointed defender, then the Challenge will be re-set


Match duration can be flexible to suit circumstances

  1. The standard recommendation for game time is 24 minutes. This can be split as either:
    1. Two halves of 12 minutes, with a 4 minute half time break (Total = 28 minutes)
    2. Four quarters of six minutes, with a 1 minute tactical quarter break and a 4 minute half time break (Total = 30 minutes)

For tournament structures, to fit in more games, the following can be used:

  1. Two halves of 6 minutes, with a 3 minute half time break (Total = 15 minutes)



  1. All mid- to high- level competitions are expected to have at least one umpire per game.
    There are also the following recommendations:

    1. High level competitions are strongly recommended to have two umpires per game
    2. All other competition levels are recommended to have at least one umpire per game, and two if available
    3. Low-level/recreational competitions and social sessions can be self-umpired


The ball used for Walking Hockey is the England Hockey QuickSticks ball.

quicksticks balls - Copy

The goal we use are the Youth Sport Trust Target goal. Any goal that is approximately 8ft x 2ft x 2ft (2.44m x 0.61m x 0.61m) is acceptable.

target goals - Copy

Pitch Markings

Key things to note are:

  • Scoring Zone lines should be marked using throw-down rectangular markers. Each line is recommended to consist of 4 orange markers each side of a single yellow marker, which denotes the middle of the pitch. The Challenge markers should be in line with the central yellow marker and the appropriate distance either side of the Scoring Zone line
  • Side lines are the existing lines of the pitch

 Pitch photo