Indoor Field Hockey vs. Outdoor Field Hockey-What’s the Difference? (Part I)

There are many different arenas’s when it comes to hockey.

The Field

Outdoor field hockey fields are made of grass, field turf, or Bermuda grass depending on the location and level of play. Regardless of the composition, all regulation field hockey fields for the outdoor game are played on a 100-yard x 60-yard pitch.  For indoor, the rules stipulate pitch length in the range 36 to 44 meters and width in the range 18 to 22 meters. The surfaces for indoor range from snap tiles, a gymnasium wood floor, linoleum or vinyl.  

The Stick

Both outdoor and indoor sticks come in composite materials as well as wood, and composite allows for better ball control, so we always suggest going with that choice. They also both have the same basic shape as one round side and one flat side. The biggest differences are that the end of the indoor stick is s and thinner and the weight is much lighter. 

In outdoor, it is critical for sticks to be heftier and have a heavier toe to put up with powerful drives and slaps that are critical when playing on a much bigger field.  The skinnier toe of indoor sticks allows for lifts to happen much quicker and easier, and the lightweight makes it simpler to control the ball while keeping a fast pace.

The Team Size and Positions

Due to the pitch size in indoor being way smaller than the outdoor pitch, fewer players are on the court at a time. In outdoor, there are 10 field players plus a goalie for a total of 11 players. In indoor, there are six players (a goalie and five players). Positions differ from team to team, but most outdoor teams consist of three to four forwards, three to four defenders, and three mid-fielders while an indoor team has two defenders, two forwards, and one mid-fielder.  In both games, all players are supposed to move up and down the field with play, particularly indoor since the field is so small.