Hockey regulations for 2019 - 20 | Published 1 September

HOC i The BUCS Hockey Championships shall be conducted in accordance with the following BUCS sport specific regulations, the BUCS general regulations, and the FIH Rules of Hockey1.

HOC ii In the event that these regulations contradict the BUCS general regulations, these BUCS sport specific regulations will supersede, unless specifically stated otherwise.

HOC iii In the event that these regulations contradict those of the FIH Rules of Hockey1, these BUCS sport specific regulations will supersede, unless specifically stated otherwise.

1Further to the FIH’s announcement on Tuesday 18 December 2018 regarding amendments to the rules of hockey from Tuesday 1 January 2019, BUCS can now confirm, in line with the Home Nation Governing Bodies, that it will be adopting all the rule changes for the 2019-20 season, except for one. Therefore, the following (major) changes will be implemented at all levels of the sport from the start of the 2019-20 season:

  • Removal of Player with Goalkeeper Privileges (PwGKP)
  • Amendments to Attacking Free Hits within the 23m
  • Defensive Free Hits awarded within the defensive circle
  • Amendment to ruling around Attackers entering the circle early at a Penalty Corner

Also, in line with the Home Nation Governing Bodies, BUCS will apply 17.5 minute quarters to the BUCS & ICG Women’s National League and the BUCS Men’s National League and the BUCS Championship Knockout competitions. However, all other leagues and knockout competitions will be played as two halves of 35 minutes. (See HOC 8).

Implementation of quarters at other levels will be considered over the course of the 2019-20 season and in collaboration with the Home Nation Governing Bodies, in light of experience in the National Leagues and the broader domestic game.


HOC 1 There shall be separate Team Championships for Men and Women. The programme for each Championships shall include leagues and knockout competitions as per BUCS general regulations, Appendix 1 (‘BUCS Competition Offer and Associated BUCS Points’) and Appendix 10 (‘BUCS Promotion, Relegation and Knockout Information’).

HOC 2 Playing surface

HOC 2.1 The home team shall have the right to choose the type of playing surface to be used (all 1st Team matches must be played on an appropriate synthetic turf pitch, in line with Hockey National Governing Body requirements). This information must be received by the opposition at least one week in advance (alternative arrangements in the event of inclement weather shall also be communicated and teams must bring with them the appropriate footwear) and practice time on this surface shall be offered to the visiting team prior to the official starting time. Where, however, an artificial pitch is to be used in any match the senior Men’s or Women’s Team must be given priority.

HOC 2.2 At the current time, England Hockey does not support the use of any long pile turf pitch for any competitive hockey unless that specific pitch and surface has been approved by the FIH. All BUCS Hockey competitions will also adhere to this policy.

HOC 3 Match officials Match officials should be appointed as per Appendix 5 (‘BUCS Match Officials Requirements’).

HOC 3.1 The NPUA will appoint independent umpires to all Men’s and Women’s National League matches. The costs incurred by these umpires will be passed onto the home institution/Playing Entity for each match.

HOC 3.2 For the Championship and Vase Semi-Finals, BUCS will work with the NPUA to appoint independent umpires to all Men’s and Women’s matches. The costs incurred by these umpires will be passed onto the home institution/Playing Entity for each match.

HOC 3.3 The NPUA will appoint independent umpires to the Championship, Vase and Trophy Finals. The costs incurred by these umpires will be met by BUCS.

HOC 4 Shirt numbers Players shall wear on the back of their shirts numbers which shall not exceed the number 999. All numbers shall be no less than 8” (20cm) in height and shall contrast with the colour of the shirt. Taped numbers may only be used in an emergency. No two players in a team may wear the same number in a single match.

HOC 5 Team selection/Player movement

HOC 5.1 Goalkeepers Goalkeepers are able to move up without restriction, and are able to move down one team from their starting selection only in order to cover injury. Evidence that players are moving down to cover injury may be required. This movement is only permitted within the goalkeeper position. This regulation supersedes REG 11.1.3 only.

HOC 5.2 Senior International players and Great Britain Elite Development Programme Squad Players On league weeks when Senior International/GB EDP players are not released for BUCS selection due to their international commitments (training or competition), as confirmed to BUCS by the Senior International/GB EDP Head Coaches, 2nd Team players are able to move up to the 1st Team to cover the absence without it counting towards their ‘normality’ tally (as described in REG 11.1.3) under the following conditions:

HOC 5.2.1 The names of the 1st Team player(s) unavailable due to Senior International/GB EDP commitments (training or competition) and the name(s) of the 2nd Team players ‘playing up’ as cover must be emailed to BUCS prior to the start of the relevant fixture to be eligible for normality exemption.

HOC 5.2.2 Failure to provide names in advance will mean that the fixture will count towards ‘normality’ for the 2nd Team player(s) ‘playing up’.

HOC 5.2.3 This is in addition to, and does not supersede any other elements of, BUCS REG 11.1.

HOC 5.3 Contraventions of player movement in accordance with these regulations will result in appropriate disciplinary action, in accordance with REG 5.

HOC 6 Substitutes Rolling substitutes may be used.

HOC 7 Minimum number of players for a fixture to start The minimum number of players per team required for a fixture to start will be seven.

HOC 8 Duration of play

HOC 8.1 Men’s and Women’s National leagues and Championship knockout competitions All matches shall consist of four quarters of 17.5 minutes, an interval of two minutes between quarter one and two and between quarter three and quarter four, and a half-time interval of no more than ten minutes between quarter two and three. Teams shall change ends at half-time.

HOC 8.2 All other leagues and knockout competitions A match shall consist of two periods of 35 minutes and a half-time interval of no more than 10 minutes. Teams shall change ends at half-time.

HOC 9 Ties in knockout competition matches In the event of a tie after full-time, the outcome of the match shall be determined by a series of penalty strokes taken under the following conditions:

HOC 9.1 The umpires shall together choose the goal to be used and the team captains shall toss a coin to decide which team shall take the first penalty stroke.

HOC 9.2 Five different players from each of the teams, excluding any players who have been permanently suspended from the game (Red Card), shall take a penalty stroke alternately against one and the same goalkeeper of the other team. Only if that goalkeeper is, in the opinion of the umpires, incapacitated through injury, or is suspended, shall the team be permitted to substitute the goalkeeper during the course of a particular series in the stroke competition.

HOC 9.3 The team that has been awarded the higher number of goals shall be the winner.

HOC 9.4 In the event of an equal number of goals having been awarded, another series of penalty strokes shall be taken under the above conditions and with the same five players (subject to any incapacitated player being replaced) but on a sudden death basis, that is the team having been awarded the most goals after an equal number of strokes have been taken shall be the winner. The sequence in which the players take the strokes for their team need not be the same as in the previous series. The team captain has freedom of choice at the time of each stroke as to which of the five nominated players will take the stroke although they must use all five nominated players per round.

HOC 9.5 The team that has taken the first penalty stroke of a series shall not take the first penalty stroke of the following series (if any).

HOC 10 Additional Premier Tier/Championship specific requirements

HOC 10.1 Facilities should be of an appropriate quality for Premier Tier/Championship matches and should comply with National Governing Body regulations for matches of this standard. To this effect, all Premier Tier/Championship matches should be played on a minimum of a sand-dressed pitch, and a water-based artificial surface where available. Pitches should provide appropriate dugouts for teams and officials.

HOC 10.2 Playing facilities must be booked for an appropriate length of time to allow for the full conclusion of the match. BUCS recommends that at least two hours of pitch time are booked (longer for knockout fixtures). Institutions/Playing Entities failing to book sufficient time will be considered to have defaulted on the match if for any reason there is insufficient time to bring the fixture to a conclusion.

HOC 10.3 If a Premier Tier/Championship match is to be played under lighting then it is recommended that 350 lux should be the minimum – in line with FIH regulations. This will require the facility operator to declare their lighting levels and commit to some regular maintenance. Should a team wish to contest the level of lighting, they must do so prior to the match starting in order to ensure that they have grounds for an appeal should they so wish and must satisfy the Playing Under Protest requirements of REG 12.

HOC 10.4 Spectators are required to be kept away from the side of the pitch.

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