College field hockey is slightly different from “regular” field hockey as we know it in the Netherlands, both in organization and in atmosphere! In America you don’t play for a club, but for your university. Each team consists of an average of 23 ladies who train together about every day. As a team you play in the competition against other universities.
All teams try to qualify for the national tournament. A regular field hockey match consists of 4 times 15 minutes of playing time. The rules during college field hockey differ from Dutch hockey:
- Matches cannot end in a draw, so matches always take place in the ‘overtime’
- In the ‘overtime’ both teams have 7 players (with goalkeeper) on the field. The team that scores first wins.
- In the event that neither team scores in the ‘overtime’, the game ends in penalties.
Another big difference is the atmosphere during games. Teammates and fans are generally very loud and will certainly make themselves heard. This is often expressed in encouraging lyrics and/or college songs. Also the facilities on American universities can not be compared to the Dutch field hockey facilities, they often gave field hockey fields with large stands where many fans come to watch your games! In short: there is a mega cool atmosphere!