Field hockey, known in most countries just as hockey, is a team game of the hockey family. The earliest origins of the game date back to the Middle Ages in England, Scotland, France and the Netherlands. The game can be played on grass, water turf, artificial turf or synthetic field as well as an indoor board surface. Each team plays with eleven players, including the goalie. Players use sticks made out of wood, carbon fibre, fibre glass or a combination of carbon fibre and fibre glass in different quantities (with the higher carbon fibre stick being more expensive and less likely to break) to hit a round, hard, plastic ball. The length of the stick depends on the player's individual height. Only one face of the stick is allowed to be used. Goalies often have a different kind of stick, however they can also use an ordinary field hockey stick. The specific goal-keeping sticks have another curve at the end of the stick, this is to give them more surface area to save the ball. The uniform consists of shin guards, shoes, shorts, a mouth guard and a jersey. Today, the game is played globally, with particular popularity throughout Western Europe, South Asia, Southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, and parts of the United States (primarily New England and the Mid-Atlantic states). Known simply as "hockey" in many territories, the term "field hockey" is used primarily in Canada and the United States where ice hockey is more popular. In Sweden the term "landhockey" is used and to some degree also in Norway where it is governed by Norway's Bandy Association.
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