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Sports NotebookSports Notebook: Longer matches

Sports Notebook: Longer matches

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Remember not long ago when girls high-school field hockey matches used to take about an hour or a bit longer to play? Throw in any overtime, maybe 90 minutes tops.

No more.

Recent changes have added extra time to each varsity contest,that can now last two hours or so, depending on the length of any overtimes. Used to be the games were two 30-minute halves of regulation play, with a five-minute halftime or so.

That changed recently. Matches are now four 15-minute quarters, with three-minute breaks between each. With the stoppage and starting of play, those three minutes become much longer.


If a game is tied after regulation, there can be two 15-minute overtime periods if neither team scores. Each overtime includes about a minute break or more for teams to switch ends of the field. Then more time is needed for the overtime penalty strokes session.

That all adds up to a lot of extra time and way too long for matches. Field hockey contests used to zip along. Not any more.

– Dave Facinoli


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