New Delhi: Hockey India League is here and so is the excitement leading up to the first encounter between the hosts Delhi Waveriders and visitors Jaypee Punjab Warriors at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here on Monday.
The franchise-based, five-team tournament has already secured the players' financial future, with 120 players from India and around the world set to put their best foot forward in the event that spans around 28 days and 34 matches.
Here's all that you want to know about the tournament's format and rules.
Five points will be awarded to the winning team but the losing team also stands to earn 1 point should it lose the match by 2 or less number of goals.
Format and Rules:
1. Matches will be played under 'FIH Rules of Hockey' applicable from January 1, 2013, including own goal.
2. Teams to play each other thrice on home-and-away basis, with the third match against the other four teams will be two at home and two away. Top four teams from the league stage qualify for the semi-finals. Winners from the semis play for the trophy and the losers for 3rd-4th place. If a shootout is forced in the knockout rounds, not more than 3 foriegners can be used by a team. The goalkeeper can be of any nationality.
3. Winner of a match gets 5 points, while a draw will earn the teams 1 point each. A losing team stands to earn 1 point if the goal difference is 2 or less.
4. If two or more teams end up with the same number of points at the end of the league stage, then the following decides the rank on the leaderboard:
a. Number of matches won.
b. Goal difference.
c. Goals scored.
d. Cumulative results of the two matches played between those two teams based on first the points earned in the two matches, second the goal difference and third number of goals scored.
5. Each match will have four quarters of 17.5 minutes each, with a 3.5-minute breather after the first and third quarter, while a 10-minute break follows the half-time whistle. Teams will change ends at half-time only.
6. Each team can use a maximum of 20 players per match, but no less than 2 and no more than 5 foreigners, including the goalkeeper, can be on the field at one time.
7. Each team will be allowed one time-out of 2 minutes during a match, but not during extra time and shoot outs.
8. Video Umpiring will be in place only during the knockout rounds (including during extra time). Only the umpires can refer decisions to the video umpire, either themselves or after a team requests for it.