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Commentary: Don’t forget field hockey, Ohio State sports fans

Allie Janneck / Lantern photographer

By the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, behind the new Ohio State tennis facilities, is a hidden gem.
Veiled is Buckeye Varsity Field, the home of OSU field hockey, and the sport hosted there is worth the drive or bus ride out to Olentangy River Road.
I am the beat writer for the Buckeyes field hockey team, and I have attended four of the team’s five field hockey home games. From watching these games, I have realized I would rather have a daughter play field hockey than soccer, and here’s why.
The games sometimes take half of the time other sports do. The average game time of the 2012 NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder was slightly more than two hours and 37 minutes, according to box scores from ESPN. The 2012 BCS National Championship game between Alabama and LSU took three hours and one minute, according to Alabama’s athletic site. The average game during the 2011 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers lasted almost three hours and 32 minutes, according to box scores from ESPN.
Such is not the case at a field hockey game. Each game is split up into two 35-minute halves with a five-minute intermission. Field hockey has more time on the clock in comparison to NBA games and NCAA football but takes less time than both.
At OSU games, the halves are still 35 minutes long, but halftime is extended to 10 minutes. Still, games usually take one hour and 30 minutes, barring overtime.
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During the four OSU games I have attended, the matches have lasted from 90 minutes to two hours, but I have never been to a game with overtime.
Games with extra time can last up to two 15-minute periods but end immediately when one team scores a goal, according to National Field Hockey Coaches Associations’ rules.
If the game is still tied after that, it goes to a shootout where five players from each team take shots with a goalkeeper in net, and the team with the most goals wins.
I don’t know about you, but I fell in love with shootouts as a child thanks to such movies as “D2: The Mighty Ducks” and “The Big Green.”
Field hockey is not as popular as football in the U.S, but on a global scale, field hockey has a larger following.
Field hockey’s governing body, the FIH, has almost twice as many member countries in comparison to the International Federation of American Football (IFAF). According to their websites, the FIH’s website they have 126 members and the IFAF has 64.
Field hockey is one of the most popular sports in the world. Its federation has teams from six continents, and at the 2012 London Olympics, teams from all six of those continents competed, between the men’s and women’s competition.
National teams are not restricted to Olympic play; the FIH also hosts other events like the World Cup, held every four years, and the Champions Trophy, held every year.
The final three games on OSU’s schedule are Friday versus No. 20 Michigan State, Sunday versus Ball State and Oct. 19 versus No. 7 Penn State.  

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