Hockey players have a lot of rules to follow when playing, and it is important that each player understands the rules and regulations of the game. Penalty cards each have a different meaning, and understanding these meanings is important to playing a successful match. For any offense, a player will first be verbally warned, then shown a penalty card with the colour relating to the seriousness of their offense.

Here are the meanings of the red, green and yellow penalty cards.


A red card is given when a player commits a serious offense; and it means that they are permanently suspended from the match. The player will not be allowed to take part in the game and must leave the field and the surrounding area. They may not be substituted which means the team will play with one less player. The captain is not given a red penalty card for team misconduct.


A green card indicates a warning to a player who has committed a minor offense. Internationally, a green card warrants a two minute suspension of the player whom it was shown to, but this is not a general rule of hockey – although it has been adopted by many hockey clubs. A green card may be shown to one player in particular or to the captain for general team misconduct. If a player has been shown a green card twice, it will result in a yellow card.


A yellow card represents a temporary suspension for the player. The usual time is a minimum of five minutes, but the suspension time can be decided by the umpire. A player can receive more than one yellow card during the match, for different offenses but the suspension time is longer for each yellow card. If a yellow card offense is repeated, the player is awarded a red card. A yellow card is shown to an individual or to a team captain, in which case the captain will have a temporary suspension.

Teaching your daughter the meanings of penalty cards will go a long way in her hockey training, as understanding the rules of the game is a good step towards a successful hockey career.