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Hockey Hockey
Like football, but with sticks, a tiny ball, goalkeepers who wear masks and 35-minute halves. So not that much like football really.

But the point is the same, get the ball in the net to score goals. Whoever scores the most goals wins.

Most of the goals in hockey come from set-pieces like corners.

Goals can only be scored if the ball is struck from inside the scoring circle, which is an arc 16 yards around the goal.

Look out for penalty corners, where one player hits the ball in from the goal-line to some of his pals. They stop it so another player can try to score. Goals are often scored from short corners.

There are 12 men's teams in the Olympics and 10 women's teams.

In the men's event there are two pools. The top two in each pool go through to the semis, they play for a place in the final.

The two losing semi-finalists have to play each other for bronze.

The women's event is a bit more complicated, with two pools of five. The top three in those go into a second group stage, where they all play each other again.

The top two in the second group play for gold and silver, and third and fourth play for bronze. Fifth and sixth go home.

Who are the British hopes for Athens?
The British women's team didn't qualify for the Games, but the men's team did.

They're not tipped for a medal, but as perhaps the fifth or sixth best team in the event, could spring a surprise.

Teams are split into two groups of six, and each of them play all five of the other teams. The two teams in each group play in the semi-finals.

Who are the big stars?
India were completely dominant for six Olympics in a row in the men's event, winning every gold medal 30 games in a row from 1928 to 1956.

In the women's event expect Australia to do very well, having won in 1988, 1996 and 2000.


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