Hockey at the Rio 2016 Olympics: All you need to know

Olympic Games on the BBC
Venue: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Dates: 5-21 August Time in Rio: BST -4
Coverage: Watch on BBC One, BBC Four, Red Button and up to 24 HD video streams on mobile, desktop and connected TVs, plus follow on Radio 5 live and via live text commentary.

How does it work?

The aim of the game is to score more goals than your opponent. Teams of 11 players use their sticks to pass, control and shoot, but are only allowed to score from inside the attacking D.

There is a men's and women's event, each with 12 teams divided into two pools of six. The top four teams from the group stages progress to the quarter-finals.

There are possible shootouts in the knockout rounds, but no extra time. In a shootout, players run with the ball from the 23m line and have eight seconds to attempt to score a goal.

Rule changes for Rio mean teams will play four 15-minute periods rather than two 35-minute halves.

Who are the favourites?

Germany's men will be aiming for their third successive Olympic title, although it is Australia who lead the world rankings.

In the women's competition, the Netherlands are the world number one side and are aiming to become the first country to win three women's Olympic titles in a row.

What about the British prospects?

The women's side, who won bronze in 2012, have shown they can beat the best with a series victory over the Netherlands in June. However, they disappointed at the recent Champions Trophy, finishing fifth out of six teams and have slipped to seventh in the world.

The men's team fared marginally better at the Champions Trophy by coming fourth, which is also their world ranking.

When is it on?

The competition runs from Saturday 6 to Friday 19 August, with medal matches on the final two days.

I didn't know that...

Hockey is the only team sport to have had Olympic medal winners from every represented continent. Zimbabwe won a surprise gold when women's hockey made its debut at Moscow in 1980.

Previous British medallists

Eleven (three gold, two silver, six bronze).

Most recent British medal

Britain's women won bronze in 2012, while the last gold medal was won by the men's team in 1988 - 76 years after their first.

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