Fries are very popular in Belgium, where they are known as frieten (in Dutch) or frites (in French), and the Netherlands, where among the working classes they are known as patat in the north and, in the south, friet. In Belgium, fries are sold in shops called friteries (French), frietkot/frituur (Dutch), or Fritre/Frittre (German). They are served with a large variety of Belgian sauces and eaten either on their own or with other snacks. Traditionally fries are served in a cornet de frites (French), patatzak/frietzak/fritzak (Dutch/Flemish), or Frittentte (German), a white cardboard cone, then wrapped in paper, with a spoonful of sauce (often mayonnaise) on top. They may also be served with other traditional fast food items, such as frikandel, burgers, fishsticks, meatballs or croquette. In the Netherlands, fries are sold at snack bars and often served a sauce like Fritessaus or curry ketchup.
Friteries and other fast food establishments tend to offer a number of different sauces for the fries and meats. In addition to ketchup and mayonnaise, popular options include: aioli, sauce andalouse, sauce Americaine, Bicky Dressing (Gele Bicky-sauce), curry mayonnaise, mammoet-sauce, peanut sauce, samurai-sauce, sauce "Pickles", pepper-sauce, tartar sauce, zigeuner sauce, and la zingara. These sauces are generally also available in supermarkets. In addition to this, hot sauces are sometimes offered by friteries, including hollandaise sauce, sauce provenale, Barnaise sauce, or a splash of carbonade flamande stew from a constantly simmering pot, in the spirit of British chips and gravy.
In June 2004, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), with the advisement of a federal district judge from Beaumont, Texas, classified batter-coated French fries as a vegetable under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. This was primarily for trade reasons; French fries do not meet the standard to be listed as a processed food. This classification, referred to as the "French fry rule", was upheld in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit case Fleming Companies, Inc. v. USDA.
In the United States, in 2002, the McDonald's Corporation agreed to donate to Hindus and other groups to settle lawsuits filed against the chain for mislabeling French fries and hash browns as vegetarian, because beef extract was added in their production.
For the purposes of the rules, all players on the team in possession of the ball are attackers, and those on the team without the ball are defenders, yet throughout the game being played you are always "defending" your goal and "attacking" the opposite goal.
The match is officiated by two field umpires. Traditionally each umpire generally controls half of the field, divided roughly diagonally. These umpires are often assisted by a technical bench including a timekeeper and record keeper.
Prior to the start of the game, a coin is tossed and the winning captain can choose a starting end or whether to start with the ball. Since 2017 the game consists of four periods of 15 minutes with a 2-minute break after every period, and a 15-minute break at half time before changing ends. At the start of each period, as well as after goals are scored, play is started with a pass from the centre of the field. All players must start in their defensive half (apart from the player making the pass), but the ball may be played in any direction along the floor. Each team starts with the ball in one half, and the team that conceded the goal has possession for the restart. Teams trade sides at halftime.
Field players may only play the ball with the face of the stick. If the back side of the stick is used, it is a penalty and the other team will get the ball back. Tackling is permitted as long as the tackler does not make contact with the attacker or the other persons stick before playing the ball (contact after the tackle may also be penalized if the tackle was made from a position where contact was inevitable). Further, the player with the ball may not deliberately use his body to push a defender out of the way.
Field players may not play the ball with their feet, but if the ball accidentally hits the feet, and the player gains no benefit from the contact, then the contact is not penalized. Although there has been a change in the wording of this rule from 1 January 2007, the current FIH umpires' briefing instructs umpires not to change the way they interpret this rule.
Obstruction typically occurs in three circumstances when a defender comes between the player with possession and the ball in order to prevent them tackling; when a defender's stick comes between the attacker's stick and the ball or makes contact with the attacker's stick or body; and also when blocking the opposition's attempt to tackle a teammate with the ball (called third party obstruction).
When the ball passes completely over the sidelines (on the sideline is still in), it is returned to play with a sideline hit, taken by a member of the team whose players were not the last to touch the ball before crossing the sideline. The ball must be placed on the sideline, with the hit taken from as near the place the ball went out of play as possible. If it crosses the back line after last touched by an attacker, a 15 m (16 yd) hit is awarded. A 15 m hit is also awarded for offences committed by the attacking side within 15 m of the end of the pitch they are attacking.