Sat, 14 May 2016
The modern game of field hockey was developed in the United Kingdoms. The modern game was started in England in the mid 1800's as an alternative to football for cricketers looking for a winter sport.
The first organised club was the Blackheath Football and Hockey Club, which dates back to at least 1861. Another London club, Teddington, introduced a number of the modern rules, including the use of a ball instead of a rubber cube.
They also started the striking circle, which was added to the rules of the newly founded Hockey Association (Menís) in London in 1886. The All England Womenís Hockey Association was founded in 1895, becoming the first womenís national sporting Governing Body.
Generally in those days, the game was played on a field nearly 200m long and all players chased the ball around the field. As the players and coaches gained experience, they began using team positions. In 1889 the pyramid system of five forwards, three halfbacks, two fullbacks and one goalkeeper was used. This system is the most commonly used in hockey today.
The game is played in many Commonwealth countries, including India, Pakistan and Australia. Today, field hockey is played all over the world and field hockey is currently recognised as the 2nd largest team sport in the world, after football.
Hockey is now played on every continent with 114 nations affiliated with the International Hockey Federation (FIH). FIH holds major world tournaments and manages five regional bodies. These organisations in turn hold regular qualifying tournaments for the countries in their regions. The qualifying tournaments are for entry to world events, such as the Olympic Games, the World Cup, Champions Trophy or the Commonwealth Games.
Menís hockey has been in the Olympics since 1908. It was not until 1980 that women were allowed to compete. Hockey's participation at the Commonwealth Games has been short, with a men's and women's competition included in the program in 1998.
FIH World Cup competitions are held every four years, halfway between two Olympic Games in a row. Separate Champions Trophy tournaments (with the world's six top teams) are also held every year.
In the late 1800s, Australia relied on the British Navy because Australia did not have its own navy. The British officers in Australia taught the locals hockey, and so began hockey in Australia.
We do not know where or when the first game of hockey was played in Australia, however private girls' schools were playing the game in 1900. It has been suggested that South Australia was the first state to form an association, because the first game was played there.
The South Australian Hockey Association was formed in 1903. Victoria and New South Wales formed their own associations in 1906. Clubs sprang up in Melbourne and Sydney and hockey quickly became a popular sport in Australia.
The AIS Hockey Unit was established in Perth in 1984 and has made a significant contribution to the development of Australian teams.
The ball is the same size and weight as a cricket ball. It is covered by a thin shell of plastic to keep it waterproof. Although white is the traditional colour, other colours may be used - bright orange is often used on sand filled artificial turf.
Field players usually wear only shin pads and mouthguards for protection. Goal keepers wear a lot of protective clothing including chest and arm protectors, gloves, leg pads, kicking boots and helmet.