Field hockey is a really interesting sport with a rich history. It is very popular in Western Europe, South America, Australia, Pakistan and India. The highest governing body is International Hockey Federation and it is very popular Olympic sport. You can play hockey indoors or outdoors. There are international competitions such as World Cup, World League, Champions Trophy and Junior World Cup. Like most international sports field hockey evolved a lot over time or as some people put it “the evolution from an old game with sticks to a game that we call today field hockey”. Top five field hockey players of all time are: Dhyan Chand, Sohails Abbas, Ric Charlesworth, Hasan Sardar, Shahbaz Ahmed, all of which have their own stories.
Beginnings of the field hockey
The earliest origins of this sport date back to the Middle Ages in Scotland, England and the Netherlands. Although there are stories that even Ancient Greeks and China played a game similar to what is nowadays field hockey. The word “hockey” was recorded first time in 14th century when king of England Charles III issued a proclamation. Modern field hockey was developed in English schools during the 19th century. The first club was founded in London 1849. The Hockey Association was founded in 1886, and the first international game was in 1886 between Ireland and Wales, Ireland won that game with score 3-0. It is crucial to say that rules were different in that period. Two oldest trophies are Irish senior Cup and Irish Junior cup. Also, it is worth noting that the first female field hockey club was founded in 1887 and the name of that club was Molesey Ladies. Since that period female field hockey started to grow rapidly.
When did the field hockey start to be popular?
The roots of field hockey were in Great Britain and Britain in that time was the greatest colonial power in the world and the biggest empire. All British former colonial countries adopted this sport and, in some of them, it is a national sport. One of those countries is India. India has had a really big influence on the expansion field hockey. National team of India was and still is one of the best teams in the world. Indian national team won Olympic tournament 1928 with all 5 victories without conceding a goal. After that they won 1932 until 1956 and then in 1960, 1968 and 1984. Also Pakistan, former Indian country, won three times.
Field hockey today
There are a lot international competitions today for both sexes, amongst the man India has 8 gold medals and amongst women the Netherlands and Australia have 3 Olympic gold medals. India and Pakistan have been dominating until 1980s wining four of the first five cups, and after that there were a couple of national teams that have won international competitions, such as the Netherlands, Germany, England, Argentina, Spain, New Zealand, Australia and South Korea. And the most successful national teams in women category are the Netherlands, Australia and Argentina. Other successful female national teams are China, Germany, and South Africa.
This great sport has a very interesting history, although this information is essential for the evolution of this sport, it is only a small part of exciting and rich field hockey history. Aside from that, there are many teams and many players that continue to bring this sport to the world in a proper way. These persons present not only a certain sport or a country, but a way of living, and they are truly the heroes of today.