history of field hockey

What is the history of Hockey? What are its origins? Where did Hockey come from? Who invented it? Here is the history of Hockey.

Field Hockey History

What are the basic rules of Hockey?

Field Hockey Rules

The sport of field hockey is much like any other with a ball: score more goals than the other team before time expires. Players can only use the flat side of the stick to make contact with the ball and the only individual allowed to use anything but their stick is the goalie. There are various fouls and penalties that will stop play including infractions like obstruction, backsticking, undercutting, stick interference, and advancing fouls. These penalties could result in a common foul or in as much as a red card that removes the player from the game. The other major rule in field hockey is there are only three ways in which a goal can legally be scored. These include a goal scored from a penalty stroke or shot, from a penalty corner, or in open play inside of the striking line. A goal scored in any other circumstance does not count.

Which Country Started Hockey?

Field hockey is one of the oldest team sports in the world with its original roots coming from ancient times in Greek civilizations. Besides this early version of the game, the more modern birth of the field hockey took place in England where it spread over the course of a few centuries. The sport found success across all of England and the British Empire which spread field hockey across the globe. Most notably, the British colony of India took kindly to the game and it was widely popular and still is to this day. The Empire also brought field hockey to other portions of the world including Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong laying roots in different regions across the globe that helped to spur the growth of the sport over time.

Who Invented Hockey?

A singular inventor or group of inventors of the sport of field hockey have yet to be recognized. The game originally took its root in English public schools where it was well-liked by many of the children who played. Many across England can be credited with some early and major development of Field Hockey including the Blackheath Hockey Club. They were the first ever field hockey club created in 1849 and the sport took hold from there with more clubs emerging over time. Members of the British Empire who went out to the colonies bringing the sport with them can be credited with much of the early diffusion and expansion of the sport too. An English woman named Constance M.K. Applebee brought the sport to America which caused it to spread across the United States soon after its arrival.

When was Hockey Established?

Field hockey was started far before the modern game in ancient times. It made its first reappearance in the fourteenth century in England before leisure sports were banned from being participated in across the country. Field hockey once again reappeared in England later on during the eighteenth century and it has taken hold ever since. The rules of this early modern form of the game drastically changed over the course of the early history of field hockey until reaching its most modern form during the nineteenth century. This is also when the game was spread across the globe for the first time to areas in Asia, Australia, and the Americas and the modern form of the game expanded rapidly using its popularity to bridge cultures.

Field hockey was quite popular from the start, especially in England where it surprisingly grew to the levels of popularity that rugby and soccer had in the country. The sport also found grew popularity through the colonial expansion of the British Empire around the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth centuries. Once it was rooted globally, the sport expanded rapidly being one of the first team sports competed in the Olympic Games and international competition. It is recognized to this day as one of the most popular team sports in the world, especially considering the popularity of both the mens and womens versions of the game. Field hockey is one of the most participated in sports in the world today and is credited as being the third largest sport globally too.

Field hockey is credited with being one of the top 5 biggest sports in the world. Some of the best and most active countries in the world in field hockey are:

  • The Netherlands
  • Australia
  • Germany
  • England
  • Argentina
  • New Zealand
  • India (men's field hockey)
  • United States (women's field hockey)

The diverse roots of the sport early on in its development allowed many different countries to have many supporters and many good players in the sport. Many of the most important international matches that take place, including the Olympics, are regularly won by these nations.

Hockey History Key Facts and Timeline

  • The earliest version of field hockey was created in ancient Greek times
  • The sport reemerges in the 14th century in England before being banned as a "leisure sport"
  • Field hockey once again emerges in England in the 18th century quickly being popular across the nation
  • The first field hockey club was created in 1849 and was called the Blackheath Hockey Club
  • Field hockey spread in the late 18th and early 19th centuries with the expansion of the British Empire
  • Field hockey was included in the Olympics in 1908 but was removed soon after in the 1924 games
  • The main governing body of the sport, the Federation Internationale de Hockey sur Gazon, or the FIH was created in 1924 in response to the disclusion from the Olympics
  • It was soon reinstated in the 1928 games and has been a mainstay ever since
  • Women's field hockey was included in the Olympics starting in 1980 and has been in ever since