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Tuesday, 14 July 2015


Hockey's birthplace was Asia and authorities credit Persia with having devised it about 2000 BC.

The earliest pictorial presentation of the game stems from Athens. The relief (see below) was discovered in 1922 by workmen repairing the ancient wall built by Themistocles nearly 2,500 years earlier. It showed young men engaged in some sort of hockey game holding curved sticks. The central pair can be seen crossing sticks above a ball, very much in the manner of a "bully" being played.

The ancient Olympic Games included a sporting event in which the contestant hit a ball with a hooked stick.

Hockey most likely arrived in America from Asia (The American Indians are thought to have made their way into the "New World" from Asia.). An Aztec code pictures the gods of light and darkness playing ball and Sioux Indians played hockey with a soft ball made of elk or moose hair and covered with buckskin.

In medieval England, hockey was called bandy ball. During the reign of King Edward III, it was one of the games so enthusiastically taken up that the government became concerned that it would interfere with men's archery practice. Hockey was therefore included in a ban, which is the first definite record of the existence of the game in Britain. The king pointed out to his sheriffs that "by the people pleasing themselves with divers games such as handball, bandy-ball, football .... the realm is likely, in a short time, to be destitute of archers." Landowners who permitted playing of the game on their property faced a fine of £20 and three years' imprisonment.

The earliest mention of the present-day name of hockey dates back to 1527, when the Galway Statutes included hockie - "the horlinge of litill balle with . . . stickes or staves" - in a list of prohibited games.

Since the 19th century, associations have been formed to make decisions regarding hockey rules and regulations. The first field hockey club, Blackheath, located southeast of London, was founded before 1861.

Modern field hockey dates from January 18, 1886, when the English Hockey Association was formed in London and standardized rules were adopted.

In 1886 the Hockey Association added the shooting circle around each goal.

British soldiers brought the game to countries in Asia, and today India and Pakistan have some of the world's finest teams.

Women played hockey for the first time at Molesey, England, in 1837. They began playing organized field hockey during the second half of the 19th century, and for a time it was considered the only proper team sport for women.

The first game of field hockey in the US was played on concrete with ice hockey sticks in a courtyard at Harvard in 1901. It was introduced to America by Constance Applebee, a graduate from the British College of Physical Education.

Hockey was first played in the United States in 1890.

The men's Hockey World Cup tournament was started in 1971. Pakistan beat Spain 1-0 in the final.

In the first ever women's Hockey World Cup, held in 1974. Netherlands beat Argentina 1-0 in the final.

Hockey is called "shinney" in Scotland.

The world's largest hockey stick resides in Duncan, British Columbia, Canada and measures 205 feet long and 61,000 pounds. The mammoth symbol of hockey was created for Expo 86 and acquired by the city of Duncan afterwards.

Sources Europress Encyclopedia, Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia

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