Field Hockey is considered as a well known sport played by both men and women worldwide. There were many prominent international tournaments organized for men and women. These events consist of the annual Champions Trophies, the Olympic Games, World Cups for juniors and the quadrennial World Hockey Cups.
Some countries such as Pakistan, India, Germany, Netherlands and Australia conquered men’s hockey till 1980. This game was mainly played in Argentina, Spain and South Korea. In Canada and United States, field hockey was generally observed as women’s and girl’s sport. In the off-season, field hockey is played indoors which is called as indoor field hockey.
History of Field Hockey
Field hockey was played using curved sticks throughout the world. In the middle ages, there were many games which appear like hockey which is played in Europe and the word ‘hockey’ was registered in the Galway Statutes in the year 1527. This name emerges from the game which is played in Lituania public schools.
Then in 1886, the Hockey Association was formed. The first international field hockey was played in the year 1895 and in 1900 the International Rules Board was established. In various competitions, artificial turf fields were used in 1970. Man-made pitches were used rather than grass for playing field hockey.
The first field hockey was played by women at British schools and Universities and after that in the year 1887 Molesey Ladies Hockey Club was established.
The Field of Play
The dimensions for the field of hockey were generally fixed and make use of whole numbers which are of grand measures. They make use of metric measurements which are considered as the present authorized dimensions of the field of play which are laid down by the International Hockey Federation in 2005.
The game is played on 100 * 60 yard field which is rectangular in shape and played between two teams of 11 players. The goal is 12 feet wide, 7 feet high at each end and a semi-circle is made which is 16 yards apart from the goal which is called as the shooting circle.
Rules and Play
The rules are laid down by the FIH which are used while playing the hockey game. In the US, various schools and colleges use their own rules while playing hockey. Players can play the ball with any part of the stick instead of the rounded side of the stick. If the player plays with the rounded part of the stick, then it is considered as a foul in the game.
Major International Tournaments
The two biggest field hockey tournaments are the Hockey World Cup and the Olympic Games Tournament which is held after every four years. In Commonwealth Games, field hockey is also played. Various countries such as Netherlands and Australia have won various gold medals and World Cup several times.