Hockey is no longer just the preserve of private schools and posh girls. Hockey is growing in popularity thanks to a push to market its appeal to a wider audience. Have you ever wondered where the sport originated and how the rules came to be? If so, read on.
The Origins of Hockey
The beginnings of hockey can be found in ancient times. An early form of the game was played in ancient Egypt around 4,000 years ago. There is also evidence that is was played in Ethiopia, 1,000 years BC. Artefacts have been discovered that also show a form of the game was played Aztecs, Romans and the ancient Greek. It obviously has universal appeal!
The modern form of hockey that we know today grew in England from the mid-1800s onwards. It was primarily played in the elite schools of the country, such as Eton for example. The first official Hockey Association was created in the UK in 1876 and was responsible for setting the first official rules of the game. Before training for a match, watch a Field hockey training drills videoto get the most out of your session. Field hockey training drill videos from Sportplan can improve your game.
The very first Olympic Hockey Men’s Competition took place in 1908 in London. Separate teams for England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales competed, along with France and Germany. Unfortunately for the sport, it was not chosen for the following Olympic games in 1912 in Sweden. It made an appearance in Antwerp in 1920, but was subsequently dropped again during the Paris Olympics of 1924.
This prompted the formation of the International Hockey Federation in 1924. Hockey was again granted a place at the following games in 1928 in Amsterdam. Thankfully, hockey has featured ever since, with the introduction of women’s hockey in Moscow in 1980.
The International Hockey Federation
Hockey’s proponents worked hard to have the sport included in the Olympic line-up. After its omission in 1924, Paul Leautey founded the Federation Internationale de Hockey sur Gazon. He became the organisation’s president and successfully brought together 7 national federations to create an international governing body for the sport for the first time. The founding members were Czechoslovakia, Belgium, Austria, France, Spain, Switzerland and Hungary.
Even though women’s hockey was not included in the Olympics until 1980, it had always been popular. Played by women since the late 1800s, an international organisation was formed in 1927, called the International Federation of Women’s Hockey Associations. In 1982, the two bodies FIH and IWFHA joined together and took the title of FIH. By the mid-1960s, fifty nations were part of the FIH and were then joined by the three Continental Associations of Asia, Africa and Pan America. Today, the FIH includes 132 national associations, five continental and continues to attract more.