Field Hockey is a team sport played with 11 players on each side. Each team attempts to score more goals than the other team. A goal will be scored when one team put the ball in the opponent's team goal post. A match is played in 2 halves of 35-35 minutes each. Field Hockey is considered to be one of the oldest team sports in the history of mankind.
Origin of hockey
There is no concrete proof of the origin of this game, but many archeologists found some drawings of men playing this game in the Nile Valley of Egypt. These drawings and paintings are around 4000 years old. Many versions of this game were played in other civilizations also, such as: Persian, Aztec, Indian and Roman. In ancient Greece, the game was called 'kerÄtízein'. People at that time used to play it with a horn and a round shaped ball like object.
The first reference to the word hockey is found in the 14th century, when King Edward III of England issued a declaration of banning games like football, hockey and handball.
Evolution of hockey
Modern hockey is said to have started in England, where it was played in the public schools in the initial 19th century. The first official club was formed in 1849 at Blackheath in London. In the year 1886, The Hockey Association was founded. The game was first included in the 1908 summer Olympics. Later in year 1924 the FIH (FédérationInternationale de Hockey surGazon) was formed to promote hockey in the world.
Major Dhyanchand (India) is considered as one of the greatest players ever. He was the captain of the Indian gold medal winning teams at the 1928, 1932 and 1936 Olympics. Today hockey is among one of the most played games in the world. It is the national game of India and Pakistan.
Rules of field hockey
The rules of this game are very much similar to the rules of football. The only difference is that players use their sticks instead of their feet to keep the ball running. The team is made up of forwards, goalkeeper, defenders and midfielders. The only person on the field who is permitted to use his feet and hand is the goalkeeper.
One of the major differences in the rules of Football and Hockey is that there is no offside rule in hockey. This is also the reason why it is such a high scoring game.
Other Forms of Hockey
Apart from field hockey, there are several other forms of this game like ice hockey, inline hockey, sledge hockey etc.
Ice Hockey: This game consists of 6 players on each side. It is played on an ice platform using either wooden or composite sticks to kick the rubber puck in the opponent's goal net.
Inline Hockey: This game is very much similar to ice hockey. It is played between two teams, each team consisting of 5 players. It is mostly popular in USA and Canada.
Sledge Hockey: It is a game for physically challenged players. It is also very much related to ice hockey. Players sit on a twofold-bladed sledge and use a stick to hit the puck.
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