Hockey. The game with heritage.

One thing that Hockey has over many other sports is that it can prove that it has a long history. There is a famous stone tablet picture of two figures brandishing J shaped sticks that look exactly like hockey sticks. This dates back to 600 BC and is proof positive that this lively game has been played in some form or other since then. There are many types of hockey, Ice, Road and Roller, but we shall be focusing on the Field type. It’s a rewarding sport to play and if you want to get into it you could st art by watching some Hockey Drill Videos at https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Hockey/

There are a few recorded examples of the game being played down throughout the centuries. We cannot be certain of the type the Egyptians played but there are other examples of similar sports with J shaped sticks being played in Classical Greece and there is also the games close cousins Lacrosse and its Hibernian connection to the Irish game of Hurling. To find an English example you have to go to the Middle ages. At this time there are some records of an annual match between the Clergy and the Aristocracy that involved J shaped sticks. Its hard to imagine a team of Vicars coming out to play some Lords but this is apparently the case. The locals were able to watch but they were not permitted to have teams of their own it would seem.

 

We then have to jump several centuries before we start to see the start of the sport becoming regulated and organised. It was by this point, in the late eighteen hundred’s, played by children in public school. It followed the same rules as football almost to the letter. It was then picked up by the gentleman players of the Middlesex Cricket club. They needed to play a game over the winter months and the game that many of them had played at public schools was hockey. They then had something that would set them apart from the rest of the crowd playing Football and Rugby.  They never registered as a club at Hockey though, that honour fell to the South East London based club Blackheath. They were also a football club, but the two disciplines were so similar in rules that it made sense to do both. It was the Teddington Hockey club that came up with the rules that we would associate with todays game that we watch. They introduced goal circles as they had also changed the rubber cube to a hard ball which seemed to last long but could cause immense injury if it someone, usually the goalie who did not have the luxury of helmet and face mask or padding.

The game soon got an association in 1885 and its first international competition a decade later due to its rising popularity.

 

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