How did this sport usually practiced on ice become more popular on the lawn?
Field hockey is a team sport involving two formations of ten players each equipped with a stick, sometimes called a “stick”.
The origins of this sport
The earliest known lacrosse ball game is field hockey , found among the earliest civilizations. There is no evidence or source of knowledge about the true origins of this game. The oldest depiction of the sport is found on a tombstone in the Nile Valley , dating back to the year 2000 BC. At the same time, an almost identical game can be found in China, the Middle East and North America. A bas-relief representing this game can also be seen on the ancient Greek wall of Themistocles in Athens.
From the Middle Ages to the Revolution, lacrosse (or soule à la crosse), hiccup, mail game and gouret were all popular in France. It is also worth mentioning Scottish shinty, Irish hurling and Welsh bandy.
The current history of hockey dates back to the founding of the first club in England, Blackheath (1851). In 1875, another London club, Teddington, modernized and standardized the game with new rules; the ball is now spherical, so it cannot be picked up, and the butt cannot be raised above the shoulders. The number of players per team was set at ten in 1883. The most important innovation was the creation of the ” penalty shootout zone “, which was adopted by the fledgling English Hockey Association.
In the years that followed, the British army developed modern hockey in the British colonies (Indian Empire, and others). The first time hockey was presented to an audience was at the London Olympics in 1908 . The United Kingdom comes first, followed by Ireland, France, Wales and Germany.
But the rest of the world was not left out, and a French championship was organized in 1899. The French Hockey Federation was created in 1920.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) was founded in Paris in 1924 under the presidency of Paul Léautey and at the instigation of Frantz Reichel, who succeeded him the following year and remained in office until his death in 1932. Marijke Fleuren has resurrected the torch and is now working to improve gender equality in sport.
In 1980, the Moscow Olympics hosted the very first women’s hockey tournament.
The principle of the game
Some general facts about field hockey
- Field hockey opposes two teams of ten players on a field measuring 91.40 meters long and 55 meters wide.
- A hockey game consists of four 17.5-minute quarters (Euro Hockey League) or two 35-minute halves .
- Only the flat side of the stick can be hit by the ball.
- With the exception of the goalkeeper, players are not allowed to touch the ball with any part of their body . Players on the field are allowed to touch the ball with their hands if it is unintentional and the hand is placed on the stick.
- A goal is only legal if the ball is kicked or deflected by an opposing player anywhere in the circle before entering the goal (the circle is a 16-yard semi-circle drawn from the center of the goal) .
- The winning team is the one that has scored the most goals at the end of regulation time. If both teams have scored the same number of goals, the match is declared a “draw”. Except if it is a cup match, in which case each team selects five players to participate in a series of penalty shootouts (a player starts from 22m and has 8 seconds to score against the goalkeeper).
The butt or the stick
The stick (or stick) is right-handed in its upper half, with a grip similar to that of a tennis racket. The lower part is curved, with a domed (outer) and flat (inner) face. Only the use of this flat face is authorized to hit or deflect the ball. The center is traditionally made of wood, although composite materials such as carbon or kevlar are increasingly used in its construction. The correct stock should fit a diameter of 5.10 cm The curvature of the stock has its own limitations. In recent years, increasingly large curves have given rise tountimely aerial shots , which can lead to serious match-related accidents. As a result, the maximum curve has been increased to 25.4 mm (1″), effective September 1, 2006. In the Eurozone, it is not uncommon to see both referees in a match carrying out a trajectory before the match, with the only tool being a two-euro coin held vertically and unable to pass through a stick placed on a flat surface.
The penalty corner, short corner or also called “PC”
A player placed 9.14 meters from the goal line must transfer the ball to a teammate who blocks it outside the area. There is frequently a blocker and a shooter. There are four players on the field , including the other team’s goalkeeper, who must block the ball or deflect it.
The field hockey ball
A typical hockey ball weighs between 156 and 163 grams, but lighter balls are available for younger players. It was originally made of leather, at a time when the sport was played with wooden sticks on natural grassy ground, but it is now made of plastic. The ball is mostly smooth inside , but very small craters are acceptable. These are frequently used on a “wet” synthetic pitch because they have more weight, like golf balls.
The goalkeeper wears a shirt of a different color from that of the other ten players in the team, as well as that of the opposing team. He wears protective equipment such as a helmet, chest protector, shell, gaiters, elbow pads, shorts, clogs and gloves. Some goalies wear an extra layer of protection to protect their head. Wearing elbow pads is no longer compulsory. In general, goalkeepers have a lot of freedom in choosing their equipment. However, the goalkeeper’s outfit must comply with FIH regulations so as not to artificially inflate his weight.
The goalkeeper can play the ball with any part of his body, but he must be careful not to pass it under him or in his equipment, otherwise the referee will give him a penalty-corner. He can also use his stick. He is only allowed to play ball in his goalkeeper zone. Outside this zone, he can practice the game using the stick.
Equipment of other players
Jersey, shorts, socks, shin guards, mouth guards, and possibly protective gloves are similar to those worn by football (soccer) players. Depending on the terrain, shoes equipped with crampons are recommended. Mouth guards and shin guards should be worn at all times . During the penalty phases, some players are required to wear a protective mask and a shell (for male players) which they must remove once the phase is over.
Field hockey teams
Field hockey has historically been dominated by the same teams: in particular, India, which reigned over the sport for three decades, winning all six Olympic gold medals and 30 consecutive games between 1928 and 1956. not to forget Germany, Australia, Pakistan, the United States and, of course, England. In recent years, other teams have emerged and regained their place in the international elite: Argentina, Spain and, above all, Belgium. The Red Lions beat the Netherlandson December 16, 2018 at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, India to win the World Cup. They also won the European Men’s Hockey Championship in 2019, finished second in the Rio Olympics and took first place in the Tokyo Olympics which took place in 2021.
As for France , they qualified for the Champions Trophy in 1992 , but finished last with a total of seven defeats in seven games. She also reached the final of the U21 World Cup against Germany in 2013 and the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Cup, won by Belgium and in which she faced Australia, which places her in 15th place in the world rankings.
A variation: floor hockey
In the 1950s, the game of floor hockey was developed to allow winter practice of field hockey in European countries. The game pits two teams of five players (including the goalkeeper) on a handball court (40 meters by 20 meters) with handball goals (three meters by two meters). Deflecting strips (20 wooden beams 4 meters long, 10 to 15 cm wide and 15 cm high) are placed on the sidelines to prevent the ball from escaping. However, some changes have been made (mainly to keep players safe and to improve the speed of the game):
- It is forbidden to hit the ball (only the “push” – a pushed ball – is allowed).
- It is forbidden to throw the ball for a goal, and the presence of forward strips on the sidelines increases the speed of the game.
- In indoor hockey, there are long corners and penalty corners (PC).
- It is forbidden to touch the ball with anything other than the stick.
- It is not necessary to have more than two pillars on the ground.
- An opposing player with a stick on the ground less than 10 meters cannot be pursued.
Field hockey was originally played on ice
Ice hockey, or hockey as it is more often called, is a team sport played on a specially designed ice rink . The goal of each team is to score goals by throwing a vulcanized rubber disc, called a puck or puck, inside an opposing goal located on the other side of the rink. The team consists of several lines of five players who line up on the ice, as well as a goalie who moves across the rinks and manipulates the circle using a hockey bat, also called stick in France or cane in Belgium and Switzerland.
Hockey is a sport originating in Canada which developed in North America at the end of the 19th century. It is often called “the fastest team sport in the world”, but it is also a contact sport, if not violent, with potentially dangerous backhands.
Hockey is played in many countries around the world, and one of the best-known leagues is the North American National Hockey League , which has existed since 1917. The International Ice Hockey Federation, better known by its English acronym IIHF, also regularly organizes international competitions. Thus, each year, world championships are organized, whether for women’s or men’s ice hockey, and for the different age categories. Finally, every four years, the Olympic Games are organized, with a women’s tournament and a men’s tournament.
A bit of history about this sport
Since ancient times, humans have engaged in games in which an object is struck with a stick. Thus, on a 400-year-old AD kouros, two naked men are playing a game, facing each other with a cross-shaped object in their hands and a ball between them. Later, in Hunters in the Snow (1565), Pieter Bruegel depicts players using curved sticks to play with a small ice object.
The use of the term “hockey” to describe these games has been documented since 1785 (1527 for hockie), but its etymology is unknown. It could be derived from the Old French word hoquet, which designates a hook-shaped stick6 or from the Iroquois word hoghee.
Europeans who settled in North America introduced a large number of hockey-like games , including French cross, Swiss shinty, Irish hurling, and English turf hockey. These games appear to have been adapted for use on ice and to have incorporated some characteristics of the crossbow game (such as physical endurance) practiced by the Iroquois. Several Canadian cities claim to be the birthplace of ice hockey, including Halifax, Windsor, and Kingston, but today’s ice hockey originated in Montreal, Quebec.