Field hockey, also called hockey, is an outdoor game played by two opposing teams of 11 players each who use sticks curved at the striking end to hit a small, hard ball into their opponent's goal. There are several different types of field hockey but all involve hitting the ball with the stick.
Hockey is one of the most popular sports in Canada and North America. The first organized hockey match was played in England in 1867. Today, there are many varieties of hockey including ice hockey, inline hockey, street hockey, and bandy. Each variety has its own set of rules but they all include some form of contact between players on the ice.
Field hockey is played on a rectangular field which is divided into inbound and outbound halves. The team that scores more goals than the other team wins the game. There are two ways to score: by hitting the ball into the net or by shooting it from outside the box. A goal can be scored by any player on the field except for the goalkeeper.
The word "hockey" comes from the French word esquilleur, which means "shaker". This is because early players would shiver up a ball of wool before each game to create friction between their hands and the ball. Today, people usually use ice balls which are frozen balls that don't break under pressure.
Ice hockey has become popular in the United Kingdom. The sport is played on outdoor rinks that are usually built into the ground, but can also be constructed of plastic or metal. There are several varieties of ice hockey, including 'public' ice hockey and 'elite' ice hockey. In public ice hockey, anyone can play - the only requirement is that you must be 13 years old or older. In elite ice hockey, people pay to play; there are age groups for children, teenagers, adults, and senior men's and women's leagues.
The first official game of ice hockey was played in England in 1873. A match was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London between the Philadelphians and the Montreal Victorias. This was the first time that ice hockey had been played in Europe. Canada and the United States would not meet on the ice until 1875.
In the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, ice hockey became very popular in the United Kingdom.
Despite the moniker "field" hockey, the sport has only recently (since the mid-1980s) transitioned from a grass pitch-based sport to one played on artificial surfaces. The outdoor game is played on both grass and artificial fields in British Columbia. In the United States, indoor field hockey is popular among girls' sports teams.
The term "hockey" comes from the first two letters of each word in its native language: Hindi. It means "stick ball."
Field hockey originated in England around 1883. The original field hockey ball was made of leather with a rubber bladder inside. It was about the size of a modern basketball.
The sport as we know it today was developed by Sir Alexander Allan who introduced metal balls and a square pitch in 1889. These changes made the game more similar to what we know today as "soccer."
In Britain, schoolboys would carry their games out by beating a path through the streets with a stick. This is where we get the word "hockey" from. Later, when people started playing the game on civil service lawns, they used "field" instead because it was considered a less aggressive version of cricket.
Artificial turf fields are now used by most field hockey players worldwide. The first such field was built in 1964 at Hickory Hills Park in London.