ALL ABOUT FIELD HOCKEY

A SHORT HISTORY AND THE RULES OF FIELD HOCKEY

The game of field hockey is played by many people all over the world. Historically it is one of the oldest sports and the “2nd largest team sport in the world”. Hockey is a sport which requires a person to have a lot of speed, skill and endurance.

In the USA it is a sport played mainly by women. An English woman named Constance Applebee introduced the sport to the United States in 1901. Before the game became popular in the USA it was being played all over Europe for 1000’s of years mainly by men. Exactly when and where the sport originated is not known but drawings that are thought to be over Four-Thousand years old have been found in the Beni-Hasen tomb in the Nile Valley in Egypt showing men playing the sport.

Field hockey was originally thought to be too dangerous for woman but quickly caught on with the English. The game soon became known as “the only team sport considered proper for women”.

Constance Appleby had come to the United States to take a summer course at Harvard University and while here she was shocked at the games that American women played for exercise. She gathered up some sticks and a ball and demonstrated the popular English sport of field hockey to her classmates. One of her classmates, Harriet Ballintine, was head of athletics at Vassar and asked her to teach the sport there.

The game spread quickly and soon a number of other women’s colleges took up the sport. By the 1920s it had spread to public colleges also. In 1922 the United States Field Hockey Association was formed to help promote and develop the sport and create more enthusiasm for it.

Women’s field hockey continued it’s popular and successful spread in the USA. . At the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games the USA won the bronze medal. From there the United States would appear at the Olympics in 1988 in Seoul and at Atlanta in 1996. The women’s team also continued to qualify for the FIH (International Hockey Federation) World Cup after the 1st one in 1975 and even came away with a bronze medal at the world cup in Dublin in 1994.


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