field hockey

field hockey
a game played on a rectangular field having a netted goal at each end, in which two teams of 11 players each compete in driving a small leather-covered ball into the other's goal, each player being equipped with a stick having a curved end or blade that is flat on one side and rounded on the other.

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Game played with curve-ended sticks between two teams of 11 players.

It is played on a field 100 yd (91.4 m) by 60 yd (55 m) in size. The object is to use the sticks to direct a ball into the opponent's goal. Field hockey originated in English schools in the late 19th century, and the British Army introduced it into India and the Far East. By 1928 it had become India's national game. Men's field hockey has been included in the Olympic Games since 1908, women's since 1980. The game was introduced into the U.S. in 1901 and became particularly popular at women's schools, colleges, and clubs. Several international championship tournaments are held during the year, including the World Cup.

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▪ 2003

      The 10th men's field hockey World Cup was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Feb. 24–March 9, 2002. Germany, led by the 2001 Player of the Year, Florian Kunz, beat Australia 2–1 on a match-winning goal by Oliver Domke to secure its first men's World Cup. The Netherlands sank South Korea 2–1 with a golden goal for third place. The tournament featured 16 teams, for the first time in two pools of eight each. The Fédération Internationale de Hockey (FIH) format of four groups of four was unacceptable to Malaysia, which argued that a defeat for the home team in the early rounds would hurt spectator interest.

      China captured the women's Champions Trophy at Macau on September 1, beating Argentina 3–1 in the final tiebreaker after a 2–2 draw, despite extra-time play. The Netherlands defeated Australia 4–3 for the bronze. A week later, The Netherlands won the men's Champions Trophy at Cologne, Ger., in a 3–2 tiebreaker against Germany after a goalless final. Pakistan placed third, beating India 4–3.

      The FIH plan for a four-nation event involving Ireland, Lithuania, India, and the U.S. to identify the sixth and seventh women's World Cup qualifiers was rejected by the Court of Arbitration, which upheld Ireland's place as the sixth. The FIH scheduled a three-Test series in New Delhi between India and the U.S., which had missed its qualifier after the terrorist strikes on Sept. 11, 2001. The U.S. team, citing security concerns relating to the threat of war in Kashmir, left New Delhi and forced the FIH to shift the venue to Cannock, Eng., in June. The U.S. won the deciding third match 3–1 after drawing the earlier two matches by identical margins (1–1), making it the seventh qualifier and the last of the 16 World Cup teams. Argentina won the women's World Cup, beating The Netherlands 4–3 in a sudden-death tiebreaker after having been deadlocked 1–1 in regulation time. China finished third, followed by Australia.

      The 2002 men's and women's Players of the Year were, respectively, Michael Green of Germany and Cecilia Rognoni of Argentina.

S. Thyagarajan

▪ 2002

      On April 21, 2001, Els van Breda Vriesman of The Netherlands became the first woman president of the Fédération Internationale de Hockey (FIH). At the FIH congress in Brussels, the first round of voting, against Alain Danet of France, ended 40–40. In the second round the majority opted for van Breda Vriesman, who had been named the first woman secretary-general in 1994. Australian Peter Cohen was unanimously elected secretary-general. Van Breda Vriesman took the reins of the FIH's restructured 21-member Executive Board. She was elected to the International Olympic Committee in July.

      On the field it was an eventful year, highlighted by the World Cup qualifying competitions for men and women and the World Cup finals for juniors (under 21). South Korea stunned many by winning the junior women's competition in May against host team Argentina in a tiebreaker (4–3) after being 2–2 at the end of regulation time. The 16-team, four-pool system introduced in Argentina continued for the men's junior event in Hobart, Australia, in October. India won the cup for the first time, beating Argentina 6–1. Germany defeated England 5–1 to gain the bronze.

      Seven countries (Argentina, Belgium, India, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, and Spain) qualified for the 2002 World Cup from the men's championship, held in Edinburgh in July. The women's qualifier, held in Amiens and Abbeville, France, in September, concluded with England taking the top spot, followed by Russia, Ukraine, Japan, and Scotland. Ireland was declared the winner for the sixth place after Lithuania was disqualified for refusing to participate in a replayed tiebreaker. The U.S. missed the event as a result of the disrupted flight schedules after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. The FIH gave the American women a chance to fight for the seventh spot in a three-Test series against India. On an appeal from Lithuania, the disciplinary commission of the FIH recommended the four countries—Ireland, Lithuania, India, and the U.S.—play in the Challenge Cup in Randburg, S.Af., to determine the sixth and seventh qualifiers.

      Argentina defeated The Netherlands 3–2 to claim the women's Champions Trophy at Amstelveen, Neth., in August. The men's competition was shifted to Rotterdam, Neth., from Lahore, Pak., in the wake of the tension after the September 11 attacks. Two goals by Florian Kunz, the top scorer with 10 goals, helped Germany regain the Champions Trophy against Australia (2–1). The Netherlands beat Pakistan 5–2 for the bronze.

      Stephan Veen of The Netherlands and Alyson Annan of Australia were named the Players of the Year for the second straight year.

S. Thyagarajan

▪ 2001

      At the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, The Netherlands defended the title it had captured in Atlanta, Ga., in 1996 and thereby became the second country to have won back-to-back gold medals, after India, which had won six straight Olympic titles (1928–56). A similar feat was achieved by the Australian women, who won their second consecutive gold and their third in five appearances (they won their first gold in 1988).

      The men's finalists, the world champion Netherlands and South Korea, were in danger of not even making the semifinals. A shocking defeat for Germany by Great Britain helped the Dutch top pool A on goal aggregate, despite a loss to Pakistan. In pool B India needed a win against Poland, but a 1–1 draw sealed India's fate, and South Korea, which had a 2–0 pool-match verdict over India, went on to beat Pakistan in the semifinal.

      A hat trick by the Dutch captain, Stephan Veen, was the final's highlight. He scored once more in the penalty shoot-out after the teams tied 3–3 despite extra time of 15 minutes. The Dutch won 5–4, profiting from a miss by South Korea's Song Seung Tae. Australia retained the bronze it won in Atlanta by beating Pakistan 6–3. Argentina, which placed eighth, was included as a substitute for South Africa, which became eligible to participate as the winner of the All Africa Games. The National Olympic Committee of South Africa had refused the team permission to join the Games, on the basis of an assessment that the possibility of the men's finishing above the ninth spot was remote.

      The “Hockeyroos,” as the Australian women were referred to, enjoyed an overwhelming superiority in individual craft and teamwork. Led by the seasoned midfielder Rechelle Hawkes, who had the honour of reading the Olympic oath at the opening ceremony, Australia beat Argentina (3–1), a first-time finalist. The Netherlands earned a bronze by besting Spain 2–0.

      The executive board of the sport's international governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Hockey (FIH), accepted the need to restructure and presented the report for approval to the FIH Congress in Paris on November 25. The FIH secretary-general, Els van Breda Vriesman, was nominated to the International Olympic Committee Evaluation Commission for the 2008 Olympiad. Veen and Alyson Annan of Australia were chosen as the players of the year for 2000.

S. Thyagarajan

▪ 2000

      Much international interest was aroused in 1999 by the continental championships—the Pan American Games, the European Nations Cup, the African Games, and the Oceania Cup—the winners of which would qualify for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. From the men's arena the winners, respectively, were Canada, Germany, South Africa, and Australia. In women's activity the qualifiers, respectively, were Argentina, The Netherlands, South Africa, and Australia. The qualifiers from Asia were decided in Bangkok, where India won the men's event and South Korea came out on top among the women.

      In addition, the 21st Champions Trophy for men and the 7th in the series for women were held concurrently in Brisbane, Australia, in June. Australia won both events, with the men setting a record of seven trophies and the women adding the championship to the Olympic, World, and Commonwealth titles they already held.

      The year marked the 75th anniversary of the sport's governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Hockey (FIH), based in Brussels. The organization, which had begun with the national associations of Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Hungary, Spain, and Switzerland, counted 119 affiliated members in 1999, and the sport was played by more than three million people on five continents.

      The inaugural Champions Challenge, a six-nation annual tournament for men and women, was scheduled to be played in India in 200l in an effort to help less-developed countries. The format would be similar to the Champions Trophy, with a round-robin series followed by classification matches for the medals. This innovation was long overdue. In Europe, particularly, the disparity between the strong and the weak nations had been revealed at all levels in the international field in 1999. Since 1970 European field hockey had become noted for the repeated victories by The Netherlands and Germany, offset by occasional flashes of success from Spain.

Sydney E. Friskin

▪ 1999

      In 1998 the Fédération Internationale de Hockey (FIH) introduced changes into field hockey, a 16-player game with 11 players on the field and 5 on the sideline ready to play at short notice as substitutes. The experimental no-offside rule was formally incorporated into the laws of the game, and substitutions by the attacking sides at penalty corners were forbidden. The decision to prohibit substitutions at penalty corners was made to eliminate specialist marksmen who scrambled onto the field to strike a corner and then rushed back to the bench. In the view of the FIH these specialists, who were not also all-around hockey players, were undesirable in the game. An extensive study of the composition and manufacture of field hockey sticks was also conducted during the year. As a result the existing definition of a stick, which dictated that its head (but not necessarily other parts) must be made of wood, would continue to apply.

      Other developments were announced in May in Utrecht, Neth., where the ninth World Cup tournaments for men and women were held concurrently for the first time. Cuba and Ghana were selected as the first two countries to receive funding through a pilot FIH development program supported by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC also guaranteed a permanent place for field hockey in the Olympics and increased the number of women's teams to 12 for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. At the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Ga., there were 8 women's teams. That number was increased to 10 for the 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia.

      The Netherlands, which had won in Atlanta in 1996, became holders of both the Olympic and World Cup titles by winning the men's event at Utrecht. The same distinction was achieved by the women of Australia. Field hockey was included in the Commonwealth Games for the first time in 1998. Australia triumphed in the women's event with an 8-1 victory in the final over England and in the men's competition with a 4-0 win in the final against Malaysia.


▪ 1998

      A new annual event, the World Hockey Series, that was to have been launched for men in November 1997 was postponed indefinitely in September for the want of sponsorship and television support. International competition on a continental basis was planned initially at four venues, the winners gaining eligibility to play, along with several automatic qualifiers, in the second round at three other sites. The three survivors from this round were scheduled to appear, along with the host nation, in a final four-nation competition at a new venue. Unfortunately, only 34 of the 119 countries affiliated with the Fédération Internationale de Hockey (FIH) expressed interest in participating, and the refusal by some leading nations, notably The Netherlands, to play in the inaugural event hastened a period of reappraisal.

      Despite the FIH's efforts to make field hockey more attractive by changing its laws, the world's television networks remained unconvinced. The experimental no-offside rule that came into force in August 1996 was extended for another year, although at the international level the expected harvest of goals did not materialize. Another change in the rules aimed at inducing both men and women to score more goals was introduced on Sept. 1, 1997. A penalty corner awarded at the end of each period of play had to be completed even if time ran out.

      For the 2000 Olympic Games at Sydney, Australia, England was given the right to stage the qualifying tournament for women. The number of participating teams was increased from 8 to 10. The men's qualifying tournament was assigned to Osaka, Japan, where eight teams would be in contention.

      Australia, the World Cup holder and defending Olympic champion, continued to dominate the women's game by winning the Champions Trophy at Berlin—in a 2-1 victory over Germany—for the fourth successive time in June 1997. The tables were turned in October when Germany beat Australia 3-2 in the men's Champions Trophy final held in Australia.


▪ 1997

      One of the most sweeping changes in field hockey came into effect on Aug. 4, 1996, when, as an experimental measure, the offside rule was abandoned. The purpose of the experiment was to diminish dependence on the set pieces and encourage more goals from open play, which would thereby make the game more attractive to spectators.

      Results in the Olympic Games at Atlanta, Ga., in July and August revealed a predominance of goals from corners, particularly in the later rounds of the men's event. Olympic supremacy remained in Europe, with The Netherlands displacing Germany as champion and Spain taking second place. Australia earned the bronze medal after besting Germany in the play-off. India and Pakistan had used an ineffective corner drill, which accounted for the failure of an Asian team to qualify for the semifinals. This had happened only once before in the Olympics, at Seoul, S.Kor., in 1988.

      New Zealand, the Olympic champion in 1976, took an important step toward qualifying for the next World Cup tournament in 1998 at Utrecht, Neth., by winning a 12-nation tournament at Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy, in October. Pakistan was to defend the World Cup at Utrecht against 11 teams.

      In women's competition Australia and South Korea proved vastly superior to the six other nations in winning the Olympic gold and silver medals, respectively, at Atlanta. The Netherlands prevailed over Great Britain in a penalty shoot-out for the bronze medal after neither team had scored at the end of regulation time.

      Under a new rule applicable to men and women, the holders of the World Cup would not qualify automatically for the Olympic Games at Sydney, Australia, in 2000. The privilege of doing so was now restricted to the host country and the previous Olympic champion. (SYDNEY E. FRISKIN)

▪ 1996

      Germany won the two main prizes for men's field hockey in 1995, retaining the European Nations Cup in Dublin in August and regaining the Champions Trophy in Berlin in the autumn. The Dublin final was decided on penalty strokes after a 2-2 draw against The Netherlands. England finished third and Belgium fourth. In Berlin the Champions Trophy final was also settled on penalty strokes after the match against Australia was tied at 2-2. Pakistan, The Netherlands, India, and England filled the remaining places in that order.

      Earlier in the year South Korea won the Indira Gandhi Gold Cup in New Delhi in February after defeating India 3-1 in the final. In third place was Australia, ahead of Kazakhstan, England, Malaysia, South Africa, and Poland. Argentina served as host for the Pan American Games at Mar del Plata in March and finished first, followed by Canada, the U.S., Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Chile, and Paraguay. Spain won a four-nation tournament at Lisburn, Northern Ireland, in June, with Ireland in second place, the U.S. third, and Scotland fourth. At a similar event in Atlanta, Ga., in September, Germany finished first, Australia second, India (A) third, and the U.S. fourth. Germany was later disqualified on a technical fault, and all other finishers moved up one place. In Sardinia, Italy, Australia won a tournament for six nations, finishing ahead of South Korea, Canada, India (B), Italy, and France. South Africa took the title at the African Games at Harare, Zimbabwe, where Egypt was second.

      In women's competition, Australia won the Champions Trophy at Mar del Plata in September. South Korea was second, followed by the U.S., Germany, Spain, and Argentina. South Africa took first in the African Games tournament at Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, ahead of Zimbabwe, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, and Ghana. Australia won a tournament at Atlanta in August. Spain was second, the U.S. third, and South Africa fourth. The Netherlands regained the European Nations Cup at Amstelveen, Neth., in June with a victory over Spain on penalties after a 2-2 draw in the final. Germany finished third, followed by England, Russia, Scotland, France, Ireland, Italy, the Czech Republic, Belgium, and Sweden. (SYDNEY E. FRISKIN)

▪ 1995

      After 14 years Pakistan regained the Champions Trophy in 1994 with a 3-2 victory over Germany in the final on a penalty shoot-out to break a 2-2 tie. The annual tournament for six nations was held at Lahore, Pak., in March. The Netherlands placed third, followed by Australia, Spain, and Great Britain. The Indira Gandhi Gold Cup was won by India at Lucknow, India, in February. South Africa finished second ahead of Egypt, Kenya, South Korea, and Japan. The Netherlands won a four-nation tournament at Madrid in June, prevailing over South Africa, England, and Spain, and had another success in July in a seven-nation tournament at Amstelveen, Neth., where Australia was second, followed by Pakistan, Germany, Argentina, South Africa, and Malaysia.

      In August England won the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Penang, Malaysia, with a victory over Pakistan on a penalty shoot-out after a 2-2 tie in the final. Australia was third, Malaysia fourth, and South Africa fifth in the five-nation event. South Korea became Asian Games champion at Hiroshima, Japan, with a 3-2 victory over India in the final. Pakistan was third and Japan fourth, followed by Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, China, and Oman. Indoors, Germany retained the European Nations Cup at Bonn, Germany, in January, prevailing over England, Czech Republic, Austria, Spain, France, Denmark, and Russia. Pakistan recovered the World Cup at Sydney, Australia, in December with a victory on penalty strokes after a 1-1 tie in the final against The Netherlands.

      In women's hockey Australia gained the World Cup for the first time with a 2-0 win over Argentina in the final of the quadrennial event at Dublin in July. The U.S. placed third and Germany fourth, followed by South Korea, The Netherlands, China, Spain, England, Canada, Ireland, and Russia. South Korea won the Indira Gandhi tournament at Chandigarh, India, in January, surpassing India, Italy, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan. In March the U.S. won a four-nation tournament in Dublin, where Ireland was second, Italy third, and Wales fourth. A five-nation tournament in Buenos Aires, Arg., in April was won by Australia, with Argentina in second place, followed by England, the U.S., and South Africa. (SYDNEY E. FRISKIN)

▪ 1994

      Australia won the Champions Trophy for the sixth time with a 4-0 victory over Germany in the final of the annual tournament for six nations, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in July 1993. The Netherlands finished third, followed by Pakistan, Spain, and Malaysia. The Africa Cup was won in February by South Africa in a round-robin competition at Nairobi, Kenya, where Egypt was second and Kenya third. In June the Irish Hockey Union celebrated its centenary with a four-nation tournament in Dublin. Germany prevailed, The Netherlands taking second place, England third, and Ireland fourth. In July India gained the Alps Cup in Vienna by defeating Austria 2-1 in the final.

      South Korea won the Intercontinental Cup at Poznan, Poland, with a 1-0 triumph over Spain in the final. Third was India, and fourth Argentina. Australia defeated England 5-2 at Reading and continued its success by winning a four-nation tournament in September at Hamburg, Germany, where Pakistan was second, The Netherlands third, and Germany fourth.

      In women's hockey Australia retained the Champions Trophy at Amstelveen, Neth., in August, finishing ahead of The Netherlands, Germany, South Korea, Spain, and Great Britain. In April Scotland won the four-nation tournament in Cardiff, Wales, with Ireland in second place, England third, and Wales fourth. Germany won the four-nation tournament at Glasgow, Scotland, with Scotland in second place, England third, and France fourth. In the overall placing for the Prince Takamado Cup at Osaka, Japan, South Korea finished first, Australia second, Japan third, and Spain fourth. At the fourth Intercontinental Cup in July at Philadelphia, Germany defeated Argentina 2-1 in the final. Canada finished third, followed by Russia, the U.S., India, Scotland, New Zealand, Japan, Belgium, Italy, and France.

      Indoors, Germany won the European championship for the seventh time successively, in London in January. England was second. (SYDNEY E. FRISKIN)

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also called  hockey 
 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. It is called field hockey to distinguish it from the similar game played on ice.

      Hockey is believed to date from the earliest civilizations. The Arabs, Greeks, Persians, and Romans each had their own versions, and traces of a stick game played by the Aztec Indians of South America have been found. Hockey can also be identified with other early games, such as hurling and shinty. During the Middle Ages a French stick game called hoquet was played, and the English word may be derived from it.

      Hockey began to be played in English schools in the late 19th century, and the first men's hockey club, at Blackheath in southeastern London, recorded a minute book in 1861. Teddington, another London club, introduced several major variations, including the ban of using hands or lifting sticks above the shoulder, the replacement of the rubber cube by a sphere as the ball, and most importantly, the adopting of a striking circle, which was incorporated into the rules of the newly founded Hockey Association in London in 1886.

      The British army was largely responsible for spreading the game, particularly in India and the Far East. International competition began in 1895. By 1928 hockey had become India's national game, and in the Olympic Games that year the Indian team, competing for the first time, won the gold medal without conceding a goal in five matches. It was the start of India's domination of the sport, an era that ended only with the emergence of Pakistan in the late 1940s. The call for more international matches led to the introduction in 1971 of the World Cup. Other major international tournaments include the Asian Cup, Asian Games, European Cup, and Pan-American Games. Men's field hockey was included in the Olympic Games in 1908 and 1920 and then permanently from 1928. Indoor hockey, played by teams of six players with six interchanging substitutes, has become popular in Europe.

      Despite the restrictions on sports for ladies during the Victorian era, hockey became increasingly popular among women. Although women's teams had played regular friendly games since 1895, serious international competition did not begin until the 1970s. The first Women's World Cup was held in 1974, and women's hockey became an Olympic event in 1980. The international governing body, the International Federation of Women's Hockey Associations, was formed in 1927. The game was introduced into the United States in 1901 by Constance M.K. Applebee, and field hockey subsequently became a popular outdoor team sport among women there, being played in schools, colleges, and clubs.

 The game is played by two teams of 11 players on a rectangular ground. The field is 100 yards (91.4 metres) long and 60 yards (55 metres) wide, and it is marked with a centre line and two 25-yard lines. The goals are 4 yards (3.66 metres) wide and 7 feet (2.13 metres) high. For a goal (which counts for one point) to be scored, the ball must go into the goal and, while within the shooting circle (semicircle), must have been touched by the stick of an attacker. The ball was originally a cricket ball (cork centre, string-wound, and covered with leather), but plastic balls are also approved. It is about 9 inches (23 cm) in circumference. The stick is usually 36 to 38 inches (about 1 metre) long and weighs 12 to 28 ounces (340 to 790 grams). Only the flat left side of the stick may be used to strike the ball.

      The usual composition of a team is five forwards, three halfbacks, two fullbacks, and a goalkeeper. A game consists of two halves of 35 minutes each, with an intermission of 5–10 minutes. A time-out is called only in case of injury. The goalkeeper wears thick, yet lightweight pads and, while in the shooting circle, is allowed to kick the ball or stop it with the foot or the body. All other players, however, may stop the ball with the stick only.

      Play is started (and restarted after a goal is scored and after half-time) by a pass-back in the centre of the field. A face-off, or bully, is used to restart the game after an injury or equipment time-out, following simultaneous penalties by both teams, or when the ball becomes trapped in a player's clothing. In a face-off two players, one from each team, face each other with the ball on the ground between them. After alternately tapping the ground and then his opponent's stick three times, each player tries to strike the ball, thus putting it into play. There are various provisions for putting the ball into play in case it goes off the field.

      There are various fouls in field hockey. The off-side rule, which is designed to prevent a player from getting an advantage by staying up the field ahead of the ball and ahead of fewer than two members of the opposing team, was dropped after the 1996 Olympics. Raising the stick above the shoulder while playing the ball is illegal. Stopping the ball with the hand is a foul, as is stopping it with the body or foot. Causing a dangerous play by raising the ball by undercutting it, as well as hooking an opponent's stick, are also fouls. Finally, there is the obstruction rule: a player is not permitted to obstruct an opponent by putting his stick or any part of his body between the opponent and the ball or by running between the opponent and the ball. Most fouls are penalized by giving the opposition a free hit from the point of infraction. There is one umpire for each half of the field.

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Universalium. 2010.

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