|Historical records show that a crude form of hockey was played in Egypt 4,000 years ago, and in Ethiopia around 1,000 BC. Various museums offer evidence that a form of the game was played by Romans and Greeks, and by the Aztec Indians of South America several centuries before Columbus landed in the New World.
Mr. Paul Léautey, a Frenchman who would become the first President of the FIH, was motivated to action following hockey’s omission from the program of the 1924 Paris Games and hockey took its most important step forward when the International Hockey Federation, the world governing body for the sport, was founded in Paris in 1924 at his initiative.
Hockey, or Field Hockey as it is known in some parts of the world, is a stick and ball game with origins dating back thousands of years. It is traditionally played on grass, but more often these days – especially at the top levels and in certain countries – hockey is played on synthetic surfaces.
In hockey, two teams of 11 players compete against each other using their ‘hooked’ sticks to hit, push, pass and dribble a small, hard, usually white, ball, with one aim in mind – to score by getting the ball into the opponents’ goal.
To do that, they have to get the ball past the other team’s goalkeeper, who protects the goal, and logically, tries to keep the ball out!