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About Hockey

The word hockey itself is of unknown origin, although it is likely a derivative of hoquet, a Middle French word for a shepherd's stave. The curved, or "hooked" ends of the sticks used for hockey would indeed have resembled these staves.

The word hockey itself is of unknown origin, although it is likely a derivative of hoquet, a Middle French word for a shepherd's stave. The curved, or "hooked" ends of the sticks used for hockey would indeed have resembled these staves.Games played with curved sticks and a ball can be found in the histories of many cultures; In Egypt, 4000-year-old carvings feature teams with sticks and a projectile, hurling dates to before 1272 BC in Ireland, and in Inner Mongolia, China, the Daur people have been playing beikou, a game similar to modern field hockey, for about 1,000 years.

By the 19th century, the various forms of historic games began to differentiate into the individual sports defined today. Ice hockey also evolved during this period as a derivative of field hockey, adapted to the icy conditions of Canada and the northern United States.

Field Hockey

Field hockey is played on gravel, natural grass, sand-based or water-based artificial turf, with a small, hard ball. The game is popular among both males and females in many parts of the world, particularly in Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. In most countries, the game is played between single-sex sides, although they can be mixed-sex.

Modern field hockey sticks are J-shaped and constructed of a composite of wood, glass fibre or carbon fibre and have a curved hook at the playing end, a flat surface on the playing side and curved surface on the rear side.

There are no fixed positions in field hockey but most team arrange themselves into goal keeper, defence, midfield and forwards. Rules include no foot to ball contact, no obstructing other players, no high back swinging and there may only be two players touching the ball at any one time.

The games are officiated by two umpires and are divided into two equal halves of 35 minutes each with 5 minutes for half time.

 Ice Hockey

Ice hockey is played on a large flat area of ice, using a three-inch-diameter (76.2 mm) vulcanized rubber disc called a puck. This puck is often frozen before high-level games to decrease the amount of bouncing and friction on the ice. The game is contested between two teams of skaters. It is the most popular sport in Canada, Finland, Latvia, the Czech Republic, and in Slovakia.

Ice hockey sticks are long L-shaped sticks made of wood, graphite, or composites with a blade at the bottom that can lie flat on the playing surface when the stick is held upright and can curve either way, legally, as to help a left- or right-handed player gain an advantage.

There are early representations and reports of ice hockey-type games being played on ice in the Netherlands, and reports from Canada from the beginning of the nineteenth century, but the modern game was initially organized by students at McGill University, Montreal in 1875 who, by two years later, codified the first set of ice hockey rules and organized the first teams. Ice hockey is played at a number of levels, by all ages.

 Inline Hockey

Inline hockey is a variation of roller hockey very similar to ice hockey, from which it is derived. Inline hockey is played by two teams, consisting of four skaters and one goalie, on a dry rink divided into two halves by a center line, with one net at each end of the rink. The game is played in three 15-minute periods with a variation of the ice hockey off-side rule.

 England Hockey is the Governing Body for Hockey in England, and more information can be found at www.englandhockey.co.uk

For details on Rush Hockey in your area click here

For a Back to Hockey Activity Finder click here

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