Field hockey is one of the most played sports in the world, second only to soccer. Played by both men and women, field hockey one of the oldest “stick-and-ball” games played. In Egypt, drawings that are dated back 4,000 years have been found depicting the game. In addition, historians have found records dating back to ancient times that describe games similar to modern field hockey.
Summary of play
Field hockey play is generally played outdoors on a grassy or artificially turfed field. Players use a stick to hit the ball into the shooting circle and then into a goal net. The stick is generally three feet long and has a rounded club with a flattened side on the end, used for hitting the ball. All players are required to wear shin guards to protect against the speedy ball. Each team has a goalkeeper whose job it is to protect the goal net. The goalkeeper wears heavy padding for protection against the hard, plastic ball. In addition, they use a stick to provide an additional resource for blocking the ball.
Every four years, countries that have national field hockey teams are invited to play at the Olympics. In addition, every four years, a field hockey World Cup is played and annually the Champions Trophy Cup is held for the six top-ranked teams. For junior field hockey players, a World Cup is held as well.