Hockey


Hockey is an outdoor game.In the game two opposing teams attempt to drive a ball into the goal of the opponent by means of sticks that are hooked at one end. The sport, played both on the professional and amateur levels, is popular with men and women in Europe, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, and parts of South America, Asia, and Africa.

Rules :

Field hockey is usually played outdoors on grass or artificial turf. The pitch is 91.44 m (100 yd) long and between 50.29 and 54.85 m (55 and 60 yd) wide. The goals are situated at the centre of each goal line. The ball has a circumference of about 23.5 cm (9.25 in).
Originally each team had five forwards, supported by three halves, two backs, and one goalkeeper. Gradually other systems evolved leading to a variety of more flexible formations, with players classified simply as attackers, midfield players, and defenders. A game is divided into two halves of 35 minutes each. A game is started, and restarted after half-time and each goal, through a procedure called a pass-back from the centre of the pitch. In the pass-back the ball is hit or pushed by the striker but must not cross the half-way line or into the defending half of the field until another player (of either team) touches it. For a goal to be scored, the whole ball must pass over the goal line, between the goalposts, and under the crossbar. The ball must also have been touched by the stick of an attacking player in the striking circle, a zone in front of the goal.
Forms of hockey, perhaps one of the earliest stick-and-ball games, were played by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, Romans, and Arabs. The name hockey was first given to the sport in the 18th century. It is likely that a sport resembling modern field hockey was played in public schools in England early in the 19th century. The English Hockey Association was founded in 1886. International matches were played in the 1890s and hockey was included in the 1908 Olympic Games. The sport was long dominated by India and Pakistan who won every Olympic medal from 1928 to 1968. In 1994 the men's World Cup was won for a fourth record-breaking time by Pakistan. The women's World Cup was won by Australia for the first time.

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