HOCKEY (possibly derived from the " hooked " stick with which it is played; cf. O. Fr. hoquet, shepherd's crook), a game played with a ball or some similar object by two opposing sides, using hooked or bent sticks, with which each side attempts to drive it into the other's goal. In one or more of its variations Hockey was known to most northern peoples in both Europe and Asia, and the Romans possessed a game of similar nature. It was played indiscriminately on the frozen ground or the ice in winter. In Scotland it was called " shinty," and in Ireland " hurley," and was usually played on the hard, sandy sea-shore with numerous players on each side. The rules were simple and the play very rough.
Modern Hockey, properly so called, is played during the cold season on the hard turf, and owes its recent vogue to the formation of " The Men's Hockey Association " in England in 1875. The rules drawn up by the Wimbledon Club in 1883 still obtain in all essentials. Since 1895 " international " matches at hockey have been played annually between England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales; and in 1907 a match was played between England and France, won by England by 14 goals to nil. In 1890 Divisional Association matches (North, South, West, Midlands) and inter-university matches (Oxford and Cambridge) were inaugurated, and have since been played annually. County matches are also now regularly played in England, twenty-six counties competing in 1907. Of other hockey clubs playing regular matches in 1907, there were eighty-one in the London district, and fifty-nine in the provinces.
The game is played by teams of eleven players on a ground 100 yds. long and 50 to 60 yds. wide. The goals are in the centre of each end-line, and consist of two uprights 7 ft. high surmounted by a horizontal bar, enclosing a space 12 ft. wide. In front of each goal is a space enclosed by a curved line, its greatest diameter from the goalline being 15 ft., called the striking-circle. The positions of the players on each side may be seen on the accompanying diagram. T,wo umpires, one on each side of the centre-line, officiate.
,| The ball is an ordinary ~~ cricket -ball painted j> white. The stick has a hard- wood curved head, and a handle of cork or wrapped cane. It must not exceed 2 in. in diameter nor 28 oz. in weight. At the start of the game, which consists of two thirty or thirty-five minute periods, the two centreforwards " bully off " the ball in the middle of the field. In " bullying off " each centre must strike the ground on his own side of the ball three times with opponent's stick three times alternately; after which either may strike the ball. Each side then endeavours, by means of striking, passing and dribbling, to Idrive the ball into its opponents' goal. A player is "off side " if he is nearer the enemy's goal than one of his own side who strikesi the ball, and he may not strike the ball himself until it has been touched by one of the opposing side. The ball may be caught (but not held) or stopped by any part of the body, but may not be picked up, carried, kicked, thrown or knocked except with the stick. An opponent's stick may be hooked, but not an opponent's person, which may not be obstructed in any way. No left-handed play is allowed. Penalties for infringing rules are of two classes; " free hits " and " penalty bullies," to be taken where the foul occurred. For flagrant fouls penalty goals may also be awarded. A " corner " occurs when the ball goes behind the goalline, but not into goal. If it is hit by the attacking side, or unintentionally by the defenders, it must be brought out 25 yds., in a direction at right angles to the goal-line from the point where it crossed the line, and there " bullied." But if the ball is driven from within the 25-yd. line unintentionally behind the goal-line by the defenders, a member of the attacking side is given a free hit from a point within 3 yds. of a corner flag, the members of the defending side remaining behind their goal-line. If the ball is hit intentionally behind the goal-line by the attacking side, the free hit is taken from the point where thetball went over. No goal can be scored from a free hit directly.
Ice Hockey (or Bandy, to give it its original name) is far more popular than ordinary Hockey in countries where there is much ice; in fact in America " Hockey " means Ice Hockey, while the land game is called Field Hockey. Ice Hockey in its simplest form of driving a ball across a given limit with a stick or club has been played for centuries in northern Europe, attaining its greatest popularity in the Low Countries, and there are many 16th- and 17th-century paintings extant which represent games of Bandy, the players using an implement formed much like a golf club.
In^England Bandy is controlled by the " National Bandy Association." A team consists of eleven players, wearing skates, and the proper space for play is 200 yds. by 100 yds. in extent. The ball is ol solid india-rubber, between 2j and 2$ in. in diameter. The bandies are 2 in. in diameter and about 4 ft. long. The goals, placed in the centre of each goal-line, consist of two upright posts 7 ft. high and 12 ft. apart, connected by a lath. A match is begun by the referee throwing up the ball in the centre of the field, after which it must not be touched other than with the bandy untif a goal is scored or the ball passes the boundaries of the course, in which case it is hit into the field in any direction excepting forward from the point where it went out by the player who touched it last. If the ball is hit across the goal-line but not into a goal, it is hit out by one cf the defenders from the point where it went over, the opponents not being allowed to approach nearer than 25 yds. from the goal-line while the hit is made.
In America the development of the modern game is due to the Victoria Hockey Club and McGill University (Montreal). About 1 88 1 the secretary of the former club made the first efforts towards drawing up a recognized code of laws, and for some time afterwards playing rules were agreed upon from time to time whenever an important match was played, the chief teams being, besides those already mentioned, the Ottawa, Quebec, Crystal and Montreal Hockey Clubs, the first general tournament taking place in 1884. Three years later the " Amateur Hockey Association of Canada " was formed, and a definite code of rules drawn up. Soon afterwards, in consequence of exhibitions given by the best Canadian teams in Hockey Stick.
some of the larger cities of the United States, the new game was taken up by American schools, colleges and athletic clubs, and became nearly as popular in the northern states as in the Dominion. The rules differ widely from those of English Bandy. The rink must be at least 112 ft. long by 58 ft. wide, and seven players form a side. The goals are 6 ft. wide and 4 ft. high and are provided with goalnets. Instead of the English painted cricket-ball a puck is used, made of vulcanized rubber in the form of a draught-stone, I in. thick, and 3 in. in diameter. The sticks are made of one piece of hard wood, and may not be more than 3 in. wide at any part. The game is played for two half-hour or twenty-niinute periods with an intermission of ten minutes. At the beginning of a match, and also when a goal has been made, the puck is faced, i.e. it is placed in the middle of the rink between the sticks of the two left-centres, and the referee calls " play." Whichever side then secures the ball endeavours by means of passing and dribbling to get the puck into a position from which a goal may be shot. The puck may be stopped by any part of the person but not carried or knocked except with the stick. No stick may be raised above the shoulder except when actually striking the puck. When the puck is driven off the rink or behind the goal, or a foul has been made behind the goal, it is faced 5 yds. inside the rink. The goal-keeper must maintain a standing position.
There are a number of Hockey organizations in America, all under the jurisdiction of the " American Amateur Hockey League " in the United States and the " Canadian Amateur Athletic League " in Canada.
Ice Polo, a winter sport similar to Ice Hockey, is almost exclusively played in the New England states. A rubber-covered ball is used and the stick is heavier than that used in Ice Hockey. The radical difference between the two games is that, in Ice Polo, there is no strict off-side rule, so that passes and shots at goal may come from any and often the most unexpected direction. Five men constitute a team: a goal-tend, a half-back, a centre and two rushers. The rushers must be rapid skaters, adepts in dribbling and passing and good goal shots. The centre supports the rushers, passing the ball to them or trying for goal himself. The half-back is the first defence and the goal-tend the last. The rink is 150 ft. long.
Ring Hockey may be played on the floor of any gymnasium or large room by teams of six, comprising a goal-keeper, a quarter, three HOCK-TIDEHODGE forwards and a centre. The goals consist of two uprights 3 ft. high and 4 ft. apart. The ring, which takes the place of the ball or puck, is made of flexible rubber, and is 5 in. in diameter with a 3-in. opening through the centre. It weighs between 12 and 16 oz. The stick is a wand of light but tough wood, between 36 and 40 in. long, about J in. in diameter, provided with a 5-in. guard 20 in. from the lower end. The method of shooting is to insert the end of the stick in the hole of the ring and drive it towards the goal. A goal shot from the field counts one point, a goal from a foul i point. When a foul is called by the referee a player of the opposing side is allowed a free shot for goal from any point on the quarter line.
Roller Polo, played extensively during the winter months in the United States, is practically Ice Polo adapted to the floors of gymnasiums and halls, the players, five on a side, wearing roller-skates. The first professional league was organized in 1883.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)