If you think of field hockey as some “sissy” school girl sport, think again!
Canadians are lagging behind the rest of the world in their awareness of this amazing sport. We have understandable pride in our contribution to the world of ice hockey, but the popularity of ice hockey pales in comparison to field hockey worldwide.
And here’s something to think about….Almost everywhere but North America the word “hockey” refers to FIELD hockey NOT ice hockey!
Did you know?
The Game of Field Hockey…..
- is played internationally on an artificial water based turf; but can be, and is, played on multi-sport turf or grass as well
- uses a hooked wooden or fibreglass stick and the ball can be played on only one side of the stick
- is similar in “game” to soccer, with similar sized field and 11 a-side (including goal keeper); but is an intricate game, requiring excellent technical skills and fast, precise passes
- combines the best of many great sports – the stick skills and “soft hands” of ice hockey; the speed, footwork and endurance of soccer; the power and accuracy of golf or baseball
- combines intense physical activity and highly coordinated team play which makes for a great spectator sport
- has an indoor version, more similar to ice hockey – five a side (plus goal keeper) on a hardwood floor
Field Hockey around the World……
- can be traced back to the earliest civilizations of the world
- is played by men and women in over 100 countries around the world
- is the second most popular team sport in the world, after soccer
- has been an Olympic Sport since 1908 (men) and 1980 (women)
- stages its own World Cup competition and appears in other international games such as the Commonwealth Games and the Pan Am Games
Field Hockey in Canada….
- is played in 8 Provinces
- British Columbia has the greatest number of participants, Ontario comes second
- has Outdoor Senior National Men’s and Women’s teams and Outdoor Junior National Men’s and Women’s teams and Indoor Senior National Men’s and Women’s teams …that’s a lot of National Teams for one sport!
- Canada is hosting the Pan Am Cup this summer in Brampton and the Pan Am Games in 2015 in Toronto
Field Hockey and Post Secondary Education….
- Field hockey is played as a varsity sport in 10 Canadian Universities as part of CIS (Canadian Intercollegiate Sports) and in many others as a club sport
- Field hockey is played in 264 NCAA Colleges and University in the United States
- There are over 1000 scholarships available each year for field hockey athletes in Division I and Division II NCAA Colleges and Universities
Physical and Social Benefits of Field Hockey…
Field hockey is an aerobic sport, helping to develop the cardiovascular system: the game is fast paced, requiring short bursts of sprint energy and long term stamina over the course of the 70 minute game
Playing field hockey improves lower and upper body muscle strength - particularly the hamstrings, hips and calves, and shoulder, triceps and forearms
Playing field hockey builds coordination and agility as it relies on good hand-eye coordination and improves reflexes and reaction time
Socially, field hockey encourages team work, communication and individual persistence
Field hockey can offer a lifetime of social and sporting opportunities
Field hockey is a game where skill, fitness and thinking make a good player – rather than height or size - not many sports can say that!
Field hockey is a growing sport. Come to one of A&C Field Hockey Academy’s Intro Sessions and check it out for yourself. Help us grow the sport of field hockey in Canada!