The game of field hockey is played vastly across the world. In fact, field hockey is the second biggest team sport on earth, played in more than 100 countries. In Canada, it is a well-liked family orientated sport, played in clubs by both women and men. Also, the game is played in numerous schools and provides a lifetime of both social and sporting opportunities for officials, players, and administrators.
The History of the Game
The origins of the game can be trailed back to the earliest civilizations of the world. Though, the modern game of field hockey was established in the British Isles. The modern game began in England in the mid-1800s and the first formal field hockey club (The Blackheath Football and Hockey Club) was created in 1861.
Many concepts and rules changed during the early years as the game grew throughout the British Empire. From these origins came not only the field hockey nations of Pakistan, India, and Australia but the expansion of the game in more than 100 countries. As a result, field hockey became the second biggest team sport on earth after soccer.
Since the 1908 Olympic Games in London, field hockey has been a men’s Olympic sport. The women’s game is a current addition, first acknowledged at the Moscow Olympics in 1980. Field hockey has women’s and men’s World Cup as well as competitions at other International Games such as the Commonwealth Games.
The History of Field Hockey in Canada
While the game developed around the globe in the late 1800s, so too did Canadian field hockey. Both men’s and women’s field hockey was established and growing in British Columbia before the end of the 19th century. Documentations show that as early as 1896, clubs on Vancouver Island and in Vancouver were enjoying regular games. Also, schools began playing the game with the earliest record being a 1903 Vancouver High School match played between a team of girls and boys.