How does it work?
Not played hockey since school? We’ll refresh your memory. There are 11 players on each team, including one goal keeper, and players must hit, push, flick or scoop the ball into the opponent’s goal - they are then awarded a point. The hitting of the ball must only be carried out with the flat side of the stick - not the curved. There is a line across the goal that the ball must pass in order for the team to be awarded a point.
The ball is fairly heavy and therefore the goalkeeper is required to wear headgear, gloves and various protective pads for other parts of their body. The field it is played on is usually 100 yards long and 55-60 yards wide, with one game consisting of two 35 minute halves. There is a lot of wildly chasing after the ball - great for improving stamina and burning calories.
Is it for me?
If you’re in good health and not afraid of a few bruises, give it a go! Hockey is quite a tough, aggressive sport - with 22 players on a pitch and brandishing sticks as they all chase after one small ball, the risk of mild injury is fairly high. If you think you can take it on, a vigorous game of hockey is a great workout. Both arms and legs are used throughout the game - you’ll definitely be aching after the 70 minutes!
Forget the image of school girls in long socks - hockey is equally popular with both sexes. You don’t have to be particularly skilled in certain sports abilities, either - you’ll naturally become better at playing as you get used to using the stick.
Good to know
Hockey became an Olympic sport in 1908, but the sport in general dates back to the Ancient Greeks. Who knew?