Hockey is a sport in which two teams compete against each other by using a hockey stick to manoeuvre a ball or puck into the opponent's goal. Bandy, field hockey, ice hockey, and rink hockey are some of the different styles of hockey.

In most of the world, the name hockey refers to field hockey, although it commonly refers to ice hockey in Canada, the United States, Russia, and most of Eastern and Northern Europe. The word "hockey" was first mentioned in Richard Johnson's (Pseud. Master Michel Angelo) 1773 book Juvenile Sports and Pastimes, to Which Are Prefixed, Memoirs of the Author: Including a New Mode of Infant Education, whose chapter XI was titled "New Improvements on the Game of Hockey."

Field hockey, most popular in India is played with a small, hard ball of 73 mm (2.9 in) in diameter on gravel, natural grass, or sand-based or water-based artificial turf. In many parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Argentina, the game is popular among both boys and ladies. In most nations, the game is played between single-sex teams, while mixed-sex teams can also compete.

The International Hockey Federation, which has 126 members, is the governing organisation (FIH). Except for 1912 and 1924, men's field hockey has been played at every Summer Olympic Games since 1908, while women's field hockey has been played since 1980.

Table of Contents

  • How many players are there in Hockey?
  • History of Hockey
  • Different Types of Hockey
  • Rules and Regulations
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • The Bottom Line

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How Many Players Are There In Hockey?

Each side has eleven players: ten field players and one goalkeeper. Attackers, midfielders, defenders, and goalkeepers will make up the field formations, which may vary based on the coach's approach. The attackers are the ones who score the most goals. Wingers, inside forwards, and a striker are all possibilities. The most versatile players on the pitch are the midfielders. They are useful for both offence and defence. The defence is essentially the responsibility of the defenders. As a sweeper, the deepest defence back might be deployed. The goalie is the last line of defence and is responsible for defending the goal cage. Hence, more than the question of how many players in hockey are required, it’s about the strategic placement which we will talk about in subsequent paragraphs:


These are the players who obtain the most points. They spend the majority of the game between midfield and the goalkeeper's post.


These are the group's multi-tasking runners, sometimes known as halfbacks or links. Their job requires them to play both offensive and defence, which requires them to sprint up and down the field switching between offence and defence. If you wish to play this position, you'll need a lot of stamina because you'll be running a lot.


These are the ones who are completely in the rear, as the term suggests. They won't be doing much scoring, but that's fine. It is their responsibility to play defence.


A coach may seek a slight advantage in the event of a goal being scored. While a sweeper is not required, it may be used by a team to provide additional insurance. A sweeper is a fullback who stays in the back of the rest of the fullbacks and is the closest player to their team's goalpost aside from the goalie.


Some may argue that this is the most crucial player on the team. It is the goalie's job to prevent the opposing team from scoring. To be a goalie, you must have quick reactions and the ability to communicate defensive strategy with your colleagues.

History Of Hockey

The origin of the word hockey is unknown. One theory is that it comes from the Middle French term “hoquet”, which means "shepherd's stave." The curved, or "hooked" ends of hockey sticks would have looked quite similar to these staves. Another theory is based on the fact that cork bungs (stoppers) are commonly used to play the game instead of hardwood balls. The stoppers originated from barrels of "hock" ale, sometimes known as "hockey" ale.

Games involving bent sticks and a ball can be found in many cultures' histories. In Egypt, 4000-year-old sculptures portray teams with sticks and a projectile; in Ireland, hurling dates from before 1272 BC; and in Ancient Greece, there is a depiction from around 600 BC, where the game may have been named kertzein since it was played with a horn or horn-like stick. For over 1,000 years, the Daur people of Inner Mongolia have played beikou, a game comparable to modern field hockey.

The majority of evidence for hockey-like games during the Middle Ages may be found in sports and game regulations. Certain sorts of ball sports were prohibited by the Galway Statute, which was enacted in Ireland in 1527. including games using "hooked" (written "hockie", similar to "hooky") sticks. Time is immemorial about how many players in hockey have come through these pages of history to be commemorated again and again!

The numerous forms and divisions of traditional games began to separate and merge into the individual sports defined today by the mid-nineteenth century. National and international entities sprung created to control internal and international competition, and organisations dedicated to the codification of rules and regulations began to arise. Modern-day hockey also additionally sports the use of various technology options and sporting gears, which makes it rank different from the past.

Different Types Of Hockey

  1. Bandy: Bandy is a ball game played on an ice rink the size of a football pitch (bandy rink), usually outdoors, with many rules similar to association football. In Russia and Sweden, it is a professional sport. The Worldwide Olympic Committee recognises the sport, and the Federation of International Bandy is its international regulating organisation. Bandy originated in England in the 19th century, was originally known as "hockey on the ice," and expanded throughout Europe around 1900; a comparable Russian sport can also be considered a precursor, and bandy is frequently referred to as "Russian hockey" in Russia. Since 1957, men's bandy world championships have been held, while women's bandy world championships have been held since 2004.
  2. Field hockey: Modern field hockey sticks are J-shaped, with a curved hook at the playing end, a flat surface on the playing side, and a curved surface on the backside, and are made of a composite of wood, glass fibre, or carbon fibre (sometimes both). Right-handed sticks are required; left-handed sticks are not authorised. While field hockey as we know it now first originated in mid-eighteenth-century England, primarily in schools, it was not widely adopted until the first half of the nineteenth century. The first club was founded in Blackheath, south-east London, in 1849. Pakistan's national sport is field hockey and it was India’s too until the Ministry of Youth Affairs outrightly declined to affirm it as the National sport in 2012.
  3. Ice hockey: Ice hockey is a sport in which two teams of skaters compete on a wide flat expanse of ice with a three-inch (76.2 mm) diameter vulcanised rubber disc known as a puck. Before high-level games, this puck is frequently frozen to reduce the amount of bouncing and friction on the ice. The game is popular in North America, Europe, and many other nations throughout the world to varying degrees. In Canada, Finland, Latvia, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, it is the most popular sport. Ice hockey is Latvia's national sport and Canada's official winter sport. Ice hockey is played by people of all ages at various levels.
  4. Roller hockey: Inline hockey is a type of roller hockey that is closely related to ice hockey, from which it derives. Inline hockey is played on a dry rink divided into two halves by a centre line, with one net at each end, by two teams of four skaters and one goalkeeper. The game is split into three 15-minute sections, with an off-side regulation similar to that of ice hockey. Icings are sometimes known as unlawful clearing, but they are most commonly referred to as icings.

Rules & Regulations

Here is a brief of 10 main rules of hockey as listed below:

  1. Only the flat side of your stick may be used.
  2. You must be appropriately attired, including shin protection, mouth guards, and no jewellery, among other things.
  3. A total of ten field players and a goalkeeper are on the pitch at the same time.
  4. The field hockey game is divided into two 30-minute halves.
  5. Substitutions - the field player must leave the field at the 50-yard line before the new player can enter.
  6. The ball must not be allowed to fly, especially on free hits. The ref's judgment is used to determine this. A shot on goal is an exemption, as long as no player is in the direct path of the ball and no one is in danger.
  7. Begin on your own. You cannot hit into the circle straight, whether it is a free hit or a long hit. Before hitting the ball into the circle, you must pass it or carry it for 5 yards. You can take a direct hit, pass to one of your teammates, or carry the ball for 3 yards before striking it for free hits anywhere else on the field.
  8. A corner hit will be called whenever a foul happens in either team's circle.
  9. During typical play, you cannot raise your stick above your waist. It is up to the ref's judgment if you are taking a free hit.
  10. It is not possible to tackle (go for the ball) from behind. If you're fighting for the ball, you must face your opponent head-on (shoulder to shoulder).


  1. The ball cannot land on your feet.
  2. There will be no third-party involvement. At all times, it's one vs. one. A foul is called when another player tries to go for the ball.
  3. Obstruction — when you have your back to another player and you are in the way of the ball.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who invented Indian hockey?

Between the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the British devised the first version of modern-day field hockey. It was introduced as a popular school game at the time, and during British administration in the 1850s, it was adopted by the Indian army.

2. What was hockey originally called?

The French word hoquet (shepherd's stick) has been credited to the name hockey, as the organised game has come to be known. The term rink was first used in the game of curling in 18th-century Scotland to refer to the designated playing area.

The Bottom Line

The craze for hockey has been rejuvenated off late with stupendous performances from the National team. With the fire ablaze, time is ripe for the young generation to seriously think of the sport and bring back the lost glory.

One of the key motivators will be the trivia that India still has the highest number of medals including gold medals from field hockey. Cricket has taken the upper hand while it comes to popularity, but time will definitely see hockey getting back the respect it always used to enjoy.

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