(Last Updated on : 12/10/2013)
History of hockey in India
can be traced back to the British Raj, when it was first introduced by the army regiments of the British. It is a typical English game, which has its foundations in the earliest civilisations of the world. It is said to have been present nearly 1200 years prior to the Ancient Games of Olympia. This game has been played by Ethiopians, Romans, Persians, Greeks and Arabs. While many players played the game for the purpose of entertainment, numerable people believed that playing a game of hockey would enable them to emerge as stronger warriors.
The field hockey was initiated in the 19th century, in the British Isles. This game gained widespread popularity within the country, during the British Raj, which was when the London Hockey Association was formed. This organisation then formulated the rules which would have to be followed while playing this game. During 1924, the International Hockey Federation or FIH was created, which was followed by the International Federation of Women's Hockey which came into existence after three years.
During 1885 to 1886, the very first hockey club was established in the city of Kolkata
. This was closely followed by Punjab
. The team of Indian hockey players earned its first Olympic gold
at its debut at the event of the Amsterdam Games. Dhyan Chand
, the legendary and versatile Indian hockey player
was the real skilled hand behind this grand victory. Between the years 1928 to 1953, this Indian hockey player won as many as six gold medals at the Olympics, as well as 24 consecutive matches. India was able to score 178 goals. This time period was considered to be the golden age of Indian hockey Balbir Singh
made significant contribution in the field of hockey game in India. He had played in the hockey matches in the years 1948, 1952 and 1956 alongside the Indian hockey teams. Balbir Singh achieved phenomenal success in the year 1952, at Helsinki after he had scored five goals and a gold medal, against Netherlands.
However, when Pakistan defeated India in the final hockey match during the 1960 Rome Olympics the Indian domination over this game slightly faded. K.D. Singh, Dhyan Chand, Dilip Tirkey
and Dhanraj Pillay
are some of the excellent hockey players Indian has produced. Due to their dexterous efforts during hockey matches, India has been capable of crossing new milestones in the sphere of hockey, thanks to the contribution of these players.