London 2012 Guide to…Hockey

HOCKEY first appeared at the Olympics in London in 1908, although versions of the game date way back to Ancient Greece.

It is a hotly contested sport, played over 70 minutes by two, 11-a-side teams who each have five subs.

  • Cards galore

Hockey has a rather unusual system of having three cards for taking disciplinary action.

A green card is shown for a minor offence, a yellow means the player is sent to the sin-bin for five minutes, while a red is a sending-off and there’s definitely no turning back!

  • Dominant sides

India and Pakistan were virtually unbeaten in the years 1928 to 1968, but the introduction of Astroturf pitches has meant this is now not the case, with Australia, Germany and Holland all putting out very strong sides.

Women’s hockey began in 1980, with Australia and Holland boasting a strong record.

  • Hockey in London

Hockey games will be played at the Hockey Centre, and, like Handball, will see 12 men’s and women’s teams competing.

They are divided in to two groups, with the top two progressing to the semi-final stage.

And finally…

Look out for: a flying ball. You do NOT want to be hit by one.

Not to be confused with: Polo. It’s vaguely similar, I guess.

Useless but informative fact: Hockey is from the French hocquet, meaning ‘shepherd’s crook’. Now you know.

Hockey in two words: action packed.

Hockey begins on Sunday, 29th July and finishes on Saturday 11th August, at the Hockey Centre.