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 HOCKEY

Hockey is any of a family of sports in which two teams compete by trying to maneuver a ball into the opponent's net or goal, using a hockey stick. The dominant version of hockey in a particular region tends to be known simply as hockey, other forms being more fully qualified.

Field hockey

Field hockey is played on gravel, natural grass, sand-based or water-based artificial turfs, with a hard ball. The game is popular among both males and females in many continents of the world, particularly in Europe, Asia, Australasia, and South Africa. In most countries, the game is played between single-sex sides, although it can be played by mixed-sex sides.

 
The 116-member governing body is the International Hockey Federation (FIH). Field hockey has been played at each Summer Olympic Games since 1908 (except 1924). Modern field hockey sticks are J-shaped and constructed of a composite of wood, glass fibre or carbon fibre (sometimes both) and have a curved hook at the playing end, a flat surface on the playing side and curved surface on the rear side.

There are 4000-year-old drawings in Egypt of a game resembling field hockey being played. While modern field hockey appeared in the mid-18th century in England, primarily in schools, it was not until the first half of the 19th century that it became firmly established. The first club was created in 1849 at Blackheath in south-east London. Field Hockey is the National Game of India.

 

ICE HOCKEY

Ice hockey is played on a large flat area of ice, using a three inch (76.2 mm) diameter vulcanized rubber disc called a puck. This puck is often frozen before high-level games to decrease the amount of bouncing and friction on the ice. The game is contested between two teams of skaters. The game is played all over North America, Europe and in many other countries around the world to varying extent. It is the most popular sport in Canada and in Finland.

The 64-member governing body is the International Ice Hockey Federation, (IIHF). Men's ice hockey has been played at the Winter Olympics since 1924, and was in the 1920 Summer Olympics.

 
Women's ice hockey was added to the Winter Olympics in 1998. North America's National Hockey League (NHL) is the strongest professional ice hockey league, drawing top ice hockey players from around the globe. The NHL rules are slightly different from those used in Olympic ice hockey - the periods are 20 minutes long, counting downwards. There are three periods.

Ice hockey sticks are long L-shaped sticks made of wood, graphite, or composites with a blade at the bottom that can lie flat on the playing surface when the stick is held upright and can curve either way, legally, as to help a left- or right-handed player gain an advantage. Variations in curves include its lie and its curve type. Most companies that produce sticks have sponsored players and in return, use their custom curve on publicly retailed sticks. To shoot with a left curved stick, the stick is held with the right hand at the top and the left hand partway down the shaft. To shoot with a right curved stick, the stick is held with the left hand at the top and the right hand partway down the shaft. Most people who are right handed shoot with a left curved stick, and most people who are left handed shoot with a right curved stick. This keeps their dominant hand at the top of the stick, allowing more control. Sticks also have flex numbers, a number on the stick that can go from zero to 100. It indicates how much the stick will bend before breaking when pressed on the ice. This flexing is what enables slapshots.

There are early representations and reports of hockey-type games being played on ice in the Netherlands, and reports from Canada from the beginning of the nineteenth century, but the modern game was initially organized by students at McGill University, Montreal in 1875 who, by two years later, codified the first set of ice hockey rules and organized the first teams.

 

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