500+ Words Essay on Hockey
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. – Wayne Gretzky
Hockey is the national sport of India. The word hockey is said to be originated from the French word Hoquet that means shepherd’s crook. There is evidence suggesting that hockey was first played in Egypt and Ethiopia, and there are proofs in museums that suggest that this sport was also one played by the Greeks, the Romans and the Indians.
India’s first hockey club was formed in the city of Calcutta, better known now as Kolkata. In the year 1925, the Indian Hockey Federation was formed, which gave a chance to all players to play and prove themselves on a global scale.
India becomes world champions in hockey by winning the gold medal at the Amsterdam Olympics in the year 1928. Various trophies are associated with hockey. They include Lady Rata Trophy (for women), Ragaswamy Cup, Dhyan Chand Trophy, Scindia Gold Cup and many others. The Indian men’s hockey team currently holds the fifth rank in world rankings while the women’s hockey team stands at the ninth place internationally.
Types of Hockey
Bandy also known as Banty, is a form of hockey which is mostly played in Mongolia and the Scandinavian countries. It is the national sport of Russia and has its roots originating in England. It comprises of 8 to 11 players and is played on a rink the size of a football pitch.
Field hockey is a form of hockey played on grass, gravel or any other sand-based artificial turf. It is also the national sport of Pakistan. The British army was responsible for spreading this game, especially in India. This form of hockey has become increasingly popular in women as well. Countries like India, Pakistan, Argentina, Australia, etc. excel at playing field hockey.
Ice hockey is a variation of hockey that is played in an ice rink with players on skates or roller blades. Instead of a ball, they have to score with a puck which is like a rubber disk.
It is frozen before any match to reduce the friction and bounce on the ice. It is the national sport of Latvia and is the national winter sport of Canada. It is more prevalent in North America and Europe.
Ice Sledge hockey is another type which is played on ice by people suffering from disabilities in the lower body. Canada leads in this type of a variation, and much of the equipment required for this game was first developed there.
Rules of Hockey Game
There are a few basic and standard rules which are to be followed while playing this sport. Only two teams are to play at once with eleven members each. Players can be substituted any number of times. Only two players are allowed to touch the ball at once, and no third person can intervene.
The players should not swing their sticks too high to avoid hitting other players. The ball cannot be kicked or touched by the legs. It should come in contact only with the stick. Using the backside of the hockey stick can attract a penalty. Only the face of the stick should be used in this case.
Importance of Hockey
Playing hockey has numerous health and mental benefits. Hockey is a sport which helps you coordinate your eye movement with your body movement. It helps to burn excess body fat and also aids in time management.
It can lead to people exploring their inner and hidden talents. It also leads to the formation of long-lasting social relationships and gives a sense of pride in playing the national game of our country.
The start-stop nature of the game along with intervals in between allows you to have a better cardiovascular system and increases your metabolism. It is a full-body workout and also helps boost the brain and its functioning.
Top Indian Hockey Players
Dhyan Chand is no doubt the most successful hockey player India has ever witnessed. He has a record of scoring 400 international goals. He was also given the name “The Wizard” because of his superb ball control. His name did not initially include “Chand”, but he was given this because he used to practice diligently at night, under the moon after his duty hours in the army.
Udham Singh is another Indian hockey player of great stature. He was a man who weighed only 58 kg but showed the biggest battling spirits on the field. He was only the second Indian player to win three gold and one silver medal in the Olympic games. However, he was not able to make a record because of a finger injury that he sustained. He was later awarded the Arjuna Award and also turned out to be the coach of the Indian hockey team.
Dhanraj Pillay is another gem produced by the Indian hockey team. He captained the side and was known for his outstanding dribbling and astounding stick work. At times, he single-handedly carried the Indian team to victory and is the only player to have represented India in 4 consecutive Olympics. However, he does not have even one Olympic medal in his kitty. He has scored a total of 170 goals in his career and has been conferred with the Arjuna Award, the Padma Shri Award and the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.
Those of us who have watched the movie Soorma might be quite familiar with the legendary story of Sandeep Singh. He first represented India at the national front in 2004 and was given the name Flicker Singh. In a freak accident in 2006, he was accidentally hit by a gunshot which confined him to a wheelchair for over a year. However, he made his comeback to the Indian team and captained it in 2009. He was known for his skills as being one of the worlds best penalty corner specialists.
Hockey, despite being the third most popular sport in the world is not very popular in India. The maximum hockey players in our Indian team are from the land of Punjab. This sport is not as popular as cricket and has a lesser fan base.
The reasons are numerous, including the fact that cricket has more money, whereas hockey does not. It is the duty of the nation as a whole to promote the sport and spirit of hockey all over the country and encourage young children to take it up as careers or even play it as a hobby.