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Hockey's birth place is Asia and Persia is credited with having devised it about 2000 B.C. It is said that Greeks and Romans played hockey but nothing is known about the nature of the game that they played. The earliest mention of the present day game dates back only to 1527, when the Galway Statutes included 'hokie'- the hurling of little ball with sticks or staves in a list of prohibited games.

Modern hockey, as created in England, resembles closely games once popular in the British Isles and there is no doubt that hockey's immediate fore-runners were the Scottish shinty, the English and Welsh bandy an the Irish hurling.

The game has witnessed numerous refinements over the years. Among the earliest refinement was the prohibition of raising the stick above shoulder level.

Hockey became popular in India when the British Regiments played the game in India and introduced it in the British India Regiments who quickly picked up the game. The first hockey club was formed in Calcutta in 1885-86 followed by Bombay and Punjab. The Bengal Hockey was the first Hockey Association in India founded in 1908. The second was formed in 1920 in Karachi by the name 'Sind Hockey Association'. In the Olympic games, India played hockey for the first time n 1928 held in Amsterdam. She reached the finals defeating Austria, Belgium, Denmark and Switzerland. In the final, India defeated Holland by three goals to nil.


Hockey is the National Game of India. Unmatched excellence and incomparable virtuosity brought India a string of Olympic gold medals. The brilliant Indians brought a touch of black magic to their play and the ball juggling feats of the Indians were a sheer delight.

The Golden Era of hockey in India was the period from 1928 - 1956 when India won 6 consecutive gold medals in the Olympics. During the Golden Era, India played 24 Olympic matches, won all 24, scored 178 goals (at an average of 7.43 goals per match) and conceded only 7 goals. The two other gold medals for India came in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

In 1956, after India won the last of its six consecutive gold medals, the manager of the Pakistan hockey team, Riazuddin Ahmed said, "This is the first time that we played India in the Olympics. The next time we play, the result will be different." His prophetic words came true in 1960, when after 28 consecutive victories in the Olympic Games, India lost 0-1 to Pakistan in the 1960 Rome Olympics final.

Domestic seasons and tournaments

Organisations involved with the sport in India

The Bharatiya Hockey Andolan (henceforth referred to as Andolan) is a non-profit organization for raising the standard of hockey in India to world class standards. To achieve the above, the Andolan has focussed on an existing institutional setup - the university system of India, and created a framework for producing sporting talent out of this hitherto neglected resource base. The framework to be provided is the inter-university Dhyan Chand Tournament.

1995 was the inaugural year when the Andolan hosted the tournament with the Maratha Conference (total of 6 universities), covering the state of Maharashtra. In 1996, Ahimsa Conference (6 universities), which covers the state of Gujarat are also being included.

In 1997, the Adi Sankara Conference (10 universities of Kerala), Chola Conference (7 Universities of Tamil Nadu), Sri Venkateswara Conference (8 universities of Andhra Pradesh), and the Vijayanagara Conference (6 universities of Karnataka) will be included. At this stage 43 universities, spanning Western and Southern India, have been covered by the tournament.

In 1998, the Rajput Conference (5 universities of Rajasthan), Sanchi Conference (8 universities of Madhya Pradesh and environs), Indraprastha Conference (8 universities of Delhi and environs), and the Taj Conference (8 universities of Uttar Pradesh) will be covered.

1999 will focus on East India. The tournament will include the Kalinga Conference (7 universities of Orissa), Durga Conference (9 universities of Bengal), Nalanda Conference (9 universities of Bihar), and the Ganga Conference (9 universities of Uttar Pradesh).

This leaves the frontier areas of India. In year 2000, the tournament will include Brahmaputra Conference (5 universities of the North-East), and the Kurukshetra Conference (9 universities of Haryana, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir). This results in a grand total of 120 Division I universities in the country.

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