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
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
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
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
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
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
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.