Like most fans, my love of hockey stems from playing on the school sports pitch as a youngster. Over the following years, weekends were spent avidly watching local teams from the chilly sidelines. The love became an addiction and later developed into a passion for the even colder sport of ice hockey. My fondness for sticks and balls even stretches to the equine version of Polo!

Hockey From The Sidelines

The history of hockey is shrouded in mystery, but there were people participating in field games similar to hockey over 4000 years ago. How it changed from knocking a ball around with a stick is also not clear. However, it evolved into a formally organised game somewhere around the late 18th century, so maybe my love of hockey is genetic!

The world’s very first hockey club was Blackheath HC in 1862, and the Hockey Association made its debut in 1886. As the love of the sticks and balls spread, it became an international sport, with Men’s hockey taking its place in the 1908 London Olympics. England did actually win the gold medal that year, but women were unable to “bully off” until 1980.

Ice Hockey Skates

Ice hockey is a very similar sport, and most fans enjoy both. It may have derived from hockey, lacrosse and other field games, but the game we know today definitely originated in Canada. The first ice hockey games took place during the 1870’s, and the rules were designed by students from McGill University in Montreal. In fact, there have been very little changes made to these rules since then!

Both of the games have the objective of goal scoring, but there are some differences in the rules, number of players, and the equipment used. Ice hockey’s rules are more stringent, and there are more timeouts than in traditional hockey. They also have twenty players, with five playing on the ice at any time, together with a goalkeeper. In hockey, there are normally sixteen players, with eleven on the field. Overall, it can be a much more exciting watch, with plenty of body contact and fast play.

My love of hockey on and off the field!

Stick And Ball Elite Style

The final addition for any sticks and ball fans has to be polo. It is an extremely demanding sport which takes years to master. A truly unique and crazy pastime, there is no other sport that is quite as challenging, intense and exhausting. Each player changes their horse every 7 minutes during play. So in a 6-chukker polo match, there will be over 50 different horses in action. It is an expensive and difficult sport, but Arena polo can be extremely beginner friendly. Maybe that’s where my love of hockey will take me next?