As Hockey is a team game, it is an excellent way to develop communication skills and learn to work effectively with other people.
Versions of Hockey have been traced back hundreds of years but the modern version of the game was developed in Britain in the 1800s as an alternative option to football for cricketers during the winter months. The first organised club was the Blackheath Football and Hockey Club, which dates back to at least 1861.
In its most common form, a Hockey match consists of two teams of 11 players competing to score more goals than each other by hitting, pushing, flicking or slapping a ball using a hockey stick. Matches last 70 minutes, two periods of 35 minutes, and are most commonly played outdoors on artificial turf pitches. Key skills include passing, tackling, carrying the ball (dribbling along the ground) and shooting. Variations include indoor hockey, played on a wooden floor between teams of six players and in England, Rush Hockey, a new small-sided version played by teams of four or five. Participants need a Hockey stick, shin guards, appropriate footwear and a mouth guard. Goalkeepers wear a helmet and padded body armour on their feet, legs and upper body.
The London 2012 Olympic Games were a huge success as for the first time in history, both Great Britain teams qualified for the semi-finals. The women finished third overall, claiming the bronze medal (their first medal in 20 years) and the men matched their world ranking by finishing fourth.
London 2012 showcased Hockey to the world and 630,000 ticket holders witnessed live at The Riverbank Arena the speed, agility and incredible skills of the world's top international Hockey stars on the iconic blue and pink pitch. A yellow ball was used to contrast against the pitch and provide spectators with the best possible viewing experience.