Sport Focus: 12 Things You Didn't Know About Hockey

June 12, 2019

With Scotland’s women looking for promotion as they host EuroHockey II Championship in Glasgow this summer and our men set for the top flight of European competition for the first time in 12 years, it’s an exciting time for players and spectators alike. To round off our Sport Focus, up your trivia game with these 12 things you might not know about Hockey at the Commonwealth Games and beyond:

1. Historical records show that a crude form of Hockey was played in Egypt 4,000 years ago and various museum sources suggest that a form of the game was played by the Romans, Greeks and Aztecs. The modern game developed in the mid-18th century and the first Hockey Association was created in the UK in 1876.

2. Hockey is one of a number of core sports at the Commonwealth Games, making its debut in 1998. Scotland sent a women’s team who missed out on a place in the medal matches only on goal difference. Scotland’s men made their debut at Melbourne 2006, finishing 7th. The best Scottish result in Hockey to date was 5th for the women’s team at Melbourne 2006. The men’s side scored their best result to date at Gold Coast 2018, finishing 6th.

3. Australia has dominated the sport at the Commonwealth Games with their men winning every gold medal to date and their women winning four gold, one silver and one bronze. Only six nations have ever won a Commonwealth Games hockey medal: Australia, India, England and New Zealand who have won medals in both men’s and women’s events plus Malaysia and Pakistan in the men’s event only.

4. Scotland Men’s Hockey team are the only Scotland team ever to win a Summer Olympic Medal. They won a Bronze Medal in London in 1908, beating Germany 4-0 in their first match.

5. A total of 23 Scots have won Olympic Medals for Hockey, more than any other sport.

6. After its introduction in 1908, Hockey was next included at the 1920 Olympic Games. It was also on the programme for 1928 and has been included ever since. Women’s Hockey made its Olympic debut at Moscow 1980.

7. Played in more than 100 countries, Hockey is one of the most popular sports in the world. Participation numbers show that Hockey is played by as many girls and women as by boys and men.

8. Hockey is proud of being an inclusive, family sport with brothers David and Alan Forsyth playing at the Gold Coast coached by their dad Derek ( Lynne, their mum is also a former internationalist). Brother and sister Willie Marshall and Kareena Cuthbert (Marshall) were on their respective teams for the Gold Coast.

9. Before the invention of specific hockey balls, Hockey was played with cricket balls. It was often the job of the youngest player to paint the ball white before the start of the game.

10. The First Women’s World Cup was held in Edinburgh in 1975. The World Cup Trophy has a thistle design to commemorate its Scottish roots.

11. Scotland have played international matches at Hampden, Murrayfield, Celtic Park and Wembley, with one game at Wembley attracting over 60,000 spectators.

12. Scotland Men first defeated England in 1912. The England Captain was so upset that he threw his stick into the fire at the team hotel!

Find out more about the sport in the Commonwealth Games on our dedicated Hockey page and look out for our next sport focus as we profile each of the 25 sports to have featured since the Games began in 1930.

Join the club

Subscribe to our newsletter