|Competitions held||35 (Venues)|
Hockey is the oldest known ball and stick game. Records exist of it having been played in Persia in 2000 BCE. It became so popular by the Middle Ages that it was banned in England for a time because it interfered with the practice of archery, which was the basis for national defense.
The modern game of hockey, however, was developed in England in the late 19th century. It spread throughout the British Empire, as a result, and most of the dominant nations in the early years of the sport were members of that Empire. This includes India, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. India’s dominance in this team sport at the Olympics is matched only by the United States’ dominance of basketball, Hungary’s dominance of water polo, and Canadian and Soviet dominance of ice hockey. Between 1928 and 1956, India won six gold medals and 30 consecutive games.
Hockey appeared on the Olympic Program in 1908 and 1920. It was not included in the Olympic program in 1924, because no international federation existed. In 1928, it was held at Amsterdam and has been an Olympic sport since. In 1980, hockey for women was first introduced as an Olympic sport.
Hockey is governed internationally by the Fédération Internationale de Hockey (FIH), which was formed on 7 January 1924 in Paris, with seven founding members: Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Hungary, Spain, and Switzerland. The International Federation of Women’s Hockey Associations (IFWHA) was founded in 1927, with eight founding members: Australia, Denmark, England, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, the United States, and Wales. When women’s hockey was added to the Olympic program in 1980, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) demanded that federations merge. On 23 April 1983 the IFWHA was dissolved and women’s hockey became part of the FIH. As of 2020 the FIH has 137 member nations.
While 52 Olympians have won three hockey medals, only Udham Singh (IND), Leslie Claudius (IND), Teun de Nooijer (NED), and Lucha Aymar (ARG) have won four. Eight Olympians have won three gold medals, among them Udham Singh and Claudius, and five other Indian players – Dhyan Chand, Balbir Singh, Sr.; Ranganandhan Francis, Randhir Singh Gentle, and Richard Allen. Australian Rechelle Hawkes is the only non-Indian hockey Olympian to win three gold medals.
Presidents of the Fédération Internationale de Hockey:
Presidents of the International Federation of Women’s Hockey Associations (dissolved 1983):
|Republic of Korea||KOR||0||3||0||3|
|People's Republic of China||CHN||0||1||0||1|
|Eva de Goede||NED||3||1||0||4|
|Balbir Singh, Sr.||IND||3||0||0||3|
|Randhir Singh Gentle|| IND
|Jet de Graeff||NED||1||0||0||1|
|Lisanne de Lange||NED||1||0||0||1|
|Macey de Ruiter||NED||1||0||0||1|
|Saskia van Duivenboden||NED||1||0||0||1|
|Juliette van Hattum||NED||1||0||0||1|
|Liselotte van Mens||NED||1||0||0||1|
|Lieke van Wijk||NED||1||0||0||1|
|Name||Gender||Still contested?||Times held?|