|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 Great Britain. 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. On the other side, 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 the two federations merge. On 23 April 1983, the IFWHA was dissolved, and women’s hockey became part of the FIH. As of 2022, the FIH has 139 member nations.
As of 2022, India leads the medal count with 12 medals and eight golds, followed by the Netherlands, with 18 medals and six golds. Seven male hockey players, all Indian, have won three gold medals, among them Leslie Claudius and Udham Singh, both of them adding a silver medal to their three Olympic titles, followed by Teun de Nooijer, from the Netherlands with four medals (and two golds). In the women’s competition, Dutchwomen Lidewij Welten and Eva de Goede and Australian Rechelle Hawkes have all won three gold medals. Welten and de Goede have four hockey medals, as does Argentinian player Lucha Aymar (two silver and two bronze).
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?|