Essay on Hockey
Hockey is a fast, exciting sport played by two teams on a sheet of ice called a rink. Each team has six players on the ice, one goalie, two defensemen, two wingers, and one center man.
The players skate up and down the ice shooting or passing a hard rubber disk called a puck with sticks. They score points by hitting the puck into the net.
Hockey is much faster and swifter than any other sport. As the players streak across the ice, their powerful shots and passes can send the puck faster than 100 miles [160 kilometers] per hour. A goalkeeper on each team defends his net from the puck going in. They must often make quick slides across the on their skates, stomachs, knees or backs to stop the puck from going into the net. A puck that crosses the goal line is a called a goal and scores a point for the other team.
The side that scores the most goals wins the game. To keep the action fast, hockey has an unusual rule. It is the only major sport that allows players to change or substitute during play. The game is rough and includes lots of hitting and some fights, although fighting is against the rules.
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The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, Romans, and Arabs, perhaps among the earliest of stick-and-ball games, played forms of hockey. A sport similar to hockey, called Hurling, is known to have been played during the 1st millennium in Ireland, and other Europeans in the Middle Ages adopted similar sports. The historians don’t know for certain where the name Hockey came from. But most of them thought the name hockey have been adapted by the English from the French word hoquet (shepherd's crook). How ever was the name first given to the sport in the 18th century, but was not in common usage until the 19th century.
Hockey then started in Canada in the mid-1800's. By the 1900's it had become Canada's national sport. Since then, hockey has become popular in many other countries including Russia, Sweden and the United States. Hockey is grouped in many different divisions including minor hockey, which is grouped into age categories, SJHL, WHL, OHL and IHL, which involve the smaller cities in province or state, and NHL, which involve the bigger, better known cities in Canada and the United States. Each period begins with a face-off at the center face-off spot. A face-off also starts play again after it has been stopped for any reason. During play, the puck must normally be kept moving. If it is hit over the boards, held by the goalie, out of the referee's sight, frozen between opposing players, or is otherwise temporarily out of play, an official blows a whistle for a face-off. A player may move the puck along the ice, pass it to a teammate, or shoot it at the goal, but rules limit these plays in certain ways. One extremely important rule states that no player of the attacking team may be in the attacking zone ahead of the puck. One player must carry or shoot the puck across the attacking blue line before any other player on the team crosses the blue line.
For violations of this rule, an official signals the offending team offside and conducts a face-off in the neutral zone. A player may pass to a teammate anywhere in the same zone. The player may also pass from the defending zone to a teammate in their team's half of the neutral zone. If the pass is received past the centerline an official signals the pass offside and conducts a face-off where the play began.
Hockey requires a variety of skills. They include checking, skating, passing, stick handling and shooting. Checking is the way a player takes the puck away from the opponent. There are two main types of checks: stick checks and body checks. For a stick check the player uses his stick to hook or poke the puck away from the opponent. In a body check the player bumps against the opponent with a hip or a shoulder to try any block the opponent's progress or throw the opponent off balance. Both stick checking and body checking are allowed only against a player in control of the puck or the last player to control it. Skating is the most important hockey skill. Players must be able to turn sharply, skate backwards and perform many other maneuvers while skating at top speed. They must be able to do this with their head up and while stick handling the puck.
Passing occurs when a player who has the puck passes it to another player. In most cases the players use their sticks to propel the puck toward the receiver. These passes are either flat passes or flip passes. To make a flat pass the player sends the puck traveling along the surface of the ice. To make a flip pass the player causes it to rise off the ice to avoid interception by an opponent. Sometimes the passer simply leaves the puck behind, so that a teammate can get it, this is called a drop pass.
Stick handling is the use of the stick to control the puck. The player first moves the puck with one side of the blade and then with the other side while skating. The player makes some sweeps of the stick some wide and some narrow. In this way the player keeps the opponent guessing as to the next move and also makes it difficult to steal the puck.
Shooting is the skill needed to drive the puck into the net and score goals. Most shots are either wrist shots or slap shots. In a wrist shot the blade does not leave the ice. The player uses strong wrist action to propel the puck. For a slap shot the player raises the stick for a back swing and brings it down against the puck with great force. Slap shots are more powerful but less accurate than wrist shots.
Offside plays and icing account for most violations of the rules. For these violations, the offending team risks losing control of the puck in the resulting face-off. For more serious violations, players receive penalties ranging from two minutes in the penalty box to removal from the game, but each team must always have at least four players on the ice. If a third player is penalized while two teammates are in the penalty box, a substitute may replace the player on the ice. A teammate may serve the goaltender's penalty.
Hockey has five main kinds of penalties: minor penalties, major penalties, misconduct penalties, match penalties and penalty shots.
Minor penalties are given for violations like holding, tripping or hooking resulting in two minutes in the penalty box. The team must play short-handed until the time is up or the other team scores. But if the same minor penalty is awarded against players on both teams they sit for the full to minutes and two different players may replace them on the ice.
Major penalties are given mainly for fighting or cutting or drawing blood with a stick, they result in five minutes in the penalty box. The penalized team must play short-handed for the full five minutes, but if a player on each team receives a major penalty at the same time, substitutes may replace both players on the ice.
Misconduct penalties are given mainly toward the improper treatment towards an official, which results in ten minutes in the penalty box, but a substitute may replace the penalized player. A game misconduct penalty is given mainly for more serious offences against officials.
Match penalties are given for deliberately injuring or attempting to injure an opponent. The offending player is removed for the rest of the game and usually given extra penalty minutes depending on the severity of the incident, which a player on that team has to serve.
Penalty shots are free shots at the opposing goal defended by only the goalie. They are awarded against the defending team when an attacking player throws his stick or is pulled down from behind and is so prevented from taking the shot.
Those are the rules and regulations of the fun and exciting game of hockey.
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Hockey is our national game. It is played throughout the country. It is not a costly game so even the poor students can play hockey. A hockey stick and a ball is all that one needs to play hockey. Our country has been the world champion in this game for a number of years. Even now India is one of the world’s strongest hockey teams. The world admires our country for its excellence in this game.
Hockey is a game which is full of action and suspense. The players continue running with the ball and try to pass it on to one or the other player of their team so as to score a goal. Each team has eleven players including the goalkeeper. This game is played so fast that all the players keep on running all the time. This game calls for a high standard of physical fitness, mental alertness and team spirit. By constant practice, players can achieve a high degree of mobility and maneuverability and become experts in this game. India has produced first-class hockey players. Dhyan Chand was known as the hockey wizard. He achieved worldwide fame. Some sports critics feel that the standard of Indian hockey is on the wane.
As early as in 1928, India had become the world champion in hockey by winning the gold medal in the Amsterdam Olympic Games. India lost the gold medal in hockey for the first time in the Rome Olympics. It was still one of the first three teams in hockey. The Indian Hockey team was so badly mauled in the Montreal Olympics that it was relegated to the seventh position. Indian hockey was able to regain its lost position by winning a gold medal at the 1980 Moscow Olympics. We have not won a single medal since 1980 at the Olympics. We have not had medals in World Cup either. However, we won the Asian Cup at Kuala Lumpur in 2003.
Hockey is my favourite game. Whenever a hockey match is played in Delhi, I invariably make it a point to see it. Last Sunday I saw a hockey match which was played between our school team and the team of Model Higher Secondary School. Both the teams were evenly matched. A number of students had come to witness the match between the two leading school teams of Delhi.
At 3.45 p.m. sharp, the players of both the teams assembled in the playground. Mr. Yashpal of Model School was already present in the playground. He was the referee for this match. He is reputed for his impartial decisions. The players of our school were wearing green shirts. The players of the Model Higher Secondary School had come in red shirts. Every player was holding a hockey stick in his hand.
As soon as the referee blew the whistle, the game started. The spectators clapped. The game was slow initially for the first few minutes but gained momentum soon. The ball was moving very fast between the players of the two teams. The eyes of the spectators were set on the ball. They were watching every action and move of the players with interest.
During the first 30 minutes of the game, neither side could score any goal. Both the teams became very impatient. They now started playing the game more resolutely. They became aggressive in their moves. Each side was trying its level best to score a goal. Though the Model School team had been dominating the field, yet it could not score a goal because the defenders of our school team were equally strong.
However, just before the interval, Mr. Manish, the captain of our school team succeeded in scoring the first goal of the match. The spectators hailed this achievement by clapping. The players of our team embraced Mr. Manish to express their happiness.
After the interval was over, the two teams started playing the game with greater enthusiasm. With one goal already scored, the players of our team were full of confidence and were dominating the field. But suddenly, Mr. Rakesh of Model School was able to convert one penalty stroke into a goal. Now both the teams had scored one goal each. The spectators apprehended that the match might end in a draw.
But the players of our school did not lose heart. In a game like hockey, the fortunes of teams change very fast. Just 10 minutes before the close of the match, Mr. Aran of our school team was able to score another goal. The students of our school were very happy. They cheered our boys. Our schoolboys were now in very high spirits. The Model School team started playing a defensive game. At the end of the play, the referee declared that our school team had won the match by two goals to one.
The Principal of our school congratulated the players of our hockey team for this victory. He praised the team-work displayed by our team during this match. He said though the Model School team had lost the match, yet its performance was very fine. He wished that team well. He shook hands with the players of both teams. Thereafter, we came back to our homes.