Myths about Field Hockey

Although field hockey is played all around the world, there is still a lot of confusion about the sport. Field hockey is not highly televised, so the sport’s popularity has spread through word of mouth more so than it has through media. This has caused many myths to arise.

This guide will debunk some of the common misconceptions about field hockey, so you can enjoy it more as a participant or a spectator.

1. Only Girls Play

There are very few field hockey clubs and junior leagues offered in the United States. Most teams are at the high school or collegiate levels, and are entirely female. This is why field hockey is commonly thought of as a female sport. In the 1920s, a female physical education teacher from England brought the sport to the United States. After that, the sport’s popularity grew more among women than among men.

However, there are men’s leagues in the United States; they are just harder to find. Although Title IX was mandated for more equality among female and male collegiate sports teams, men’s field hockey teams have not popularized to the degree of similar sports, like ice hockey. But unlike in the United States, there is an even balance between men and women who play the field hockey in most other countries.

2. It’s Not Popular

This myth is most commonly believed in countries where field hockey is not dominant. In reality, the sport is played in 112 countries around the world. It is also one of the top five most popular team sports in the world. So next time you think no one plays, think again! The world loves field hockey.

3. It’s Like Lacrosse

No, field hockey is not like lacrosse. People think the two sports are alike because of their similar stick and ball structure. But, lacrosse is a completely different sport with different rules. In lacrosse, the ball is played in the air, it is a contact sport, and the ball is allowed behind the goal. None of these rules apply to field hockey.

4. You Need to Start Young to be Good

Many people think you have to start playing sports at an early age to excel. This is not the case for field hockey. Most players are first taught the sport when they are 10 years old. But, it can be picked up at anytime. Because the sport is more skill-based than physical, it is very popular among older generations. Older athletes are able to play competitively because stick skills are more important than pure athleticism. So if you are thinking of picking up a new sport, but think you’re “too old,” field hockey is right for you.

5. Field Hockey is Dangerous

In any sport, there is a certain amount of risk that accompanies participation. Many people think field hockey is dangerous because it is played with a hard ball and stick. But, the sport is actually less dangerous than most because it is a non-contact sport. Anything considered even slightly dangerous will be called as a foul. So, there are added incentives for players to play a safe game

6. It’s Confusing

Any sport is confusing until you understand the rules. People are often confused by the penalty rules. Any foul committed inside the shooting circle will result in a penalty corner or penalty stroke. Penalties inside the main field of play result in a free hit for the other team. Once you learn the rules, the game will be easier to play and watch.

Get to Know the Field Hockey Community

This sport is one of the most popular in the world, so there must be something great about it. There is no age limit to when you can start. If you have an open mind, you can learn the sport in no time and be on your way to competing in officiated competitions or local pick-up games. Just check out your local charter to find what programs are offered in your area.

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