History of Indoor Hockey

Indoor hockey was developed in Germany during the 1950's and quickly spread to other European nations. Beligum was one of the countries to adopt the field hockey variant, and in 1966 Rene Frank (a Beligum native, who was later to become President of the FIH), persuaded the German Hockey Associations to give responsibility over the rules of Indoor Hockey to the FIH. This led to the FIH recognising indoor hockey in its constituition in 1968.

Whereas in many countries field hockey is played all year long, in Germany and Austria the hockey season is divided evenly into a field hockey half in summer and an indoor hockey season in winter. There has been criticism that this impairs these countries' chances in international field hockey competition, but on the other hand the north European climate favours indoor hockey in winter, as outdoor pitches may be unplayable due to snow and ice. In Germany's case one could argue that it complements and enhances skills of their players with the German Women winning Gold in Athens Olympics and German Men winning the 2006 Field Hockey World Cup, the 2007 Indoor Hockey World Cup and Gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

In Germany indoor hockey is quite popular with many players, as due to the smaller fields and the use of side boardas the game / play is much faster. It is also both technically and physically very demanding.

The first FIH sanctioned tournament matches of Indoor Hockey were played in 1972, with the first Indoor World Cup played in 2003.


Definition of Indoor Hockey

(source: Wikipedia)

Traditionally and mainly played as a pastime by outdoor field hockey players during the off-season, when the outdoor pitches are frozen, or alternatively conditions are too hot for outdoor play. Indoor hockey is played in regular national and international championships. 


 

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