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All that you ever wanted to know about hockey in and around Australia.
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Hockey is not just a sport but it is a family of sports where two teams compete. They try to maneuver a hard and round ball called a puck, into the opponent's net called the goal, by using a hockey stick. Generally the dominant version of hockey of a particular region tends to be known simply as hockey, instead of calling it by the full name like, field hockey, ice hockey etc.
Field Hockey is the most popular form of hockey and it is an extremely popular sport in Australia too. Australia has gained an important position in world hockey since 1980.
In field hockey all players on the team in possession of the ball are called attackers, and those on the team without the ball are termed as the defenders. Two umpires officiate the match. Each one of them controls one half of the field.
A coin is tossed before the game starts. The winning captain starts with the ball. The total game time is divided into two equal halves of 35 minutes each, with a half time of five minutes.
Field players must play the ball with the face of the stick. They should not use their feet to play the ball. But he is not penalized if the ball accidentally touches the feet of the player.
There are four national hockey teams in Australia, Kookaburras Australian Men's Hockey Team, Hockeyroos is the Australian Women's Hockey Team, Jillaroos is the Australian Under 21 Women's Team and Burras is the Australian Under 21 Men's Team.
The Kookaburras have so far won seven Olympic medals including one gold medal and six world cup medals which includes one gold in 1986 at London. Hockeyroos is even better with three Olympic gold medals and two world cup gold medals.
The recent top kookaburras players include, Andrew smith, Stephen Mowlam Oam and Travis Brooks Oam. For Hockeyroos Nikki Hudson, is the star player. Then there was the great Rechelle Hawkes who was the captain of the Australian Women’s Hockey Team. She herself was termed as the Hockeyroos, for eight years and is one of the two Australian females to win three Olympic gold medals. At three separate Olympic Games, Sydney 2000, Atlanta 1996 and Seoul 1988.