Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
In most parts of the world where it is played, “hockey” means ice hockey unless otherwise indicated. Like baseball, hockey is a sport whose origins are difficult to pinpoint precisely: Rather than appearing all of a sudden as an individual's invention, it developed over time out of a tradition of field sports brought by Europeans to North America. Field hockey, hockey-like games, and mounted hockey-like games like polo have been played throughout the Western world since the ancient era, probably because of the ease of creating the equipment in an age when most adults had a knife and at least rudimentary woodcarving skills. If the essence of baseball-like games is the use of a bat to strike a pitched ball in the air, the essence of hockey is the use of a curved stick to move a contested ball on the ground; two very different families of games, the ancestors ...