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THE
COMPLETE HOCKEY PLAYER



THE

COMPLETE
HOCKEY PLAYER



BY

EUSTACE E. WHITE



WITH CONTRIBUTIONS BY PHILIP COLLINS
AND L. M. AND J. Y. ROBINSON



WITH THIRTY-TWO ILLUSTRATIONS, INCLUDING MANY SPECIAL
ACTION-PHOTOGRAPHS, AND A PLAN



THIRD EDITION



METHUEN & CO. LTD.

36 ESSEX STREET W.C.

LONDON



*$*



First Published ... March 26th 1909

Second Edition December 1910

Third Edition November 1922



PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN






PREFATORY NOTE

WISH to record my indebtedness to the following
-*- for kind help rendered in connection with the com-
pilation of this work: W. M. Johnstone, Eric
Green, S. H. Shoveller, Philip Collins, L. M. Robinson,
J. Y. Robinson, P. M. Egan, the Rev. A. E. Bevan, H. F.
Beaumont, E. F. Edge Partington, and H. E. Robinson,
and also to Fry's Magazine for kind permission to use a
photograph,

E. E. W.



CONTENTS

CHAP. PAGE

I. ORIGIN, PROGRESS, AND POPULARITY OF HOCKEY i

II. HISTORY OF THE HOCKEY ASSOCIATION. BY PHILIP

COLLINS ....... 13

III. THE ELEMENTS OF HOCKEY .... 20

IV. THE GROUND ITS CARE AND EQUIPMENT . . 39
V. IN PLAY THE FORWARD LINE . . . .46

VI. IN PLAY THE FORWARD LINE (continued') . . 62

VII. IN PLAY THE BACK DIVISION . . . -79

VIII. IN PLAY THE BACK DIVISION (continued} . . 98

IX. INTERNATIONAL HOCKEY A COMPARISON OF STYLES 117

X. UNIVERSITY HOCKEY. BY L. M. AND J. Y. ROBINSON 127
XI. HOCKEY IN OTHER LANDS. BY PHILIP COLLINS . 138

XII. LADIES HOCKEY ...... 148

XIII. SOME FAMOUS PLAYERS AND FAMOUS CLUBS . . 168

XIV. THE ART OF UMPIRING . . . . .182
XV. REMINISCENCES AND INCIDENTS . . . .198

XVI. RULES OF THE GAME, AND NOTES THEREON BY AN

INTERNATIONAL ..... 206

XVII. APPENDIX IMPORTANT RECORDS . . . 217

INDEX ....... 225



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

ENGLAND'S FIRST INTERNATIONAL TEAM (1895) Frontispiece

PACING PAGE

FOURTEENTH CENTURY ALTAR -For IN COPENHAGEN
NATIONAL MUSEUM, SHOWING HOCKEY PLAYERS EN-
GAGED IN A "BULLY" ..... 4

FINISH OF DRIVE WRISTS TURNED OVER FROM RIGHT TO LEFT 24
THE REVERSE STROKE ...... 26

THE LEFT-HAND LUNGE AS USED BY HALF-BACK FOR

DEFENSIVE PURPOSES ...... 28

THE "JOB" 30

CENTRE HALF-BACK CHECKING INSIDE LEFT BY MEANS OF

RIGHT-HAND THRUST ..... 32

FORWARDS PASSING BALL ON THE VOLLEY . . .33
PLAN OF FIELD ....... 43

THE ROLL-IN FROM TOUCH . . . . .51

COMBINATION IN THE CIRCLE S. H. SHOVELLER, DEFEAT-
ING RIGHT BACK BY MEANS OF THE PUSH-STROKE
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT. NOTE POSITION OF HANDS-
CORRECT ..... 54

RIGHT TREATMENT OF A CORNER FROM THE LEFT CENTRE
FORWARD FIELDING THE BALL FOR INSIDE LEFT TO
SHOOT. THIS METHOD is SPECIALLY EFFECTIVE IN THE
CASE OF A PENALTY CORNER . . . .56

IP



x THE COMPLETE HOCKEY PLAYER

FACING PAGE

COMBINATION BETWEEN CENTRE FORWARD AND INSIDE
RIGHT. THE FORMER ELUDING CENTRE HALF BY PUSH-
STROKE FROM LEFT TO RIGHT .... 59

CENTRE FORWARD FOLLOWING UP SHOT BY INSIDE LEFT . 60

OUTSIDE RIGHT OUTWITTING LEFT HALF-BACK BY HITTING
BALL TO THE RIGHT OF HIM AND RUNNING ROUND ON
THE OTHER SIDE ...... 66

ERIC GREEN MAKING HIS FAMOUS CENTRE FROM OUTSIDE
LEFT WHILE RUNNING AT TOP SPEED BY MEANS OF A
HALF-RIGHT TURN OF THE BODY . . . .76

EQUIPPED FOR GOAL- KEEPING H. WOOD, A FAMOUS

ENGLISH GOAL-KEEPER . . . . .82

GOAL-KEEPER CLEARING BY KICKING A METHOD FOR

EMERGENCIES ....... 85

A LEGITIMATE TACKLE ON THE LEFT . . . -93

AN ILLEGAL TACKLE ON THE LEFT. THE HALF- BACK (IN
SWEATER) HAS TOUCHED HIS OPPONENT BEFORE THE
BALL ........ 95

BLOCKING THE AVENUE FOR A PASS . . . .100

CENTRE HALF-BACK INTERCEPTING PASS FROM CENTRE

FORWARD TO INSIDE RIGHT WITH LEFT-HAND CUT . 105

HALF-BACK PASSING TO FORWARDS BY MEANS OF SCOOP

STROKE ....... 106

LEFT HALF-BACK CHECKING OUTSIDE RIGHT BY MEANS OF

RIGHT-HAND CUT . . . . 108

FINAL OF THE OLYMPIC HOCKEY CONTEST IN THE STADIUM
ENGLAND v. IRELAND. ENGLISH FORWARDS AWAITING
A CORNER HIT ...... 123

AN IRISHMAN'S SHOT AT GOALA PERFECT FOLLOW-
THROUGH ....... 125

INTERNATIONAL HOCKEY GERMANY v. SCOTLAND AT THE

STADIUM. A RUN BY THE SCOTTISH FORWARDS. . 126



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS xi



FACING PAGE



L. M. AND J. Y. ROBINSON FAMOUS HOCKEY TWINS, AND

JOINT AUTHORS OF CHAPTER x . .128

To FIELD A BUMPING BALL . . . . -134

GERMANY'S TEAM IN THE OLYMPIC HOCKEY CONTEST . 140

A LADIES' INTERNATIONAL MATCH OF TO-DAY. ENGLAND

v. SCOTLAND AT RICHMOND BEFORE 3000 SPECTATORS . 149

Miss E. G. JOHNSON, ONE OF THE PIONEERS OF LADIES'
HOCKEY, AND ENGLAND'S CAPTAIN ON MORE THAN A
DOZEN OCCASIONS . .... 155

THE PETERSONS OF PALMKRSTON AN ILLUSTRIOUS HOCKEY

BROTHERHOOD . . . . . . .180

The action photographs have been specially taken for the book by
Mr. S. J. BECKETT, Baker Street, London, W.



THE COMPLETE HOCKEY
PLAYER



CHAPTER I

' ORIGIN, PROGRESS, AND POPULARITY OF

HOCKEY

MODERN hockey is a glorified form of that game,
played at different times and in different countries
under such varied names as hurley, shinty,
bandy, hoquet, and caman. The game's Irish designation
was hurley, its Scottish shinty, while bandy was its
title in Wales. Hoquet was its French name, and the
French love to aver that " Hoquet " is a name of hoarier
antiquity than any of the others by which the game has
been called, thereby claiming for France the honour of
hockey's nativity. Much delving into the past reveals to
the historian nothing which enables him definitely either to
confirm or to negative this French claim.

The little that research does discover seems to point
all one way, in the direction of Ireland, as being the native
land of hockey.

In Ireland the game seems to have been played under
two names hurley and caman. One Irish authority
describes hurley as it was played in the middle of the
nineteenth century as " a modified form of the ancient
game of ' caman.' " But the evidence of written history
i



2 THE COMPLETE HOCKEY PLAYER

shows that hurley itself was played in Ireland as far back
as the second century. So it is reasonable to suppose that
hurley was not a copy but an original. The source of its
earliest record is the will of the Irish Cathair Mor, first
king of Ireland, who died A.D. 148. This record, as tran-
slated by O'Flaherty in Ogygia, runs as follows : " Cathair
gave Crimthaun fifty hurling balls made of brass, with an
equal number of brazen hurlets." Evidently hurley, as
played by the ancients, was a game for individual rather
than collective skill, as we read of players matched single-
handed against fifty and thrice fifty opponents. And
hurley, under this its old name, is still played in the less
civilised parts of Ireland, a survival of the long centuries
which have rolled away since Cathair's gift to Crimthaun.

The tenacity of the Scotch, and the loyalty with which
they cleave to old friends, old traditions, old customs, has
remarkable emphasis in the case of shinty, Scotland's con-
tribution to the past of hockey. Every boxing day, and
high up on Wimbledon Common hard by the old windmill,
foregather a motley crew, armed with an equally motley
set of weapons sticks, staves, crooks all more or less
twisted to some semblance of the primitive hockey stick.
It is a truly heterogeneous gathering this, with, nowadays,
sadly little of the Scottish flavour about it Occasional
colour is lent to the scene by a k ;t tH figure, and realism
by an occasional Glengarry cap. .But for the most part
there is little romantic about the appearance of the gather-
ing and little to remind one that its purpose is essentially
Scotch the celebration of the ancient game of shinty.
Time was when this annual gathering partook of no little
importance and dignity. Now, apart from the interest and
dignity always attaching to the maintenance of an old
custom, the gathering is meagre and touched with pathos.
A few white-haired Scotsmen, there to honour the old
game and the old custom, and for the rest a rabble of
youths and small boys. And of the game played little
need be said save that it is as irregular as the players.



ORIGIN AND PROGRESS OF HOCKEY 3

Makeshift goal-posts are pitched on the rough common,
and these form' the only definite landmark of the game.

To start the game, a ball, a soft ball, is thrown into the
air, and struck at by the players the moment it comes
within reach of their sticks, extended above their heads.
The subsequent play is simply a wild scrambling after the
ball. According to legend, shinty dates back to the twelfth
century. Alexander the First of Scotland is said to have
taken a great interest in the game, and as he was named
the Fierce, it is likely that shinty was a very rough game in
his day.

There is no evidence to show what antiquity may be
claimed for bandy, the Welsh form of hockey, but there is
evidence to show that it was vigorously played by the
Welsh at the beginning of the nineteenth century. In a
small work entitled The Kalendar of Amusements occurs
the following account of bandy, played by the peasantry
of Wales, and written in 1830. After remarking on the
proneness of the Welsh towards all sports, and their manner
of devoting their evenings to rural dissipations, the writer
goes on to say, " But the most popular of all the rural
diversions of the Vale of Glamorgan is the important game
of bandy. It consists in a contention between two sets of
players which of them shall succeed in striking a ball with
bent sticks along the ground to opposite goals. Even the
loftiest pride of a parish is its repute at this game ; and a
rivalship about it between two neighbouring parishes will
occasion such heartburnings and bickerings as may not
very readily be conceived." The account then proceeds to
a graphic and humorous description of a match played
between two rival parishes Llantwyt and Llancarvan.
The contest was decided on the seashore, " upon a field of
hard sand," and was eagerly watched by the assembled
inhabitants of the vale. Hard hitting was the vogue and
under-cutting," players sending the ball with " blows of
their bandies whizzing aloft through the air." After a
while excitement ran so high that the spectators could no



4 THE COMPLETE HOCKEY PLAYER

longer control themselves and " closed down with a roar "
upon the play and players, and the ball got lost among the
throng, concealed deliberately by a female partisan. Either
team had one special champion Llantwyt, a converted
Methodist ; and Llancarvan, one called Shanko. The final
scene is a mighty race between these two for the ball, the
verdict resting with the Methodist, who, " stretching out his
foot, by a trip of the heel sends his rival ploughing the
sands before him with a headlong fall as the spray is dashed
before the vessel." And victory is with the men of Llan-
twyt, the plaudits of their partisans " pealing from one tall
cliff to another."

The bibliography of hockey is limited, and furnishes
little information about the exact antiquity of the game in
England. In one of the few histories on hockey, written
by H. F. Battersby, the author says, " Its trail may be
found here and there across the story of social England
from quite early days." And in his famous essay on John
Bunyan, one of the masterpieces of English prose, Lord
Macaulay says, " Bell-ringing and playing at hockey on
Sundays seem to have been the worst vices of this depraved
tinker." The love of hockey was one of Bunyan's darling
sins which he "could not let go." Possibly the extreme
sinfulness of hockey in his eyes lay, not in the game itself,
but in its indulgence on a Sunday. Or perhaps it was
Bunyan's idolatrous love of hockey that he regarded as
a sin and a snare, and not any intrinsic sinfulness in the
game. Whatever may have been his real attitude towards
the game, it is certain that hockey was played on the
village green in the seventeenth century, and with
enthusiasm.

Of visual evidence of the antiquity of hockey none
is so unique or interesting as an ancient relic in the
Copenhagen National Museum. This is an altar pot,
made about the year 1330, on which are depicted two
hockey players armed with genuine hockey sticks and
engaged in an orthodox " bully," quite after the modern




FOURTEENTH CENTURY ALTAR-POT IN COPENHAGEN

NATIONAL MUSEUM, SHOWING HOCKEY PLAYERS

ENGAGED IN A "BULLY"



ORIGIN AND PROGRESS OF HOCKEY 5

fashion. So authentic is this evidence thought to be in
Denmark, that an engraving of this altar pot appears in
the year-book of the Danish Hockey Association.

It is impossible to trace at all closely the history and
progress of the game down to about the middle of the nine-
teenth century. Then it begins to assume a more definite
form. The implements of the game were primitive enough
a large cork bung, a piece of rubber fashioned to the
appearance of an oblong ball, or an indiarubber bottle
cut close to the neck, formed the " object of contention " ;
while the sticks used were of oak, crab, holly, or ash, and
cut from tree or hedge.

At one time, it is amusing to note, the game was called
" shinney " in the North of England, from the custom
which prevailed of striking the shins of a player who had
the ball between his feet. The objective of the players
was just what it is to-day, namely, to hit the ball into a
goal at either end of the ground. But the means to that
end were very different. The game gradually gained in
favour, and in the sixties was played in many parts of
England.

In his reminiscences, which cast a lurid light on the
hockey of those days, and which he wrote specially for this
chapter, the Rev. A. E. Bevan, one of the hoary veterans of
English hockey, says : " Hockey was played twenty a side
with an indiarubber ball about the size of a cricket ball,
but cut in angles all round, so that it should not bounce
equally. Our weapons were light oak sticks, often weighted
with lead to give greater driving power, as a goal might be
scored anywhere in the field, a half-circle not being in
existence. There was no limit, to the best of my recollec-
tion, to the field of play, except so far as the goal-line was
concerned. Should any player come in on the wrong side
(z>. the left side) as you were dribbling down, you were at
liberty to hit him across the shins ; and if one of your own
side was following up closely, instead of shouldering off the
ball, he could apply kindly but hurtful attentions in tho



6 THE COMPLETE HOCKEY PLAYER

same way." This was on Wimbledon Common, and many
a hard-fought battle did Mr. Bevan and his contemporaries
fight on a stretch of turf no great way from the scene of
the shinty festival described earlier in this chapter.

A decade before these " hard-fought battles " of Wimble-
don Common the Blackheath Hockey Club was formed, and
played under rules of its own, which, being altered from
time to time, were in their final state very similar in several
instances to the modern rules of the game. It is an
honourable fact for the Blackheath Club, that it was not
only the parent of the Union game that is, the game as
authorised by the National Hockey Union, a predecessor
of the present Hockey Association but also of the
renowned Blackheath Football Club.

The size of a team and the disposition of the players
were very different then from what they are in modern hockey.
For matches each side consisted of fifteen players a goal-
keeper, two backs, two three-quarter backs, three half-backs,
and seven forwards. The half-backs were sometimes called
flag-men, and the centre man was chosen usually for his
hitting powers and accurate eye, and was often one of the
chief goal-scorers of the team. The game suffered extra-
ordinary fluctuations in its rules. At one time kicking
would be allowed, then it would not. One year the use of
the hands in stopping the ball would be permissible, the
next year it would not. Even dribbling was at one time
illegal. Left-hand hitting is one of the few things which
has always been illegal. " Shinning " was the penalty a
player paid for breaking the rules, and yet shin-guards were
unknown, so that our forebears were evidently a hardy race.

In addition to the Blackheath Club, there was a flourish-
ing club at Bristol, and the Metropolitan and the West of
England Club played an annual match for nearly twenty
years, the initial match taking place in 1875. Six wins
each and four drawn games were the record.

During the seventies, clubs began to form round London,
and there is extant the record of a match between Surbiton



ORIGIN AND PROGRESS OF HOCKEY 7

and Richmond, played in 1875. This record tells of many
disputes throughout the game, and urges the formation of
a Hockey Union for the making of definite rules and the
furtherance of the game. Accordingly an Association was
established, and the rules revised.

Under these rples, the size of the ground was left almost
entirely to the fancy of the players, and was anything from
100 to 150 yards long and 50 to 80 yards wide. The
goals, too, were on the same generous scale as the ground,
being 6 yards wide and 7 feet high. No goal could be
scored if the ball was hit from a distance of more than
1 5 yards from the nearest goal-post. The half-circle was
not yet, but it is evident from the 1 5 yards' restriction that
its necessity was bound to force itself upon the game. It
is not easy to guess 1 5 yards, and it could not be long
before players would realise the need of a definite mark.

The next landmark in the progress of the game was
the birth of the famous Wimbledon Club. This occurred
in 1883. Wimbledon owed very much to past members
of the defunct Surbiton and East Surrey Clubs, who had
been responsible for the introduction of the cricket ball and
the rule preventing a goal being scored at a greater distance
than 1 5 yards from the goal. The following comment on
this subject occurs in Hockey of the " Isthmian Library "
series : " The great significance of these two principles was
fully appreciated by the men of Wimbledon, who fashioned
their game accordingly, giving up the string ball (one of
the many variants used), and surrendering at the same time
the light ash sticks of an earlier generation." The main
difficulty with which Wimbledon was faced, and the one
that retarded their more rapid advance in the game, was
the absence of clubs against whom they might test their
skill. Their first match was against a Stock Exchange
team captained by E. Brookes, a past member of the extinct
Surbiton Club, and the result a draw. The ground was a
selected pitch on Wimbledon Common, in the neighbour-
hood of the golf club. In view of the dearth of opponents,



8



THE COMPLETE HOCKEY PLAYER



members engaged chiefly in club practices. The Wimble-
don Club grew apace, and became a mighty power in the
game, and the strength of the team which they could put into
the field in 1896 was such that six of its members were
deemed good enough that year for places in the English team.

In 1884 the Molesey Club was formed. The object of
this club's formation seems to have been simply the playing
of friendly club games members against members. It is
doubtful, indeed, whether the founders of the club knew of
the existence of other hockey clubs. It was a strange game,
that game played by the Molesey Club's members in 1884.
They used ordinary ash sticks, and a worsted ball covered
with netted string. There was no disposition of the players,
who simply followed the ball. But once the existence of other
clubs was known and Molesey quickly changed their ways.
Some idea of the rapid progress of the game during the
next ten years may be gauged from one simple comparison.
In the season of 1885-86 Molesey played five matches.
Ten years later their season's programme had swelled to
twenty-three encounters.

Clubs began to multiply, Ealing, Westgate, and South-
gate being among new clubs of the next year or two, while
Teddington and Surbiton were revived.

And the game was spreading, spreading beyond the
limits of the London area, to the Midlands and the North.
It was already established in the West. In 1885 the
Solihull Club was started in the Midlands, the next year
Edgbaston. A year later the North followed suit with a
club at Timperley in Cheshire. This was the beginning of
the great wave of hockey enthusiasm which, mounting higher
and higher, eventually swept every corner of England, Ire-
land, Scotland, and Wales almost.

But the real birthday of modern hockey was January 1 8,
1886, the date of the formation of the Hockey Association,
a full and particular account of which is the subject of the
succeeding chapter, and of the ordination of the striking
circle. Commenting on the introduction of the striking



ORIGIN AND PROGRESS OF HOCKEY 9

circle, H. F. Battersby says " it was that line of white about
the goals which converted hockey from a dangerous scrim-
mage into an affair of skill, and its first authorised appear-
ance must constitute the game's Hegira."

The red-letter years in the hockey calendar since 1886,
which mark advances in the game, are: 1887, the year of
the first inter-county match ; 1 890, the year of the first inter-
divisional match, in which the North played the South ; and
1895, the year which inaugurated International encounters.

It will form a pleasant diversion to turn aside for a
moment and view the progress and growing popularity of
the game in Ireland, and to view it through the medium of
a player who has been associated with the palmiest days
of Irish hockey and is himself its leading exponent. So
let us listen to the story of Irish hockey unfolded by W. M.
Johnstone : " The modern game of hockey was introduced
into Ireland, I believe, in the winter of 1 892. Hockey had
been played at the High School and the King's Hospital
School in Dublin, and at some of the other schools through-
out the country, for many years before. An old graduate
of Dublin University has told me that he has played many
a game of hockey nearly fifty years ago in the College
Park. There is no doubt that we Irish inherit a natural
ability to play the game. Hockey was played with bent
sticks, the majority of which were cut by the players them-
selves in the hedges and woods. The rules allowed con-
siderable licence, as, for example, when a player pushed the
ball to the right of an opponent so that the opponent was
on his left or in his way, he was at liberty to whack him
across the shins if he did not at once make himself scarce.

" In the winter of 1 892-93 some old hurley players and
others banded themselves into a hockey team under the
name of Palmerston, and played matches against the High
School, the King's Hospital School, and the Dublin Banks.
In the following year great progress was made. The two
schools mentioned definitely adopted the game ; a club was
formed in the University ; the team which had played under



io THE COMPLETE HOCKEY PLAYER

the name of Palmerston procured a ground and founded a
club, destined to fame in the annals of Irish hockey ; and
the Three Rock Rovers, Corinthians, Dundrum, Donnybrook,
and Monkstown clubs were formed. The game quickly
spread from Leinster to the other provinces, and became
in a few years one of the most popular winter pastimes in
Ireland. The Irish Hockey Union was founded with the
Rev. Canon Gibson, then headmaster of King's Hospital
School, as its first president, a post he held for many years.
Since his resignation the Presidential Chair has been occu-
pied by Mr. W. T. Graham (Ulster), and Irish hockey owes
much of its success to these two gentlemen, who have given
so much time and energy to help on the 'game that
grows.' At the close of the year 1908 the clubs affiliated
to the Irish Union numbered over 100, and the numbers
increase steadily each year.

" Since the Union was formed there have been many
changes in the game. When I started playing at Dublin
University in 1896, hockey was a far from popular game
with undergraduates. It was despised by football, cricket,
and rowing men, and in those days men were eager to
conceal rather than to display their hockey sticks. An
article appeared in the T.C.D., the University weekly maga-
zine, which contained the following sarcastic allusion to
hockey : * Cricket we know^and football we know, but what
is hocquet ? ' Despite this, and many another, attempt to
ridicule it, hockey continued to gain in popularity. It is an
interesting and significant fact, and one worth noting, that
the author of the sarcastic sentence just quoted subsequently
became an enthusiastic disciple of the despised * hocquet.'
It was the same all over Ireland the game steadily and
surely increased in popularity and in the number of its
recruits. The Press noticed the game more and more, and


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