Photograph of man being tackled in hockey game

Hockey is an immensely popular team sport played throughout the Commonwealth. This proud tradition has produced a number of world and Olympic champions.

Hockey is a team sport with 11 players per team. Every team has a goalkeeper and 10 other players on the pitch at any one time. The aim of the game is simple - to hit the ball into the opponents' goal. To score a goal the ball must pass between the goalposts and beneath the crossbar. A goal can only be scored from inside the shooting circle or ‘D’, a semi-circular area in front of the opponents' goal.

Ten nations will be participating in each of the men’s and women’s Hockey competitions at Glasgow 2014. In the preliminary rounds, teams will be split into two pools of five. The top two teams in each pool will progress to play off for the medals.

Governing body

Scottish Hockey is the recognised national governing body for Hockey in Scotland. Their vision is to provide the opportunity for more players to enjoy Hockey at as high a level as they desire throughout their lifetime. They aspire to increase the number of people participating in Hockey at all levels of the sport in Scotland and to increase the frequency of participation.

Scottish Hockey works in partnership with their members, important stakeholders and public bodies to help develop the game to the highest level possible.


There is a depiction of a hockey-like game from 200 BC in ancient Greece. Back then, the game may have been called 'kerētízein' because it was played with a horn, called a 'keras', and a ball-like object. In East Asia a similar game was played using a carved wooden stick and ball prior to 300 BC. In Inner Mongolia, China, the Daur people have been playing 'beikou', a game with some similarities to Field Hockey, for about 1,000 years.

The modern game of Hockey originated in the UK and the British Army took the sport throughout the Commonwealth, increasing its popularity and making it a core sport at the Commonwealth Games.

Hockey has been included in the Commonwealth Games since 1998, with Scotland’s women playing at all of the past four Games and the men for the last two.


Other websites

  • Scottish Hockey

    The website for Scottish Hockey includes coaching and youth sections with downloads and information on events and competitions.

  • BBC video – Sean Kerly’s story

    Sean Kerly, British Olympic gold medallist, talks about his inspirational sports teacher who led him to become a champion hockey player.