Field hockey in India
Chandigarh hockey stadium.JPG
International hockey match in Chandigarh
Governing bodyHockey India
National team(s)Men
National competitions
International competitions

Field hockey in India refers to two teams, the India men's national field hockey team and the India women's national field hockey team.

In July 2018, Indian state Odisha wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to declare field hockey as the national sport of India.[1] The state government of Odisha has been supporting India's national field hockey team from February 2018 till next five years.[2] The 2018 Men's Hockey World Cup was held in the Odisha capital Bhubaneswar between 28 November and 16 December and culminated with Belgium as World Champions defeating Netherlands in the finals. Field hockey was believed to be India's National sport but this was debunked by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, which confirmed that it had not declared any sport or game as the national sport.[3]


New Committee (IOA)

The Indian Olympic Association appointed a new five-member national selection committee. This panel will work in conjunction with the International Hockey Federation in managing field hockey in India.[4] The panel was headed by Aslam Sher Khan, a former MP and former hockey captain and includes Ashok Kumar, Ajit Pal Singh, Zafar Iqbal and Dhanraj Pillay. Aslam Sher Khan has now been replaced by Ajit Pal Singh as the chairman of the national selection committee. Aslam Sher Khan was highly displeased by this decision, though he remained as a selector.[5][6]

On 30 April 2008, in an interview with India Today, Khan indicated the impact of the 2007 film about the National Women's Hockey Team, Chak De India, on his future strategy by stating that he wants "to create a 'Chak De' effect" within Indian hockey.[7]

National teams

National men's team

Main article: India men's national field hockey team

Indian Hockey team
Indian Hockey team

The Indian Hockey Team is the national men's hockey team of India. It was the first non-European team to be a part of the International Hockey Federation. In 1928, the team won its first Olympic gold medal. From 1928 to 1956, was the golden period for the Indian Hockey team. The Indian men's team remained unbeaten in the Olympics, gaining six gold medals in a row. The Indian team has won a total of eight gold, one silver and three bronze medals in Olympics.[8][9][10]

On 9 March 2008, India lost 2–0 to Britain at Santiago, Chile in the final of one of the three qualifying tournaments for the Beijing Olympics. With only the winner advancing to the 12-team event,[11] the Indian men's team was eliminated from the Beijing Olympics competition. This is the first time that the Indian men's team did not participate in the Olympics since 1928.[12] India finished in 12th place (Last) in the 2012 London Olympics.

On 26 Feb 2012, the India men's national field hockey team qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London after a gap of 8 years. The team had a resounding victory over France in the finals of the Olympic qualifiers by beating France by 8–1. Ace drag-flicker Sandeep Singh, starred in the final against France by scoring five goals – including a hat-trick – all from penalty corners (19th, 26th, 38th, 49th and 51st). [13]

Indian Men's Team Finished in 9th place in World Cup 2014 held in The Hague, Netherlands.[14] Indian team won silver medal at the Commonwealth Games 2014, Glasgow. They lost to Australia 4–0 in the Finals.[15] India hosted the 2018 World Cup.[16] India won 2014 Asian Games Gold Medal after 16 years (last won in 1998). India won Asia Cup held in Dhaka in 2017.

Indian Men's hockey team won by a record 26-0 margin against Hong Kong in the 2018 Asian Games pool games. The earlier record was 24-1 made 86 years ago in the 1932 Olympics when India outclassed the USA.[17]

World ranking

FIH World Rankings as of 13 August 2022.[18]
Rank Change Team Points
3 Steady  Netherlands 2646.53
4 Steady  Germany 2340.06
5 Steady  India 2294.49
6 Steady  England 2158.8
7 Steady  Argentina 2082.44

National women's team

Main article: India women's national field hockey team

The Indian Women's Hockey Team (nicknamed the Nabhvarna) is the national women's team representing hockey in India. It is the national women's team that represents India in international field hockey competitions.[19] The team is currently coached by Netherland's Sjoerd Marinje and led by forward Rani Rampal from Haryana and is currently ranked 9th in the FIH World Rankings. Captain Suraj Lata Devi led the team to the Gold for three consecutive years: during the 2002 Commonwealth Games (the event which inspired the 2007 Shah Rukh Khan film, Chak De India), the 2003 Afro-Asian Games, and the 2004 Hockey Asia Cup. They were referred to as the "Jassi (Jasjeet) jaisi koi nahi" or "Golden girls of hockey," after winning the 2004 Hockey Asia Cup.[20]

During the summer of 2015, the team hosted the Round 2 of the 2014–15 Women's FIH Hockey World League and finished on top to qualify for the next stage. At the World League Semifinals held in Antwerp the team finished in the fifth place beating higher ranked Japan in classification match.[21] The Indian woman's national field hockey team has thus qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics[22][23] for the first time since the 1980 Summer Olympics.[22][24]

World ranking

FIH Women's World Rankings as of 13 August 2022.[25]
Rank Change Team Points
7 Steady  Spain 2143.14
8 Steady  New Zealand 1995.37
9 Steady  India 1953.32
10 Steady  China 1805.19
11 Steady  Japan 1693.01

State teams and events


Main article: Odisha Hockey Team

Biju Patnaik Hockey Stadium in Rourkela, Odisha

The Odisha Hockey Team is one of the regional hockey team from Indian state of Odisha. Lazarus Barla, Prabodh Tirkey, Dilip Tirkey, Ignace Tirkey, Jyoti Sunita Kullu, Lazarus Barla, Subhadra Pradhan, Birendra Lakra and Anupa Barla have been part of Indian hockey team in International level. Premier Hockey League (PHL) is league competition for field Hockey clubs in the top division of the Indian hockey system. There are seven teams in the PHL and Orissa Steelers is the only team from Eastern India. Orissa Steelers has won the Premier Hockey League in 2007.[26] The 2014 Men's Hockey Champions Trophy was held in Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar. The 2018 Men's Hockey World Cup is going to be held in the state capital Bhubaneswar.[27]

Field Hockey Arenas in Odisha

National tournaments

  1. All India MCC Murugappa Gold Cup Hockey Tournament, Chennai [T.N.]
  2. All India Gurmeet Memorial Hockey Tournament, Chandigarh [Punjab]
  3. IndianOil Surjit Hockey Tournament, Jalandhar [Punjab]
  4. All India Chhatrapati Shivaji Hockey Tournament, Delhi
  5. All India Agha Khan Hockey Tournament, Mumbai [Maharashtra]
  6. All India Bombay Gold Cup Hockey Tournament, Mumbai [Maharashtra]
  7. All India Obaidullah Khan Gold Cup Hockey Tournament, Bhopal [M.P.]
  8. All India Jawaharlal Nehru Hockey Tournament, Delhi
  9. All India Lal Bahadur Shastri Hockey Tournament, Delhi
  10. All India Sanjay Hockey Tournament, Delhi
  11. All India K D singh Babu Memorial Invitational Prize Money Hockey Tournament, Lucknow [U.P.]
  12. All India Ramesh Chander Memorial Hockey Tournament, Jalandhar [Punjab]
  13. All India Liberals Hockey Tournament, Nabha
  14. All India Shri Shadilal Rajendra Lal Memorial Hockey Tournament, Shamli [U.P.]
  15. All India Indira Gold Cup Hockey Tournament, Jammu [J & K]
  16. All India Beighton Cup Hockey Tournament, Kolkata [W.B.]
  17. All India Lakshmi Ammal Memorial Hockey Tournament, Kovilpatti [T.N.]
  18. Senior National Hockey Tournament
  19. Junior National Hockey Tournament
  20. Sub-junior National Hockey Tournament
  21. Amarjeet Singh Bola Memorial Hockey Tournament Chakdana, Nawanshahr, Punjab
  22. Bundel Khand All India Hockey Tournament, Charkhari Mahoba (U.P.)
  23. Republic All India Hockey Tournament, Katni, M.P.
  24. All India Hockey Tournament, Damoh, M.P.
  25. All India Hockey Tournament, Indore, M.P.
  26. All India Hockey Tournament, Mhow, M.P.
  27. All India Hockey Tournament, Ujjain, M.P.
  28. All India Hockey Tournament, Tikamgarh, M.P.
  29. All India Hockey Tournament, Ratlam, M.P.
  30. All India Hockey Tournament, Khargon, M.P.
  31. All India Hockey Tournament, Hoshangabad, M.P.
  32. All India Hockey Tournament, Balaghat, M.P.
  33. Bhagat Singh All India Hockey Tournament, Gwalior, M.P.
  34. Kodava Hockey Festival
  35. Dr. B.R.Ambedkar All India Hockey Tournament (under-16 Boys), Nagpur
  36. Mahanth Raja Sarweshwer Das memorial All India Hockey Tournament, Rajnandgaon, C.G.

Premier Hockey League

Main article: Premier Hockey League

The Indian Hockey Federation also conducts the Premier Hockey League (PHL), a domestic field hockey tournament in India since 2005, with active support from sports news channel ESPN India. The tournament was initiated to revive interest in the sport which was losing spectator interest to cricket in recent times. This is now replaced by World Series Hockey.

Orissa Steelers after winning PHL in 2007
Orissa Steelers after winning PHL in 2007

World Series Hockey

Main article: World Series Hockey

World Series Hockey is a proposed domestic hockey league in India. Though the name is given as World Series this competition does not deal with national teams of any nation. This tournament has clubs from eight Indian cities which will participate in the first season in 2011–12. This tournament will have 200 players from all around the world along with Indian players. Hence the name is given as World Series Hockey. This tournament replaces the old tournament of Premier Hockey League.

Hockey India League

Main article: Hockey India League

After the success of World Series Hockey by Indian Hockey Federation, Hockey India have decided to start their own league for field hockey in India. Three out of six franchises have signed this league. They are, the Lucknow franchise by Sahara India Pariwar, the Punjab franchise from Mohali signed by Jaypee Group and Ranchi franchise by Patel-Uniexel Group. The broadcast rights are given to ESPN Star Sports (ESS). The first tournament is expected to be played in January 2013.

See also


  1. ^ "Notify hockey as national game: Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik requests Narendra Modi". Deccan Chronicle. Archived from the original on 20 June 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Odisha to sponsor Indian hockey teams for next five years". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 16 February 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  3. ^ "Hockey is not our national game: Ministry - Times of India". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 24 December 2018. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  4. ^[dead link]
  5. ^ "United we'll stand: Aslam Sher Khan". Sify sports ( 29 April 2008. Archived from the original on 13 August 2009. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
  6. ^ Archived 11 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "I want to establish a club culture in Indian hockey: Aslam Sher Khan". India Today. 30 April 2008. Archived from the original on 19 February 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2008.
  8. ^ "Olympics count: India highest among all nations with 8 gold medals in hockey". Free Press Journal. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  9. ^ "Indian hockey men at the Olympics: A gold-laden history". Olympic Channel. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  10. ^ Service, Tribune News. "When India ruled world hockey". Tribuneindia News Service. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  11. ^ "It felt like there was a death in the family". IBN Live ( 10 March 2008. Archived from the original on 18 June 2008. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  12. ^ "India fail to make it to Olympic hockey". The Times of India. 10 March 2008. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  13. ^ "Indian Hockey Team Qualifies for London Olympics". NDTV. 26 February 2012. Archived from the original on 28 February 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  14. ^ "Hockey World Cup: India beat South Korea 3-0, finish ninth". Archived from the original on 20 June 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  15. ^ "India win silver at Glasgow". NDTV. Archived from the original on 13 August 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  16. ^ "India to host 2018 hockey World Cup". Archived from the original on 22 September 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  17. ^ Archived from the original on 27 February 2018. Retrieved 23 August 2018. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ "FIH Outdoor World Hockey Rankings". FIH. 13 August 2022. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  19. ^ "Hockey India". Archived from the original on 6 January 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  20. ^ Pandey, Vineeta (15 February 2004). "Indian sportswomen: Still the second sex". The Times of India ( Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  21. ^ PTI (6 July 2015). "On the verge of Olympic qualification, Indian women's hockey team arrive to grand welcome". Firstpost. Archived from the original on 22 August 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  22. ^ a b "Chak De Moment For India". India Today. 29 August 2015. Archived from the original on 18 February 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  23. ^ Bhagvatula, Shrikant (29 August 2015). "Chak De: Indian women's hockey team qualifies for Rio Olympics". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 29 August 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  24. ^ Bose, Adrija (29 August 2015). "India Women's Hockey Team Bags Historic 2016 Rio Olympic Berth After 36 Years". Huffington Post India. Archived from the original on 30 August 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  25. ^ "FIH Outdoor World Hockey Rankings". FIH. 13 August 2022. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  26. ^ "Thrilling win for Orissa Steelers". The Hindu. Retrieved 8 January 2007.
  27. ^ "Bhubaneswar gears up to host Hockey Men's World Cup". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 16 July 2018. Retrieved 5 June 2018.