Hockey is one of the world’s most ancient games and is believed to be even ancient than Olympic Games. The British Rule in India has made hockey quite popular in the sub-continent in the late 19th century. The first ever hockey club established in the country in the year 1885 at Calcutta. In 1895 the Beighton Cup Tournament in Calcutta and Aga Khan Tournament in Bombay Maharashtra were organized.
It is on 7th November 1925, which led to the establishment of Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) when all the clubs assembled at Gwalior. The glorious era of Indian hockey began in 1928 when the Indian team won its first Olympic gold medal and remained unbeaten from 1928 to 1956 gaining six Olympic medals in a row. The medal tally of Indian hockey team at Olympic is eight gold medals, one silver and two bronze. Among the state of India, the craze of Hockey in Odisha is high and many reputed national, as well as international players come from here like Lazarus Barla, Prabodh Tirkey, Dilip Tirkey, Birendra Lakra etc who brought the fame to the Indian Hockey at various international tournaments.
To promote the sports and to encourage players the Indian Hockey Federation also conducts the Premier Hockey League (PHL) a domestic hockey treatment since 2005 to revive the interest in the sport which is now replaced by the World Series Hockey. India has given several hockey legends to the world like Dhyan Chand, Balbir Singh Sr. Ajit Pal Singh, Roop Singh, Leslie Claudius, Udham Singh Dhanraj Pillay, Mohammad Shahid are few among many who had given India many medals at various international tournaments. Women are also not far behind and the Indian Women’s national field hockey team which is nicknamed as Golden Girls of Hockey is ranked 10th in FIH World Rankings.