Indian head stick revolutionised the game
EACH week in these pages The Hockey Museum will delve into the sport’s past and bring the game to life.
Many people feel that this is the item that has had the greatest effect on the development of hockey.
The reason is quite simple: the shorter head meant that a player could move or dribble the ball by passing the (short) head of the stick over the top of the ball.
This was something it was impossible to do with the English head stick and it thereby revolutionised the game.
Dribbling with an English head meant keeping the head behind the ball, which was very much slower and relied a lot on ‘dodging’ and movement of the body.
The short head also brought in the use of reverse stick play. It was possible to stop the ball on the reverse side with an English head, but very difficult to propel the ball.
You can do both with the Indian head. At the time of its introduction, some saw this as an unfair advantage!
It is difficult for modern players, who may not even have ever held an English head stick, to appreciate the dramatic change that took place. For more information: www.hockey museum.net
Archive: An Indian head stick from 1950 - 1970