In­dian head stick rev­o­lu­tionised the game

The Hockey Paper - - FEATURE / OPINION -

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: mu­

Archive: An In­dian head stick from 1950 - 1970

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