On This Day
1886 – Modern field hockey is born with the formation of The Hockey Association in England.
Field hockey is a widely played team sport of the hockey family. The game can be played on grass, watered turf, artificial turf or synthetic field, as well as an indoor boarded surface. Each team plays with ten field players and a goalkeeper. Players use sticks made of wood, carbon fibre, fibre glass, or a combination of carbon fibre and fibre glass in different quantities, to hit a round, hard, plastic hockey ball. The length of the hockey stick is based on the player’s individual height: the top of the stick usually comes to the players hip, and taller players typically have longer sticks. The sticks have a round side and a flat side, and only the flat face of the stick is allowed to be used. Use of the other side results in a foul. Goalies often have a different design of stick, although they can also use an ordinary field hockey stick. The specific goal-keeping sticks have another curve at the end of the stick, which is to give it more surface area to block the ball. The uniform consists of shin guards, shoes, shorts or a skirt, a mouthguard and a jersey.
The game is played globally, particularly in parts of Western Europe, South Asia, Southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, and parts of the United States, primarily New England and the Mid-Atlantic states.
Known simply as “hockey” in most territories, the term “field hockey” is used primarily in Canada and the United States where ice hockey is more popular. In Sweden, the term landhockey is used, and to some degree in Norway, where the game is governed by the Norges Bandyforbund.
During play, goal keepers are the only players allowed to touch the ball with any part of their body, while field players can only play the ball with the flat side of their stick. A player’s hand is considered part of the stick if holding the stick. If the ball is touched with the rounded part of the stick, it will result in a penalty. Goal keepers also cannot play the ball with the back of their stick.
The team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is tied at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time, or there is a penalty shoot-out, depending on the format of the competition. There are many variations to overtime play that depend on the league or tournament rules. In American college play, a seven-aside overtime period consists of a 10-minute golden goal period with seven players for each team. If a tie still remains, the game enters a one-on-one competition where each team chooses five players to dribble from the 25-yard (23 m) line down to the circle against the opposing goalie. The player has eight seconds to score against the goalie while keeping the ball in bounds. The game ends after a goal is scored, the ball goes out of bounds, a foul is committed (ending in either a penalty stroke or flick or the end of the one-on-one) or time expires. If the tie still persists, more rounds are played until one team has scored.
The governing body of field hockey is the International Hockey Federation (FIH), called the Fédération Internationale de Hockey in French, with men and women being represented internationally in competitions including the Olympic Games, World Cup, World League, Champions Trophy and Junior World Cup, with many countries running extensive junior, senior, and masters club competitions. The FIH is also responsible for organizing the Hockey Rules Board and developing the rules of the game.
A popular variant of field hockey is indoor field hockey, which differs in a number of respects while embodying the primary principles of hockey. Indoor hockey is a 5-a-side variant, using a field which is reduced to approximately 40 m × 20 m (131 ft × 66 ft). Although many of the rules remain the same, including obstruction and feet, there are several key variations: players may not raise the ball unless shooting at goal, players may not hit the ball, instead using pushes to transfer it, and the sidelines are replaced with solid barriers, from which the ball will rebound and remain in play. In addition, the regulation guidelines for the indoor field hockey stick require a slightly thinner, lighter stick than an outdoor one.
Born On This Day
1938 – Hargus “Pig” Robbins, American Country Music Hall of Fame session keyboard and piano player
Hargus Melvin “Pig” Robbins (born January 18, 1938, in Spring City, Tennessee) is an American session keyboard player. Having played on records for many artists, including John Stewart, Dolly Parton, Connie Smith, Patti Page, Loretta Lynn, Kenny Rogers, George Jones, Charlie Rich, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, John Hartford, Mark Knopfler, Ween, Alan Jackson, Merle Haggard, Roger Miller, David Allan Coe, Moe Bandy, George Hamilton IV, Sturgill Simpson, and Conway Twitty, he played on Roger Miller’s Grammy Award-winning “Dang Me” in 1964. He is blind, having lost his sight at age four due to an accident involving his father’s knife.
Robbins learned to play piano at age seven, while attending the Nashville School for the Blind. He played his first session in 1957, with his first major recording being George Jones’s “White Lightning”. Since then, he has played keyboards for scores of country music artists.
Between 1963 and 1979, Robbins also recorded eight studio albums: one on Time Records, three on Chart Records, and four on Elektra Records, as well as an independent live album. He was awarded Musician of the Year by the Country Music Association in 1976 and 2000.
His 1959 single “Save It”, recorded under the name Mel Robbins, was covered by The Cramps on their 1983 album Off the Bone.
Robbins joined producers Alan Autry and Randall Franks on the In the Heat of the Night 1991 Christmas Time’s A Comin’ CD appearing on several cuts but receiving feature credit on series star David Hart’s recording of “Let it Snow”.
On October 21, 2012, Robbins was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
In Robert Altman’s classic, Nashville, a hippie piano player nicknamed “Frog” is fired by Henry Gibson’s character (an egotistical country singer), who yells at the studio engineer: “When I ask for Pig, I want Pig!”
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