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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 16. August 2, 1939

English Hockey

English Hockey

(This is the second of a series of articles written by a former Rhodes Scholar now resident in Wellington.)

Hockey in England is a "posh" game, being played exclusively by amateurs and usually by leisured or semi-leisured people. For instance, when I was at Oxford we played against Sandhurst and other army navy, and airforce teams, hospital teams such as Guy's and Barth's, public schools such as Marlborough, Cheltenham and Rugby, and Oxford and Cambridge College University teams.

The standard of hockey in Great Britain is very high-so high, in fact, that although I played for the Otago University A grade team, I consider that my hockey education really only began after I reached Oxford. In this connection I feel that the ordinary claim made for the indian teams—that they are indubitably the world's best—is very much open to question. It may interest readers to know that none of the United Kingdom teams will enter for the Olympic hockey tournament which India wins with such unfailing regularity. The 1929 All India Team was beaten by a combined army, navy, and airforce team in a tour of England and won a narrow victory against an unrepresentative English Team.

There is no such thing as a United Kingdom international team, the so-called international representative teams being those of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. From the above slender evidence it would appear that an All India team would not show any superiority over these international teams, and would certainly be inferior to a representative United Kingdom team.

The high standard of English hockey shows itself in the fact that the tame is played at a high speed with the two or three players who are at any time within striking distance of the ball moving at top speed trying to take it on their sticks on the fly, a type of hockey which is only possible on good grounds.

Low Tennis Standard

Whereas the standard of hockey, particularly in the universities, is much higher than that in New Zealand, the standard of tennis is on the average very much lower. The topnotchers are better than New Zealand's best, but an A grade university player in New Zealand would probably dominate the tennis of an Oxford College.

A. S.