We’re a nostalgic lot aren’t we?
I’m not talking hockey players this time, I mean sports tragics in general.
I’m talking the folk who sit around after a game swapping stories of seasons past; that match-winning goal or the one that got away.
We play in the present but very often live in the past.
Things tend to be seen through rose-coloured glasses when we reminisce but some things are better off consigned to the pages of history.
A man who knows a thing or two about the history of the game is Jay Stacy.
Stacy is our second-most capped Kookaburra, having been only recently knocked off the number one spot by Jamie Dwyer.
There was one thing he looked back on with affection but put a big fat line through ever bringing it back – the hand trap.
“I remember it fondly but I wouldn’t be keen on doing it these days,” Stacy told The New Daily.
“The hand trap was actually allowed to be made inside the circle [off a penalty corner].
“After that, the stick trap, as we know it now, could also be trapped inside the circle.”
Allowing the attacking team to stop the ball with their hand inside the circle put all the momentum in favour of the strikers.
“You would have the ball coming out and people taking two to three steps in [to the circle], so you would have them hitting or flicking from 13 or 14 yards,” Stacy said.
While the defenders would be the first to protest should the hand trap ever come back into fashion (don’t worry, it won’t), Stacy said there would be another person who would protest just as loudly.
“These days the push out and the trap have to be outside of the circle and I wouldn’t like to be trapping some of the balls they sling out from the baseline with my hand.
“They travel from somewhere between 90km/hour from the good ones, people like Russell Ford.
“I wouldn’t like to stick my hand out to trap that.”
So how did Stacy manage with the hand-trapping back in the day?
“I never did. I always delegated myself to be a hitter,” he says with a laugh.
I should have known.
You don’t get through four Olympic Games by trapping the ball with your hand.
Five things we love about hockey but never want to see again
1. Easton hockey sticks
The Black Magic, the VRS, the Wand; Easton dominated the hockey landscape during the 1990’s with their aluminium shafts.
The clunk sound would ring out across the field as these sticks crunched into hockey balls and shins alike.
They looked amazing and they allowed the user to strike the ball well but when that metal split or broke they went from equipment to accidental weapon and were eventually banned.
They were awesome but we never want to see them again … well, maybe in a museum.
Just found my old school hockey stick in the big garage clear out. But worse for wear but remembered with fondness. pic.twitter.com/fIybLzJp7L
— Gail (@Yo_Tweeps) June 21, 2015
2. Long-hooked sticks
As a child of the 1980s, this was never an issue for me. The sticks with the giant hooks became almost mythical in my mind. How on earth did anyone play with a stick like that? And how did they manage to reverse trap?
No offside and rolling substitution rule has made field hockey so fast paced and exciting. — Rohan (@RohanThoughts21) December 13, 2014
Ever try and explain the offside rule to someone who doesn’t follow sport?
Well, the attacker can’t receive a ball until there are two players in defence, oh and the goalkeeper, so that player has to wait until … ah, I give up.
Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about it anymore, with the rule abolished in the ’90s the game opened up, more goals were scored and everyone (especially umpires) were happier for it.
4. Cricket pads for goalkeeper
If you thought goalkeepers were a little bit mad to get in the net, imagine going back to when the equipment was still in its infancy.
I still remember the day my dad got his first pair of OBO pads. They were something out of a movie. Moonwalkers, we called them.
It was a relief as it meant he got to throw out the old cane pads, which were basically cricket pads. I can only imagine how they vibrated through his knees and shins when the ball crashed into them.
5. Tight shorts
I know everything old is new again in the world of fashion, but some things we don’t need to see.
I remember donning a pair of white footy shorts that would have made Warwick Capper blush.
I remember having this conversation with a teammate mid-match:
“Do you have other shorts?”
“Why do you wear those ones then?”
TIME TO CELEBRATE
The World Hockey League wrapped up with the Kookaburras knocking off Belgium 1-0 in the final and the Hockeyroos beating New Zealand 4-3 to finish third.
This video got tongues wagging. What do you think about the celebrations? Good or too much?
Tim Doutré tweets here.