Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Unravelling hockey’s match phrases: Where from, ump? Every time! That’s all they’ve got!

Our columnist muses over the mid-match phrases he’s heard on the pitch over the years as the sport has adapted to rule changes

It’s good to talk. Every time we step out onto the pitch, without realising it, we’re exposed to the rich language of hockey. Not just the technical aspects which our coaches have learned and bring to us to explain how we will set ourselves up to defeat our opposition. Every one of your team-mates adopts the language of hockey, too.

You know exactly what they intend to say when they use certain words or phrases, but what do they really mean? Let’s take a look.

A Dutch team-mate of mine once asked me why the English were so fixated with luck. I wasn’t sure what he meant, but he explained that the number of times he heard the phrase “unlucky” during matches in England was absolutely off the charts.

And he’s right. 

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