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Official Web Page - http://www.swisshockey.org
HOCKEY IN SWITZERLAND
The Swiss Field Hockey Association dates back to 1920. It has been founded by five hockey clubs in Geneva, Bern, Basle, Lucerne and Zürich. The first championship has been carried out as a tournament during one weekend. The five founder clubs and a second club from Bern, Young Boys, joined the championship. And the newcomer became champion.
New clubs joined the association. So, the championship was split into two regional divisions. Two years later, a B league was started for new teams and the second teams from some clubs. The A league was split into three regional divisions. At the end of the season, the first teams of each division played a single round robin for the championship. From 1925, a ladies championship was played additionally.
From 1937, a separate cup contest according to the knock-out principle was introduced.
In 1955, the A league was reduced to 2 regional divisions. 1972, a single National League was established. The lower leagues were split into a division for the French part and one for the rest of the country.
In Switzerland, no fieldhockey can be played during winter time. This causes a break of about five months. So, a separate indoor championship was started, in 1962 for men and 1966 for women.
Today, 21 clubs join the Swiss championship. 10 clubs have a ladies division. Hockey is present in only 13 cities. Even in mayor cities like Winterthur and St. Gallen, hockey is not present. Because hockey does not get any publicity in the national press, it is difficult to expand to new areas. Another reason is the competition of unihockey. It needs a simpler infrastructure and is easy to understand. Therefore, it is played in schools. Fieldhockey is too complicated, even for the teachers.
Nevertheless, the Swiss national team joined 5 times the Olympics. 1928 in Amsterdam, it got the 4th position in its group. 1936 in Berlin the overall result was no. 5. 1948 in London, the group result was no. 2. 1952 in Helsinki the final result was in the lower half. 1960 in Rome, the Swiss team ended up as no. 15.
In recent years, only the Olympia qualification tournaments were reached: 1991, 2000 and again 2008. Jaap ten Sijthoff, Hon. General Secretary