It is best to describe Masters Hockey as an evolution. Mature players of a certain age probably played in ‘fun’ games over a number of years and in a number of locations. However, although hockey has been a recognised sport for more than a century, organised Masters Hockey really only began to develop in Australia in the 1970s.
Australia was instrumental in setting up the Pacific Rim international Masters Hockey tournaments in 1981. These countries included Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
In Europe, the Netherlands led the way in the 1980s and persuaded France and Belgium to join in. On the British Isles, the 4 countries began competing with each other in the 1990s and became involved with Pacific Rim events around 2001.
WGMA began organising international events for the over 60 age groups around that same time and the IMHA was set up in 2007 for Masters Hockey players from over 40 to over 55. WMH organises events for players of both genders between the ages of 35 and 80+.
The following deserve recognition for their vital contributions: Ted Jones, (David Peebles, Sue Briggs (Aus); Johann Herbert (Bel); Robert Clark, Peter Child, Michael Gallant, Ben Rea, Adrian Stephenson (Eng); Wim van Noortwijk, & Bernard Verbunt (NL); Neil Greene (NZ); David Fargus, Doug Morrice & Glenn Paton (Scot). There will be many more who are the unsung heroes who probably should be added to this list.