Field Hockey is the national game of Pakistan and wearing green shirts represent the Pakistan Hockey Federation in international field hockey competitions. Even though field hockey is the national sport of Pakistan but it is less famous than cricket. Pakistan was at the top of their game when they played Australia in Rome in 1960. Pakistan won their last Olympic gold at Los Angeles in 1984, and their last Olympic medal - a bronze - at Barcelona in 1992. They won their last hockey World Cup in 1994. They also won gold medal in the 2010 Asian Games, but their performances before and after that event have been dismal.
Pakistan's hockey players too have seen times of greatness, winning three Olympic gold and four World Cup titles, which is still a record. Experts say the decline of Asian hockey coincides with the advent of artificial turf that gained currency in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It changed the dynamics of Asian hockey, rendering the dribble-and-dodge game of short passes that Indians and Pakistanis were so good at completely obsolete.
Pakistan has been one of the most successful teams in international competitions, having won a world record four Hockey World Cup titles in 1971, 1978, 1982 and 1994. They have also come in second place twice. Pakistan has won the Men's Hockey Gold Medal in the Olympics a total of three times in 1960, 1968, and 1984. Pakistan has also won 3 silver and 2 bronze medals as listed below:
Silver 1956 – Melbourne, Australia
Gold 1960 – Rome, Italy
Silver 1964 – Tokyo, Japan
Gold 1968 – Mexico City, Mexico
Silver 1972 – Munich, Germany
Bronze 1976 – Montreal, Canada
Gold 1984 – Los Angeles, USA
Bronze 1992 – Barcelona, Spain
In Pakistan, the younger generation is more inclined towards playing cricket without realising that hockey is their national game. An increasingly fractious population has in the past found itself unified and elevated by victories on the hockey and cricket pitch. This sport demands greater physical fitness than before and experts say, sports facilities in Pakistan do not provide opportunity to match the fitness levels of West. Also, the International Hockey Federation has over the decades changed some basic rules of the game that the Asians had mastered in their heyday. In Pakistan, there have also been noises in some quarters to the effect that the Pakistan Hockey Federation has become politicised and corrupt. Pakistanis hope that one day our national team will win back the lost glory of the national sport.