Coe College vs. Iowa State

It didn’t take me too long since my last post to come up with a nominee for the first-ever intercollegiate field hockey game in the United States. The October 11, 1906 issue of the Coe College Cosmos contains an account of a game between the women’s field hockey teams of Coe College and Iowa State (referred to in the article as “Ames.”) The game is reported to have taken place on Friday, October 5, 1906 in Ames, with host Iowa State winning, 4-2. Continue reading “Coe College vs. Iowa State”



In an effort to add more detail to what I already know about early field hockey at the YMCA Training School (now known as Springfield College), I’ve been scouring that institution’s collection of digitized publications from the 1890s and 1900s. In doing so I think I may have pinned down the first organized and sanctioned college field hockey game ever played in the United States. Continue reading “First?”


George Baird AffleckGeorge Baird Affleck played field hockey for the class of 1901 at the YMCA Training School (now Springfield College) under James McCurdy. After his graduation, Affleck became director of physical training at the Iowa State Normal School (now known as Northern Iowa University). He stayed there through 1907, then returned to the Training School until his retirement in 1941. In Springfield he coached the men’s soccer team and was awarded the college’s Tarbell Medallion for outstanding service in 1944. Continue reading “Iowa”


Last week I had the good fortune to gain access to a dissertation titled “Field Hockey in American Education with Special Emphasis on the Colleges of the Northeastern United States,” written in 1960 by Bernard Dolat of the Columbia Teachers College. Reading it has made me feel good about what I have done so far — there were no major people or events of which I hadn’t already learned, but there were plenty of leads for new research to fill in the details of what I already know. One thing that struck me was the degree to which I, using computer searches and the internet, have identified almost all of the same major primary sources as Dolat, who I’m sure needed to put in a heck of a lot more legwork in his day to discover the identical materials.

Continue reading “Research”

American Field Hockey Literature in the Early 1900s

A number of publications regarding field hockey were released in the United States in the first few years of the 20th century. Before Constance Applebee’s arrival in the United States, a volume entitled The Games of Lawn Hockey, Tether Ball, Squash Ball, Golf-Croquet was released in 1900 as part of the American Sports Publishing Company’s Spalding’s Athletic Library series. It included an essay on the sport by Thomas J. Browne, a description of its play by Springfield College graduate Martin Foss, and the “official” American rules by James McCurdy. Continue reading “American Field Hockey Literature in the Early 1900s”

But Wait, There’s More…

As described in my most recent post, I now know that men were playing field hockey at Springfield College in the 1890s. But can I at least say with certainty that no women played the sport at a U.S. college before Constance Applebee’s arrival in 1901? Maybe not. Continue reading “But Wait, There’s More…”