In the first decade of the 20th century, a great deal of progress had been made in the realm of cultural attitudes towards women’s college athletics in the United States. But on the question of intercollegiate competition, a generational divide still existed.
Constance Applebee’s efforts to establish an American College Hockey Association and to encourage field hockey games between varsity teams from different schools met with resistance from some of the same women who had eagerly introduced the sport to their students. Continue reading “Early Resistance to Intercollegiate Field Hockey in the United States”
Very soon after beginning my research I came across several versions of the same basic story regarding field hockey’s arrival in the United States. The sport was quite popular among men and women in England during the late 19th Century, the story goes, but it wasn’t played at all in the United States until an English woman named Constance Applebee arrived in 1901. Applebee attended the summer session in physical training at Harvard that year, and staged a field hockey demonstration for her fellow students in a courtyard outside the Hemenway Gymnasium. That fall she was invited to six of the Seven Sisters colleges in the northeastern United States to teach field hockey, at which time it took off as a women’s college sport in this country. Continue reading “Fact-Checking a 113-Year-Old Story”