Hockey in Argentina was introduced by English immigrants at the beginning of the 20th century. The first games were played in 1908, the same year when the Argentine Hockey Association was founded. In 1909, the first women's teams were officially admitted and formed. On 19 June 1983, in Tucuman, with the presence of 12 provincial associations, the Argentine Hockey Confederation is founded. Today, hockey is very popular and is practised in most private schools and clubs, coming 3rd after football and rugby.
The women’s national team is currently ranked 2nd in the IHF world ranking. The men’s squad competed in every world cup since the first edition in 1971 – except for the 1998 edition in The Netherlands, and is currently ranked 9th in the IHF world ranking.
In 1997, Sergio Vigil, a former player for the men's national team, was appointed coach of the Women’s National Hockey Team. Under his leadership, Las Leonas – The Lionesses – achieved their first World Cup title, their first Olympic and Champions Trophy medals, and many other achievements. As a result, the team became a national sensation, a fact that helped the game develop a lot more across the nation.
Luciana Aymar, from Rosario, is the only player in history to have received the IHF World Player of the Year award seven times. She is known for her unparalleled ability to beat opponents using her magical dribbling skills – many compare her with local football legend Diego Maradona for this reason, and is acknowledged by many experts as the game’s all-time best female player ever.
From 2000 onwards, Las Leonas have developed a reputation for being tenacious even when a match appears to be lost. For this reason, a lioness was chosen as their symbol before the team went to win the silver medal at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. The success of the women´s squad is based on the solid and well-cemented school-club formation, and the large numbers of players in the country and superb coaches in every province.