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, known as LAS LEONAS – The Lionesses – , 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 6th 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 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 8 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 all experts as the game’s all-time best female player in the history of field hockey.
From 2000 onwards, Las Leonas have developed a reputation for being tenacious even when a match appears to be lost. Under the leadership of Aymar, the girls have performed superbly well in the Olympics, World Cups and Champions Trophy. Lucha Aymar retired in December 2014, in Mendoza (ARG) after the team won the gold medal.