The International Hockey Federation was formed in 1924, the world governing body for the sport, was founded in Paris under the initiative of Frenchman, Paul Leautey. Mr Leautey, who would become the first President of the FIH, was motivated to action following hockey's omission from the program of the 1924 Paris Games.

Mr. Leautey called together representatives from seven national federations to form the sport's international governing body, the Federation  Internationale de Hockey sur Gazon. The six founding members, which represented both men's and women's hockey in their countries, were Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Hungary, Spain and Switzerland.

Today, the work of the International Hockey Federation is accomplished through the efforts of the FIH President, Honorary Secretary General and Treasurer, working together with an Executive Board, 13 Committees, and the professional staff in its Lausanne headquarters.

In many ways, the FIH serves as the 'guardian' of the sport. It works in co-operation with both the national and continental organisations to ensure consistency and unity in hockey around the world. The FIH not only regulates the sport, but is also responsible for its development and promotion so as to guarantee a secure future for hockey.