From Academic Kids

In sports, a hat-trick is associated with succeeding at anything three times in three consecutive attempts. In North America it is often rendered as hat trick, with no hyphen. (The Oxford English Dictionary has it unhyphenated, and gives a variety of examples published in the 19th and 20th centuries both with and without the hyphen.)

The term was originally used in cricket, and was connected with the custom of giving a hat or cap to a bowler who achieved the feat of taking three wickets in a row. It may be connected with the concept of giving someone their "cap", i.e. acknowledging them as a regular member of a representative team. Another school of thought mentions that a bowler was challenged if he could take three in three. Hats were passed around to collect the odds. The bowler succeded, and collected the large amount of cash. Thus the term hat-trick could have been also derived from this event.



In cricket, a hat-trick occurs when a bowler dismisses three batsmen with consecutive deliveries. The deliveries may be interrupted by an over bowled by another bowler from the other end of the pitch or the other team's innings, but must be three consecutive deliveries by the individual bowler. Only wickets attributed to the bowler count, i.e. run outs do not contribute to a hat-trick.

Hat tricks are very rare, and as such are highly treasured by bowlers. The term was first used to describe HH Stephenson's feat in 18581 and was used in print for the first time in 18782. In Test cricket history, there have been just 35 hat-tricks, the first achieved by Fred Spofforth for Australia against England in 1879, and the most recent by James Franklin for New Zealand against Bangladesh in 2004. In 1912, Australian Jimmy Matthews achieved the feat twice in one game against South Africa. The only other players to achieve two hat-tricks are Australia's Hugh Trumble, against England in 1902 and 1904, and Pakistan's Wasim Akram, in separate games against Sri Lanka in 1999. Nuwan Zoysa achieved a hat-trick with his first three deliveries in a Test Match against Zimbabwe in the 1999-2000 season.

In One-day International cricket, there have been 20 hat-tricks, the first by Jalal-ud-Din for Pakistan against Australia in 1982, and the latest by Charl Langeveldt for South Africa against the West Indies in 2005. Chaminda Vaas has taken two one-day international hat-tricks (against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh).

Taking two wickets in two consecutive deliveries is known as a brace.

Four wickets in four balls is sometimes called a double hat-trick - as it will contain two different sets of three consecutively dismissed batsmen.


In both field hockey and ice hockey, a hat-trick is when a player scores three goals in a single game. The term was brought to ice hockey in the 1940s when a Toronto clothier gave free hats to Maple Leafs players who scored three goals in a game. It is not certain whether he picked up this practice from cricket.

In ice hockey, if a member of the home team scores a hat-trick, fans acknowledge it by throwing their own hats from the stands onto the ice, often causing a delay in play. In the mid-1990s, Florida Panthers fans celebrated hat tricks by throwing plastic rats onto the ice. The history of this goes back to an incident in which Panthers player Scott Mellanby killed a rat in the Panthers locker room with his stick. When Mellanby scored a hat trick in a later game, some fans threw plastic rats on the ice, and the practice became universal for Panthers hat tricks.

The NHL later responded by banning the throwing of objects onto the ice by fans at the cost of a penalty for the home team; however, the league specifically allowed the traditional throwing of hats to continue.

The term natural hat trick is used refer to two feats: when a player scores three goals in the same period or when a player scores three goals consecutively.

Football (soccer)

In football, a hat-trick occurs when a player scores three goals in a single game.

In most professional games, the scorer of the hat-trick is allowed to return home with the match ball as a souvenir.

Some regard a "true" hat-trick as one where the player scores with both feet and their head in the same match (or by a header, leg shot and penalty/free kick), though this is obviously very rare. Another definition of a "true" hat-trick is where a player scores three goals in the same half of the match.

Scoring two goals in the same match is also commonly known as a brace.


In both codes of rugby football (rugby union and rugby league) a hat-trick is scored if a player scores more than 3 tries. A related concept is that of a "full house"; scoring a try, conversion, penalty goal and drop goal.


When one batter strikes out three times in a single baseball game, it is sometimes jokingly referred to as a hat trick. Four strikeouts in one game is referred to as a golden sombrero, and five in a game has been called a platinum derby.

Other usage

The term has migrated from sports usage into other colloquial expressions, in which it can mean any sequence of three similar events in succession.

See also


  • Note 1: Extended Oxford English Dictionary 1999 Edition : "It came into use after HH Stephenson took three wickets in three balls for the all-England eleven against the twenty-two of Hallam at the Hyde Park ground, Sheffield in 1858.

"A collection was held for Stephenson (as was customary for outstanding feats by professionals) and he was presented with a cap or hat bought with the proceeds."

  • Note 2: The Oxford Companion to Australian Cricket (Oxford University Press, 1996) mentions that the word hat-trick was used in print for the first time in The Sportsman to describe Spofforth clean bowling three consecutive batsmen in the match against Hastings and Districts at the Oval on Aug 29, 1878.

Spofforth did take a hat-trick and nine wickets in 20 balls against the XVIII of Hastings and Districts in 1878 (not a first class match), but the dates are incorrect.de:Hattrick (Sportereignis) ja:ハットトリック nl:Hattrick (sportterm) pl:Hat-trick he:שלושער


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