Why is it called a hat trick for a player who scored 3 goals?
The origin of the word "Hat Trick" is linked to cricket.
Without a doubt, there is no greater sporting achievement for a player, but especially for a striker, than scoring 3 goals in the same game. When such an event occurs, it is said that the player scored a "hat trick". However, why is it called "Hat Trick" and not "treble"? Although it is possible to use the word "treble", the jargon "Hat Trick" is more used worldwide; even in countries where English is not spoken. In this post, we will describe the origin of this football jargon, as well as the history of "Poker" (score 4 goals) and "Repoker" (score 5 goals).
If we analyze etymologically the word "Hat Trick" ("hat" and "trick"), we will realize that these words have nothing to do with football. In fact, the origin of this word has nothing to do with football, but with the sport called Cricket. To discover the origin of this word, we must go to the year 1858, when football was still a sport in its infancy. In that year, HH (Heathfield Harman) Stephenson achieved an unprecedented feat in cricket, eliminating three batsmen in a row. It was the first time in this sport that a player achieved something like this, which is why the fans present gave him a "Hat", as a souvenir.
Over the years, this event began to be seen more frequently in Cricket matches and in 1878, the sports newspaper "The Sportsman" decided to name this play "Hat trick". The reason is simple. "Hat" because all these players received a hat as a prize and "trick", referring to magic. Only the best players, considered as "magicians", could perform a "Hat Trick".
Eventually, this sporting term began to become popular in other sports, which adapted this concept to their rules. In baseball, it occurs when a player scores 3 home runs, in rugby when a player scores 3 tries, and finally in football when a player scores 3 goals. But in football, players who score a "hat trick" don't get a hat as a gift. This idea had to be adapted to the football format and for this reason, the players began to take the ball home as a souvenir.
On the other hand, there are also the jargons of Poker (4 goals) and Repoker (5 goals). The origin of these words is linked to the famous card game called Poker. For those who know the game, surely the explanation is easy to guess. For those who don't know, achieving a "poker of aces" or a "poker of kings" is to obtain the four cards of the same number, that is, the four aces or the four kings of the different suits. It is a very powerful hand and it beats almost all the others. For this reason, football has kept that sense of "four" to use it with the goals and titles that a player or a team can achieve. On the other hand, a Repoker occurs if it is played with a wild card, it is 4 cards of the same number or suit, plus that wild card (5 cards). It was the media who began to use these words to describe the great feats of players.