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A hat-trick or hat trick is the achievement of a positive feat three times in a game, or another achievement based on the number three.
The term first appeared in 1858 in cricket, to describe H. H. Stephenson's taking three wickets with three consecutive deliveries. Fans held a collection for Stephenson, and presented him with a hat bought with the proceeds. The term was used in print for the first time in 1865. The term was eventually adopted by many other sports including hockey, association football, water polo, and team handball.
A hat-trick occurs in association football when a player scores three goals (not necessarily consecutive) in a single game, whereas scoring two goals constitutes a brace. In common with other official record-keeping rules, penalty-kick goals are counted but goals in a penalty shootout are excluded from the tally. The extra time in a knockout cup match may also be calculated towards a player's potential hat-trick. The fastest recorded time to score a hat-trick is 70 seconds, a record set by Alex Torr in a Sunday league game in 2013. The previous record of 90 seconds was held by Tommy Ross playing for Ross County against Nairn County on 28 November 1964.
The first hat-trick in an international game was by Scottish player John McDougall, against England on 2 March 1878. American player Bert Patenaude scored the first hat-trick in the FIFA World Cup, against Paraguay in the inaugural event. Two hat-tricks have been scored in a World Cup final, by Geoff Hurst for England in the 1966 final during extra time against West Germany, and Carli Lloyd for the USA against Japan in the 2015 Women's World Cup final. Lloyd's was the fastest hat-trick scored in a World Cup final at 13 minutes from first to last goal, and at 16 minutes the fastest from kickoff in any World Cup match for either sex. However, the fastest World Cup hat-trick for either men or women, as measured by time between goals, belongs to Fabienne Humm of Switzerland, who scored in the 47th, 49th and 52nd minutes against Ecuador in the 2015 group stage.
Football has also extended the term to include the phrase perfect hat-trick, achieved when a player scores one right-footed goal, one left-footed goal and one headed goal within one match. In Germany and Austria, the term (lupenreiner) Hattrick ("flawless hat-trick") refers to when a player scores three goals in a row in one half without the half-time break or a goal scored by another player interrupting the performance.
Traditionally, a player who scores a hat-trick is allowed to keep the match ball as a memento.
In the past, the term was occasionally used to describe when a player struck out three times in a baseball game, and the term golden sombrero was more commonly used when a player struck out four times in a game.
In recent years, hat trick has been more often used to describe when a player hits three home runs in a game.
For example, on 29 August 2015, Toronto Blue Jays fans celebrated Edwin Encarnación's third home run of the game by throwing hats onto the field, similar to the tradition in ice hockey. The phenomenon continued during the 2016 season, and on 17 June 2016, a number of Blue Jays fans at Oriole Park at Camden Yards threw hats on to the field after Toronto Blue Jays player Michael Saunders hit his third home run of the night, and again on 28 August at Rogers Centre, when Blue Jays player Josh Donaldson hitting his third home run of the game in the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins.
A hat-trick occurs in cricket 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 in the same match. Only wickets attributed to the bowler count towards a hat-trick; run outs do not count.
Hat-tricks are rare, and as such are treasured by bowlers. In Test cricket history there have been just 43 hat-tricks, the first achieved by Fred Spofforth for Australia against England in 1879. 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, Pakistan's Wasim Akram, in separate games against Sri Lanka in 1999, and England's Stuart Broad.
Lasith Malinga is the only bowler to take three hat-tricks in any form of international cricket with his three in ODI. Three players have taken at least two ODI hat-tricks in their careers: Wasim Akram and Saqlain Mushtaq of Pakistan and Chaminda Vaas of Sri Lanka. (Akram therefore has four international hat-tricks in total).
Taking two wickets in two consecutive deliveries is occasionally known as a brace, or (more commonly, especially until the next delivery has been made) being on a hat-trick.
The feat of taking four wickets in four balls has occurred only once in international one-day cricket, in the 2007 World Cup, when Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga managed the feat against South Africa by dismissing Shaun Pollock, Andrew Hall, Jacques Kallis and Makhaya Ntini, though it has occurred on other occasions in first-class cricket. Kevan James of Hampshire took four wickets in four balls and scored a century in the same county game against India in 1996. The Cricinfo report on the game claimed that this was unique in cricket.
Nuwan Zoysa of Sri Lanka is the only bowler to achieve a hat-trick off his first three balls in a Test, dismissing Murray Goodwin, Neil Johnson and Trevor Gripper of Zimbabwe. In 2006 Irfan Pathan of India achieved a hat-trick in the first over of the test match, off the last three balls, when dismissing Salman Butt, Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf of Pakistan. Chaminda Vaas is the only one to achieve a hat-trick of the very first deliveries in one day internationals, against Bangladesh in the tenth match of 2003 ICC World Cup at City Oval, Pietermaritzburg. He got Hannan Sarkar, Mohammad Ashraful and Ehsanul Haque out in the first three balls and took his fourth wicket in the fifth ball of the same over, just missing the double-hat-trick.
Albert Trott and Joginder Rao are the only two bowlers credited with two hat-tricks in the same innings in first-class cricket. One of Trott's two hat-tricks, for Middlesex against Somerset at Lords in 1907, was a four in four.
Some hat-tricks are particularly extraordinary. On 2 December 1988, Merv Hughes, playing for Australia, dismissed Curtly Ambrose with the last ball of his penultimate over and Patrick Patterson with the first ball of his next over, wrapping up the West Indies first innings. When Hughes returned to bowl in the West Indies second innings, he trapped Gordon Greenidge lbw with his first ball, completing a hat-trick over two different innings and becoming the only player in Test cricket history to achieve the three wickets of a hat-trick in three different overs.
In 2019 in 2018–19 Bangladesh Premier League, Al Islam of Dhaka Dynamites become the first-bowler to take a hat-trick in his BPL Twenty20 debut. He did so against Rangpur Riders by picking up the wickets of Mohammad Mithun, Mashrafe Mortaza and Farhad Reza.
In 1844, underarm bowler William Clark, playing for "England" against Kent, achieved a hat-trick spread over two innings, dismissing Kent batsman John Fagge twice within the hat-trick. Fagge batted at number 11 in the first innings and at number 3 in the second. This event is believed to be unique in first-class cricket.
For Gloucestershire against Yorkshire in 1922, CWL Parker had a hat-trick that was so nearly five wickets in five balls: he actually struck the stumps with five successive deliveries, but the second was a no-ball.
The most involved hat-trick was perhaps when Melbourne club cricketer Stephen Hickman, playing for Power House in March 2002, achieved a hat-trick spread over three overs, two days, two innings, involving the same batsman twice, and observed by the same non-striker, with the hat-trick ball being bowled from the opposite end to the first two. In the Mercantile Cricket Association C Grade semi-final at Fawkner Park, South Yarra, Gunbower United Cricket Club were 8 for 109 when Hickman came on to bowl his off spin. He took a wicket with the last ball of his third over and then bowled number 11 batsman Richard Higgins with the first ball of his next over to complete the Gunbower innings, leaving Chris Taylor the not out batsman. Power House scored 361, putting the game out of reach of Gunbower. In the second innings opener Taylor was joined by Higgins at the fall of the fourth wicket as Hickman returned to the attack. With his first ball, observed by an incredulous Taylor at the non-striker's end, he clean bowled Higgins, leaving Higgins with a pair of golden ducks.
Five wickets in five balls was achieved by Scott Babot of Wainuiomata Cricket Club playing in the Senior 3 competition in New Zealand in 2008; it happened across two innings and separated by seven days, as the match took place on consecutive Saturdays.
Another Five wickets in five balls was taken by Hanuman Choudhary when playing for the Cricket Association of Memphis team (CAM) against Wolfpacks in the Arkansas Tennessee Cricket League on 23 October 2016, in the semifinal of India Association of Memphis tournament in Memphis Premier League 3. His five consecutive dismissals helped close the innings from 142–5 to 142 all out. During Brazil's national T20 in 2017, the spectators witnessed a triple hat trick when Carioca Cricket Club's off spinner, Rafi ur Rahman claimed 5 wickets on 5 consecutive balls. The feat came against Brasilia Federal District when the unorthodox off spinner claimed a leg before, two players clean bowled and two caught. The moment was declared "Best of the year" in the 2017 national awards by the club.
A 'perfect over' of 6 wickets taken with 6 consecutive balls was achieved by Australian Aled Carey on 21 January 2017 while bowling for his club Golden Point against East Ballarat. This very rare feat consisted of 2 catches, an LBW and 3 bowled.
There are very few cases of a fielder or wicket keeper taking a hat-trick of dismissals off consecutive deliveries in first-class cricket, and none in international cricket. The first such instance is the only known hat-trick of stumpings by a wicket keeper: WH Brain for Gloucestershire against Somerset in 1893, all off the bowling of CL Townend. There has never been a first-class wicket-keeping hat-trick that mixes catches and stumpings, but four other wicket-keepers have taken a hat-trick of catches: KR Meherhomji for Railways vs Freelooters at Secunderabad (the only instance outside England) in 1931, GO Dawkes for Derbyshire vs Worcestershire at Kidderminster in 1958, RC Russell for Gloucestershire against Surrey at The Oval in 1986, and T Frost for Warwickshire against Surrey at Edgbaston in 2003. (In Russell and Frost's cases, no bowler took a hat-trick since their catches were taken off different bowlers in successive overs: Meherhomji's and Dawkes's feats were hat-tricks for the bowlers as well, L Ramji and HL Jackson.) There are only two recorded cases of a hat-trick of catches being recorded by a non-wicket-keeper, both of which were also hat-tricks for the bowler as well: GJ Thompson, for Northants against Warwickshire at Edgbaston in 2014 (all off SG Smith), and Marcus Trescothick for Somerset against Notts in 2018 at Trent Bridge (all off Craig Overton). Interestingly, Trescothick - though more famous as a batsman and only an occasional bowler - has also taken a hat-trick as a bowler, in 1995 against the Young Australians.
In Australia, four wickets in four balls is sometimes referred to as a double hat-trick on the basis that there are two ways of compiling the three-in-three sequence (i.e. wickets 1,2 and 3 or wickets 2,3 and 4). This terminology is not used in any other sport or in cricket internationally.
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In field hockey and ice hockey, a hat trick occurs when a player scores three goals in a single game. A hat trick in ice hockey, as it is known in its current form, culminates with fans throwing hats onto the ice from the stands. The tradition is said to have begun among fans in the National Hockey League around the 1950s. There are several conflicting legends of how the "hat trick" was popularised in professional hockey. Most stories involve hats being awarded to any of the local players who scored three goals in a game. According to the NHL, in the 1940s, a Toronto haberdasher used to give free hats to players with the Toronto Maple Leafs when they scored three goals in a game.
Finally, in the 1950s, the Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters of the Ontario Hockey Association, who were then a farm team of the NHL's New York Rangers, were sponsored by Guelph-based Biltmore Hats, a leading manufacturer of hats with North American dominance. The sponsor would award any Madhatters player who scored three goals in a game with a new fedora.
In a slightly different account, the expression originates not with any member of a team, but with a particular player. According to legend, Chicago Blackhawks forward Alex Kaleta entered the shop of Toronto businessman Sammy Taft to purchase a new hat, but did not have enough money. Taft arranged a deal with Kaleta stipulating that if Kaleta scored three goals as he played the Toronto Maple Leafs that night, Taft would give him a free hat. That night, on 26 January 1946, Kaleta scored four goals against the Maple Leafs and Taft made good on his offer. This is the story accepted as the origin of the phrase in hockey by the Hockey Hall of Fame.
While charming fables, all these explanations of the introduction of the term "hat trick" in hockey are too late to be true. On 8 December 1933, the Winnipeg Free Press[full citation needed] describes a hockey game in which "Romeo Rivers, rugged wingman" for the Monarchs scored three goals in the same game, describing how "Romeo completed his ‘hat trick’" when he scored his third goal of the night after taking a pass from a teammate who had drawn the goalie out of position.
The 16 January 1939 Lethbridge Herald (p.10)[full citation needed] describes a hockey game in which the Lethbridge Maple Leafs defeated the Calgary Stampeders and Jimmie McIndoe of the Leafs "turned the hat trick, when he converted three straight consecutive passes" from a teammate.
By 1944, the term "hat trick" was so well established in hockey that the Winnipeg Free Press (29 November 1944, p. 14)[full citation needed] reports that "hockey's traditional ‘hat-trick’ – the feat of scoring three goals in a single game – will receive official recognition from the Amateur Hockey Association" of the US by awarding a small silver derby hat to players to mark the accomplishment. Thus, by 1944 the term "hat trick" was common enough to be termed "traditional." Given how frequently the words "hat trick" were used in sports reporting on cricket and association football in the early 20th century, the term was probably routinely used in hockey by the early 1930s.
Wayne Gretzky holds the NHL record for the most hat tricks in a career with 50. Harry Hyland scored the league's first hat trick, in the league's very first game on 19 December 1917, in which Hyland's Montreal Wanderers defeated the Toronto Arenas 10–9.
A natural hat trick occurs when a player scores three consecutive goals, uninterrupted by any other player scoring for either team.
A Gordie Howe hat trick is a tongue-in-cheek play on the feat. It is achieved by scoring a goal, getting an assist, and getting into a fight, all in the same game. Namesake Gordie Howe himself only recorded two in his NHL career, as opposed to league leader Rick Tocchet, who accrued 18 Gordie Howe hat tricks.
In December 1995, Florida Panthers captain Scott Mellanby scored a rat trick, the term coined by teammate John Vanbiesbrouck. Prior to the game, Mellanby killed a rat in the Panthers' locker room with his hockey stick, and proceeded to score a pair of goals later that night. When Mellanby scored a hat trick in a later game, some Florida fans threw plastic rats on the ice, a tradition that continued for all Panthers' goals throughout the 1996 playoffs. Due to the resulting game delays caused by the necessary clean-up of the plastic rats, the league eventually banned the activity and modified Rule 63 to impose a minor penalty against the home team for a violation. The more traditional practice of fans throwing hats on the ice following genuine hat tricks remains exempt from this penalty.
A hat-trick in lacrosse is when a player scores three goals in one game.
In motor racing, three successive race wins, winning the same event three times in a row, or securing pole position, fastest lap and race victory in one event may all be referred to as a hat-trick.
Eliminating three players from a table with one hand in live poker play is sometimes referred to as a hat-trick and is incredibly rare. It is a much more frequent occurrence in online poker games, given the faster and greater number of hands played in online tournaments and the continuing presence of multiple "all-in" players during the early stages of tournament play as players look to build large chip stacks quickly and early.
Checking and raising an opponent three times, as well as winning the European Poker Tour (EPT), World Series of Poker (WSOP), and World Poker Tour (WPT) in the same year, are also called hat tricks in poker.
In both codes of rugby football (rugby union and rugby league) a hat-trick is when a player scores three or more tries in a game. In rugby union, a related concept is that of a "full house" (scoring a try, conversion, penalty goal, and drop goal) in a single game. When a player scored two tries, this is often referred to as a brace. As with association football, it is common to award the match ball to a player who scores a hat-trick.
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- Hitting for the cycle
- Nap hand
- Triple Crown (disambiguation)
- Turkey (bowling)
- Triple double
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