1st hockey team/2nd swimming team

Korean - South Korea
#1
I am qutoing [Burger's Daughter] again. The main character Rosa is a school girl attending a private school for white English-speaking girls in South Africa.
I wonder why '1st' and '2nd' are here. What do these numbers mean?

Rosa Burger, about fourteen years old at the time, waiting at the prison in a browm gymfrock over a yellow shirt ......, was small for her age,
slightly bottle-legged (1st hockey team) and with a tiny waist. ...From the side parting of her hair there was a strand that twirled counter to the lie
of the rest and had bleached lighter due to contact with chemicals in the school pool (2nd swimming team) ...
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    English - England
    #2
    The school has more than one hockey team: the best hockey team will be "the first hockey team." The school has at least two swimming teams: the best/better team will be "the first swimming team"; the one that is not quite so good will be "the second swimming team."

    A: "Are you in the swimming team?"
    B: "Yes."
    A: "Which one?"
    B: "I'm in the second team."
     
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