History of Hockey - Who Invented Hockey?
Today we are familiar with several of hockey forms, including field hockey, ice hockey, roller hockey and indoor hockey.
The most popular one is ice hockey, especially in Canada.
Regardless of the forms, hockey is a team sport in which two teams play
against each other by controlling a ball or a puck trying to get it into
the opponent’s goal. All players use hockey sticks during a game.
It is impossible to claim the exact time of the birth of hockey. We will
probably never know for sure, but there are records of people participating
in this kind of game about 4000 years ago. Since
ball-stick games are as old as our civilization, the earliest origins may
be from China, Persia or Egypt. Archeologists discovered that an early form
of the ball-and-stick game was played in Greece the 5th century BC. At the
time when Europeans sailed across the Atlantic and started settling North
America, they discovered that Native Indian people had their games which
were precursors of lacrosse. Furthermore, some museums today showcase
evidence that hockey was played by Aztecs centuries before Columbus even
discovered the New World.
The name “hockey” is thought to be derived from the French hoquet meaning “ shepherd’s stave”, however, there are a couple of
suppositions of which none have been evidenced. The second supposition
derives from the use of cork bangs, called stoppers, in place of wooden
balls to play the game. These objects came from barrels containing hock
ale, also known as hocky. Still, though, the origin of “hockey” remains
J. G. Creighton
was the Canadian from Halifax, Nova Scotia who created the first set of rules of ice hockey about 140 years ago. Upon
arriving in Montreal, he presented hockey sticks and skates which were
patented by Nova Scotia company in 1866. The skates featured rounded blades
held onto boots by metal clamps, which had not been seen ever before. The
very first game of ice hockey played in Canada was in 1875 at Victoria
Skating Rink, in which the new rules were implemented. Just a couple of
years later, Mr. Creighton’s rules were revised at McGill University in
Montreal. Eventually, it was decided that the game would be held indoors
for the first time, due to the belief that ice hockey had to be played on
ponds only. Otherwise, people could get badly hurt. Creighton handled the
issue by creating a flat and circular piece of wood, that is the first
hockey puck. It provided players with better control over a ball, and it
decreased the chance of injuring spectators during a game.
Ice hockey is Canada’s national winter sport. The country
undoubtedly contributed to this sport more than any other so we could say
this their tendency to regard ice hockey as their national sport is
entirely justified. The national hockey league of North America, called NHL
is the highest level for men’s hockey and thus the most popular. In Russia
and the most of Europe, the highest league is called Kontinental Hockey
League. The formal governing body of International ice hockey is the
International Ice Hockey Federation.
The modern game was formed in the middle of 19th century by British
soldiers stationed in Canada. During the next 30 years, many leagues and
amateur clubs were organized in Canada. By the beginning of the 20th
century, ice hockey spread to England and the rest of European countries.
Today, the sport is highly popular in Eastern Europe and North America.
Soft hockey has been played in the ancient period by different nations and
under different names. It is known that over the last five hundred years
the sport has been widely played in India and in rural areas of undeveloped
parts of the world where the lack of proper infrastructure eliminates the
probability for playing field hockey. In the past, villagers were mixing the bamboo and homemade rubber to make softballs.
One of the reasons the sport enjoyed such a popularity was that it didn’t
require many players and the equipment for the game was very simple. One of
the more advantageous sides of softball was smaller chances of sustaining
injuries, compared to other similar games. The game was played by pushing
the ball instead of hitting it, to avoid sending the ball out of the field
and into bushes and ponds, which would lead to a longer recovering from the
ball. Over the last couple of centuries, the sport has been modified and
developed into other separate sports like croquet, lacrosse, shinty, field
hockey, etc. According to sources, the countries which mostly contributed
to the development of hockey were Great Britain and France, where field
hockey remains to be a popular summer sport. During cold, harsh winters in
Europe, it was not uncommon to see young athletes play the version of this
sport on ice. In the 17th century, the game started becoming popular in
Holland and then later on it started to take hold in England as well.
The first Olympic Hockey Competition for men took place in London in 1908 where all of the United Kingdom
countries were competing separately. Another two countries which
participated as well were Germany and France. However, after London
Olympics, the game was dropped from 1912 games held in Stockholm due to the
preferences of other ‘optional sports’ by the host country. Several years
later, in 1920, the ice hockey reappeared in Antwerp but was again
neglected in Paris in 1924, despite the formation of the International
Hockey Federation that same year. Ultimately, hockey was granted re-entry
in Amsterdam in 1928 and has been on the program ever since. As for the
women’s hockey, the first time it was included in the Olympic program was
in Moscow in 1980.
Since the Olympics held in Sydney (2000), men athletes have competed in
12-team tournaments and women in a 10-team one.
Another hockey sport, which was played for the first time in the city of
Kent, England at the beginning of the 20th century, is called “ roller skate hockey”. Apart from several European
countries, the sport presently enjoys popularity in South America, Angola,
and Mozambique. The International Federation of roller skate hockey was
created in 1924. The sport may be played on roller skates or roller blades.
Two teams comprise of six players each, so it closely resembles ice hockey.
However, it is played on asphalt or an indoor skating rink with a ball. The
minimum size of the playing area is minimally set to be 65 x 35 feet while
the maximum size is 100 x 200 feet. Same as indoor hockey, the game starts
with a face-off after a coin is tossed. The players’ positions are a
goalie, two forwards, center and two defenders. All players wear matching
jerseys, as well as a face mask, shin guards, hockey gloves and helmets
with a chin strap. They may also use a mouthpiece, but it is optional.
is very similar to field hockey but only adapted for indoor play. However,
the same playing style can be applied outdoors if the surface is flat, hard
and asphalted. Each team is created out of six players, and the game has
two periods of 20 minutes. One of the rules of the game is that the ball
must only be pushed and not hit with the stick. Additionally, the ball may
just rise from the surface while attempting to score a goal from the
striking circle. The game starts with a lateral pass from the team which
loses a toss-up.