The motherland of the ice hockey game is Canada. This sport can rightly call itself the fastest team sport in the world and has evolved from different sports and their influences.
The development process
Similar sports were already in place in the 16th century. The forerunners of this game were from Friesland and the Netherlands. But also in North America, the natives already played various ball games. There are also references from Denmark, which even extend back to the year 1134. At that time, however, the skates were still made of bones. A crumb stick, the so-called Camburca, was the forerunner of the ice hockey stick. The first ice hockey game, which was held in a hall, took place on 3.3.1875 in Montreal and was organized by a student. In Canada, ice hockey is now a national sport.
In Europe, this game initially spread to climatically appropriate regions such as Scandinavia and the Alpine region. The origin of the word “hockey” is still not fully clarified, but a derivation could come from the English term “hook”.
Ice hockey games between the Soviet Union and Canada or the United States sometimes even reached historical significance, especially during the Cold War. In the 1990s, an ice hockey-like sport, “inline hockey,” was established.
Today, the NHL (National Hockey League) is the most important league in the world. Women’s ice hockey has slowly evolved out of men’s ice hockey. There are different rules, including that body checks are generally prohibited because there have already been significant injuries. In addition, women are obliged to wear helmets with face protection. The first women’s tournament took place in Nagano in 1998.
The women’s ice hockey game has also become popular in Russia and northern Europe. There are also some players who have achieved world fame and have been inducted into the International Hockey Hall of Fame. These include Wayne Gretzky, Ron Hextall, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr, and a few others.