If you have taken the time to read my Pink Puck bio then you are aware that I am brand spanking new to the sport of ice hockey. I’m not sure how you all are when you discover something new that brings you joy, but I know I tend to get a tad obsessive, I feel this need to acquire information about every aspect of my new-found interest until I feel like a mini expert. With Ariel covering the terms and rules of the game (which are benefiting me 100%) I decided to dig up the past and find out the history of how this magnificent sport developed and evolved. Not only will this be fun and educational for myself and other new fans, but I bet a lot of the most ‘die-hard’ fans could learn something new along with me.
After some long and extensive research I have discovered that to pinpoint the EXACT origin of ice hockey is impossible because it does not exist. The sport we enjoy and play today evolved from several different countries from various ‘stick-and-ball’ games. The only definitive piece of information I found was that the very first organized game was played on March 3, 1875, in Montreal. Furthermore the name “hockey” has no clear origin, although its first known mention in English dates to 1363 when King Edward III of England issued a proclamation banning a number of games. The word “puck” derives from the Scots Gaelic puc or the Irish poc (to poke, punch or deliver a blow).
A few games that predate hockey and may or may not have helped in its evolution are IJscolf, knattleikr, hurling, shinney, and bandie ball (an early form of field hockey). Thomas Chandler Haliburton a famous author, attended Kings College School in Windsor, Nova Scotia between 1800-1810 and in his book The Attache, written in 1844 is quoted saying “…you boys let out racin’, yelpin’, hollerin’, and whoopin’ like mad with pleasure and the play-ground, and the game at base in the fields, or hurley on the long pond on the ice…” Due to Haliburtons national acclaim for writing the first history of Nova Scotia, his quoted accounts of playing hurley on ice while a student are of great significance so much so that most historical findings are in agreement that the sport of ice hockey originated in the 1800s in Windsor as ice hurley and over a few decades developed into the ice hockey we know today.