Hockey is a very fast-paced sport which requires a lot of stamina and power. It is also a full contact game, so risk of getting injured is very high.
There are two teams in Ice Hockey- 6 players in each team . It is played on an ice field using either wood or composite sticks to kick the rubber puck in the rival's goal net. In USA and Canada it is popularly known just as 'hockey'.
Origin of Ice Hockey
There is no specific data available about the origin of Ice Hockey, but many people believe that it evolved from field hockey which was played in the region of North Europe. At the time of its origin, it used to be a seasonal sport (as ice is required to play this game). Later on this game became popular in Canada, Northern parts of the US and some other cold countries where there is always ice.
Most of the development of the game happened in Canada in the 19th century. The rule book of modern ice hockey was developed by a Canadian sportsperson, J G. A.Creighton. The first game with these rules was played in the year 1875, in Montreal, Canada.
The first artificial ice platform, Glaciarium, was built in the year 1876, near King's Road in London, England. It was developed and designed by John Gamgee. McGill University Hockey Club, the first hockey club was formed in 1877. The game became so much popular in cold countries in the years to come that a World championship was held in 1883, in Montreal. By the end of 19th century, there were leagues all over Canada. The oldest arena for ice hockey was built in 1898, in Ottawa and it is still being used for playing the games.
Evolution of Hockey
In the year 1910, the NHA (National Hockey Association) was formed in Montreal, Canada. 7 years later it was reformed as the NHL (National Hockey League). Ice hockey was introduced in the Antwerp Olympic games of 1920. After that it was permanently transferred to winters Olympics games. NHL started its expansion into the US in 1924. After some time it because popular all over the world.
The first ice hockey world championships were played in the year 1930. The championships are now held every year excluding the year when Olympics games are held.
Some of the best Ice Hockey players are: Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Mark Messier, Ron Francis, Peter Forsbergand JaromirJagr.
Rules of Ice Hockey
The IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation), Hockey Canada and USA Hockey framed a rule book. Most of the rules are similar to that of field hockey.
Some of the major rules of ice hockey are:
- Each team consists of 6 players- one goal keeper (goaltender) and 5 skaters
- The goalkeeper cannot cross the middle ice red line.
- The game is of 60 minutes, played in 3 periods of 20 minute each.
- A player can use his shoulder, torso or hip to impede an opponent, but cannot hit his head. It is also illegal to hit a player facing the boards.
- Unlimited substitutions are allowed during a match.