Ice Hockey – Sports Using Ice Skating

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Most of the sports we know today are either thrown, hit, or kicked with a ball. However, there is one sport in the catalog that features a circular object called a puck. This famous sport comes from “Canada” (Fischler). Thanks to it’s instant success, it became a fourth contender in major league sports next to commoners like basketball, baseball, and football. Another big difference is that it’s played on the “ice rink” rather than a field or a court (Fischler). Linking these clues together, ice hockey is a fast-paced team sport that players use skates for bodily contact and a puck to score goals and win a game.

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The origins of ice hockey have traced back to the 1800s. The word, which also has an interesting history, comes from “the French term hoquet, meaning shepherd’s crook… meaning bent stick” (Fischler). It is not just the word that makes it fascinating, but the fact that the sport combines “English field hockey and Indian lacrosse [and was popularized in] Canada by [soldiers from Britain] in the mid-1800s” really makes it astonishing to watch (Fischler). After the first use of a “puck instead of a ball was recorded [in]… Ontario, Canada, in 1860”, the first ever “indoor ice hockey game” took place “[at the Victoria Skating Rink in Montreal, Canada in 1875]” (Fischler). These history pieces will soon pave the way towards dozens of professional leagues in Canada and all over the world making ice hockey a household name.

Next, the rules of ice hockey are clear to explain. There are about twenty players on a team that get divided in a series of shifts all in a three-period game of sixty minutes. Along with the goalie, five players pass the puck skating fast on the ice. The five positions are made up of “three forwards—the centre, a left wing, and a right wing—and two defensemen—a [left and right] defenseman” (Fischler). As stated before, the team with the most goals after a full hour is declared the winner. You can score with a “[backhander, a wrist shot, or a slapshot]”, but sometimes during the game “assessed for excessive use of the body or equipment to impede the opposition” (Fischler). It sounds like ice hockey’s rules sound similar to another sport.

Lacrosse is contrasting to ice hockey by appearance but the action and spirit of the game makes it easy to compare. According to an online blog called The European Lacrosse Blog, “Basically lacrosse and ice hockey…[sic]… three common characteristics: It takes many sporting skills, [countless hours to master], and the great similarity of the games is the task to be handled.” Other similarities include “physical contact other with players”, the “face-off”, and the overall concept to “snatch the ball from the opponents” (‘Lacrosse and Ice Hockey – What Connects Both Sports?’). Despite the similarities, some skills learned in ice hockey can be applied to lacrosse such as “core strength and endurance”, “hand-eye coordination”, and “shoot and aim /accuracy” (‘Lacrosse and Ice Hockey – What Connects Both Sports?’). Lacrosse and their players have their own set of expertise, but seeing it alongside the world of ice hockey can make it fun to juxtapose with.

Ice hockey has paved the way not just for the success of certain famous athletes, but a variety of phenomenons, even in America. For example, in the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics, Team USA Hockey declared “a [4 to 3] victory over the Soviet Union” and a “[4 to 2 gold medal win] over Finland” (Peters). One of the team players, Mark Johnson, quoted in the article:

Prior to 1980, there weren’t a lot of Americans in the league. A

lot of people got an opportunity to watch us [exposing] a lot of

younger players…”

Another example that sparked ice hockey to American success was athlete Wayne Greztky getting traded to the Los Angeles Kings, a National Hockey League team. From what I know, he formerly played on the Edmonton Oilers. “The league had gained popularity, Gretzky was its greatest celebrity and there was finally infrastructure… to capitalize on that… [spawning growth] of the game in California as rinks started being built to make the Golden State a hockey state” (Peters). In addition to iconic events, safety equipment became a standard such as helmets and facemasks for goalies “to protect themselves from [potentially dangerous whereabouts like] flailing sticks and flying pucks” (‘History of Ice Hockey’). But, the most exciting part about hockey is winning a championship like the Stanley Cup, “the oldest prize that North American Athletes vie for [which has] been awarded… since 1893” (Peters). Overall, moments and innovations are factors that show that ice hockey has a strong affect in the world of sports.

In conclusion, “Ice hockey” is a set of words that defines a sport full of action and unpredictability. Coming from “Canada by British soldiers in the mid-1800s, [it become one of the most popular of international sports with its speed and its frequent physical contact]” (Fischler). I’ve played hockey once in my life, my brother Noah still plays hockey. In fact, my entire family enjoys watching the sport. Between scoring goals and hard physical hits, ice hockey is an event that is worth spending my ticket for.

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Ice Hockey - Sports Using Ice Skating. (2021, Jul 01). Retrieved January 29, 2023 , from

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