How was ice hockey invented: ice hockey | History, Rules, Equipment, Players, & Facts
Origins of Ice Hockey | The Canadian EncyclopediaComposite photo of an 1893 hockey game at the Victoria Skating Rink in Montreal. This was the site of the famous ice hockey game played on 3 March 1875, which the IIHF officially recognizes as the first game of organized ice hockey.
Early Stick and Ball Games
“Hockey” is one of several “stick-and-ball games,” the origins of which may go as far back as the beginning of recorded history. There is evidence that such games may have been played in ancient Egypt and Greece and that stick-and-ball games were played by Indigenous peoples in the Americas prior to the arrival of European settlers. There is also clear evidence that stick-and-ball games were played in medieval Europe. For example, the Speculum Maius, a 13th century encyclopedia compiled by Dominican friar Vincent of Beauvais (France), includes an illustration of four men playing choule [or soule] à la crosse, a game in which players used curved sticks to move a ball toward a target.
However, hockey developed from stick-and-ball games played in the British Isles, particularly hurling (Ireland), shinty (Scotland) and bandy (England). These games shared a very similar basic structure and have been documented from the 14th century. Hurling was an ancient Irish stick-and-ball game that was originally played on the ground and resembled modern field hockey (it later evolved into the aerial game played today). In Scotland, people played a similar game called shinty (variations include shinny, schynnie and chamiare). In England, yet another similar game was called “bandy” or “bandie-ball.” The name is believed to have developed either from the verb “to bandy” (to strike back and forth) or from the bent stick used in the game. The term “bandy” was in use at least by 1610–11, when William Strachey, the first secretary of the Colony of Virginia, described a similar game played by the Powhatan Indian tribe.
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The bent or curved sticks used in bandy are similar to those used in early versions of cricket and golf. This has contributed to further confusion and debate among hockey historians. Many paintings by Dutch or Flemish artists in the early modern period depict the game of “kolf” (an early version of golf) played on ice with skates and using bent sticks. The most famous is The Hunters in the Snow (1565) by Pieter Bruegel. Some people have mistaken the games depicted in these paintings for early versions of ice hockey, but it is unlikely that any of them depicted a team sport.
The Hunters in the Snow (1565) by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. The foreground of this painting shows a wintry scene in which three hunters are returning from an expedition accompanied by their dogs. In the background, figures skate and play games on the ice. (Wikimedia Commons)
Detail from The Hunters in the Snow (1565) by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Some people have mistaken the game depicted here as an early version of ice hockey. Cropped from original image.Previous Next
Playing on Ice
The first reported instance of a stick-and-ball game played on ice was a game of “chamiare” (shinty) played on the ice of the Firth of Forth in Scotland in 1608, during what was known as the “Great Winter.” It is doubtful, however, that the players used skates, since iron skates were not introduced to the British Isles until around 1660. That year, the British royal family returned from exile in the Netherlands, bringing a passion for skating back with them. It quickly became a popular pastime in London, with diarist Samuel Pepys remarking in 1662 that he watched “people sliding with their skeates” on the canal in St. James’s Park, “which is a very pretty art.” Around the same time, Dutch drainage workers likely introduced metal-bladed skates to the Fens (a coastal plain in eastern England), where a vast network of canals provided much opportunity for skating.
Before long, bandy was adapted for playing with ice skates. According to historian Charles Goodman Tebbutt, people were probably playing bandy on ice since the mid-1700s in the Fens. “Concurrently with skating races, bandy matches have long been held in the Fens,” wrote Tebbutt in 1892. “It is certain that during the last [18th] century the game was played and even matches were held on Bury Fen, and the local tradition that the Bury Fenners (a team made up of players from the twin villages of Bluntisham and Earith) had not been defeated for a century may not be an idle boast. But it was not until the great frost of 1813–14 that tradition gives place to certainty.” One of Tebbutt’s sources was William Leeland, the former captain of the Bury Fenners, who confirmed that bandy had been played on ice in 1813. He also spoke to Richard Brown, who had been the umpire of a game between Willingham and Bluntisham-cum-Earith in 1827.
Bandy was also played on ice in other parts of England at the time. In February 1816, for example, the Chester Chronicle in Chester, England, reported that people were playing bandy on the frozen Dee River.
Origin of the Term “Hockey”
But what about hockey itself? Unlike bandy, hurling and shinty, the term “hockey” is relatively recent. Its oldest known use is in the 1773 book
Whether played on the ground or on ice, the games of hurling, shinny and bandy were usually played with a hard wooden ball, which caused frequent injuries to shins. However, around the mid-18th century, at least in England, balls were starting to be replaced by cork-bungs (barrel plugs). An engraving printed by Joseph Le Petit in London in 1797 shows such a bung being used for ice hockey. The fact that the word “hockey” appeared shortly after this switch, and that it was originally used to designate the bung, not the stick, has led hockey historians Carl Gidén, Patrick Houda and Jean-Patrice Martel to suggest that the term may have come from “hock ale.” This was a beer brewed for the festivals at Hocktide (a festival on the second Monday and Tuesday after Easter) that came in barrels with bungs that may have been particularly well suited for the game. At the time, the word “hockey” (sometimes “hocky”) was used not only to refer to the beer itself, but also as a synonym for “drunk.”
This engraving, which was published by Joseph Le Petit Jr. in 1797, is the earliest known engraving or painting depicting an ice hockey–like activity on skates.
Did this new term, “hockey,” refer to a new game? Throughout much of the 19th century, hockey and bandy were considered interchangeable terms. However, hockey appears to have become the more popular term, particularly in the London area. The last reference to a game of “bandy” in a London newspaper was in 1749, and it referred to a game played on the ground.
Origins of Hockey in England
In the 1790s and early 1800s, field hockey was played at most of the important schools in the London area, including Eton and Harrow (the first set of rules for field hockey were likely written at Harrow in 1852). Hockey thus became a common activity, on ground and occasionally on ice, and its popularity spread out of London. Several instances of ice hockey are documented in England in the 19th century. Some games are described as featuring both “skaters and sliders” (i.e., players with skates and others without), but when played by adults, it was generally played with skates. In 1853, naturalist Charles Darwin mentioned hockey in a letter to his son, William Erasmus, who was then away at school. “Have you got a pretty good pond to skate on?” he asks. “I used to be very fond of playing at Hocky on the ice in skates.”
Hockey was also popular amongst the royal family. Queen Victoria’s husband, Albert, played ice hockey
in the 1840s. Their son Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII, participated in a particularly well-documented game played on ice with skates on 8 January 1864. The players on the prince’s team were “distinguished by a white riband
on the left arm,” a precursor of team uniforms. The event was reported in several newspapers, and an illustration was published in London’s
Organization and Rules of Bandy/Hockey
As the 19th century progressed, and the game of hockey became more popular in England, it also became increasingly organized. England’s climate, with its relatively mild winters, would not have permitted the organization of regularly scheduled games of
ice hockey/bandy, let alone a league. Yet in most winters it was possible, at least for a few days, to play hockey or bandy on ice. The activity was very popular in some areas,
with newspapers reporting the game results as early as 1831 — on Saturday, 5 February of that year, the
Then, on 3 February 1857, teams from Swavesey and Over met on Mare Fen for a game of bandy (as well as some skating races). The exact score is not known, but the local newspaper reported that Swavesey won and listed the names of all the players, eleven per side. More games were reported in local newspapers, particularly in the early 1870s, with several reports mentioning the names of the players, the score or outcome (win/draw), the goal scorers, and the duration of the game or of the intermission. This indicates a high level of formality in the organization of the game in England by at least the early 1870s.
By that time, at least two books had been published containing instructions for playing bandy or hockey — the two terms being considered interchangeable at the time — and indicating that it could be played on ice with skates. The 1849 edition of The Boy’s Own Book included a new entry for hockey, explaining briefly how the game was played (on the ground) and stating, “This is decidedly one of the most popular sports of English youth.” The article concluded by mentioning, “With a party of good skaters, this game affords fine sport, but of course can only be played on a sheet of ice of great extent.” The Boy’s Handy Book of Sports, Pastimes, Games and Amusements, published in 1863 (in London), also contained instructions on how to play the game and remarked, “Hockey is a capital winter game, and is sometimes played on the ice, and even by skaters.” (However, the authors then proceeded to advise against playing the game on ice, for safety reasons, “as falls upon the ice are uncommonly hard, especially when a few random blows from hockey-sticks increase the amenities of the fallen champion’s position.”)
Five years later, the 1868 edition of The Boy’s Own Book advertised that it had been “thoroughly revised and considerably enlarged.” The updated entry for hockey provided a list of six rules. As in the earlier edition, hockey was still enthusiastically promoted as a winter sport to be practiced with ice skates. These books clearly predate the rules published by the Montreal Gazette in 1877 and should therefore be considered the first sets of rules for ice hockey. Moreover, the Montreal rules were based on those adopted by England’s Hockey Association (HA), which was established in 1875. The HA oversaw the practice of field hockey, but its rules were also used in England for ice hockey until 1883, when the National Skating Association published its own set.
In short, by 1875, people were playing ice hockey in England and had developed rules for playing the game. This was part of a long development of the sport in the British Isles, which included games of shinty being played on ice as early as 1608.This action photo of the McGill University men’s hockey team was taken on the McGill campus by Alexander Henderson during the 1884 Winter Carnival Hockey Tournament in Montreal. It is believed to be the earliest known photograph of a hockey game in action.
Early Evidence of Ice Hockey in Canada
Research by hockey historians Gidén, Houda and Martel, therefore, reveals that ice hockey is not a Canadian invention, despite competing claims that various Canadian cities and towns are the true “birthplace” of the game. It is undeniable, however, that important developments in the modern game stemmed from Canada, with “Canadian rules” eventually dominating the international world of ice hockey.
There is clear evidence that the game was being played in Canada in the 19th century, even prior to the famous game played in Montreal on 3 March 1875. This is hardly surprising, given that settlers from Great Britain or Ireland would have brought with them their folk games, as would members of the British army and navy who were stationed in Canada.
The claim has been made that Windsor, Nova Scotia, was the birthplace of ice hockey. This is based largely on an eight-word passage from the book The Attaché, or, Sam Slick in England (second volume, 1844), which refers to playing “hurley on the long pond on the ice.” Although a work of fiction, some people argue that the author, Thomas Chandler Haliburton, was reminiscing about his years spent at King’s Collegiate School in Windsor, from which he graduated in 1810. The passage does not, however, provide much detail as to how the game was played or whether skates were used. Similarly, an anonymous letter to the editor, published in the Windsor Mail in 1876, describes the author’s years (1816–18) at the same school, including a reference to “hurley” as well as skating. However, the evidence is still debated, and it is unclear whether a game resembling ice hockey was played on the “long pond” at the time. Even if confirmed, however, it would still have occurred long after the 1608 game of shinty played on Scotland’s Firth of Forth and likely several decades later than the earliest bandy matches played with skates on the canals of the English Fens, not to mention also a few years later than the depiction of ice hockey found in the 1797 Le Petit engraving.
Some of the earliest evidence for ice hockey in Canada was recorded by British officers, who brought the sport with them. In 2002, for example, researchers discovered two letters written by Sir John Franklin in 1825, during one of his attempts to find the Northwest Passage. Both letters mention hockey being played on ice but do not specify that the game was played on skates (although Franklin’s diary of that expedition indicates that the crew had been equipped with them). This has led some to argue that Deline, in the Northwest Territories, was the birthplace of hockey in Canada. However, Franklin was a Royal Navy officer who would have learned about hockey (field and/or ice versions) in his home country. It is unlikely, therefore, that this was the first game of ice hockey.
There is also evidence that in 1839, games of ice hockey were played by British soldiers on Chippewa Creek in the Niagara region (although this evidence only came to light in 2008). Sir Richard George Augustus Levinge, a lieutenant of a light infantry unit stationed in Niagara, wrote in his memoirs, “Large parties contested games of hockey on the ice, some forty or fifty being ranged on each side.” He also explicitly mentions the use of skates during the games.McGill University, 1881.
Hockey was also played in Kingston, Ontario, in 1843. Sir Arthur Freeling, then a first lieutenant stationed in Kingston, organized games for his men and wrote about them in his diary. Like Franklin and Levinge, Freeling was a British officer who would have learned the game in his home country. Freeling was recalled to England in 1844, and it would be a few decades before ice hockey was played again in Kingston. Despite this, Kingston was long held to be the birthplace of ice hockey, owing in large part to efforts by Captain James T. Sutherland. In 1943, Sutherland convinced the National Hockey League to adopt Kingston as the site for the Hockey Hall of Fame, based on this claim. The decision was later rescinded, and the Hall opened in Toronto.
While few reports of specific games exist, there is also no doubt that ice hockey was played on a regular basis in Halifax and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, prior to 1875. Many written sources mention the activity, although the majority refer to the game as “ricket.” Some of them are detailed enough to leave no doubt that these games were very similar to ice hockey. It is therefore clear that games resembling ice hockey were played in Canada in the 19th century, likely brought to the country by settlers or military personnel from the British Isles.
Organized Hockey in Montreal
According to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), the first organized ice hockey game was played on 3 March 1875 in Montreal. On that date, the Montreal Gazette made the following announcement:
VICTORIA RINK—A game of Hockey will be played at the Victoria Skating Rink this evening, between two nines chosen from among the members. Good fun may be expected, as some of the players are reputed to be exceedingly expert at the game. Some fears have been expressed on the part of intending spectators that accidents were likely to occur through the ball flying about in too lively a manner, to the imminent danger of lookers on, but we understand that the game will be played with a flat circular piece of wood, thus preventing all danger of its leaving the surface of the ice. Subscribers will be admitted on presentation of their tickets.
The game, played between two teams of nine players, ended in a 2–1 win for the team captained by James George Aylwin Creighton (originally from Nova Scotia) over the team captained by Charles Edward Torrance.
James George Aylwin Creighton (12 June 1850 – 27 June 1930) was a Canadian lawyer, engineer, journalist and athlete. He is credited with organizing the first recorded indoor ice hockey match at Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1875. He helped popularize the sport in Montreal and later in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada after he moved to Ottawa in 1882 where he served for 48 years as the Law Clerk to the Canadian Senate. Photo dated March 1902 in Ottawa, Ontario. (photo by Topley Studio, courtesy Library and Archives Canada / PA-197799)
In 2008, the IIHF officially recognized this as the first game of organized ice hockey. At the same ceremony, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, on the recommendation of the IIHF, made James George Aylwin Creighton a “person of national historic significance,” he has widely been accepted as the instigator and organizer of this game.
Was this truly the first organized ice hockey game? The game’s sticks were obtained from Halifax, as were the rules. It is likely the rules originated with members of the local British garrison, who would have been using English hockey rules. The use of a “flat circular piece of wood” to avoid injury to the spectators is often considered the “invention” of the puck (the term itself was first used in Canada in 1876). However, this ignores the use of bungs in England that began in the mid-18th century.
Newspaper reports include a list of all the players but did not provide the identity of the goal scorers, the duration of the game, or whether there was a referee or umpire, or goalies. It is also known that the players were not wearing uniforms. In contrast, there exist a few detailed reports of games of ice hockey (or bandy) from English newspapers in the early 1870s, which often included the names of goal scorers, and, in at least one case, even the times of the goals. These were clearly well-organized matches.
The Montreal game does not therefore appear to have been the first organized game of ice hockey, although of course it depends on one’s definition of “organized.” However, the sport quickly developed in Montreal following the game on 3 March 1875. Another exhibition game was played two weeks later, this time with uniforms. The identity of the teams was also more specific, with the Montreal Football Club (wearing its usual colours) facing a team from the Victoria Skating Club.The Montreal Hockey Club was the first team to win the Stanley Cup.
Early Canadian Innovations
In 1876, the Montreal Gazette announced that games would now be played according to rules set by England’s Hockey Association (HA). Several of the original English field hockey rules had been directly adapted from English football (soccer) rules. The offside rule, for example, was exactly the same — and not inspired by rugby, as is often claimed. Other rules also came from football, including rules against carrying the ball and how to put the ball back in play after it had gone out of bounds (the rule being different depending on whether it went off to the side or behind the goal line).
In 1877, the Gazette published the English rules, with slight modifications, including one of the two instances of the word “ground” being replaced by “ice.” The most notable changes were related to the logistical difficulties associated with playing on an enclosed rink rather than an open field. In addition, HA rules stipulated that no charging was allowed, but in the revised Montreal version, the restriction was limited to “charging from behind,” which may have implied that body checks were allowed from that point on. The Montreal version also omitted several HA rules, notably those describing the stick, how goals were scored, the size of the field and the number of players on each side.
Canadians also brought back the flat disc that had been adopted in the mid-18th century when the word “hockey” itself came into use. In Europe, cork bungs had been largely abandoned by the 1870s, and bandy/hockey was played with balls made of vulcanized rubber. (Soft rubber balls lasted longer than cork bungs and were also less damaging to shins and ankles than wood, the traditional material of bandy balls). The name “puck” was another Canadian idea — although the term itself is of Irish origin — as was the decision to produce it using hard rubber.
Canadians made other significant rule changes early on. In 1880, for example, the number of players was reduced from nine to seven. New techniques and styles of play also arose organically as the game grew and organized leagues proliferated. In the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes (1895–1911), for example, techniques such as a goaltender dropping to his knees and what may have been an early form of the slapshot were displayed prior to their use in professional hockey league play.The Colored Hockey League was an all-Black league featuring teams from across the Maritimes that played from 1895 into the 1930s.(via Wikimedia Commons) | (via Wikimedia Commons)
Early Hockey Tournaments in Montreal
The first truly competitive ice hockey games were played on 26 and 27 January 1883, when three teams competed in the first edition of the Montreal Winter Carnival hockey tournament. McGill University, the Montreal Victorias and the Quebec Hockey Club played a three-game round-robin, with McGill declared the champion. Over the following six years, four more Carnival ice hockey tournaments were held.
In 1886, the Carnival was cancelled due to a smallpox epidemic. A replacement tournament was held in Burlington, Vermont, featuring two Montreal teams and a local team, making it the first international ice hockey tournament. The same winter, four Montreal-area teams organized a season-long tournament in the city. This is considered by some to be the first hockey league, although it did not have a name and its format of direct elimination meant that there were no standings, only a champion and a finalist. Also on this occasion, the rules were revised and improved for the first time since being published. This included regulations about puck size and material, with a stipulation that they should be made of “vulcanized rubber.”
In the fall of 1886, the rules were revised once again. The most significant change affected goal size, with the dimensions set at six feet wide by four feet high (its current size). Of interest, those dimensions had already been recommended by two different authors in England in the 1860s. Still in 1886, the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada (AHAC) was formed, becoming the first, or perhaps second organized league. It lasted twelve seasons, and its 1893 champion, the Montreal Hockey Club (the hockey team associated with the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association), became the first Stanley Cup champion, having won the regular-season championship with a record of seven wins and one loss.The Winnipeg Falcons hockey club, the 1920 gold medallists at the Antwerp Olympics. The Falcons won Canada’s first-ever Olympic medal in ice hockey.
Influence of “Canadian Rules”
Canadian rules for ice hockey were gradually adopted overseas. In 1908, the Ligue Internationale de Hockey sur Glace (LIHG) was founded in Paris by four nations: Belgium, France, Great Britain and Switzerland. (Bohemia, a region of the present-day Czech Republic, had attended the founding meeting and joined later in the year.) The first set of rules were largely inspired by those used in Canadian hockey, and, significantly, mandated the use of a rubber puck, putting an end to the use of balls in hockey in England and the rest of Europe as national federations joined the LIHG. Bandy continued to be played in several countries (still with a ball), but its popularity declined considerably, particularly in comparison to hockey.
In 1911, the National Hockey Association (precursor to the National Hockey League) reduced the number of players to six by dropping the “rover,” with other leagues and jurisdictions following suit over approximately a decade. The offside rule was gradually made more permissive and, similarly, bodychecking went from being tolerated to being encouraged. One difference that has persisted over the years is the size of the rink. Those in North America are about 4 m narrower than — but about the same length as — those in Europe and all other countries playing under IIHF rules.
By 1920, Canada had become the dominant power in ice hockey. That year, the first ice hockey world championship was held during the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. It was won by the Winnipeg Falcons, representing Canada, who outscored their opponents in three games by a combined total score of 29–1. Canadian teams dominated Olympic hockey competition for over 30 years, winning six of seven tournaments between 1920 and 1952 (they settled for silver in 1936, when Britain won the gold medal with a team largely made up of players who had grown up in Canada). Canada would not win another gold medal in Olympic hockey until 2002, due in large part to the “amateur” (or “shamateur”) rules allowing countries from the Eastern bloc to send their best players while forbidding Canadian professionals to participate. However, the country has continued to be a powerhouse in international competition and has won the majority of the 12 “best on best” tournaments held between 1976 and 2014. While it may not be the “birthplace” of the sport, Canada has been the single biggest contributor to ice hockey’s evolution into the popular fast-action sport that it is today.
Origin Overview | The Birthplace of Hockey
Quotes Prove Ice Hockey’s Origin by Garth Vaughan © 1999
Garth Vaughan, Author
Windsor, N.S., Canada
“Facts do not cease to exist simply because they are ignored.” – Aldous Leonard Huxley
Ice Hockey is a Canadian game. It’s as Canadian as the Maple Leaf. “Go west, young man”, was the advice of wise men to the youth of the Maritimes as Canada began to develop. They should have added, “And don’t forget to look back!”, for had they done so, Canadians wouldn’t still be searching for the Birthplace of Hockey.
Town of Windsor Nova Scotia circa 1836
It would have been obvious that our national winter sport began and developed as the nation did, and in the same direction, from east to west. Ice Hockey, the fastest and most exciting winter game in the world, got its start on the east coast, in Windsor, Nova Scotia. After developing for seventy-five years in Nova Scotia, it began to spread to the west coast; a trip which was to take an amazing fifteen years.
Ice Hockey was not invented, nor did it start on a certain day of a particular year. It originated around 1800, in Windsor, where the boys of Canada’s first college, King’s College School, established in 1788, adapted the exciting field game of Hurley to the ice of their favorite skating ponds and originated a new winter game, Ice Hurley. Over a period of decades, Ice Hurley gradually developed into Ice Hockey.
A man who is still North America’s most quoted author, Thomas Chandler Haliburton, born in Windsor in 1796, told of King’s boys playing “hurley on the ice” when he was a young student at the school around 1800. This is the earliest reference in English literature of a stick-ball game being played on ice in Canada. Haliburton, who wrote the first history of Nova Scotia, was the first Canadian to acquire international acclaim as a writer, and the account of his recollection is therefore of great significance.
Soon after the boys of King’s College School adapted Hurley to the ice, the soldiers at Fort Edward, in Windsor, took up the new game. They carried the game to Halifax, where it gained impetus as it was played on the many and beautiful Dartmouth Lakes, and frozen inlets of Halifax Harbour.
The development of Ice Hurley into Ice Hockey during the 19th Century is chronicled in the newspapers of Nova Scotia.
To quote Thomas H. Raddall, a noted Nova Scotia historical novelist: “When the soldiers were transferred to military posts along the Saint Lawrence and Great Lakes, they took the game with them; and for some time afterwards continued to send to Dartmouth Indians for the necessary sticks.” As would be expected, coincident with the evolution of the game of Ice Hockey, the basic rules and the equipment with which the game was first played also developed in Nova Scotia – wooden pucks; one-piece sticks made by the native Mi’kmaq carvers and world-famous Starr “hockey” skates. When the game was introduced to Montreal in 1875, The Starr Manufacturing Company of Halifax and Dartmouth held the 1866 American and Canadian patents on Starr Hockey Skates, and the Mi’kmaq carvers of Nova Scotia were the undisputed national masters of carving one-piece ironwood hockey sticks. Not only did the Montreal players use Nova Scotia “hockey”skates, “hockey” sticks, and Halifax “Hockey” Club Rules as they learned how to play the game, they were also taught by a “hockey” coach from Halifax by the name of James George Aylwin Creighton. Later Nova Scotian contributions to the game would be the “hockey” net, the position of “rover” and the “forward pass”.
Over the years, the origin of the game has been misunderstood all across the nation and false claims have been made of the game beginning in both Kingston, Ontario and Montreal. These were based on faulty information which resulted from incomplete research. Decades earlier, people knew from whence the game had come.
Dr. A.H. Beaton, secretary of the Ontario Hockey Association in 1898, told the country in a national publication, the ‘Canadian Magazine’, that “Nearly twenty years ago hockey, as a scientific sport, was introduced into Upper Canada from Nova Scotia, the latter being the indisputable home in Canada of this game.”
The roots of the game apparently were lost in the intervening years leading up to the 1940s, because in 1943 when the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association accepted the report of a research committee charged with determining the origin of Ice Hockey, and named Kingston(1886) as the Birthplace of Hockey, an error was made, inasmuch as the committee members had not looked back to Montreal(1875) where the game was played eleven years earlier, let alone further east to Nova Scotia(1800) where it began eight decades before. Had they checked newspapers in the public archives, they easily would have determined that Windsor is the birthplace, and Nova Scotia is the growth-place of the game.
The so-called ‘Kingston Claim‘ was based on a game played in 1886 between the Royal Military College and Queen’s University. George Munro Grant, a native of Nova Scotia’s Pictou County was the principal of Queen’s University at that time. For the previous fourteen years he had been preaching at Saint Matthew’s church in Halifax. Dr. Grant would have been acutely aware of the origin of the game of Ice Hockey and the game’s equipment in Nova Scotia.
To further solidify the Nova Scotia connection to the spread of Ice Hockey, it should be pointed out that the young men of RMC were first introduced to the game in 1884, when Cadet #149, Roddy McColl, arrived from New Glasgow. McColl is credited by RMC students with teaching them the game, with hockey sticks and hockey skates brought from Nova Scotia. He acted as Goal Judge in the first Queen’s-R.M.C. games. In an interview in 1936, he stated, “The Nova Scotia boys defeated Kingston in hockey.”
The Kingston Claim cited “Shinny” ( a Scottish field game actually called “Shinty”) as having been played in Kingston as early as 1855. Shinty was played in other places at the same time, including Nova Scotia. Shinty, although ‘Ice Hockey-related’, did not develop into Ice Hockey.
Captain James Sutherland of Kingston, Ontario, who did much to develop Ice Hockey in Ontario, was President of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association in 1943 when a committee was formed to study the origin of the game. Along with journalist and hockey reporter Billy Hewitt, father of famous Hockey Broadcaster Foster Hewitt, and a friend named George Slater of Montreal, Sutherland’s committee of three was not long in presenting its findings based on flimsy evidence, that Kingston was the birthplace of Ice Hockey. The C.A.H.A. accepted the report and thus gave birth to the “Kingston Myth”. Later in life, when he was reminded that the sticks used to play the first games in Kingston had been sent up from Halifax, Captain James Sutherland conceded that the Nova Scotia capital preceded most centres in playing the game. “Otherwise, why send to Halifax for sticks?”, he commented.
Mr. J. C. Beauchamp of Montreal, while preparing to write a book on hockey history in 1940, wrote to Creighton’s Limited of Halifax, distributors of hand-made “Mic Mac” sticks to Upper Canadian hockey clubs: “The making of the first sticks has a most important bearing on the origin and early development of hockey. It may also settle the old controversy as to whether Halifax or Montreal was the birthplace of the game.”
John Regan, a journalist of Halifax who wrote a book “First Things In Acadia – The Birthplace Of A Continent”, in 1936, wrote to Captain Sutherland in 1943 concerning the birthplace controversy with the following interesting remarks. “You probably agree that any account of this national sport should be as complete as possible. Hockey on ice had been second nature with Maritimes, records show, long, it seems before the game became common in centralist communities. Actually, in 1867, Montreal and Toronto vigorously promoted lacrosse as Canada’s national game and sent organizers to the Maritimes and Britain. The Indian game was languidly taken up here; typically tried on skates. Misstatements by Central magazines and broadcasts are quite common but unfortunately there is a tendency to refuse to make corrections. In fact, you can verify that for years, 1860-1890 and after, that thousands of pairs of skates and hundreds of bundles of Indian-made hockey sticks were regularly shipped from Dartmouth, Halifax, and Saint John to sporting goods houses in New England, Montreal, and Toronto for local distribution. Mainly because ice sports in these regions were relatively in infancy, so to speak, and manufacturing had been long overlooked. Hockey or Hurley did not start in the Maritimes at Confederation, but long before.”
Elmer Fergusson, Montreal sports writer and radio sports commentator in the 1940s: “After probing into Maritime Hockey Lore”, he wrote, ” I am satisfied that ice hockey really began in Nova Scotia.”
Foster Hewitt, noted pioneer hockey broadcaster, wrote in his book Down the Ice, in 1936: “Like other evidences of early hockey, it is difficult to confirm the testimony, but it is generally believed that when the young men in Kingston played their early games, the sticks had been imported from Halifax and Montreal.”
William Kerr, of Montreal, who played for Queen’s University’s first hockey team in 1886, commenting on their hockey sticks which were imported from Nova Scotia for the games, said they were “simply wonderful sticks…such beauties that they were…made of small trees, planed down, with roots for blades; warranted irresistible by any shin!” Kerr went on to explain that an order was sent to the Nova Scotia capital for sticks. What cadet Kerr and others did not know, was that the sticks were not made in the city but were merely distributed from there by the Starr Manufacturing Company and others, which bought them from the Mi’kmaq carvers in Tuft’s Cove, Millbrook, Shubenacadie, Guysborough, and the Annapolis Valley native communities. Starr later produced “Mic Mac” brand sticks which were popular across the country into the 1930s.
J.W. (Bill) Fitsell, hockey historian from Kingston, Ontario, said that Cadet Kerr of the original R.M.C. team ” gave an important clue to hockey history when he reported that some of the senior cadets remembered that Halifax made ‘simply wonderful sticks.’” J.W. (Bill) Fitsell, also stated in his 1987 book on hockey history entitled Hockey’s Captains, Colonels and Kings, (The Boston Mills Press), “The three Queen’s – R.M.C. matches, 1886-1888, which followed the first Montreal games by a decade, were of historic significance to the new ice sport. They brought together players from two areas of Canada, Halifax and Montreal, where hockey originated and developed, and also from the two centres where it first spread, Quebec and Ottawa, and produced dedicated players who were dispersed to other non-playing centres throughout North America.”
The C.A.H.A.’s unfortunate 1943 decision to cite Kingston as the Birthplace of Hockey was not based on sound historical fact and was immediately challenged from Montreal and Nova Scotia.
E. M. Orlick, the Assistant Physical Director of McGill University knew that Ice Hockey had been played in Montreal in 1875, eleven years before the Kingston game. Commenting on the C.A.H.A. Committee Report of 1943 which supported the Kingston Claim, Orlich wrote, “No amount of eyewash, backwash, or whitewash can convince any individual, who has seen the evidence in my possession, that Kingston has even the slightest shred of an historical claim, either to the origin of ice hockey, or the proposed Hockey Hall of Fame.” In his article, published in the McGill News, he made a case for the game having started at McGill on the basis that some of the players in that 1875 game were McGill students. That in no way gives McGill a right to a claim, for McGill had neither a team nor an ice rink at the time. The fact is, that the first “organized” hockey game played in Montreal was between teams representing the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association (MAAA) Football Team and the Victoria Skating Club. It was two years after the fact, in 1877, that McGill formed it’s first hockey team.
When Orlich claimed that Ice Hockey started in Montreal in 1875, he may not have realized that it had been played in Nova Scotia for decades before that time. Also, he may not have realized for he never mentioned that a Nova Scotian, one James George Aylwin Creighton, the world’s first “hockey export”, and first hockey coach, had taken the game from Nova Scotia to Montreal and taught it to members of the two teams that played the city’s first game on March 3, 1875, at the Victoria Skating Rink.
Orlich’s article even stated that “there are no records available pertaining to any earlier games” than the 1875 match.
The Boston Evening Gazette, sixteen years earlier, in 1859, printed a story about Winter Sports in Nova Scotia, which told of “hockey” being played in Nova Scotia. Creighton was but nine years old at the time, attending the Halifax Grammar School, practicing figure skating and learning about Ice Hockey which was developing from Ice Hurley at the time. Nova Scotia newspapers of the era had chronicled the evolution of the game during the entire period.
Creighton moved to Montreal from Dalhousie University in Halifax in 1872, taught the game to new friends from then until they played in public in 1875. In fact, the first games in Montreal were played under “Halifax Hockey Club Rules“.
Creighton never did play hockey for McGill, as Orlich, and others since him, would have us believe. It was after Creighton had established Ice Hockey with the Victoria Skating Club and MAAA clubs of Montreal that he enrolled at McGill in 1877 to earn a law degree. Soon thereafter he moved to Ottawa, became Law Clerk to the Senate and, in 1884, began playing hockey with senators, parliamentarians and aides de camp, as well as William and Edward Stanley, the sons of the Governor General of the day. Their team was called the Rideau Hall Rebels and did much to popularize the game in Ontario. Henry Joseph, in an interview in Montreal in 1936 shed great light on the game’s origin. A noted Montreal athlete who played football with Creighton for the MAAA and also played with him in Montreal’s first hockey game in 1875, said that “J. G. A. Creighton was the leading spirit in the introduction of hockey into Montreal” and added that he “could not recall seeing hockey sticks in Montreal before that time, nor anybody playing hurley or shinny on skates“. Finally, Joseph said that “to Creighton should go the credit for the origin of ice hockey in Montreal”.
Dr. C.Bruce Fergusson, Nova Scotia provincial archivist, writing in the Nova Scotia Journal of Education in 1965, concerning ‘Montreal’s Claim’, had this to say: “If Halifax Rules were used in the first game of ‘true ice hockey’, which was played in Montreal in 1875, was it not reasonable to infer that those rules were evolved on ice, not solely on paper, in Halifax?”
Timothy “Ted” Graham, Maritime Champion Amateur Skater of 1887, in a letter written to the Halifax Herald in 1943, concerning the origin of the game, stated simply, “Nova Scotia is the birthplace of hockey, not Ontario.”
William Gill, a scenic artist of Halifax who played hockey on the North West Arm before 1872, said they used : “‘Micmac’ sticks purchased from the Indians at the Halifax Green Market.”
“Old Joe” Cope, highly respected Mi’kmaq historian, hockey stick carver, noted musician, boxer and native elder story teller, moved about the province keeping in touch with members of his Mi’kmaq Nation. In 1943, on reading that Kingston was making a claim to being the birthplace of hockey, wrote to the editor of the Halifax Herald from his home on the reservation at Millbrook, N.S., “Long before the pale faces strayed to this country, the Micmacs were playing two ball games, a field game and an ice game.” The Dictionary of the Mi’kmaq tells that their original ball game was called Oochamkunutk. When they began playing hurley on ice with white men, they called it Alchamadyk.
Rev. J.A. (Jock) Davidson, resident of Kingston, Ontario, commented in a paper he wrote in 1976, “The first organized hockey games played here (Kingston) are shrouded by both the mist of history and the fog of local mythology.”
Dr. Sandy Young, professor of sports history at Dalhousie University, in his book, Beyond Heroes, “The facts lead to one conclusion: While it is true that very primitive forms of hockey-like games are centuries old, THE HOME OF CANADIAN HOCKEY IS NOVA SCOTIA. Other claims cannot be supported by the evidence available.”
Brian McFarlane, host of Hockey Night in Canada for 27 years, hockey historian, and author of a host of books on Ice Hockey, told The Hants Journal of Windsor Nova Scotia, “In all of my years of doing research into the origins of the game, I have never seen anything documented in print about the first games of hurley on ice or hockey until I saw Windsor’s evidence that Thomas Chandler Haliburton recorded regarding the game being played by students of King’s College School on Long Pond circa 1800. No place in Canada is there written evidence of the game being played any earlier, and since hockey developed from hurley on ice in Nova Scotia, until there is such evidence, I endorse and support the claim of Windsor, Nova Scotia to the birthplace of the wonderful game of hockey.”
Scott Russell, Dec. 2000: Co-Host of CBC Hockey Night in Canada and author of ICE TIME: “The birth of hockey actually started at King’s College School around 1800. The boys wanted to adapt the Irish game of Field Hurley to an ice game in the winter months.”
Garth Vaughan, Dec. 2000: Hockey Historian, and author of The Puck Starts Here – The origin of Canada’s great winter game, Ice Hockey: “While Ice Hockey is as Canadian as the Maple Leaf, it is also as Nova Scotian as the Bluenose and the mayflower.”
History of Hockey – Who Invented Hockey Game?
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 unclear.
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.
Indoor hockey 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.
History of Hockey | FIH
Where did hockey originate? Who set down the first rules of the modern game? What was the FIH set up to do?
Whether you’re a history buff or simply want to impress you mates with you knowledge of the game, discover more about the history of hockey below.
Hockey and its Origins
The roots of hockey are buried deep in antiquity. Historical records show that a crude form of the game was played in Egypt 4,000 years ago and in Ethiopia around 1,000BC, whilst an ancient form of the game was also played in Iran in around 2,000BC.
Various museums offer evidence that a form of the game was played by the Romans and Greeks as well as by the Aztecs several centuries before Columbus arrived in the New World.
The modern game of hockey emerged in England in the mid-18th century and is largely attributed to the growth of public schools, such as Eton.
The first Hockey Association was formed in the UK in 1876 and drew up the first formal set of rules. The original association survived for just six years but, in 1886, it was revived by nine founding member clubs.
Hockey and the Olympics
The inaugural Olympic Hockey Competition for men was held in London in 1908 with England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales competing separately. With the addition of Germany and France, the competition ran with six teams.
After having made its first appearance at the London Games, hockey was subsequently dropped from the 1912 Stockholm Games after host nations were granted control over ‘optional sports’. It reappeared in 1920 in Antwerp after pressure from Belgian hockey advocates before being omitted again in Paris in 1924.
The formation of the International Hockey Federation in 1924 was not soon enough for the Paris Olympics but it did grant hockey re-entry in Amsterdam in 1928. Hockey has been on the programme ever since, with women’s hockey included for the first time in Moscow in 1980.
Hockey and the FIH
Motivated by hockey’s omission from the 1924 Paris Games, the Fédération Internationale de Hockey sur Gazon (FIH) was founded by Paul Léautey. M. Léautey, who would later become the first president of the FIH, called together seven National Federations to form the sport’s international governing body.
These founding members, which represented both men’s and women’s hockey in their countries, were Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Hungary, Spain and Switzerland.
Popularised in the late 19th century, the women’s game developed quickly in many countries. In 1927, the International Federation of Women’s Hockey Associations (IFWHA) was formed. After celebrating their respective Golden Jubilees – the FIH in 1974 and the IFWHA in 1980 – the two organisations came together in 1982 to form the current FIH.
By 1964, there were already 50 countries affiliated with the FIH, as well as three Continental Associations – Africa, Pan America and Asia – and in 1974, there were 71 members. Today, the International Hockey Federation consists of five Continental Associations, 137 National Associations and is still growing.
Do You Know Who Invented Ice Hockey? And When?
Ice hockey is one of the three popular forms of hockey, and quite possibly the most popular. This article gives a brief account of how it was invented.
No one can be absolutely certain when or where ice hockey was invented, but arguments and debates abound aplenty. Hockey is one of the oldest known sports, making it difficult to trace its roots definitely to a particular source.
The Origin of Hockey
The origin of this popular sport, like so many others, can be found in ancient Roman times. The modern versions of hockey, however, were developed in the British Isles and Canada. The ancient Scottish sport of ‘shinney’ and the similar Irish sport ‘hurling’ are both predecessors of modern variants of hockey. These sports originated in Celtic culture. The Vikings also had similar sports, known as knattleikr; given the timescale and reach of the respective cultures, the Viking games could have been derived from the original Celtic designs.
Many believe hockey was invented by British soldiers stationed in the Nova Scotia region of Canada. It is estimated that they modified the local ball-and-stick game, common in the First Nation of Mi’kmaq, to create a sport largely similar to modern-day hockey. The introduction of skates to the playing field of hockey, which was an integral factor in the development of ice hockey as we know it today, definitely took place in the snowy British barracks of Canada.
The First Game
The first organized indoor game of ice hockey took place on March 3, 1875. This game was organized by James Creighton, a prominent pioneer of the organization and structuring of the administration of hockey in Canada. Creighton is credited to be the Father of Ice Hockey. Even though he didn’t invent it, his invaluable role in the early development of the sport helped spread and popularize it in Canada. In 1877, students of the McGill University in Montreal, which Creighton attended, framed formal rules for ice hockey and started playing the game using these rules. These formal rules, which were based on the existing field hockey rules, were known as “McGill Rules”.
Many amateur clubs and leagues were established and Ontario became the first city to have a league of four teams, formed in 1885. In 1886, the first national hockey organization, known as Amateur Hockey Association of Canada, was formed in Montreal. Professional ice hockey teams arose in the early 20th century — the Western Pennsylvania Hockey League became the first to employ professionals in 1902 — and the formation of the National Hockey Association (NHA) helped spur on the growth of this flowing, exciting sport. After the NHA was rebranded as the National Hockey League (NHL) in 1917, the 1924 expansion of the NHL into the neighboring USA further advanced Canada’s favorite sport into a larger market.
To sum up, although it can’t be definitely determined who invented ice hockey, it can be said with certainty that ice hockey as we know it today was invented as a pastime in the British barracks of Canada and was developed and propagated through the work of James Creighton et al. These humble beginnings belie the modern, organized form of ice hockey, which is popular in almost 80 countries, and is one of the two official national sports of Canada.
Who and where invented ice hockey- Proiest
Ice hockey has become a popular team sport all over the world. But have you ever thought who the person is or which are the persons that invented ice hockey and where it has been invented? Well, there are a lot of controversies regarding this matter.
Who and where invented ice hockey
Some believe that ice hockey was first played in Windsor, Nova Scotia (Canada) at king’s college school by the students. So if you tell me to give you a clear cut answer of where ice hockey was invented, then I would say in Canada. And who invented ice hockey? There are two opinions regarding this. Someone says that this sport is originated from the Scottish and Irish immigrants in Canada, and others believe that the Mi’kmaq Indians first played this type of game in Nova Scotia.
Ice hockey: I have already mentioned ice hockey as a popular sport all over the world. Yes indeed it is a popular sport among all hockey type sport around the world. The sport is played on an icy surface to provide the maximum level of enjoyment. The players wear skates to move on the icy surface swiftly and make shots to the goalpost.
Ice hockey players and equipments
Each team has six players on the field wearing ice skates. There are three main equipments in the sport. These are the stick, the puck, and two net guarded goalposts at each end of the field. The puck is made of vulcanized black color rubber, and the sticks are made of various materials like wood, carbon fiber, fiberglass, or composite materials.
Who invented ice hockey
The answer to the question who invented ice hockey is difficult to give as there are two different views. Many ones believe that the Scottish and the Irish immigrants staying in Canada are the guys who invented this type of sport in 1800. That time this sport was not known as ice hockey. It was a similar game to stick and ball game.
Besides this someone people believe that it was sport which is originated by the Mi’kmaq Indians in Nova Scotia. Their gameplay was also very much similar to stick and ball game. But instead of ball they used a type of block made of wood. That’s why it is said that the earlier pucks were made of wood. Actually, after the invention of the sport and until the rubber pucks were introduced wooden pucks were used for ice hockey.
The members of the British army and navy are greatly related to the invention of ice hockey. The students of king’s collegiate school seemed to participate in the sport that time, which assure the involvement of the Canadian people in the invention of ice hockey. But the outer guys who were staying as the immigrants in Canada are regarded the persons who invented this game in Canada.
Where ice hockey was invented
Already mentioned about the place where ice hockey was invented. According to the history of ice hockey, it was invented in Windsor, Nova Scotia, in Canada. The students of this institution seem to play the sport around 1800. That’s why this place is regarded as the birthplace of ice hockey. And many historians regard Canada as the original birthplace of ice hockey. So in one sentence you can provide the answer of where ice hockey was invented by telling in at king’s collegiate school situated in Windsor, Nova Scotia, in Canada.
That time this sport was not known as ice hockey and they had no such rules or regulations of ice hockey. The students of king’s collegiate school organized this game from Hurley, an exciting field game played with stick and ball. But the game was not the same as Hurley game. In place of balls, they used a wooden block type something, which can move on the icy surface easily and provide a lot of fun.
As the boys played the game, which is similar to Hurley game and also follow some fundamental rules of that game, this ice hockey was then known as ice Hurley game. Thus Canada acclaimed as the birthplace of ice hockey and it was invented in a collegiate school. But not only had the students of that school played the sport that time. There were some immigrants staying in Canada at that time and they started playing this sport with a stick and wooden puck or block.
First indoor hockey match
Well, as it is almost accepted by all that ice hockey was invented in Canada. After that, in 1875, the first indoor hockey following the rules of ice hockey game was also played in Canada. It was on 3rd March 1875 when the first indoor hockey match took place in Montreal, Canada. The game was played with sticks and pucks that are used to play ice hockey in icy surfaces.
So out of some controversies, I can say that Canada is the place where ice hockey was invented, and the students of king’s collegiate school, immigrants from Scotland and Ireland are the people who invented ice hockey.
Black ice hockey players helped revolutionize the game | Our Weekly
Out of the four major professional sports in the United States (football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey), ice hockey has been the Whitest. Nearly all of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) players are White, and the well-known history of the sport would make people believe that Caucasians created and developed the sport on their own.
While history books showcase White players that date back to the 1800s, the roots of the sport actually comes from Native Americans, and the game was revolutionized by African Canadians. Black hockey players were critical in taking a game that was primitive, and helped create what we see today.
According to the book “Black Ice,” written by George and Darril Fosty, the sons and grandsons of American slaves who escaped to Canada were not given the proper credit for innovating the game.
The first reports of hockey being played dates back to 1815 along the Northwest Arm, which is a river south of Halifax in Canada. At that time, the region was not home to a large White settlement, but was instead the site of a small Black enclave. Reports say that the residents would play hockey in the winter months, when the river froze over. It is unknown whether or not these were the first ice hockey games, but it does mean that Blacks were playing the sport well before it became popular in the late 1800s.
As the development of the sport into contemporary ice hockey took place, the first organized indoor game was in Montreal in 1875, and by the mid 1890s, there were hundreds of teams in Canada and Europe. At this time, there was the first recorded mention of all-Black hockey teams, which appeared in 1895. By 1900, the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes (CHL) was created, and it was headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The CHL was initially a church league formed by Black Baptist Ministers and church administrators who wanted to use the league to help Blacks climb up the social latter and gain equal footing with the White community. They used sports as the catalyst. The league was based on faith, and emphasized sportsmanship and athleticism over brute force. The league used the Bible as their rulebook.
The league featured more than 400 African Canadian players who were typically natives from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. As the game continued to develop, the CHL featured more faster-paced action on the offensive end of the rink than the White leagues, which played a more physical style of game. It has been reported that the slap shot, which has been a staple for more than a century, was first used in the CHL, about 50 years before it became popular in the NHL. The league also revolutionized the goaltender position by allowing the goalie to play in an upright position, which allowed him to use his feet to a much greater degree.
At times, the top Black teams were able to defeat the best White teams. Typically there would not be a rematch, and those victories were not well publicized.
The CHL flourished until World War I, but the league collapsed, and it was pretty much forgotten about. The innovations that came out of the league were later credited to White players, and the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto did not recognize the accomplishments of the league.
The most noted moment of Blacks in hockey happened when Willie O’Ree broke the color barrier in the NHL in 1958, even though Black players greatly contributed to the game years before the NHL existed.
Many people think that ice hockey is a game that first appeared in Canada.
However, the “ancestor” of hockey was the game with the ball and sticks on ice. This game was popular in Holland in the 16th and 17th centuries. Ice hockey, akin to modern bandy, was one of the favorite games of the Dutch. This is confirmed by a considerable number of paintings and prints by artists of that time.
Over time, interest in ice hockey in Europe declined, but the game again became popular in the second third of the 19th century.Subsequently, the British became interested in the new sport. Ice hockey from Holland came to England, and then to Canada. There, in the 70s of the nineteenth century, ice hockey was included in the program of all winter sports events.
The first rules of the game were determined by students from Montreal: instead of a gate, there were two stones, which marked the barbells. And it was in Montreal on March 3, 1875 that the first official ice hockey match took place at the Victoria rink. The match was attended by two teams of nine people.But then they played not with a puck, but with a wooden disc.
In 1879 W.F. Robertson suggested using a rubber washer instead of such a disc. Thus, the first rules of the game of hockey gradually appeared, but only in 1886 they were officially published. R. Smith was the author of the first rules. In the same year, the first international match took place, in which teams from Canada and England took part. The victory was won by the Canadians. Since then, the championships have become annual, and the winners have received the Stanley Cup, named after the Governor General of Canada, British-born Lord Stanley, who established the Silver Cup for the annual award of the best team in the country.
1889 was a landmark year in the history of hockey. The world’s first indoor artificial ice rink for 10,000 spectators opens in Montreal. The Canadian Amateur Hockey League was soon formed. In 1908, countries such as Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Bohemia and Belgium founded the International Hockey Federation.
But it wasn’t until 1917 that professional ice hockey clubs merged into the National Hockey League (NHL).
Underwater hockey is a spectacular sport
This is an extreme and spectacular sport.The history of the emergence of underwater hockey is interesting. It was invented in England in 1954. The first rules of the game were invented by the owner of the diving club, Alan Blake. Its main goal was to attract new members to the club during the winter, when open water activities are not popular. In the beginning, the game was used by divers as an additional training. But gradually it grew into an independent sport. The divers highly appreciated the new game. It quickly spread throughout the world. Underwater hockey is especially popular in Canada and Western Europe.
In 1980, the first World Underwater Hockey Championship for men was held. A similar competition for women was organized four years later. The World Championships are held every two years. The first underwater hockey competition in Russia was held in 2010.
Currently there are more than 220 registered clubs of this type of hockey around the world. The game is very democratic and has no age restrictions. All you need to start is regular diving equipment and special protective gloves.
The rules of underwater hockey are similar to those of regular ice hockey. The game takes place in a pool 25 m long and 2.75 m deep. Two teams of 10-12 players compete against each other. Athletes are equipped with masks, fins, snorkels, hats, gloves and golf clubs. During the game, there are six players from each team in the pool. The rest are located in a special area and go out to replace. Athletes do not use scuba diving. During the game, they constantly rise to the surface of the water, so in underwater hockey there is no clear division of athletes into goalkeepers and defenders.
Players spend a lot of time practicing holding their breath. Many athletes have experience playing water polo. The goal of the game is to drive the puck into the opponent’s goal using a short stick. The washer is made of lead and plastic. In this case, the projectile can only be moved along the bottom of the pool. The gate has a special recess in the center. It is necessary to lower the washer into it. For convenience, teams use different colored clubs. Just like in regular hockey, athletes use a variety of gears and combinations.Players claim to be able to sense partners in the vibration of the water.
Three referees supervise compliance with the rules. Two are in the pool, one is on its surface. They communicate with hockey players using gestures and various sound signals. Violations are punishable by free throws. Two players attack the goal before a goal is scored or the projectile is ejected from the offensive zone. Any gripping with hands and a club is prohibited. The washers can only be touched with a stick. Hockey players practically do not get injured during the competition.Hockey players’ hands are reliably protected by gloves from blows with a hockey stick.
The game consists of two periods of 15 minutes of net time. The stopwatch stops at every pause. Teams may take one minute time-out per game. Underwater hockey is a very entertaining game. This is one of the most popular underwater sports. Television broadcasts of this game draws a large audience.
There are several varieties of underwater hockey.Ice hockey is very popular in Europe. Austria is considered his homeland. The main feature of the game is that athletes compete under a frozen body of water. In this case, the playground is ice. Hockey players play with their heads upside down. The washer is made of lightweight polymers, so it is always pressed against the ice. The gates are triangular holes carved into the ice. Athletes use special insulated wetsuits and fins with skates at the ends. The game takes place at low speeds.Most often, competitions are held in a one-on-one format. The game lasts three periods of ten minutes.
Interesting facts about underwater hockey
Hockey players are required to swim to the surface of the ice every thirty seconds. Novice athletes often lose their orientation in space. The safety of the athletes is monitored by a rescue team equipped with oxygen cylinders. A live broadcast from underwater cameras is organized for viewers. In Russia, a type of game that uses scuba gear is more common.The first Ice Hockey World Championship was held in Austria in 2009.
Hockey – Sport is life
The very term – “hockey” was formed from the English “hockey”, or from the old French “hoquet”, meaning “shepherd’s staff with a hook.”
Hockey is a sports team game with sticks and a puck (or a ball), the content and purpose of which is using individual dribbling and passing of the ball by a partner, to score it as many times as possible into the opponent’s goal.
Even before the advent of hockey in the 16th century in Holland, there were ball and stick games on ice.Then similar games appeared in England and Scandinavia, where they later transformed into ice hockey in the 19th century.
Modern ice hockey as a sports game originated in Canada. This is a country, the climate and nature of which (numerous reservoirs freezing in winter and long winters) created good conditions for the spread of this game. At first, they played not with a puck, but with a heavy ball, and the size of the team reached 50 or more players on each side.
In the 1870s. ice hockey in Canada was a must-have game for all sporting events.The first hockey rules were formulated by students at McGill University in Montreal. The classic ice hockey goal had not yet been invented, its role was played by two posts, which marked the space into which the puck should fall when hitting the goal.
B 1879 Canadian UV. Robertson formulated the rules of hockey, and at the same time a rubber puck was proposed for the game. The Amateur Hockey Association was founded in Montreal in 1885. The first official rules for the game of ice hockey were published in 1886, which have survived to the present day as much as possible.They were changed in terms of the size of the team: the number of field players decreased from nine to seven; the conditions for finding the number of players during the game on the field changed: the goalkeeper, the front and rear defenders, the center and two wingers could be on the ice, and the area in front of the goal was the arena for the actions of the strongest hockey player – the rover.
The team that entered the field of play was prohibited from changing players for any reason, so they played the entire match with the same squad.Exceptions for the substitution of players were made only for injured opponents and with the obligatory consent of the opponents. The author of the new code of rules was the Canadian R. Smith. In 1886, the first international meeting was held between the Canadian and English teams.
In 1899, the world’s first indoor ice hockey stadium with an artificial ice rink was built in Montreal, designed for an unprecedented number of spectators – 10,000 people. In the same year, the Canadian Amateur Hockey League was founded.
The first professional ice hockey team was organized in the country where hockey was born – Canada in 1904. After four seasons of games of this team, there was a final division into professionals and amateurs. In the late 19th century, Canadian hockey came to Europe. In 1914, professional ice hockey clubs merged into the National Hockey League (NHL). And in 1908 Great Britain, Bohemia, Switzerland, France and Belgium founded the International Hockey Federation (LIH, after 1979 – IIHF).
The rules of the game were constantly changing: for example, in 1900 the net for the goal was invented, which made it possible to accurately determine whether a goal was scored into the goal of the team. Later, the dimensions of the hockey rinks were established, the playing time was set (three periods of 20 minutes each), the number of players on the field was reduced to 6 people, and it became possible to replace players not only for health reasons. Also, the Patrika brothers left us their innovations – they introduced a system for assigning a number to each player, a new scoring system, the site was drawn into certain zones.In 1929, goalkeeper Clint Benedict put on a mask for the first time, and in 1945, multicolored lights were installed behind the goal for more accurate counting of goals scored (“red” – a goal, “green” – no goal was scored). In recent years, women’s teams began to appear in hockey, which in 1998 were included in the program of the Olympic Games.
HOCKEY history of origin Individual project of a student 4 B
HOCKEY history of origin Individual project of a student of grade 4 B Antonovich Vadim
Choosing a project topic • I am engaged in professional hockey and I love this sport very much, so I was interested in its history of origin, as well as whether the past hockey is similar to the modern one.• To do this, I studied the history of hockey, the rules and some interesting facts from its development.
Project goal • To expand knowledge about your favorite sport and attract the attention of classmates.
Work plan • Collect information about hockey • Study the rules of the game at all stages of hockey development and compare
The term itself – “hockey” was formed from the English “hockey”, or from the old French “hoquet”, meaning “shepherd’s staff with a hook.”
A bit of history • The forerunner of modern ice hockey can be considered ball and stick games on ice in Holland as early as the 16th century. Then similar games spread to England and Scandinavia, where they were transformed in the 19th century into ice hockey – bandy.
Modern ice hockey as a sports game originated in Canada. This is a country, the climate and nature of which (numerous reservoirs freezing in winter and long winters) created good conditions for the spread of this game.At first, they played not with a puck, but with a heavy ball, and the size of the team reached 50 or more players on each side.
In the 1870s. ice hockey in Canada was a must-have game for all sporting events. The first hockey rules were formulated by students at McGill University in Montreal. The classic ice hockey goal had not yet been invented, its role was played by two posts that marked the space into which the puck should fall when hitting the goal.
In 1879 the Canadian UV. Robertson formulated the rules of hockey, and at the same time a rubber puck was proposed for the game. The Amateur Hockey Association was founded in Montreal in 1885. The first official rules for the game of ice hockey were published in 1886, which have been preserved to the present day as much as possible. They were changed in terms of the size of the team: the number of field players decreased from nine to seven; the conditions for finding the number of players during the game on the field changed: the goalkeeper, the front and rear defenders, the center and two wingers could be on the ice, and the area in front of the goal was the arena for the actions of the strongest hockey player – the rover.
The team that entered the field of play was prohibited from changing players for any reason, so it played the entire match with the same squad. Exceptions for the substitution of players were made only for injured opponents and with the obligatory consent of the opponents. The author of the new code of rules was the Canadian R. Smith. In 1886, the first international meeting was held between the Canadian and English teams.
Hockey match in Montreal (Canada), early 20th century.In 1899, the world’s first indoor ice hockey stadium with an artificial ice rink was built in Montreal, designed for an unprecedented number of spectators – 10,000 people. In the same year, the Canadian Amateur Hockey League was founded.
The first professional ice hockey team was organized in the country where hockey was born – in Canada in 1904. After four seasons of games of this team, there was a final division into professionals and amateurs.In the late 19th century, Canadian hockey came to Europe. In 1914, professional ice hockey clubs merged into the National Hockey League (NHL). And in 1908 Great Britain, Bohemia, Switzerland, France and Belgium founded the International Hockey Federation (LIH, after 1979 – IIHF).
The rules of the game were constantly changing: for example, in 1900, a net for the goal was invented, which made it possible to accurately determine whether a goal was scored into the goal of the team.Later, the size of the hockey rinks were established, the playing time was set (three periods of 20 minutes each), the number of players on the field was reduced to 6 people, it became possible to replace players not only for health reasons
Also, the Patrika brothers left us their innovations – they introduced a system for assigning a number to each player, a new scoring system, the site was drawn into certain zones.
In 1929, goalkeeper Clint Benedict put on a mask for the first time, and in 1945, multi-colored lights were installed behind the goal for more accurate counting of goals scored (“red” – a goal, “green” – no goal was scored).
HOCKEY IN RUSSIA • Ice hockey was not cultivated in pre-revolutionary Russia. Attempts by some sports clubs to join the new game led to the fact that back in 1911 Russia joined the International Ice Hockey League (LIHG), created three years earlier. However, the puck did not get widespread, and the All-Russian Hockey Union soon left LIHG.
After 1917, ball hockey (Russian hockey, aka “bandy”) was especially popular in our country.Moreover, there were even women’s hockey teams. The puck was played sporadically, mainly by students of physical culture universities who studied this sport as part of the curriculum.
After 1917, ball hockey (Russian hockey, aka “bandy”) was especially popular in our country. The puck was played sporadically, mainly by students of physical education universities who studied this sport as part of the curriculum.
Hockey of those years was not much like the current game.The site was bounded by low, unsecured plywood bumpers that slid to the side at the first touch. There could be no talk of any kind of power struggle on such boards, in its modern sense. Only goalkeepers wore quilted jackets, wadded trousers and shin guards used in bandy. Gloves-traps for them then did not yet exist, as well as helmets and masks. In a match, as a rule, a goalkeeper and five players participated from each side, who could be on the ice all the playing time without substitutions.But that was only the beginning. Hockey players’ equipment and equipment have been improved every season.
Timeline of changes in hockey Year Event • 1855 • The first formal game between the Royal Canadian Riflemen and the Imperial Army took place in Kingston • March 3, 1875 • The first official match took place at the Victoria Rink in Montreal • Ice hockey becomes in Canada compulsory play on all sporting events • University of Montreal students invent the first seven rules of ice hockey • 1870 • 1877
Chronology of changes in hockey Year Event • 1879 • 1886 • The introduction of the rubber puck in the game • The first official rules of the game of hockey are published.According to them: the number of field players decreased from 9 to 7; The team played the whole match in one composition, and by the end of the game the athletes literally crawled from fatigue, because only a player who was injured was allowed to replace (only in the last period and with the consent of the opponents) • The province of Ontario hosted the first championship for four teams • 1890
Timeline of changes in hockey Year Event • 1900 • A net appears on the goal. The metal whistle of the judge, frozen to the lips, was replaced by a bell (and soon a plastic whistle).They introduced a throw-in of the puck (earlier the referee pushed the opponents’ sticks with his hands to the puck lying on the ice and, blowing the whistle, drove off to the side so as not to get hit with the stick). • First professional team established in Canada. The standard size of the court is set to 56 * 26 m The International Ice Hockey Federation is founded • 1904 • 1908 •
Chronology of changes in hockey Year • 1910 Event • To increase the entertainment and speed of the game, the replacement of athletes was allowed • 1911 • The International Ice Hockey Federation officially approved the Canadian rules for the game of ice hockey • • The first meeting in an official tournament at the Olympic Games, which was also considered the world championship between the teams Old and New Worlds.Goalkeeper masks appeared • Free throw (bullet) legalized • 1920 • 1929 • 1934
Chronology of changes in hockey Year Event • 1945 • • • 1946 • Behind the goal, multi-colored lights are installed to accurately count the goals scored (* red * means a goal, * green * no goal has been scored). Introduced triple refereeing: head referee and two assistants (linesmen). The system of judges’ gestures for specific violations of the rules has been legalized.
The birthday of hockey in Russia and in the USSR as a whole is December 22, 1946, when the first matches of the first USSR ice hockey championship were played in Moscow, Leningrad, Riga, Kaunas and Arkhangelsk.
In 1954, Soviet hockey players made their debut at the world championships and immediately took a leading position in world hockey. Already the first meeting with the Canadians ended with the victory of the Soviet athletes – 7: 2. This victory brought the USSR national team the first world title.
In the 1990s, a lack of stability prompted many top players to seek their fortune in wealthy foreign clubs. Domestic hockey has lost its stars, and the only consolation is the fact that most of them did not get lost in someone else’s hockey, but, on the contrary, are leaders, including in NHL clubs, and thereby support the high brand of the Russian hockey school.During this period, the Russian national team, having won the 1993 World Cup, remained without medals for a long time.
And only recently, the Russian team has begun to regain its former strength.
Conclusions on the project • The dynamics with which my favorite game has changed and developed, certainly testifies to its fascination. It was adapted, improved, and the rules of the game changed. But no one even thought of parting with her! • Hockey is a game for strong (not only physically, but also spiritually) people.Sometimes, there is no possibility of replacement and the player has to finish the match with serious injuries. Hockey as a team sport teaches us, first of all, mutual assistance. He teaches us responsibility for our actions, teaches us to think ten steps ahead, to be persistent and purposeful. Hockey teaches us how to live, and for me hockey is life!
Literature used in the work on the project • 1. M. Livshits “Hockey of the Jurassic”. • 2. Yu. Lukashin, O. Belichenko “Great encyclopedia of hockey”.• 3. A. Tarasov “Hockey. Pioneers and newcomers “• 4. A. Tarasov” Real men of hockey “• 5. Internet.
90,000 The history of ice hockey
There is a widespread misconception that the history of ice hockey originates in Canada.
In fact, ice hockey begins its history in Holland, where in the XVI-XVII it was a favorite pastime of local residents. The word hockey itself comes from the old French “hoquet”, which means “shepherd’s staff with a hook.”
The first hockey players attached cheese cutters to their feet, took shepherd’s staffs in their hands and drove wooden balls across frozen water bodies. Pictures of the era, including the well-known painting by Romeik Huge, “Portrait of a Hockey Player”, also serve as proof of the Dutch roots of hockey.
In Canada, they just replaced the ball with a familiar modern puck and formed the basic rules of the game.
Hockey was brought to Canada by the British military in 1860. The British infantry regiment stationed in Canada included fans of the English version of bandy.On Sundays, the soldiers organized hockey matches that the Canadians loved. Hockey was especially fond of students and became an indispensable part of university sports events.
It was in Canada that the puck was used instead of the ball, which simplified the game and made it massive. The new sport became so popular that already in 1886 the first official match took place between the teams of the Kingston War College and the University of Montreal. In the same year, the first official rules were issued.
At the beginning of the 20th century, ice hockey reached Europe and immediately gained immense popularity.
In the USSR, hockey became famous in the 30s, and in 1932 the first international amateur meeting was held in Moscow. The Moscow team met with the team of the German workers’ union “Fichte” and ended with the victory of the Muscovites with a score of 3: 0.
Unfortunately, hockey did not receive further support at the official level at that time, and only in 1946 the first national ice hockey championship was held.90,000 Russian base jumpers set world record
Russian paratroopers have set one of the most spectacular and at the same time one of the most dangerous world records. MIR 24 sports columnist Givi Tvaltvadze spoke about the uniqueness of the achievement.
Imagine: 28 people simultaneously jump from a bridge. Here, even the smallest mistake can lead to tragedy.
Base jumping – extreme parachute jump from a fixed object.If one person jumps, it is dangerous, if 28 at once, then this is also a new world record.
A team of Russian extreme sportsmen managed to break their own record, which they set in 2019. Then at once 27 paratroopers were in the air. It took two years to achieve a new achievement. The place of separation was the longest suspension bridge in Russia – Skybridge, with a length of 439 meters. As the organizers admit, they waited until the last for suitable weather and decided whether to go for a record or not.
A unique jump from the bridge took place as part of the B.A.S.E. days “in Sochi. A record number of participants arrived at the competition, people missed the sky, and since the borders are closed, there is a direct road to the Sky-Park.In total, 65 athletes performed more than 800 mass, demonstration and acrobatic jumps during the three days of the festival.
“It’s hard to put into words.In the first seconds, as in the expression, “the soul is separated from the body.” Perhaps this is a more or less appropriate definition. The first seconds, when you left the exit, as if your soul was not there, then it comes back. You get such emotions that remain for the rest of your life, ”said Gennady Meshcheryakov, a participant of the festival.
The history of jumping from a fixed support, and of parachute jumping in general, dates back to the end of the 18th century, when the French physicist Louis Sebastian Lenormand dared to test his invention. In 1783, the first jump from a high-rise building was recorded – the tower of the observatory in Montpellier. The parachute looked more like an umbrella, but the height by the standards of base jumpers was super extreme and record – 50 meters.
240 years have passed since the first jump, during this time parachuting has appeared and, as a result, many records.
Valery Rozov is known and respected by all extreme lovers. In 2016, he made the world’s highest jump from Mount Cho-Oyu – 7700 m above sea level. Rozov spent 90 seconds in free fall and landed at an altitude of 6,000 meters. The athlete climbed to the take-off point on his own for two weeks.
His achievement is still unsurpassed. There weren’t even attempts to update the record.90,000 What Soviet weapons helped to win the Battle of Damansky – Rambler / Saturday
In 1969, witnesses of the battles between the USSR and China for Damansky Island said that the bodies of many Chinese soldiers were badly burned, and some were completely burned. It was rumored that this was the result of the use of laser weapons by the Soviet military.
Keeping pace with science fiction
In 1965, the fantastic film “The Hyperboloid of Engineer Garin” based on the novel of the same name by Alexei Tolstoy was released on the screens of the country. Looking at how the hero destroys entire factories with the help of deadly rays, the audience did not even suspect that such weapons had been developed in the USSR for more than 10 years.
In the mid-50s, Soviet scientists Alexander Prokhorov and Nikolai Basov invented an optical quantum generator, which served as the basis for the creation of combat lasers.In 1963, Deputy Minister of Defense of the USSR Andrei Grechko instructed the developers to adapt this device for military needs. A special design bureau “Vympel” was involved in the development, which by the end of the 1960s became an independent organization of the “laser profile” – Central Design Bureau “Luch” (later – NPO Astrophysics).
In 1964, real prospects began to emerge: programs for the development of high-power laser weapons “Terra” and “Omega” appeared. The first was intended for the destruction of missiles, the second was focused on aircraft.The tests of the finished weapon were carried out at the secret Sary-Shagan training ground located in Kazakhstan. It was not possible to shoot down the missiles, but the experiment with airplanes, according to experts, was a success.
1969 was darkened by the armed conflict between the Soviet Union and China over the contested Damansky island, located on the Ussuri River. Only on March 2, during the fighting, 31 Soviet border guards were killed, another 14 were injured. The initiative in opposition, like on a swing, passed to one side, then to the other.
“We were seized with such fierce anger at these bastards that at those moments we wanted only one thing – to put as many of them as possible. For the guys, for themselves, for this inch nobody needs, but still our land, ”recalled junior sergeant Yuri Babansky.
And yet on March 15, having used up all the ammunition, the Soviet border guards were forced to cede the island to the enemy ten times superior in manpower. At this turning point, an event occurred that gave rise to many rumors. For several kilometers deep into the Chinese territory, a flurry of fire suddenly fell, which literally incinerated the warriors of the Celestial Empire.
In some socialist countries in those days there was a legend that the fiery attack was the result of the use of laser weapons of enormous power by the Russians, for which a significant part of the USSR was de-energized for several minutes.
Another version assumed the use of the Soviet side of “volumetric explosion” shells, the charge of which was set on fire with the same lasers. The rumors were allegedly confirmed by a picture of a battlefield littered with the charred bodies of Chinese soldiers. There was a third hypothesis, according to which the laser cannons melted the ice on the Ussuri and thereby let the enemy go to the bottom.
The following actually happened. On March 15, at about 17:00, when a critical situation arose, by order of the commander of the Far Eastern Military District, Colonel-General Oleg Losik, in violation of the instructions of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee, fire was opened on the Chinese from the then secret Grad multiple launch rocket systems.
The exploded shells destroyed most of the material and technical resources of the Chinese group and led to the death of several hundred, according to other sources, several thousand Chinese military.After the fiery apocalypse, the defeat of the bloodless enemy was completed by the Soviet motorized infantry.
According to the Chinese historian Liu Chen Shan, during the conflict over Daman, the USSR and China were on the brink of a nuclear war and only US intervention prevented the catastrophe. According to the historian, Soviet diplomats informed Washington of Moscow’s plans to “neutralize the Chinese threat” and the intention to “get rid of this modern adventurer” (meaning Mao Zedong).
Liu Chen Shan even cites an excerpt from a conversation between Kosygin and Brezhnev, in which the head of government reported to the secretary general: “The United States made it clear that China’s interests are closely linked to their interests, and they have developed a detailed plan for a nuclear war against us.”The US threat then allegedly took effect, and Moscow canceled all plans for a nuclear strike.
Since the mid-1970s, the development of ground-based laser systems, as well as installations for tracking space targets and ballistic missiles, has intensified in the USSR. Field tests were carried out at object 2505 (“Terra” – works of NPO Astrophysics) in relation to anti-missile and anti-satellite defense and at object 2506 (“Omega” – works of NPO “Almaz”) in relation to air defense.
Visible progress has been made in equipping self-propelled tracked vehicles with laser weapons. For example, the tasks of the “laser tank” included the detection and attack of a target with optoelectronic devices. The laser strike was supposed to disable the targeting system of the enemy’s equipment, making it incapacitated, as well as blind the gunner, damaging his retina.
During tests under the Omega program in 1976, a laser shot easily knocked down an aerodynamic target in flight.However, such an installation did not find its application in the military industry, as it was supplanted by more effective anti-aircraft missile systems.
The Soviet military also tested combat lasers at sea. As conceived by the developers, the shipborne laser complex “Aquilon” was supposed to hit coastal objects. So, in the summer of 1980 in the Black Sea, laser shots were fired from the Dikson experimental vessel. However, it turned out that most of the energy of the beam was “eaten” by moisture evaporation from the sea surface, due to which the efficiency was only 5 percent.
In August 1981, the first “laser plane” A-60, which was designed on the basis of the Il-76, took off into the Soviet sky. A special fairing with a laser guidance system was installed in the nose of the model, turbogenerators were located on the sides of the fuselage, and at the top of the hull flaps opened from which a laser gun was extended. According to some reports, the A-60 had many air targets hit.
Shot into space
In the future, the Soviet military considered the use of laser weapons for more grandiose purposes.It was about sending a laser into space. This became relevant after US President Ronald Reagan announced the launch of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) program, which the media dubbed the Star Wars program.
The Pentagon’s plans were to launch satellites into orbit capable of hitting both flying missiles and ground and water objects. The Kremlin was going to respond by creating laser satellites that could destroy American space objects right in orbit.
For these purposes, the “Skif” space station was assembled, but before putting it into orbit, they decided to experiment with a model – not equipped with a laser “Skif-DM”. The launch took place in May 1987 but failed. They did not continue work on the project, as peace initiatives in bilateral Soviet-American relations questioned its relevance.
However, back in 1984, at the suggestion of Marshal Dmitry Ustinov, the Soviet military tested a laser complex to accompany the American shuttle.On October 10, during the passage of the Challenger over the Balkhash region at an altitude of 365 kilometers, the 5H26 laser locator began operating in the detection mode with a minimum radiation power. On that day, communications on the shuttle were suddenly cut off, equipment malfunctioned, and the astronauts felt unwell.