The World Of Ice Hockey

By: Derek Both

Since the invention of ice skates people have come up with many different uses for them. People skate for leisure, as a profession and for sporting events. One of the most popular sports that require putting on a pair of ice skates is hockey. Although this is a sport that isn't for the faint - hearted it has become popular all over the world especially in the USA.

Many years ago ice hockey could only be enjoyed in very cold climates or during the winter months. However, since indoor artificial ice rinks were introduced people can now get their ice skates out anywhere in the world at any time during the year. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why it has become such a popular sport as fans can now watch games from the comfort of a seat around the rink.

The sport has become so popular over recent years that not only is it one of the four major North American professional sports, but it is also the official national winter sport of Canada. There are many different debates about the origins of ice hockey but the Society for International Hockey Research has found evidence of stick and ball games played on ice in ice skates in Europe in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. The earliest eyewitness account of the game being played was at Montreal's Victoria Skating Rink in 1875. Many people are surprised to learn that the game has been around for so long.

By 1893 there were almost 100 teams in Montreal alone and the first matches started to appear in the USA. However, it wasn't until the early 1900s that women's ice hockey started to become popular and it wasn't until 1891 that the first newspaper account of a women's game appeared in a paper. Once this trend started it didn't stop as over the last 10 years the number of female participants has increased by 400 percent. More and more people were putting on their ice skates and participating in the sport than ever before which has helped make it the popular sport that it is today.

Ice hockey is just one of the many ways that people use ice skates to have fun and get some exercise. Although it is a very physical and sometimes dangerous sport, there are thousands of people all over the world who enjoy playing it on a regular basis.

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