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definition of hockey

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years ago

Hockey is a lifestyle

 

Many people have a negative connotation associated with the sport of hockey. People believe that hockey players are more like goons than athletes. I have literally heard people define hockey as a “rule less brawl” or “a wrestling match on skates.” These definitions of the sport are completely off and untrue.

What is hockey? Hockey is a sport with teams of six men which is the five skaters and one goalie on each side of the ice. The objective of the game is to put the “biscuit” or better known as the puck into the opposing teams net as many times as possible. The equipment that are used is a variety of pads on the body, a pair of skates with blades that are 3/8th’s of an inch wide and a long wooden stick with a wood extension at the bottom of the stick known as the blade. The game is played on an ice surface that can be two different sizes depending where the game is held. One size is the typical NHL sized rink that is 200ft x 80ft, most games are played on this surface. The only exception to this size is during the Olympics. During the Olympics the ice is much larger with an area of 197ft x 98.5ft, which encourages the speed and agility of the players instead of the size and strength.

Where did hockey come from? It is unsure the exact date and time that hockey was created. Games with hockey like sticks have been played all throughout history. Drawings from ancient Egypt depict a field hockey like sport being played. There are also 17th century Dutch paintings that depict people playing hockey on a frozen canal. It is believed that many of the European immigrants brought these different hockey-like games to North America.

However the foundation of the modern ice hockey game was created in Montreal, Canada. “On March 3, 1875 the first organized indoor game was played at Montreal's Victoria Skating Rink by James George Aylwin Creighton and several other Mcgill University students. In 1877, several McGill students, which included Creighton, Henry Joseph, Richard F. Smith, W.F. Robertson, and W.L. Murray created seven rules for the game. The first ice hockey club, McGill University Hockey Club, was founded in 1877.” In 1888 Governor General of Canada Lord Stanley of Preston was so intrigued by the sport he purchased a decorative bowl for use as a trophy. At first the trophy was called the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, but was later named Lord Stanley’s Cup, was first awarded in 1893 to the champion amateur team in Canada. By 1893 teams where popping up in colleges in the United States such as Yale and John Hopkins University as well as around the world.

 

Ice hockey is played by all age groups starting at mini mites, which are four year olds, going all the way up to midgets, which are the 18 year old teenagers. After that if a player is good enough they will go on to play juniors, which consists of many different leagues and skill levels. After juniors a player that is good enough may choose to go play college hockey or even professional hockey.

 

Contrary to popular believe hockey is not one big brawl. It is one of the toughest sports on the planet. It takes strength, agility, speed, balance, heart and commitment. The training in hockey is second to none. The strength training is ridiculous, all players must be strong, but at the same time they cannot afford to give up their speed. The sheer amount of games in a season is ridiculous, 80 plus regular season games and playoff games towers over the tiny NFL season with one game every Sunday. Hockey players play with broken bones and torn ligaments and muscles, because their hearts won’t let them say no.

 

What many people fail to realize about the sport of ice hockey is that it’s not just a sport. However corny it may sound my definition of hockey is more of a way of life rather than just a sport. No other sport can compare to it. Hockey is about the bond you share with your team, the feeling of a second family. It’s the party in the locker room after a big win. Going out with the team to celebrate at a bar knowing that you have another game the next day. It is partying all hours of the night and waking up in the morning to go practice. It’s giving anything to tell the boy’s a great story from the night before. We go out and practice early mornings and play late at night. We strain our bodies and train our minds to ignore the pain. We refuse to say no, I give up. We do it because we love it. We do it because it is in our blood, it’s our lives.

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