Ice Hockey is the official national winter sport of Canada, and it is played year-round in the country. The sport known originated in Montreal. It was borne out of the influence of several stick-and-ball games that were brought to North America by settlers from the United Kingdom.
The first official indoor hockey game was played on March 3, 1875, at the Victoria Skating Rink. The game was organized by James Creighton.
Professional ice hockey leagues were only established after the 1900s. Professional teams in the United States and Ontario formed the International Professional Hockey League (IPHL) in 1904. The International Ice Hockey Federation was founded on May 15, 1908, and the organization adopted the Canadian rules of the sport.
The IPHL ensured that the Canadian ice hockey rules became the official rules for ice hockey around the world. The American ice hockey leagues spelled the beginning of professional ice hockey. The IPHL lost the interest of spectators, and there was some controversy over the loss of talented players and money being dealt with players under the table.
The Ontario Professional Hockey League was established in 1908. This was the first official Canadian-based professional league in the country. The National Hockey Association was later formed in 1910, followed by the National Hockey League in 1917. The Hockey Hall of Fame was founded in Kingston, Ontario, in 1943.
Professional men’s ice hockey dominated international amateur play up until the early 1950s, when the Soviet Union became a more dominant force to contend with. Canadian ice hockey disappeared from the international scene during this period.
In the 1990s, Canadian ice hockey underwent a few radical changes. Players and teams from Canada made a return to international competition, and the sport was once again part of the Olympic Games in 2002. Professional women’s hockey also gained more support during this period with the establishment of the first professional women’s ice hockey team.
Today, ice hockey is one of the most played sports in the country, and it is enjoyed by people of all ages. Numerous hockey games and tournaments are held annually for players and fans of the game. Follow Toronto Club for the latest news and updates about sports in Ontario.