When Did Hockey First Start? [Expert Guide!]

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The history of hockey is rich and interesting. One of the most well-known sports world-changers is Paddi O’Brien. O’Brien won a gold medal with Canada at the 1932 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. After being sidelined with injury, she returned as coach of the Canadian women’s hockey team and led them to victory at the 1934 World Championships. In honour of this incredible achievement, the International Olympic Committee bestowed the honorary title of “Olympic Gold Medallist” on O’Brien. Since then, Olympic Gold Medallists have gone on to become legends in their own right. They have changed the course of history through their incredible feats on the ice.

Hockey Has Evolved Through The Years

The first hockey season was opened in Montreal in 1875. It consisted of a series of informal challenges between teams of local boys. This was more of a game of skill than many people realize. Today, many of the rules and guidelines that govern hockey have been created with this sport in mind. For example, the elongated hockey stick was developed to give the players a larger stick-handling area. In addition, hockey is mostly played in Canada and the US where the sport enjoys immense popularity.

Hockey has evolved through the years and now has a significantly different looking game compared to the one played in the 1800s. However, the basic objective of the game – to score as many goals as possible using your hockey skills – hasn’t changed at all. In fact, the popularity of hockey continues to grow each year. The National Hockey League (NHL), the premier professional league in the world, currently has nearly 20 teams across North America. The league had an unprecedented season last year with 8.8 million viewers on average per game. The 2021 NHL season is already off to an exciting start with lots of young talent emerging as major players.

Hockey Has Reached The Mainstream

Even though hockey is one of the most popular sports in the world, it still hasn’t reached the mainstream. This is largely due to a lack of media coverage and endorsements. The big news outlets often don’t cover hockey unless there is a major upset or unless a celebrity is involved. But, when there is news coverage, it’s almost always associated with violence and/or injury. Even some children’s books have turned into movies starring ice-cold celebrities. With the explosion of social media, young fans have grown up with access to all the major news outlets and have become desensitized to violence. This coupled with celebrity endorsements has led to a significant growth in the popularity of hockey.

The Top Countries For Ice Hockey

Despite its worldwide popularity, Canada continues to be the country with the most organized and professional hockey leagues. One of the main reasons behind this is the country’s deep-rooted sporting culture. Canadian teams always seem to be at the forefront of innovation and creativity when it comes to their sport. For example, the Montreal Canadiens had the first practice rink in the world, the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association (MASA) Arena, in 1896. In addition, as mentioned above, many of the rules and guidelines that govern hockey have been developed with the game in mind. As a result, many Canadian cities, like Toronto, have entire neighbourhoods filled with hockey buffs who follow the sport closely.

The United States also has a very strong hockey culture. Some of the biggest names in American hockey history came from there. Several NHL teams still have their headquarters in the US, like the New York Rangers and the Chicago Blackhawks. Furthermore, the game continues to grow immensely in popularity every year. The latest edition of the U.S. National Hockey League, for example, was the best-selling non-fiction book of the year upon its release in February 2021.

The Most Expensive NHL Hockey Jerseys

Another aspect of the sport that hasn’t evolved much is its attire. For decades, the standard issue hockey uniform was a long-sleeved pullover sweater featuring a patch on the front left pocket. The sleeves were typically long, the neck was unbuttoned and the material was usually blue. There were also different colored jerseys for various teams and leagues. In addition, most players preferred to keep their skates on during games as they felt that it made them move faster. Today, the standard issue uniform has changed very little. Maybe the addition of a hood and an unzipped pullover top have altered its silhouette a little bit. But, otherwise, hockey has remained relatively unchanged since its inception.

The Most Influential Designers Of All Time

Not to be outdone, Italy also has a rich hockey history. The sport is more popular there than any other country in Europe and the design of the modern day hockey jersey is largely due to a prominent Italian designer, Giorgio Armani. In the 1970s, Armani began designing hockey jerseys for the Italian hockey league. Since then, the fashion house has continued to design the jerseys for numerous European leagues and teams. Not only does Armani design some of the sleekest jerseys in hockey history, he is also responsible for the logo for the Milan Zilio Hockey Club.

Along with Armani, other prominent designers who have designed hockey jerseys include: André Courreges, Andy Warhol and Mario (Di) Cesare. These are all well-known designers whose work has been featured on numerous occasions on both big and small screens. And, just like Armani, they have all designed some of the most iconic jerseys in hockey history. Although they may not have designed the jerseys themselves, their designs have become so iconic that they are now associated with the game of hockey forever.

Hockey Is More Than Just A Game

As mentioned above, the history of hockey is filled with fascinating anecdotes, legends and facts. But, beyond this, hockey has truly become a worldwide phenomenon. It is played by people of all ages and skill levels and has evolved to become a form of physical therapy for those who are injured or disabled. In some countries, like Finland, hockey is even considered a sort of national sport. For the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, the hockey tournament will be split into an exhibition game and a medal round.

In 2022, we will finally get to see some genuine hockey evolution as a result of an all-star game that pits Canada’s superstar players against the best young talent in the world. The game is a part of the Summer Olympics schedule and will be held at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. The Canadian men’s and women’s hockey teams will square off against their respective counterparts from the US and Sweden. The match will be historic as it will be the first time that Canada has played a women’s ice hockey match in the Olympics. This will also be the first time that either team has played the US in the Olympics. This will be a real game changer and mark the beginning of the end for Canada’s dominance of the ice.

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