When Was Hockey Discovered? [Answered!]

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While ice hockey has been around since the 1800s, it wasn’t until the early 1900s that the sport became popular, at least in North America. The game was first played at the 1900 Paris Olympics, where it received a standing ovation from the audience. After the Games, the sport became highly popular in Europe, and countries like Finland, Sweden, and Russia started instituting national teams.

The first modern international hockey tournament was an eight-team event held in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1928. Ten years later, at the 1948 St. Louis Olympics, the United States beat the Soviet Union in what was then the greatest upset in Olympic hockey history.

Why Was Ice Hockey Popular During This Time?

The early 1900s was a pretty big time for the development of hockey in North America. The game had previously been mostly played by Canadian and American soldiers during their winters off. However, as the United States transitioned from a military to a civilian populace, the need for a winter sport decreased. Many Americans also believed that ice hockey damaged your health, due to the fact that it’s played almost entirely on ice.

So, in the beginning, ice hockey wasn’t really a sport people played. It was a sport people watched. For years, the only people who played the game were elite members of the military. Also, professional hockey didn’t really exist back then. The closest thing to it was a series of matches played between the minor league Milwaukee Brewers and the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles. The NHL didn’t officially start until 1917, and even then, only twelve teams competed in the league, compared to its current eighteen teams.

The Game’s Global Appeal

Over the years, ice hockey has grown in popularity across the world. While it’s currently unknown how many people play the game, it is estimated that over thirty million fans watch ice hockey each year. The game’s appeal can be largely attributed to its simplicity and the fact that it can be played by anyone at any skill level. The sport doesn’t require expensive equipment or training, and the rules are easy to learn. The only thing you need is a ball and sticks.

With the 2019 World Cup just around the corner, many are already starting to wonder which countries will qualify for the tournament. Well, if you’re looking to discover a new sport to follow this summer, you could do worse than to check out the world of hockey.

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