History of Hockey:
Throughout history people have played games involving a curved stick and a ball. There are drawings and depictions of such events in ancient Egypt, Greece and in the Middle ages in Europe. There is even evidence of people playing hockey or stick and ball like games on the ice in sixteenth century Europe. And of course as immigrants came to the Americas, they brought with them many of the games that they had played in their respective countries, such as hurling and other hockey like games.
Current ice and field hockey owe much to those ancient games. Of the two, field hockey is the forerunner and ice hockey was mainly an altering of the game to fit colder climates and such. The first organized ice hockey game is recorded to have taken place in Montreal, Canada at an indoor skating rink in March of 1875. It wasn’t until 1904 that the first professional league for ice hockey was formed in Michigan, United States, called the International Professional Hockey League. The league lasted all of four years, folding in 1907. For field hockey, the first international game took place between Ireland and Wales, with a high score of 3 to 0, Ireland winning.
In 1908 field hockey made its debut at the summer Olympics, it was dropped in 1924 but by the following Olympics in 1928 it was back. Ice hockey started at the winter Olympics in 1924 and has been played there since, but it wasn’t until 1960 that the U.S. won their first gold medal in ice hockey.
Many hockey fans enjoy decorating their homes and Christmas trees with hockey and sports ornaments. Ornaments which help to convey ones love or enthusiasm for a particular theme which in this case would be the love of hockey. There are a variety of sports ornaments and specialty nutcrackers to help beautify and accent any sports enthusiasts home.
Playing the Games:
For a regular game of ice hockey it is of course played in an ice rink with a total of six players on each team, five regular players and one goalie. The object is to get the puck, which is made of hard rubber into the opposing teams goal and the team with the highest score wins. The players must use their sticks to move the puck around or to pass the puck from one player to another. A team can be forced to play with only 5 players instead of the normal 6 if a player commits a foul and is then placed in a penalty box for a short time which is usually about 2 minutes long.
Field hockey is played on a rectangular field measuring about 100 yards by 60 yards, with eleven players on each team. Again the idea is the same to get the small hard ball, not a puck, into the other team’s goal to score, to do this you must use your stick and teamwork. There is a defined semi-circle area around each goal that is called the shooting circle or arc. The team which has the ball is called the attackers, while the team that doesn’t have the ball is called the defenders. A game or match has two umpires to officiate, usually they split up the field down the middle and each takes care of their half of the field. The game has two periods each being 35 minutes long, with the half time break being about five minutes.
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