The name hockey has no clear origin but the first mention of it appears in the 1773 book, "Juvenile Sports and Pastimes, to Which are Prefixed, Memoirs of the Author; Including a New Mode of Infant Education" by Richard Johnson (a pseudonym for master Michel Angelo.) And yes, that's the REAL title of the book. His chapter XI was titled, "New Improvements on the Game of Hockey." The 1573 Statute of Galway (Ireland) banned a game called "hokie" whereby a little ball was hurled using sticks, or staves. It is believed that the word puck comes from the Scots word puc, or the Irish word poc which both roughly mean "to poke, punch, or deliver a blow."
Stick and ball games date back to pre-Christian times and include the Irish game of hurling, the Scottish game of shinty, and various versions of field hockey. A 1797 engraving was unearthed by Swedish sports historians Carl Giden and Patrick Houda, and shows a person on ice skates with a stick and "bung" on the River Thames, probably done in December of 1796. British soldiers and immigrants to Canada and the US brought with them their stick and ball games and played them on the snow and ice during the long winters. A mid-1830's watercolor portrays a New Brunswick (Canada) lieutenant governor, and his family, playing a stick-on-ice game with British soldiers. In 1859, A Boston Globe article referred to an early game of hockey played on ice in Halifax (Nova Scotia) of that year.
Wherever the early game of hockey did start, the center for the more modern game is clearly in Montreal where the first organized indoor game was played in March of 1875. The McGill University Ice Hockey Club is the first known official group and was organized in 1878. The popularity of the sport grew by leaps and bounds. And by 1893, there were more than 100 hockey clubs in Montreal alone. The oldest indoor rink still in use today is Boston's Matthew Arena which dates back to 1910.
Professional ice hockey has been around since the early 20th century. The uniforms and protective gear has been significantly improved over the years, thank goodness, but the game of hockey is virtually the same as it's always been. It's a fast-moving game and fun to watch. I could do without all the extra "action" though as today's modern games have become a little too "physical" for my own taste. But, I don't think I have much to worry with little Quigley's froglet hockey team.
I'm getting the blades on my ice skates sharpened today and I'm looking forward to spending time on the ice with little bro' and his friends. It's been awhile since I've been on skates and I wonder if I'll even be able to stand up on them. No matter what your plans are this weekend, I hope you'll be able to enjoy spending time with your family and friends. And if a somewhat-violent, physically-challenging sport played on ice isn't exactly your idea of a good time, you can always play something a little more sedate. Checkers, chess, Monopoly, and many other board games abound and are a fun way to pass the time on a cold wintry weekend. Come to think of it, the next time Quigley wants me to play a game with him, I think I'll suggest Candyland.....
I wish you all a pleasant weekend and i hope to see you back here on Monday!