Every country has a sport that they absolutely adore. Sport is and always has been a way for people to unite despite their differences, celebrate, and ignite their patriotism for their country’s team. In Canada, ice hockey has been a favourite pastime for most Canadians. It is no surprise that most Canadians are passionate about the sport that Canada is known to be the birthplace of this winter sport. There are also opportunities for lovers of the game to bet online with mobile sports betting.

Back to the Origins

Like most origins, there is a debate about where the exact origins of ice hockey stemmed from, but most can agree that it derives from “stick-and-ball games.” As the name suggests, stick-and-ball games were sports played with some sort of stick and a ball. Hockey derives mainly from three types of these sports: “shinty” from Scotland, “hurling” from Ireland, and “bandy” from England.

Supposedly, the first game played on the ice was during winter in England during the early 17th century. These games were introduced to the North American colonies during the 19th century and spread to Canada sometime in the late 19th century. Hockey originates from the French word “hoquet,” meaning “shepherd’s crook,” which refers to the shape of the stick used to play hockey.

Another origin comes from the Mi’kmaq, people originating from eastern Canada. The Mi’kmaq were historically reported to have made hockey-like sticks and a puck, which they played on ice. Overall, ice hockey has had a colourful history of various influences that have made today’s sport.

Canadian Ice Hockey

Once the game arrived in Canada, ice hockey, as we know it, today was established. The game was made official by the standardization of rules that governed the game. The “puck” was also introduced as the new ball to its stick. The sport in Canada officially gained its popularity badge with the inauguration of the Stanley Cup in 1983.

The Stanley Cup is awarded to Canada’s National Hockey League (NHL) champions. Considering sport, Canadians are at the forefront of ice hockey and, they have proudly claimed it as their national sport. This is perhaps the main reason why ice hockey is popular in Canada.

Ice Hockey: a Favorite Pastime

Canadian communities are passionate about ice hockey. Many ice rinks are specifically dedicated to training for amateurs and professionals alike. Fans gather around when matches occur and passionately offer their support to their teams. As many Canadians believe, it is the binder that unites all Canadians as one.

Besides the competitive side of the sport, ice hockey is also a favourite pastime for fun between family and friends. There are many suitable places for a few friends to take a stick and a puck, demarcate goals, and enjoy a game of ice hockey during cold weather.

Why is Ice Hockey so Popular in Canada?

Ice hockey has become a positive way for people across Canada with diverse origins, beliefs, and lifestyles to unite as one. The enthusiasm in stadiums and rinks is palpable, and most Canadians partake in it. Spanning over a few centuries, different communities of all ages have enjoyed the game. Canadians have definitely made the game what it is today with their undeniable love and passion for the game.

Ice Hockey in Recap

Despite the different opinions on the exact origin of the stick-and-ball game we all love, ice hockey has resonated and flourished within Canada. As the game’s leading competitors in the sport of ice hockey, amateurs and professional ice hockey players ensure that they never miss a match. The best part of ice hockey? Any age group or skill level can play and have fun while doing it. This is what makes ice hockey the favourite pastime in Canada.

In Photos: KURIOS by Cirque du Soleil
At the Mademoiselle Raw Bar opening party

Joel Levy