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Ice hockey history

Ice hockey is the most popular team sport on ice. Widely practiced in North America and in Northern European countries, ice hockey is among the most popular team sports. The National Hockey League (NHL), The IIHF World Championship and The Winter Olympics are the most important hockey competitions, each of them creating a real online betting frenzy. As of interest shown by bettors, the ice hockey betting is the fourth most betted sport in online sportsbook industry.

The origin of hockey is lost in the mist of time but scattered evidences show that a sport played by two opponent teams with a curved stick and a ball was practiced since ancient times. In time many sports were developed on this particular basis, but the ice hockey is the most popular sport in this family of related sports.

The modern ice hockey evolved from a sport played in the 19th century Canada by British soldiers and immigrants. There are several written evidences of hockey being played all over Canada in the 19th century.

In 1875 the first indoor game of ice hockey was organized at Montreal’s Victoria Skating Rink, featuring two teams of nine player that used a puck. Two years later several students from McGill University set the seven rules of ice hockey based on the general rules of field hockey. McGill University Hockey Club, founded in 1877 is the first ice hockey club.

The sport became very popular and in 1883 during the Montreal’s annual Winter Carnival the first world championship was held, McGill team winning the „Carnival Cup“.

By 1885 the number of players in each team was reduced to just seven and the game consisted in two rounds of 30 minutes. In the same year the Montreal City Hockey League was created, being the first ice hockey league.

At the beginning of the 20th century the professional ice hockey era started , the International Professional Hockey League (IPHL) being founded in 1904 in Canada. The National Hockey Association (NHA) was formed in Montreal in 1910, later this association being the one that modified the rules of the game bringing them to the current state.

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