Who Invented Hockey?

Based on the history of hockey, James Creighton of McGill University in Canada invented the rules in 1875. However the rules he set up were for the modern ice hockey game. The basic concept of the sport has been around for thousands of years.

Possible Origins of Hockey
Archaeologists have determined that a hockey type game was being played in ancient Egypt 2,000 years ago. Much of the evidence was found in the village of Beni Hasan. There, archaeologists found a depiction on the tomb of Kheti. Two men were illustrated holding curved sticks with a ball between them.

Studies on the early history of hockey also prove that Hellenistic civilizations played a similar game called Keritizin. The game looked very similar to field hockey. There are also records showing the Romans playing a sport called paganica. It revolved around a ball and sticks.

Variations of the stick and ball game have been found in other civilizations as well. The Persian, Aztec, Arabian and Ethiopians all played a game like field hockey. Given this fact, it may prove impossible to determine the sport’s rue origin.

The Medieval Age
The Medieval Age produced other hockey like games. The Scots played a game called shinty and the French termed it crosse. The Irish developed a game called hurling and it bore resemblance to hockey. While the history of hockey is old, the word first appeared in 1527.

The French used the word hoquet to refer to the curved stick. The word hockie also appeared in Ireland Statues. In fact historians assert that the modern game started in Ireland.

Field hockey also became popular in England during the 1600 to 1700s. The game proved so popular that entire villages would hold tournaments. It was in 1849 that the first hockey organization was created. It was called the Blackhearth hockey club. In 1852, the rules of hockey were set in English schools at Harrow.

Modern History of Hockey

However it was McGill that standardized the rules. With the help of his students, the rules for ice hockey in Canada were developed. A couple of years later in 1877, McGill organized the first hockey team. In 1885, the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada was formed.

Eventually the game made its way to the Untied States. The exact date is unknown but it was probably in the 1890s. The first game was between Yale and John Hopkins University. In 1903 the Hockey League was organized. It dissolved in three years, but in 1910 the National Hockey League was formed.

The NHL would be instrumental in popularizing the game throughout the US and Europe even more. The game proved very popular and by 1920 was part of the Olympics. In 1924 it was included in the Winter Olympics. In 1998, women’s hockey was included in the Olympics as well.

The history of hockey since that time has been marked by increasing popularity across the world. Once confined to the US and Canada, it is now becoming a global sport.