With Hockey being the biggest sport in Canada, we had to make sure that it was one of our selections at Sports Discovery Camp! Instead of ice hockey we offer ball hockey, as it’s even more fun to play in the warmer months because it can be enjoyed outside! Although ball hockey is just a variation of ice hockey, we were curious as to how the sport became so popular off the ice. So this week we get to the bottom of it!
Formerly, the sport was referred to as street hockey because of how it originated. Ball Hockey actually started when friends, family and neighbours would play the sport just outside or near their homes on flat roadways. It was, as you can probably guess, inspired by ice hockey! The problem of having the prominent sports resources readily available to all, like ice and skates, was the segway to the concept of ball hockey. What started out as just a recreational game, turned into a sport now practiced worldwide.
In 1969, the Canadian version became standardized in Toronto, Ontario and with that they launched a summer program. This made Canada the first country to form official leagues of the sport. This year was also when the invention and official design of the plastic orange ball evolved. Previously a tennis ball was the choice of equipment but proved to be quick to wear. Later in 1977 The Canadian Ball Hockey Association was established and the first international series was hosted in Oshawa, Ontario in 1994.
Today the official sport is governed by the International Street and Ball Hockey Federation in over 60 countries! Not bad considering that ice hockey is an official sport and practiced in 76 nations worldwide!