In the past 2 centuries, the sporting world has advanced in a remarkable way. Among the great games which have grown to become a global industry, Hockey is among them. To our surprise, it’s also one of the oldest games around. So, how did it evolve and where did the word ‘hockey’ come from?
These questions need to be addressed. Like always, we’ve taken up this challenge. Read with us!
Hockey; The Word Etymology:
First, let’s address the main question; Where did the name Hockey come from? And then we can add some essential details which complement the topic perfectly.
The literary etymology of the word has two main origins. One if French and the other is Dutch. Here’s how they are:
The word ‘Hockey’ is believed to be developed from the french word ‘hoquet’, which means the shepherd’s crook. How do the two relate?
Well, if you imagine a hockey stick, for instance, it’s hooked from one end just like the shepherd’s crook.
The other word is ‘Hokkie’ which is said to be the driving form of the modern world; ‘Hockey’. This word has dutch origins, which means the doghouse.
Don’t be confused. The doghouse is related to the goalpost here, like the one hockey has. So that might be one of the driving reasons and origin of the word ‘Hockey’.
Hockey; The Origin Story
The game of hockey is known by many names – duck on a pond, shinny, freeze-out, noughts, and crosses – but the name that stuck was hockey.
The story of how the name hockey came to be is a bit convoluted. There are many theories as to where it originated from.
One story suggests that the game was brought to Canada by British soldiers and called “hockey on the hard” because the ice was difficult to play on.
Another story suggests that hockey was started by some people who were playing lacrosse in Canada and they decided to add ice to the game to make it more challenging.
In other references, it’s also connected to the ancient Irish game Hurling, and is said to be originated from it.
To give a firm statement; there is no specific recorded origin of any form of hockey. However, since it’s a ball-and-stick game, which are around for centuries now.
Hockey can also be one of the ball-and-stick types which have taken centuries to be in its modern form.
A Family Of Different Versions
Due to its extensive history, hockey has evolved into different versions in different areas of the world.
Today, there are many types of hockey. Among which these ‘field hockey’ and ‘ice hockey’ are considered the most famous. Here is a brief introduction of each type.
Ice Hockey is a sport that has been played for centuries. It is a physical and demanding sport that requires a lot of skill and athleticism. Ice hockey is a fast-paced game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
It’s certainly the most popular version of hockey. It’s played on a rectangular ice rink with a puck and sticks.
Due to its nature, Ice Hockey is played in winter or snowy areas. Northern America, America, and some European countries are among the places where Ice Hockey is played the most!
Sledge hockey is a sport that was specifically designed for people with disabilities. The game is played on ice, and players use two sticks to move the puck around.
Sledge hockey is a great way for people with disabilities to get active and have fun. Hockey is for everyone, so why do people with special abilities have to stay behind?
Field hockey is a sport that is often played outdoors on a field. It is a team sport that involves using a stick to hit a ball. Field hockey is popular in countries such as India, Pakistan, and England.
The Asians usually excel in this version of hockey. While field hockey may not be as popular as Ice Hockey, it’s still impressively exciting and fast-moving.
At the highest level, it’s played on synthetic surfaces which are wet to ensure the fast-moving of the field hockey ball.
How Canada Became The Home Of Ice Hockey?
Ice Hockey may be around for centuries in some sort. But the official and modern ways of the game were developed by the Canadians back in the late 19th century.
Canada’s weather is ideal for Ice Hockey, as it is now perfectly blended into Canadian culture. To the extent, that it’s been Canada’s national sport since 1994.
16th Century to NHL; A Remarkable Journey:
Before we call it a day, we consider it important to mention the incredible journey of the Ice Hockey game. Today it’s cherished and watched around the globe and it’s one of the major sports in the USA and Canada.
It didn’t happen that quick, it took the game centuries to reach this point. We can trace back ice hockey to the 16th century.
Also, there are indeed some photographs and paintings from that era, which show the people skating with sticks on the frozen lakes. Fast forward to the 21st century, it’s a lucrative, mega sport with remarkable arenas and fan followings!
We’ve covered a lot today, didn’t we? It was nothing but a pleasure to cover these details about where the word hockey came from.
As you’ve read, there are so many stories, versions, and historic clues that make it difficult to state one definite origin of the game of hockey or the name itself.
Nevertheless, it’s better to have some idea than uncertainty. Do you want to read more about Ice Hockey? Visit our Ice Hockey section here. We have amazing stuff for you!