November 8, 2011 · 8:56 am
Modern-day Ice Hockey
Fun Facts About Ice Hockey and The Stanley Cup
The Origin of Hockey
Hockey has been played in some form or other for 100s of years. It is thought to be 1 of the earliest sports in the world, and was played by the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Persians, Romans, and Arabs.
Hurling, a sport very similar to hockey, is known to have been played during the first millennium BC in Ireland, and other similar types of sports were adopted by other Europeans in the Middle Ages (5th century to 15th century). In pre-Columbian times (before the 16th century) Native South Americans also played a game much the same as hockey. The name hockey, thought to have been adapted by the English from the French word hoquet (shepherd’s crook), was 1st given to the sport in the eighteenth century but was not in common usage until the nineteenth century.
The modern game of ice hockey was invented in the mid-1850´s by British soldiers based in Canada. Rules were set by students at McGill University in Montréal, Canada, in 1879, and many amateur clubs and leagues were organized in Canada by the late 1880´s. The game is believed to have been 1st played in the USA in 1893. By the beginning of the twentieth century the sport had spread to England and other parts of Europe. The modern game developed in Canada, and nowadays is very popular in North America and East Europe.
The NHL is the most important league in the world; this National Hockey League comprises teams from the United States and Canada, but for many years almost all NHL players Canadians. The winning team of this competition is awarded the Stanley Cup trophy. Ice Hockey became an Olympic sport in 1920 and is 1 of the most popular events at the Winter Olympics.
The Stanley Cup
“I have for some time been thinking that it would be a good thing if there were a challenge cup, which would be held from year to year by the leading hockey club in Canada. There does not appear to be any outward sign of a championship at present, and considering the interest that hockey matches now elicit, I am willing to give a cup which shall be held annually by the winning club.”
So mused Lord Stanley of Preston in 1892, at a sports banquet in Ottawa. The following year Canada’s governor-general was true to his word, purchasing a silver bowl for $50 and naming it the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup. Hockey folks went with a less formal designation, the Stanley Cup.
The first winner was a Montreal team that finished atop the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada, considered the best league going at the time. But in its early years, the prize was not exclusive to one hockey league, nor was it meant to be. It was a challenge cup, changing hands in much the same way as a boxing title. Contenders issued challenges, and the champions held the Cup for as long as they could fend off all comers. Independent trustees ensured that legitimate challenges were met on a regular basis.
In later years, as professionalism swept the game, it was accepted that the Stanley Cup could not remain exclusive to amateur teams. The Stanley Cup officially turned pro in 1910, when the National Hockey Association took possession of it. But it was not until 1926 that the National Hockey League emerged indisputably as the top league in North America, effectively taking control of the Cup. That control was formalized in an agreement signed with the Cup trustees in 1947.
Special thanks to CollegeSportsScholarships.com and About.com
Filed under Historical Events & Figures, Sports
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September 26, 2011 · 8:32 am
Toronto, Capital of Ontario Province, Canada
Fun Facts About Toronto
- Southern Ontario
Toronto was founded in 1793, by the British because of its protected harbour as well as advantages of vast forests, countless river valleys and fresh water lakes in its territory.
- Toronto (GTA) is Canada’s largest city and is home to over 5.7 million Canadians.
- Toronto is the capital city of Ontario, and the most important city in Canada.
- Toronto is located in Southern Ontario which has shorelines on four of the five Great Lakes.
- Also, Southern Ontario is located, further south than parts of ten, northern states of the USA.
- The province of Ontario (415,000 square miles, in area) is larger than the state of Texas (267,000 square miles, in area) located in the southern USA.
- Toronto residents hold more university educations than in any other country in the world, based on percentage of the population, as referenced from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and last compiled in 2003.
- Within an afternoon drive from Toronto, seven million, more Canadians live and prosper.
- Ontario highways are well maintained and link with major freeways connecting Toronto with all of Canada and the USA.
- Toronto is the largest, financial centre in Canada and the fourth largest, economic centre in all of North America. Only, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, USA have larger economic centres.
- Toronto is Canada’s cultual, educational, entertainment, financial, high tech, commercial and industrial centre. Toronto is also, the “Silicon Valley” of Canada, and Toronto is known as “Hollywood North”. Los Angeles and New York are larger film and television centres.
- Toronto’s famous, theatre district is second in size only, to New York city, in the USA.
- Award-winning, theatre productions enjoy long runs, large audiences and world premieres in the theatre and entertainment district of downtown Toronto.
- Toronto’s Police Force is one of the most efficient, friendly and respected of all police forces in the world. Also, with respect to your safety and security, the city of Toronto is one of the most clean, safe, peaceful, large, cosmopolitan cities in the world.
- All major federally chartered, Canadian banks have world headquarters in downtown Toronto, including, the Bank of Montreal which is located at “First Canadian” Tower, in Toronto’s financial district. As well, all foreign banks have their Canadian headquarters in Toronto.
- Casa Loma (Home on Hill)
Canada’s largest general, life and re-insurance companies and other financial institutions have their world headquarters in downtown Toronto. Canada’s version of “Wall Street” is called “Bay Street” in the centre of Toronto’s financial and business district.
- Within an hour’s drive of downtown Toronto is the greatest concentration of industry and auto manufacturing in Canada. GM, Ford, Chrysler, Honda and others have Canadian head offices, and large manufacturing plants in the Toronto GTA.
- Toronto has the only, real castle in all of North America. Most people never forget “Casa Loma” (home on hill) with vista views of the downtown skyline of Toronto, and of Great Lake Ontario.
- Toronto has beautiful islands protecting its natural harbour. The islands are a mix of parklands, nature reserves and protected wetlands, maintained by the Parks Department responsible for this unique, natural resource. No private vehicles are permitted on the Toronto islands.
- The Toronto Islands are reached by public ferry boats crossing the Toronto harbour.
- On the islands, the city seems far removed, and a feeling of being in the country prevails just a mile offshore from Toronto’s exciting, vibrant downtown.
- English is the primary, and first language spoken in Toronto and in Canada. “French-Canadian” (an old dialect) is Canada’s second, official language. Other minority groups speak over 100 languages in Toronto.
- The laws of Toronto, and Canada are based on British law and English parliamentary system of government except for the separatist “state” of French Quebec, located three hundred miles (500 km) to the north and east from downtown Toronto.
- Less than a two hour drive, north of Toronto is the “Muskoka Lakes” Region where beautiful lakes, rivers and forests are set in the wilderness, and as it looked, many hundreds of years ago.
- One of the wonders of the world, Niagara Falls is just, an hour away by car from Toronto.
- People are amazed at the great volume of water that spills over the (Canadian) Horseshoe,
- Niagara Falls, each second, as they stand, less than 20 feet (3 meters) from the “Brink”.
Filed under Travel
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