Ice hockey is an Olympic full contact team sport which is played only on ice. Skating is required to play this game and to score, players must shoot a hard rubber hockey puck into the net of the opponent team. To play this sport, it requires two teams with 6 members per side (including goaltender), special equipment (for protection) and an icy field. It is considered to be the “fastest game on earth” (nickname). Hockey has been played for the first time in the 19th century (officially), but the origins of hockey lie somewhere in England. Both men and women can play hockey (in different competitions men vs. men and women vs. women) worldwide.
The centre of development of this sport lies in Montreal, where the first organized indoor match has been played on 3rd March 1875 at Montreal’s Victoria Skating Rink. At that time, the match between the two teams lasted no more than 60 minutes and the goal posts were 6 feet apart (the same as today).
The game has been professional starting with 20th century. The first league which employed professionals was the “Western Pennsylvania Hockey League” and the first professional league that has been formed at that time (1902) was the “International Professional Hockey League” (IPHL). Later, in Europe evolved until today a lot of professional hockey teams.
To protect themselves, all of the players must wear special equipment such as helmets, elbow pads, shoulder pads, skates, gloves, mouth guards, hockey jerseys, neck guards, pants, socks and shin pads. These are very important knowing that the sport is a full contact one and it is played “fast” on the icy field. Goaltenders are forced to wear a lot more equipment for protection than all the other players and in spite of all these mentioned, hockey has a high risk of injuring while playing.