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Hockey: The Greatest Sport Ever Played

Updated on May 26, 2011

What drew people to the Coliseum? What draws people to football (not soccer) and rugby pitches across the globe? Yes, people are attracted to the sport, but the Coliseum wasn't the only sporting arena. Instead of football and rugby, people could watch swimming matches. Anyone who watches these sports would laugh in your face at this suggestion. It isn't the same. What do all of these sports have in common? Controlled violence. In hockey you get a good game and a sport that embraces and promotes physicality. The combination of sport and violence makes hockey the greatest sport ever played.

Hockey is a very old sport, and has been played for hundreds of years. What draws people to this great sport? What keeps them coming back for more? What makes people want to watch hockey instead of ice-skating? Thrill, adrenaline, a sense of a pure sport, and action. The term hockey has been attributed to people dating back to 14th century England when Kind Edward III banned it. Hockey is a grouping of sports that include ice, roller, street, and field hockey to name a few. Each sport has its own International governing body, and the ice and field versions have been played in all of the Olympic Games since 1920 and 1908 respectively.

The premise of the sport is to use a stick (J shaped for field, and L shaped for street, roller, and ice) and get a ball (street, roller, and field) or puck (ice) into a net. Each team has defensemen, a goalie, and attackers called center- and wing- men. Ice hockey is the national sport of such countries as Canada, Latvia, the United States, Finland, and other Nordic countries. Ice hockey is an amazing sport to watch and play. British soldiers invented the sport during their direct occupation of Canada in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The first games was organized and played by redcoats in Nova Scotia, Canada, and Canadian students created the first (seven) rules and official games in the late 1800s. The game has changed considerably since it was first played. Some of the new changes include a salary cap for teams, a limit on overtime periods in the regular season, and more strictly enforced rules regarding fights and other brutal tactics. With the players' strike in the 2003-2004 NHL (American) season, the Nation Hockey League had to make some changes to the game.

The salary cap was one of the changes they made. To keep teams from scooping up everyone decent and enabling star players to demand more and more for their salary and contracts and to try to level the playing field, each team was assigned a maximum dollar amount that could be used for players' salaries. Another rule-change after the strike was the removal of infinite sudden-death overtimes.

In an official game, there were three 20-minute periods followed by an unlimited number of overtime periods in the event of a tie at the end of regulation time. In the new game, there is one penalty period followed by a sudden-death shoot-out. Fighting is not officially condoned in the Hockey Leagues, but they are frequent anyway. They draw big crowds and serve as an enforcement and momentum-breaking tactic, but they are also very controversial, and are strictly ruled upon by the referees. Despite the changes in the recent seasons, hockey remains as beautiful a sport as ever.

Some people say that the new rules have destroyed the game, but hockey remains one of the purest sports in the world today. It has very limited advertising, and isn't strictly about profit, but about the game. Hockey is a great sport.

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    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 7 years ago from Texas

      I think you nailed this one...being a dude from the southern slopes of the USA, I never really understood the game of Hockey but I will admit that the public is more than willing to watch it for the sheer factor of potential violence...just like wrestling! LOL! WB

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