Happy Birthday Hockey!
While the exact origins of the greatest game on the planet (and Canada’s national game) are very much disputed, the very first organized hockey game took place 136 years ago today!
According to a media missive written by Earl Zukerman in The Globe and Mail today, the first game was played at Victoria skating rink in Montreal on March 3, 1875.
It was also the very first game which used a wooden puck instead of a rubber ball. Yet another claim to fame of the game is it was the first instance of a hockey brawl, at least according to Wikipedia:
This fighting was not between the on-ice combatants, rather, it was between the hockey players and spectators and members of the Skating Club. Members of the Skating Club were opposed to the use of the skating rink for hockey as it took away hours from other skating activities and it damaged the ice quality.
Whenever I write about a topic that is not quite science related, I find a very vague way to link it to something scientific; because science is, of course, all around us! (possibly the nerdiest thing a person can say). So I actually found this article published today that does a pretty decent job explaining some of the physics of ice skating. It’s actually quite a complicated system, with many different concepts playing a role.
Regardless of when and where it originated exactly, hockey remains Canada’s undisputed national pastime.