- 01/20/2012, 10:39PM ET
GoNets 2.0 said 01/20, 10:39 PM
Many will think that the inventors of hockey were our close friends to the north, the Canadians, namely James Creighton. But Creighton only came up with a set of rules for the MODERN game of hockey. Hockey, like many sports, has evolved. And its origins are interesting.
We need to go back to 1363 to find the first written mention of hockey. It is recorded as a list of sports which King Edward III of England was trying to ban.
To go back even further, there have been pictorial descriptions of sports similar to hockey being played as early as 4000 years ago in Egypt, with some type of "projectile and sticks," per Wiki. Other depictions include atype of "hurling" in Ireland in 1272 BC and depictions in Greece circa 600 BC (all references are per Wiki).
So really,Creighton did not "invent" the sport. He just laid out a rulebook. With Egypt not receiving alot of snow, and with field hockey falling in the hockey family, there is a legitimate claim to saying hockey, specifically, a version of field hockey, was invented by the ancient Egyptians.
And just as many sports evolved, hockey has evolved into the sport it is today.
williewilliejuan said 01/21, 12:46 AM
You say the Egyptians invented hockey because of evidence they played field games with a ball and a stick. That is like saying that the first caveman who tackled a rival coming into his territory invented American football.
Sure, the Egyptians played games with a ball and a stick. For all we know, earlier cultures did as well, but their history isn't as well-preserved. It doesn't matter because neither game is hockey. Native Americans played a form of lacrosse and even played a version on ice. I doubt they learned these games from the Egyptians. That doesn't matter, because those games aren't hockey either.
This TD comes down to a simple question: What defines a sport?
Is it the creation of certain concepts, like hitting a ball with a stick? Or is it the formulation of rules to govern how one hits a ball with a stick and the consequences of hitting it? I will argue it is the latter. The Egyptians no more invented hockey than they did baseball, cricket or golf. The first group to formulate rules to govern the game of hockey invented the sport.
That's why hockey had its origins at Eton College in England in the 1860's when the first rules of the game were written.
GoNets 2.0 said 01/21, 04:06 PM
So a set of rules determines the distinctionof a sport?
Then let me throw this at you. It is widely recognized by many that the first college football game was played by Rutgers and Princeton in 1869. Yet Harvard's Walter Camp didn't come up with a set of rules to govern play until at least 1875, 6 years later. Does that diminish football's relevance as a sport?
Instead, up until Camp set those rules, how the game was played was determined at the start of the game by the players. And even still, scrums would occur, deaths would occur, as was rampant in football at that time, and football didn't have a sense of identity.
But it was still football.
I submit that hockey in its early days, even going back to 1363, was the same way. No set of rules governed how the game was played, but the rules were set by the people playing the game as agreed upon at the start.
Do rules help? Yes. But rules give a sport its identity. They do NOT make it a sport.
And to counter your argument further, Sir John Franklin, in 1825, 35 years prior to your founding date, exclaimed that "hockey played on ice was the morning sport."
Thus, hockey existed well before 1860.
williewilliejuan said 01/21, 10:36 PM
The rules determine the distinction of a sport. The distinction between football and the sports from which it was derived, namely rugby and soccer, are that the rules of play are different. If one were to apply your logic on the origins of hockey to football, there would be no sport called football. The game we see on Sundays would just be a variant of other sports played with a foot and a ball.
It is correct that "ball and stick" games existed long before rules for hockey were promulgated. However, they bear almost no resemblance to hockey as we now know it. They were played amongst neighboring villages to show which was the toughest. Teams could number 100 or more per side and games could last weeks. It was not uncommon for people to get seriously hurt or even killed in these games.
These games may have shared some similar traits with hockey. Some variants may have even been called "hockey", but that doesn't make them the sport we call hockey today. The bands led by Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth shared the name Van Halen, but they certainly didn't play the same music.
Names don't make sports. Rules make sports. The rules of hockey started in England in the 1860's.
GoNets 2.0 said 01/22, 09:59 AM
Football was an entity before Camp set his rules. Football remained an entity even after Camp and his colleagues set rules.
Rules keep things civil and only provide guidelines. Going back to my comparison with football: until distinct rules were set that would be recognized nationally, there was no way to police the players. All kinds of injuries would happen, including deaths, prompting for many to call for the end to football. Only until President Roosevelt stepped in and took charge in 1908, did football save itself from demise with a national set of rules.
But it was still football, and it was recognized as such back in 1869, 1871, 1872, etc.
Field hockey and ice hockey are distinctly different, but this TD is on hockey, so I chose to include everything falling under the hockey family. And while there is no snow in Egypt, it is possible that an early variation of field hockey was played there. Plus, in 1363, when the word is first used, the word itself was derived from hoquet, the French word for a shepherd's staff.
Those shepherds would hit a ball with their sticks using the curved end. Indeed, this too was an early version of field hockey.
Nice TD WWJ.
williewilliejuan said 01/23, 12:17 AM
Hitting a ball with a curved stick, whether it occurs in ancient Egypt or Medieval England, is not hockey. It's just hitting a ball with a curved stick. Hundreds of villagers running around in a weeks-long melee does not equal hockey, even if the villagers are carrying curved sticks while they do it. These people may very well have done things that carried through to the game of hockey, but they didn't invent the game.
Games are invented when the rules of play are documented. Those rules may change over time, but the basic rules of how the game is played must be established for a game to even exist. Otherwise, the game can be different every time it is played.
The first rules of hockey as we know it were written at Eton College in the 1860's. The number of players per team was limited. Shortly thereafter, a Hockey Association was formed to further refine the rules of the game. The size of the playing field was established, as was a striking circle for hitting goals.
The rules would change many times over the years to become the game it is today, but the game was invented when the rules of play were developed, not the first time a man hit a ball with a curved stick.
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