National sports are the leading sport of any country, and just like every country has its own, Canada has its own too.
This article specifically talks about the 2 most powerful national sports of Canada.
Lacrosse was declared Canada’s national sport of Canada in 1859, but in 1994, parliament passed a law (Canada Sports Act) and made amendments to the national sports.
Lacrosse used to be Canada’s national sport, but after the act was passed, it turned out to be the national summer sport and ice hockey was made the national winter sport.
1. Ice Hockey – Winter National Sport Of Canada
Ice hockey, Canada’s national winter sport, was a sport that European settlers invented. It was derived from various kinds of field hockey players all over Europe and especially from lacrosse sticks.
The term hockey itself came from the French word “hoquet” which means shepherd’s stick, an object that was used in the 18th century in Scotland.
All of these influences give the contemporary form Of Canadian Ice Hockey, which was first played indoors in 1875 in Montreal in, Canada.
The way the people of Canada show their interest and dedication to Ice hockey made the parliament recognize hockey as one of the national sports.
The Stanley Cup was given to the top hockey teams. By the twentieth century, a professional ice hockey federation was formed. Even today, the most powerful and recognized hockey league is Canada’s hockey league.
Canada’s ice hockey game is played all over the world. The main rivals in Canada are the United States of America and Russia.
About the Sport
The motive of an ice hockey game is to hit the punk across the ice, the team members can pass the punk from one another and tries to score the maximum number of goals.
On the other hand, the opposition prevents the other team from scoring. The team with the most goals wins the game if in any case, the match draws then there is additional time given to score the goal, and the team who scores the goal first wins.
The game is played on an ice rink which measures 61 m in length and 30 meters in width. The rink is split into three sections. The main section is called the neutral zone. The other two ends are for defenders and attackers.
Each player will have their hockey sticks and skates covered with helmets and shields. Each team can have a maximum of up to 20 players but on-field there can be only 6 players rest are substitutes who can come in the middle of the match as often as required.
The skaters are free to move around the field, but no one has the red line. Each game lasts for 20-minute periods.
1.1. The History of Canada’s Winter Sport in the Olympics
The history of ice hockey, one of the primary national sports in Canada, can be dated back to the 1900s. The ice hockey tournament was staged in the Olympics in 1920.
The men’s tournament started in the Summer Olympics in 1920 but was transferred to the Winter Olympics in 1924. The women’s first ice hockey occurred in the 1998 Winter Olympic Games.
In the men’s tournament, Canada was the most successful team from 1924 to 1952. Sweden and the united states also gave tough competition to Canada and won numerous Olympics medals between 1920 to 1988.
Canada has also hosted the Olympics three times in Montreal(1976, summer games), Calgary(1988, winter), and Vancouver(2010, winter).
The Olympic hockey tournament was also named the Ice Hockey World Championship between 1920 and 1968. The Soviet Union participated first time in 1956 and defeated Canada also, it came out as the dominant team, winning 7 out of 9 tournaments.
Canada didn’t win for 50 years in the first position. After that time, Canada won gold back to back from 2010 to 2014. Other nations to win gold medals include Great Britain in 1936, the united team in 1992, Sweden in 1994 and 2006, Russia in 2018, and Finland in 2022.
1.2. Rules of The Game
- Hockey players cannot use their feet or other body parts to control the ball.
- Women compete in 10-team tournaments, and men compete in 12-team tournaments. The main difference between men’s and women’s ice hockey is that body checkups are not allowed in women’s games.
- The ice is marked with red lines and blue lines. The red line divides the play area into two halves, and the blue line divides the area into three zones neutral zones, a defensive zone, and an attacking zone.
- If an attack zone person enters another defensive zone of the other team, then the match is halted, and a face-off will take place in the neutral zone.
- The referee controls the game and makes final decisions for offside, penalties, and whether punk enters the goal line or not.
1.3. Olympic Winter Games
The Olympic Winter Games are held every four years.
Now, Canada has hosted two winter tournaments in 1988(Calgary) and one in 2010(Vancouver). It has 199 medals in the Winter Olympics:73 gold,64 silver, and 62 bronze.
The country stands in the fifth position in the winter Olympic games.