Ice HockeyPublished: | Updated:
Ice hockey developed in Canada, most notably in Montreal, Quebec, where Canadians first played an indoor hockey game in 1875. The game soon spread south through Canadian immigrants, who played the stick and ball game referred to as “shinny” on frozen ponds and lakes in the winter.
The first organized game in the United States was played in 1883. Yale University and Johns Hopkins University first played a formal hockey game in the U.S. in 1893 and this was the start of present-day ice hockey in the nation.
Hockey in the United States began in 1894 when the first artificial ice rink was built in Baltimore, Maryland. Now hockey is most popular in regions of the U.S. with cold winter climates.
A few years later, in 1896, the first hockey league in the United States was formed – The U.S. Amateur Hockey League. It was founded in New York City around the same time as the second artificial ice rink was opened in New York.
Game and equipment
The United States ice hockey structure includes elements from traditional American scholastic high school and college athletics. The hierarchy of the ice hockey league system forms a pyramid.
The base forms from a large number of regional minor and development leagues. And a linear progression through the professional minor leagues leading to the Nation Hockey League at the top of the pyramid.
The NHL is the major professional hockey league in North America, with 24 U.S.-based teams and 7 Canadian-based teams competing for the Stanley Cup. While NHL stars are still not as readily familiar as stars of the NFL, and MLB. The NBA, average attendance for NHL games in the U.S. surpasses NBA attendance in recent seasons.
Some characteristics of that game, such as the length of the ice rink and the use of a puck, are coming from the first days of hockey played in Canada. In America, most hockey players in a professional sense are playing on a standard, NHL size rink. An NHL hockey rink is 200 feet long, and 85 feet wide. In comparison, a European rink is a standard 60 meters by 30 meters, or, 197 feet by 98.5 feet.
Duration and time stoppages
NHL games run for 3 periods of 20 minutes each, plus two intermissions. The clock only runs while the puck is in play so an ice hockey game-60 minutes. However, in real-time, this playing time works out to be 2.5 to 3 hours. This includes all of the stops, intermission, and possible overtime.