An Introduction to Ice Hockey
Ice hockey has a reputation for being fast, intense and, above all, dangerous. This reputation is, at least to some extent, justified. When one considers the fact that ice hockey involves hitting a small, hard object around an icy surface at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour, the dangers are very real. Moreover, when this is coupled with the frequent displays of “fisticuffs” between belligerent hockey players, it is hardly surprising that ice hockey is often considered to be a violent and dangerous sport.
However, playing ice hockey need not be a perilous experience. The dangers associated with ice hockey can be counterbalanced by wearing protective gear, including helmets, visors and pads. Furthermore, when played sensibly, ice hockey can be great fun. It is for this reason that over 4.5 million Canadians are currently involved in the sport, either as coaches, players or game officials, while millions frequently watch ice hockey games in stadiums throughout the country and on television. In fact, ice hockey is by far the most popular spectator sport in Canada.
Ice hockey is not only popular in Canada, but in over 60 countries across the world. The sport attracts a lot of interest in the United States, particularly in the North-East and Mid-West, and is also popular in a number of Central and Eastern European countries. While ice hockey is still considered to be a minor sport in the UK, the sport has attracted a faithful band of followers in this country. The increasing popularity of ice hockey throughout the world is unsurprising; both as a spectator and as a participatory sport, it is truly an enthralling game.