Ice hockey
Overview
 
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skater
Ice skating
Ice skating is moving on ice by using ice skates. It can be done for a variety of reasons, including leisure, traveling, and various sports. Ice skating occurs both on specially prepared indoor and outdoor tracks, as well as on naturally occurring bodies of frozen water, such as lakes and...

s use wooden or composite
Composite material
Composite materials, often shortened to composites or called composition materials, are engineered or naturally occurring materials made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties which remain separate and distinct at the macroscopic or...

 sticks to shoot
Shot (ice hockey)
A shot in ice hockey is an attempt by a player to score a goal by striking the puck with their stick in the direction of the net.-Shovel:The shovel shot is the simplest most basic shot in a shooter's arsenal. Its execution is simply a shoveling motion to push the puck in the desired direction...

 a hard rubber puck
Hockey puck
A puck is a disk used in various games serving the same functions as a ball does in ball games. The best-known use of pucks is in ice hockey, a major international sport.- Etymology :The origin of the word "puck" is obscure...

 into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a goal
Goal (ice hockey)
In ice hockey, a goal is scored when the puck completely crosses the goal line between the two goal posts and below the goal crossbar. A goal awards one point to the team attacking the goal scored upon, regardless of which team the player who actually deflected the puck into the goal belongs to...

 against the opposing team. Each team has a goalie
Goaltender
In ice hockey, the goaltender is the player who defends his team's goal net by stopping shots of the puck from entering his team's net, thus preventing the opposing team from scoring...

 who tries to stop the puck from going into the goal or "net".
Encyclopedia
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skater
Ice skating
Ice skating is moving on ice by using ice skates. It can be done for a variety of reasons, including leisure, traveling, and various sports. Ice skating occurs both on specially prepared indoor and outdoor tracks, as well as on naturally occurring bodies of frozen water, such as lakes and...

s use wooden or composite
Composite material
Composite materials, often shortened to composites or called composition materials, are engineered or naturally occurring materials made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties which remain separate and distinct at the macroscopic or...

 sticks to shoot
Shot (ice hockey)
A shot in ice hockey is an attempt by a player to score a goal by striking the puck with their stick in the direction of the net.-Shovel:The shovel shot is the simplest most basic shot in a shooter's arsenal. Its execution is simply a shoveling motion to push the puck in the desired direction...

 a hard rubber puck
Hockey puck
A puck is a disk used in various games serving the same functions as a ball does in ball games. The best-known use of pucks is in ice hockey, a major international sport.- Etymology :The origin of the word "puck" is obscure...

 into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a goal
Goal (ice hockey)
In ice hockey, a goal is scored when the puck completely crosses the goal line between the two goal posts and below the goal crossbar. A goal awards one point to the team attacking the goal scored upon, regardless of which team the player who actually deflected the puck into the goal belongs to...

 against the opposing team. Each team has a goalie
Goaltender
In ice hockey, the goaltender is the player who defends his team's goal net by stopping shots of the puck from entering his team's net, thus preventing the opposing team from scoring...

 who tries to stop the puck from going into the goal or "net". A fast-paced physical sport, ice hockey is most popular in areas that are sufficiently cold for natural reliable seasonal ice cover, such as Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

, Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

, Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. With the advent of indoor artificial ice rink
Ice rink
An ice rink is a frozen body of water and/or hardened chemicals where people can skate or play winter sports. Besides recreational ice skating, some of its uses include ice hockey, figure skating and curling as well as exhibitions, contests and ice shows...

s ice hockey has become a year-round pastime in these areas. In North America, the National Hockey League
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

 (NHL) is the highest level for men, and the most popular. The Canadian Women's Hockey League
Canadian Women's Hockey League
The Canadian Women's Hockey League is one of two major women's ice hockey leagues in Canada. The league was founded in 2007. The league currently has six ice hockey teams: three in Ontario, one in Quebec, one in Alberta and one in Boston, Massachusetts....

 (CWHL) and the Western Women's Hockey League
Western Women's Hockey League
The Western Women's Hockey League is one of two major women's hockey leagues in Canada. The league was established in 2004, and consisted of teams in Canada and one from the United States...

 (WWHL) are the highest levels for women. It is the official national winter sport of Canada, where the game enjoys immense popularity. The first organized game was played on March 3rd, 1875 in Montreal, Canada.

While there are 68 total members of the International Ice Hockey Federation
International Ice Hockey Federation
The International Ice Hockey Federation is the worldwide governing body for ice hockey and in-line hockey. It is based in Zurich, Switzerland, and has 70 members...

 (IIHF), 162 of 177 medals at the IIHF World Championships have been taken by these seven nations: Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and the United States. Of the 64 medals awarded in men's competition at the Olympic
Ice hockey at the Olympic Games
Ice hockey tournaments have been staged at the Olympic Games since 1920. The men's tournament was introduced at the 1920 Summer Olympics and was transferred permanently to the Winter Olympic Games programme in 1924. The women's tournament was first held at the 1998 Winter Olympics...

 level from 1920 on, only six medals did not go to the one of those countries. All 12 Olympic and 36 IIHF World Women's Championships medals have gone to one of these seven countries, and every gold medal in both competitions has been won by either Canada or the United States.

History

A game played on ice with a curved bat and a ball existed before Ice Hockey was created in the form of IJscolf
IJscolf
IJscolf was a sport played on ice, popular in the Low Countries between the Middle Ages and the Dutch Golden Age. It was similar to ice hockey, although there is no evidence that ice hockey was directly influenced by the IJscolf....

, or Colf
Kolven
Kolven is a game originated in the Netherlands, played by several individuals with heavy curved bats and a ball between two poles on an indoor kolf court...

 on ice, which was popular in the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

 between the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 and the Dutch Golden Age
Dutch Golden Age
The Golden Age was a period in Dutch history, roughly spanning the 17th century, in which Dutch trade, science, military and art were among the most acclaimed in the world. The first half is characterised by the Eighty Years' War till 1648...

. The game was played with a wooden curved bat (called Colf or Kolf) and a ball made of wood or leather between two poles or simply convenient nearby landmarks, with the object hitting the chosen point with the least number of strokes.

However, most believe that ice hockey evolved from stick-and-ball games, which were played outdoors, and adapted to the icy conditions of Canada in the 19th century. The games of British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 soldiers and immigrants to Canada, influenced by stick-and-ball games of First Nations
First Nations
First Nations is a term that collectively refers to various Aboriginal peoples in Canada who are neither Inuit nor Métis. There are currently over 630 recognised First Nations governments or bands spread across Canada, roughly half of which are in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. The...

, evolved to become a game played on ice skates, often played with a puck, and played with sticks made by the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia. The name of hockey itself has no clear origin, though the first known mention of the word 'hockey' in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 dates to 1363.

Stick and ball games have a long history dating to pre-Christian times. In Europe, these games included the Irish
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 sport of hurling
Hurling
Hurling is an outdoor team game of ancient Gaelic origin, administered by the Gaelic Athletic Association, and played with sticks called hurleys and a ball called a sliotar. Hurling is the national game of Ireland. The game has prehistoric origins, has been played for at least 3,000 years, and...

, the closely related Scottish
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 sport of shinty
Shinty
Shinty is a team game played with sticks and a ball. Shinty is now played mainly in the Scottish Highlands, and amongst Highland migrants to the big cities of Scotland, but it was formerly more widespread, being once competitively played on a widespread basis in England and other areas in the...

, and versions of field hockey
Field hockey
Field Hockey, or Hockey, is a team sport in which a team of players attempts to score goals by hitting, pushing or flicking a ball into an opposing team's goal using sticks...

, including "Bandie ball," played in England. European immigrants to Canada brought their games with them and adapted them for icy conditions. Often these games were recreation for British soldiers on postings. In Canada, from oral histories
Oral history
Oral history is the collection and study of historical information about individuals, families, important events, or everyday life using audiotapes, videotapes, or transcriptions of planned interviews...

, there is evidence of a tradition of an ancient stick and ball game played among the Mi'kmaq First Nation in Eastern Canada. In Legends of the Micmacs (1894), Silas Rand
Silas Tertius Rand
Silas Tertius Rand was a Canadian Baptist clergyman, missionary, ethnologist, linguist and translator. His work centred on the Mi'kmaq people of Maritime Canada and he was the first to record the legend of Glooscap.-Life:...

 describes a Mi'kmaq ball game people called tooadijik. Rand also describes a game which was played (likely after Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an contact) with hurleys
Hurley (stick)
A hurley is a wooden stick used to hit a sliotar in the Irish sport of hurling. It measures between 70 and 100 cm long with a flattened, curved end which provides the striking surface...

, called wolchamaadijik.

Early 19th century paintings show "shinney", or "shinny", an early form of ice hockey with no standard rules, played in Nova Scotia, Canada. Thus, many of these early games had also absorbed the physically aggressive aspects of what the Mi'kmaq in Nova Scotia called dehuntshigwa'es (lacrosse
Lacrosse
Lacrosse is a team sport of Native American origin played using a small rubber ball and a long-handled stick called a crosse or lacrosse stick, mainly played in the United States and Canada. It is a contact sport which requires padding. The head of the lacrosse stick is strung with loose mesh...

). Games of shinney are also known to have been played on the St. Lawrence River at Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 and Quebec City
Quebec City
Quebec , also Québec, Quebec City or Québec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in Quebec after Montreal, which is about to the southwest...

 and in Kingston
Kingston, Ontario
Kingston, Ontario is a Canadian city located in Eastern Ontario where the St. Lawrence River flows out of Lake Ontario. Originally a First Nations settlement called "Katarowki," , growing European exploration in the 17th Century made it an important trading post...

 and Ottawa
Ottawa
Ottawa is the capital of Canada, the second largest city in the Province of Ontario, and the fourth largest city in the country. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario...

 in Ontario. The number of players on these games was often large. To this day, shinny (or shinney) (derived from Shinty
Shinty
Shinty is a team game played with sticks and a ball. Shinty is now played mainly in the Scottish Highlands, and amongst Highland migrants to the big cities of Scotland, but it was formerly more widespread, being once competitively played on a widespread basis in England and other areas in the...

) is a popular Canadian term for an informal type of hockey, either on ice or as street hockey
Street hockey
Street hockey is a variation of the sport of ice hockey where the game is played on foot or with inline skates or roller skates. The object of the game is to score more goals than the opposing team by shooting a ball or puck into the opposing team's net...

.

In 1825, Sir John Franklin
John Franklin
Rear-Admiral Sir John Franklin KCH FRGS RN was a British Royal Navy officer and Arctic explorer. Franklin also served as governor of Tasmania for several years. In his last expedition, he disappeared while attempting to chart and navigate a section of the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic...

 wrote that "The game of hockey played on the ice was the morning sport" while on Great Bear Lake
Great Bear Lake
Great Bear Lake is the largest lake entirely within Canada , the third or fourth largest in North America, and the seventh or eighth largest in the world...

 during one of his Arctic
Arctic
The Arctic is a region located at the northern-most part of the Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic region consists of a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless permafrost...

 expeditions. In 1843 a British Army officer in Kingston, Ontario
Kingston, Ontario
Kingston, Ontario is a Canadian city located in Eastern Ontario where the St. Lawrence River flows out of Lake Ontario. Originally a First Nations settlement called "Katarowki," , growing European exploration in the 17th Century made it an important trading post...

, in Upper Canada
Upper Canada
The Province of Upper Canada was a political division in British Canada established in 1791 by the British Empire to govern the central third of the lands in British North America and to accommodate Loyalist refugees from the United States of America after the American Revolution...

, wrote "Began to skate this year, improved quickly and had great fun at hockey on the ice." An article in the Boston Evening Gazette, in 1859, made reference to an early game of hockey on ice occurring in Halifax in that year.

Thomas Chandler Haliburton
Thomas Chandler Haliburton
Thomas Chandler Haliburton was the first international best-selling author from Canada. He was also significant in the history of Nova Scotia.-Life:...

, in The Attache: Second Series, published in 1844, reminisced about boys from King's College School in Windsor, Nova Scotia
Windsor, Nova Scotia
Windsor is a town located in Hants County, Mainland Nova Scotia at the junction of the Avon and St. Croix Rivers. It is the largest community in western Hants County with a 2001 population of 3,779 and was at one time the shire town of the county. The region encompassing present day Windsor was...

, playing "hurly on the long pond on the ice" when he was a student there, no later than 1810. Based on Haliburton's writings, there have been claims that modern ice hockey originated in Windsor, Nova Scotia, by King's College students and was named after an individual, as in “Colonel Hockey's game.” Others claim that the origins of ice hockey come from games played in the area of Dartmouth and Halifax in Nova Scotia.

Naming

In 1799, William Pierre Le Cocq, in a letter written in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England, provides a reference to the game hockey: “I must now describe to you the game of Hockey; we have each a stick turning up at the end. We get a bung. There are two sides one of them knocks one way and the other side the other way. If any one of the sides makes the bung reach that end of the churchyard it is victorious.” The actual word hockey was mentioned centuries before, in 1363, when King Edward III of England issued a declaration banning a list of games: "moreover we ordain that you prohibit under penalty of imprisonment all and sundry from such stone, wood and iron throwing; handball, football, or hockey; coursing and cock-fighting, or other such idle games".

From the context, the word "hockey" is a clear corruption of the word "hook" referring to the end of the stick. In 1527 a statute recorded in Galway City in Ireland stated, "At no time to use ne occupy ye hurling of ye litill balle with the hookie sticks or staves, nor use no hand balle to play without the walls, but only the great foot balle." This was referring to the game of hurling
Hurling
Hurling is an outdoor team game of ancient Gaelic origin, administered by the Gaelic Athletic Association, and played with sticks called hurleys and a ball called a sliotar. Hurling is the national game of Ireland. The game has prehistoric origins, has been played for at least 3,000 years, and...

 and the hook made it likely the stick was like the ones used in shinty
Shinty
Shinty is a team game played with sticks and a ball. Shinty is now played mainly in the Scottish Highlands, and amongst Highland migrants to the big cities of Scotland, but it was formerly more widespread, being once competitively played on a widespread basis in England and other areas in the...

.

According to the Austin Hockey Association, the word puck is derived from the Scottish Gaelic word "puc" or the Irish word "poc," meaning to poke, punch or deliver a blow. This definition is explained in a book published in 1910 entitled "English as we Speak it in Ireland" by P. W. Joyce. It defines the word puck as "... The blow given by a hurler to the ball with his caman or hurley is always called a puck."

Foundation of modern ice hockey

While the game's origins may lie elsewhere, Montreal is at the centre of the development of the modern sport of ice hockey. On March 3, 1875, the first organized indoor game
First indoor ice hockey game
On March 3, 1875, the first recorded indoor ice hockey game took place at the Victoria Skating Rink in Montreal, Canada. Organized by James Creighton, who also captained one of the teams, the game was between two nine-member teams, using a wooden 'puck'...

 was played at Montreal's Victoria Skating Rink between two sides of nine-player teams, including James Creighton and several McGill University
McGill University
Mohammed Fathy is a public research university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The university bears the name of James McGill, a prominent Montreal merchant from Glasgow, Scotland, whose bequest formed the beginning of the university...

 students. Instead of a ball, the game featured the use of a puck, the purpose of which was to prevent the puck from exiting the rink, which did not have boards, and hitting spectators. The goals were goal posts 6 feet (1.8 m) apart, and the game lasted 60 minutes.

In 1877, several McGill students, including Creighton, Henry Joseph, Richard F. Smith, W. F. Robertson, and W. L. Murray codified seven ice hockey rules, based on the rules of field hockey. The first ice hockey club, McGill University Hockey Club
McGill Redmen
The McGill Redmen CIS football team is one of the oldest in all of Canada, having begun organized competition in 1898. The team has appeared in three Vanier Cup national championships, in 1969, 1973 and 1987, with the Redmen finally winning the title in the 1987 game...

, was founded in 1877 followed by the Montreal Victorias
Montreal Victorias
The Victoria Hockey Club of Montreal, Quebec, Canada was an early men's amateur ice hockey club. Its date of origin is ascribed to either 1874, 1877 or 1881, making it either the first or second organized ice hockey club after McGill University. The club played at its own rink, the Victoria Skating...

, organized in 1881.

The game became so popular that the first "world championship" of ice hockey was featured in Montreal's annual Winter Carnival
Montreal Winter Carnival ice hockey tournaments
The Montreal Winter Carnival ice hockey tournaments were a series of annual ice hockey tournaments held in the 1880s in conjunction with the Montreal Winter Carnival, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada...

 in 1883 and the McGill team captured the "Carnival Cup". The number of players per side was reduced to seven, and the games now organized into thirty-minute halves. The positions were now named with left and right wing, centre, rover, point and cover point, and goalkeeper. In 1885, the Montreal City Hockey League was established. In 1886, the teams which competed at the Winter Carnival would organize the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada (AHAC) league and play a regular season composed of "challenges" to the existing champion.

In Europe, it is believed that in 1885 the Oxford University Ice Hockey Club
Oxford University Ice Hockey Club
Oxford University Ice Hockey Club, sometimes known as Oxford Blues, is one of the world's oldest ice hockey teams. Tradition places the origin of the club in 1885, when a match is said to have been played against Cambridge University Ice Hockey Club at St Moritz...

 was formed to play the first Ice Hockey Varsity Match
Ice Hockey Varsity Match
The Ice Hockey Varsity Match is a longstanding competition between the Cambridge and Oxford University Ice Hockey Clubs.Tradition places the origin of the match in 1885, when a game is said to have been played in St Moritz...

 against traditional rival Cambridge
Cambridge University Ice Hockey Club
Cambridge University Ice Hockey Club at the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England, is one of the oldest ice hockey teams in the world.While the team claims a history dating back to 1885, the first strong evidence for their existence comes on 16 March 1900, when they played Oxford University...

 in St. Moritz, Switzerland, although this is undocumented. This match was won by the Oxford Dark Blues, 6–0. The first photographs and team lists date from 1895. This rivalry continues, claimed to be the oldest hockey rivalry in history. It was not the only game on ice derived from stick-and-ball games played in Europe. In this time period, the game of Bandie ball was adapted to the ice, evolving into bandy
Bandy
Bandy is a team winter sport played on ice, in which skaters use sticks to direct a ball into the opposing team's goal.The rules of the game have many similarities to those of association football: the game is played on a rectangle of ice the same size as a football field. Each team has 11 players,...

, which endured in popularity in Europe into the 20th century, and remains popular today in Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 and Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

.

In 1888, the new Governor General of Canada
Governor General of Canada
The Governor General of Canada is the federal viceregal representative of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II...

, Lord Stanley of Preston
Frederick Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby
Frederick Arthur Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby KG, GCB, GCVO, PC , known as Frederick Stanley until 1886 and as Lord Stanley of Preston between 1886 and 1893, was a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom who served as Colonial Secretary from 1885 to 1886 and the sixth Governor General...

, whose sons and daughter had become hockey enthusiasts, attended the Montreal Winter Carnival tournament and was impressed with the hockey spectacle. In 1892, recognizing that there was no recognition for the best team in all of Canada (various leagues had championship trophies), he purchased a decorative bowl for use as a trophy. The Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, which later became more famously known as the Stanley Cup
Stanley Cup
The Stanley Cup is an ice hockey club trophy, awarded annually to the National Hockey League playoffs champion after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals. It has been referred to as The Cup, Lord Stanley's Cup, The Holy Grail, or facetiously as Lord Stanley's Mug...

, was first awarded in 1893
1893 AHAC season
The 1893 Amateur Hockey Association of Canada season lasted from January 7 until March 17. The Montreal Hockey Club was the league and Canadian champion for the sixth season in a row and was awarded the Stanley Cup. They were the first winners of the Cup and did not have to challenge for...

 to the Montreal HC
Montreal Hockey Club
The Montreal Hockey Club of Montreal, Quebec, Canada was a senior-level men's amateur ice hockey club, organized in 1884. They were affiliated with Montreal Amateur Athletic Association and used the MAAA 'winged wheel' logo. The team is notable for winning the first Stanley Cup in 1893, and in a...

, champions of the AHAC. It continues to be awarded today to the National Hockey League's championship team. Stanley's son Arthur helped organize the Ontario Hockey Association
Ontario Hockey Association
The Ontario Hockey Association is the governing body for the majority of Junior and Senior level ice hockey teams in the Province of Ontario. The OHA is sanctioned by the Ontario Hockey Federation along with the Northern Ontario Hockey Association. Other Ontario sanctioning bodies along with the...

 and Stanley's daughter Isobel was one of the first women to play ice hockey.

By 1893, there were almost a hundred teams in Montreal alone, and leagues throughout Canada. Winnipeg
Winnipeg
Winnipeg is the capital and largest city of Manitoba, Canada, and is the primary municipality of the Winnipeg Capital Region, with more than half of Manitoba's population. It is located near the longitudinal centre of North America, at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers .The name...

 hockey players had incorporated cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

 pads to better protect the goaltender
Goaltender
In ice hockey, the goaltender is the player who defends his team's goal net by stopping shots of the puck from entering his team's net, thus preventing the opposing team from scoring...

's legs. They also introduced the "scoop" shot, later known as the wrist shot. Goal nets became a standard feature of the Canadian Amateur Hockey League
Canadian Amateur Hockey League
The Canadian Amateur Hockey League was an early men's amateur hockey league founded in 1898, replacing the organization that was formerly the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada before the 1898–99 season. The league existed for seven seasons, folding in 1905 and was itself replaced by the Eastern...

 (CAHL) in 1900. Left and right defence began to replace the point and cover point positions in 1906 in the OHA.

A similar sport had been popular in the United States (US) during this time called ice polo, but by 1893 the first ice hockey matches were being played at Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

 and Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University
The Johns Hopkins University, commonly referred to as Johns Hopkins, JHU, or simply Hopkins, is a private research university based in Baltimore, Maryland, United States...

. Ice polo, played in the New England area, would die out as Americans adopted ice hockey. In 1896, the first ice hockey league in the US was formed. The U. S. Amateur Hockey League was founded in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 shortly after the opening of the St. Nicholas Rink
St. Nicholas Rink
The St. Nicholas Rink, also called the St. Nicholas Arena, was an indoor ice rink, and later a boxing arena in New York, New York, from 1896 until 1962. The rink was the second ice rink utilizing mechanically frozen ice for its surface in North America, , enabling a longer season for skating sports...

 and its artificial ice rink.

Lord Stanley's five sons were instrumental in bringing ice hockey to Europe, beating a court team (which included both the future Edward VII
Edward VII of the United Kingdom
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910...

 and George V
George V of the United Kingdom
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 through the First World War until his death in 1936....

) at Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

 in 1895. By 1903 a five-team league had been founded. The Ligue Internationale de Hockey sur Glace was founded in 1908 to govern international competitions, and the first European championships were won by Great Britain in 1910. In the mid-20th century, the League became the International Ice Hockey Federation
International Ice Hockey Federation
The International Ice Hockey Federation is the worldwide governing body for ice hockey and in-line hockey. It is based in Zurich, Switzerland, and has 70 members...

.

Most of the early indoor ice rinks have been demolished. The Victoria Rink, built in 1862, was demolished in 1925. The Stannus Street Rink
Stannus Street Rink
The Stannus Street Rink, also known as the Windsor Rink, in Windsor, Nova Scotia is a former ice hockey arena. It is considered the oldest ice hockey arena in Canada, having been built in 1897.-History:...

 in Windsor, Nova Scotia
Windsor, Nova Scotia
Windsor is a town located in Hants County, Mainland Nova Scotia at the junction of the Avon and St. Croix Rivers. It is the largest community in western Hants County with a 2001 population of 3,779 and was at one time the shire town of the county. The region encompassing present day Windsor was...

, built in 1897 may be the oldest still in existence, but is no longer used for ice hockey. The Aberdeen Pavilion
Aberdeen Pavilion
The Aberdeen Pavilion is an exhibition hall in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Overlooking the Rideau Canal, it is located in Lansdowne Park, Ottawa's historic fairgrounds...

, built in 1898 in Ottawa
Ottawa
Ottawa is the capital of Canada, the second largest city in the Province of Ontario, and the fourth largest city in the country. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario...

 was used for ice hockey in 1904 and is the oldest existing facility that has hosted Stanley Cup games. The oldest indoor ice hockey arena still in use today for ice hockey is Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

's Matthews Arena
Matthews Arena
Matthews Arena, located in Boston, Massachusetts, is a basketball and ice hockey arena. Renovated several times, it is the oldest indoor ice hockey arena still being used for hockey and is the oldest multi-purpose athletic building still in use, in the world. It opened in 1910 on what is now the...

, built in 1910.

Professional era

Professional ice hockey has existed from the early 20th century. By 1902, the Western Pennsylvania Hockey League
Western Pennsylvania Hockey League
The Western Pennsylvania Hockey League , was a semi-professional ice hockey league from the early 1900s. Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the league was the pre-eminent ice hockey league at the time in the United States...

 was the first to openly employ professionals. The league joined with teams in Michigan and Ontario to form the first fully professional International Professional Hockey League
International Professional Hockey League
The International Professional Hockey League was the first fully professional ice hockey league, operating from 1904 to 1907. It was formed by Jack 'Doc' Gibson, a dentist who played hockey throughout Ontario before settling in Houghton, Michigan. The IPHL was a five team circuit which included...

 (IPHL), in 1904. The IPHL hired numerous players from Canada, and Canadian leagues in response started to openly pay players, who played alongside amateurs. The IPHL, cut off from its biggest source of players, disbanded in 1907. By then, several professional hockey leagues were operating in Canada, with leagues in the Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec provinces of Canada.

In 1910, the National Hockey Association
National Hockey Association
The National Hockey Association was a professional ice hockey organization with teams in Ontario and Quebec, Canada. It is the direct predecessor organization to today's National Hockey League...

 (NHA) was formed in Montreal. The NHA would further refine the rules, dropping the rover position, splitting the game into three 20-minute periods and introducing the system of minor and major penalties. After re-organizing as the National Hockey League
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

 (NHL) in 1917, the league expanded into the United States
Boston Bruins
The Boston Bruins are a professional ice hockey team based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. They are members of the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League . The team has been in existence since 1924, and is the league's third-oldest team and its oldest in the...

 in 1924.

Professional ice hockey leagues developed later in Europe. The game of bandy was still popular and amateur leagues leading to national championships were in place. One of the first was the Swiss National League A, founded in 1916. Today, professional leagues have been introduced in most countries of Europe. The top leagues in Europe include the Kontinental Hockey League
Kontinental Hockey League
The Kontinental Hockey League is an international professional ice hockey league in Eurasia founded in 2008. As of 2009, it is ranked as the strongest hockey league in Europe....

, the Czech Extraliga
Czech Extraliga
The Czech Extraliga is the highest-level ice hockey league in the Czech Republic. As of 2009, it is ranked by the IIHF as the third strongest league in Europe....

, the Finnish SM-liiga
SM-liiga
The SM-liiga is the top professional ice hockey league in Finland. As of March 2008, it is ranked by the IIHF as the second strongest league in Europe. It was created in 1975 to replace the SM-sarja, which was fundamentally an amateur league. The SM-liiga is not directly overseen by the Finnish Ice...

 and the Swedish Elitserien
Elitserien
Elitserien, is a professional ice hockey league composed of twelve teams in Sweden...

.

Equipment

Since ice hockey is a full contact sport and body checks are allowed, injuries can be a common occurrence. Protective equipment is mandatory and is enforced in all competitive situations. This includes a helmet (cage worn if certain age), shoulder pads, elbow pads, mouth guard, protective gloves, heavily padded shorts (also known as hockey pants), athletic cup, shin pads, skates, and (optionally) a neck protector. In addition, goaltenders use different gear, (optionally) a neck guard, chest/arm protector, blocker, catch glove, and leg pads.

Injury

Ice hockey is a full contact sport and carries a high risk of injury. Not only are the players moving at around 20–30 miles an hour (around 30 – 45 km/h), quite a bit of the game revolves around the physical contact between the players. Skate blades, hockey sticks, shoulders, hips, and hockey pucks all contribute. The number of injuries is quite high and includes lacerations, concussions, contusions, ligament tears, broken bones, hyperextensions, and muscle strains.

Head injuries

According to the Hughston Health Alert, "Lacerations to the head, scalp, and face are the most frequent types of injury [in hockey]." (Schmidt 6) Even a shallow cut to the head results in a loss of a large amount of blood. Most concussions occur during player to player contact (49%) rather than when a player is checked into the boards (35%). Not only are lacerations common, “it is estimated that direct trauma accounts for 80% of all [hockey] injuries. Most of these injuries are caused by player contact, falls and contact with a puck, high stick and occasionally, a skate blade.” (Schmidt 3) One of the causes of head injury is checking from behind. Due to the danger of delivering a check from behind, many leagues, including the NHL have made this a major and gross misconduct penalty. Another type of check that accounts for many of the player to player contact concussions is a check to the head. A check to the head can be defined as delivering a hit while the receiving player’s head is down and their waist is bent and the aggressor is targeting the receiving player's head. Checks to head have accounted for nearly 50% of concussions that players in the National Hockey League have suffered. Concussions that players suffer may go unreported because there are no obvious physical signs if a player is not knocked unconscious. This can prove to be dangerous if a player decides to return to play without receiving proper medical attention. In recent years there has been debate over whether or not a check to head should be deemed an acceptable hit in hockey.

Game

While the general characteristics of the game are the same wherever it is played, the exact rules depend on the particular code of play
Ice hockey rules
The majority of ice hockey around the world is played under the umbrella of three organizations, Hockey Canada, USA Hockey, and the International Ice Hockey Federation, each with their own set of rules...

 being used. The two most important codes are those of the International Ice Hockey Federation
International Ice Hockey Federation
The International Ice Hockey Federation is the worldwide governing body for ice hockey and in-line hockey. It is based in Zurich, Switzerland, and has 70 members...

 (IIHF) and of the Canadian founded and North American expanded National Hockey League
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

 (NHL).

Ice hockey is played on a hockey rink
Hockey rink
An ice hockey rink is an ice rink that is specifically designed for ice hockey, a team sport. It is rectangular with rounded corners and surrounded by a wall approximately 40 inches high called the boards.- Name origins :...

. During normal play, there are six players per side on the ice at any time, one of them being the goaltender
Goaltender
In ice hockey, the goaltender is the player who defends his team's goal net by stopping shots of the puck from entering his team's net, thus preventing the opposing team from scoring...

, each of whom is on ice skate
Ice skate
Ice skates are boots with blades attached to the bottom, used to propel the bearer across a sheet of ice. They are worn as footwear in many sports, including ice hockey, bandy and figure skating. The first ice skates were made from leg bones of horse, ox or deer, and were attached to feet with...

s
. The objective of the game is to score goals
Goal (ice hockey)
In ice hockey, a goal is scored when the puck completely crosses the goal line between the two goal posts and below the goal crossbar. A goal awards one point to the team attacking the goal scored upon, regardless of which team the player who actually deflected the puck into the goal belongs to...

by shooting a hard vulcanized
Vulcanization
Vulcanization or vulcanisation is a chemical process for converting rubber or related polymers into more durable materials via the addition of sulfur or other equivalent "curatives." These additives modify the polymer by forming crosslinks between individual polymer chains. Vulcanized material is...

 rubber
Rubber
Natural rubber, also called India rubber or caoutchouc, is an elastomer that was originally derived from latex, a milky colloid produced by some plants. The plants would be ‘tapped’, that is, an incision made into the bark of the tree and the sticky, milk colored latex sap collected and refined...

 disc, the puck
Hockey puck
A puck is a disk used in various games serving the same functions as a ball does in ball games. The best-known use of pucks is in ice hockey, a major international sport.- Etymology :The origin of the word "puck" is obscure...

, into the opponent's goal net, which is placed at the opposite end of the rink. The players may control the puck using a long stick
Hockey stick
A hockey stick is a piece of equipment used in field hockey, ice hockey or roller hockey to move the ball or puck.- Field hockey :Field hockey sticks have an end which varies in shape, often depending on the players position...

 with a blade that is commonly curved at one end.

Players may also redirect the puck with any part of their bodies, subject to certain restrictions. Players may not hold the puck in their hand and are prohibited from using their hands to pass the puck to their teammates, unless they are in the defensive zone. Players are also prohibited from kicking the puck into the opponent's goal, though unintentional redirections off the skate are permitted. Players may not intentionally bat the puck into the net with their hands.

Hockey is an "offside
Offside (ice hockey)
In ice hockey, the current play is offside if a player on the attacking team enters the attacking zone before the puck itself enters the zone, either carried by a teammate or sent into the attacking zone by an attacking player. If a defending player carries, passes, or otherwise intentionally sends...

" game, meaning that forward passes are allowed, unlike in rugby. Before the 1930s hockey was an onside game, meaning that only backward passes were allowed. Those rules favored individual stick-handling as a key means of driving the puck forward. With the arrival of offside rules, the forward pass transformed hockey into a truly team sport, where individual performance diminished in importance relative to team play, which could now be coordinated over the entire surface of the ice as opposed to merely rearward players.

The five players other than the goaltender are typically divided into three forwards and two defensemen. The forward
Forward (ice hockey)
In ice hockey, a forward is a player position on the ice whose primary responsibility is to score goals. Generally, the forwards try to stay in three different lanes, also known as thirds, of the ice going from goal to goal. It is not mandatory however, to stay in a lane. Staying in a lane aids in...

positions consist of a centre and two wingers
Winger (ice hockey)
Winger, in the game of hockey, is a forward position of a player whose primary zone of play on the ice is along the outer playing area. They typically work by flanking the centre forward. Originally the name was given to forward players who went up and down the sides of the rink...

: a left wing and a right wing. Forwards often play together as units or lines, with the same three forwards always playing together. The defencemen
Defenceman (ice hockey)
Defence in ice hockey is a player position whose primary responsibility is to prevent the opposing team from scoring...

usually stay together as a pair generally divided between left and right. Left and right side wingers or defencemen are generally positioned as such based on the side on which they carry their stick. A substitution of an entire unit at once is called a line change. Teams typically employ alternate sets of forward lines and defensive pairings when shorthanded
Shorthanded
Short handed is a term used in ice hockey and refers to having fewer skaters on the ice during play, as a result of a penalty. The player removed from play serves the penalty in the penalty box for a set amount of time proportional to the severity of the infraction...

or on a power play
Powerplay
"Power play" is a sporting term used in various games.*In ice hockey, a team is said to be on a power play when at least one opposing player is serving a penalty, and the team has a numerical advantage on the ice...

. Substitutions are permitted at any time during the course of the game, although during a stoppage of play the home team is permitted the final change. When players are substituted during play, it is called changing on the fly. A new NHL rule added in the 2005–2006 season prevents a team from changing their line after they ice
Icing (ice hockey)
Icing in ice hockey occurs when a player shoots the puck across at least two red lines, the opposing team's goal line being the last, and the puck remains untouched. It is, however, not icing if the puck is shot from behind the halfway line into the goal, or when the shot must be played by the...

the puck.

The boards surrounding the ice help keep the puck in play and they can also be used as tools to play the puck. Players are permitted to "bodycheck" opponents into the boards as a means of stopping progress. The referees, linesmen and the outsides of the goal are "in play" and do not cause a stoppage of the game when the puck or players are influenced (by either bouncing or colliding) into them. Play can be stopped if the goal is knocked out of position. Play often proceeds for minutes without interruption. When play is stopped, it is restarted with a faceoff
Faceoff
A face-off is the method used to begin play in ice hockey and some other sports. The two teams line up in opposition to each other, and the opposing centres attempt to gain control of the puck after it is dropped between their sticks by an official. One of the referees drops the puck at centre ice...

. Two players "face" each other and an official drops the puck to the ice, where the two players attempt to gain control of the puck. Markings on the ice indicate the locations for the "faceoff
Faceoff
A face-off is the method used to begin play in ice hockey and some other sports. The two teams line up in opposition to each other, and the opposing centres attempt to gain control of the puck after it is dropped between their sticks by an official. One of the referees drops the puck at centre ice...

" and guide the positioning of players.

There are three major rules of play in ice hockey that limit the movement of the puck: offside
Offside (ice hockey)
In ice hockey, the current play is offside if a player on the attacking team enters the attacking zone before the puck itself enters the zone, either carried by a teammate or sent into the attacking zone by an attacking player. If a defending player carries, passes, or otherwise intentionally sends...

, icing
Icing (ice hockey)
Icing in ice hockey occurs when a player shoots the puck across at least two red lines, the opposing team's goal line being the last, and the puck remains untouched. It is, however, not icing if the puck is shot from behind the halfway line into the goal, or when the shot must be played by the...

, and the puck going out of play. The puck goes "out of play" whenever it goes past the perimeter of the ice rink (onto the player benches, over the "glass", or onto the protective netting above the glass) and a stoppage of play is called by the officials using whistles. It also does not matter if the puck comes back onto the ice surface from those areas as the puck is considered dead once it leaves the perimeter of the rink.

Under IIHF rules, each team may carry a maximum of 20 players and two goaltenders on their roster. NHL rules restrict the total number of players per game to 18, plus two goaltenders. In the NHL, the players are usually divided into four lines of three forwards, and into three pairs of defenceman. On occasion, teams may elect to substitute an extra defenceman for a forward; this seventh defenceman might sometimes play on the fourth line as a forward.

Penalties

For most penalties, the offending player is sent to the "penalty box
Penalty box
The penalty box is the area in ice hockey, rugby league, rugby union and some other sports where a player sits to serve the time of a given penalty, for an offense not severe enough to merit outright expulsion from the contest...

" and his team has to play without him for a short amount of time. Minor penalties last for two minutes, major penalties last for five minutes, and a double minor penalty is two consecutive penalties of two minutes duration. A single Minor penalty may be extended by a further two minutes for causing visible injury to the victimized player. The team that has been given a penalty is said to be playing shorthanded
Shorthanded
Short handed is a term used in ice hockey and refers to having fewer skaters on the ice during play, as a result of a penalty. The player removed from play serves the penalty in the penalty box for a set amount of time proportional to the severity of the infraction...

while the opposing team is on a power play
Power play (sport)
"Power play" is a sporting term used in various games.*In ice hockey, a team is said to be on a power play when at least one opposing player is serving a penalty, and the team has a numerical advantage on the ice...

.

A two-minute minor penalty is often charged for lesser infractions such as tripping
Tripping (ice hockey)
A tripping penalty in ice hockey is called by the referee when a player trips an opposing player with their stick, or uses their skate against the other players skate, causing them to lose balance and fall ....

, elbowing
Elbow (strike)
An elbow strike is a strike with the point of the elbow, the part of the forearm nearest to the elbow, or the part of the upper arm nearest to the elbow...

, roughing
Roughing
Roughing is an offense and penalty in ice hockey when two players are in a minor altercation. The incident would have to be minor for either player to be categorized as such an offense such as:* A player striking another opponent...

, high-sticking
High-Sticking
High-sticking is the name of two infractions in the sport of ice hockey that may occur when a player intentionally or inadvertently plays with his or her stick above the height of the shoulders or above the cross bar of a hockey goal. This can result in a stoppage of play or in a penalty...

, delay of the game
Delay of game
Delay of game is an action in a sports game in which a player or team deliberately stalls the game, usually with the intention of using the delay to its advantage. In some sports, the delay of game is considered an infraction if it is longer than that permitted according to the game's rules, in...

, too many players on the ice
Too Many Men
Too many men is a penalty that may be called in various team sports when the team has more players on the field or other playing area than are allowed by the rules...

, boarding
Boarding (ice hockey)
Boarding in ice hockey is a penalty called when an offending player violently pushes or checks an opposing player into the boards of the hockey rink. The boarding call is quite often a major penalty due to the likelihood of injury sustained by the player who was boarded, and officials have the...

, illegal equipment, charging
Charging (ice hockey)
Charging is a minor penalty in ice hockey. Rule 41 of the NHL rulebook dictates that charging "shall mean the actions of a player or goalkeeper who, as a result of distance traveled, shall violently check an opponent in any manner...

 (leaping into an opponent or body-checking him after taking more than two strides), holding, holding the stick (grabbing an opponent's stick), interference, hooking, slashing
Slashing (ice hockey)
Slashing in ice hockey is a penalty called when an offending player swings their hockey stick at an opposing player, regardless of contact. Such a penalty may range from a minor penalty to a match penalty, depending on the seriousness of the injury to the opposing player.-External links:*...

, kneeing, butt-ending (striking an opponent with the knob of the stick—a very rare penalty) or cross-checking
Cross-checking
Cross-checking is an infraction in the sport of ice hockey where a player checks an opponent by using the shaft of his or her stick with both hands. In the rules of the National Hockey League, cross-checking is defined in Rule 59....

. As of the 2005–06 season, a minor penalty is also assessed for diving, where a player embellishes a hook or trip. More egregious fouls may be penalized by a four-minute double-minor penalty, particularly those which cause injury to the victimized player. These penalties end either when the time runs out or when the other team scores during the power play. In the case of a goal scored during the first two minutes of a double-minor, the penalty clock is set down to two minutes upon a score, effectively expiring the first minor penalty. Five-minute major penalties are called for especially violent instances of most minor infractions that result in intentional injury to an opponent, or when a "minor" penalty results in visible injury (such as bleeding), as well as for fighting. Major penalties are always served in full; they do not terminate on a goal scored by the other team. The foul of 'boarding', defined as "check[ing] an opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to be thrown violently in the boards" by the NHL Rulebook is penalized either by a minor or major penalty at the discretion of the referee, based on the violent state of the hit. A minor or major penalty for boarding is often assessed when a player checks an opponent from behind and into the boards.

Some varieties of penalties do not always require the offending team to play a man short. Concurrent five-minute major penalties in the NHL usually result from fighting. In the case of two players being assessed five-minute fighting majors, both the players serve five minutes without their team incurring a loss of player (both teams still have a full complement of players on the ice). This differs with two players from opposing sides getting minor penalties, at the same time or at any intersecting moment, resulting from more common infractions. In this case, both teams will have only four skating players (not counting the goaltender) until one or both penalties expire (if one penalty expires before the other, the opposing team gets a power play for the remainder of the game); this applies regardless of current pending penalties. However, in the NHL, a team always has at least three skaters on the ice. Thus, ten-minute misconduct penalties are served in full by the penalized player, but his team may immediately substitute another player on the ice unless a minor or major penalty is assessed in conjunction with the misconduct (a two-and-ten or five-and-ten). In this case, the team designates another player to serve the minor or major; both players go to the penalty box, but only the designee may not be replaced, and he is released upon the expiration of the two or five minutes, at which point the ten-minute misconduct begins. In addition, game misconducts are assessed for deliberate intent to inflict severe injury on an opponent (at the officials' discretion), or for a major penalty for a stick infraction or repeated major penalties. The offending player is ejected from the game and must immediately leave the playing surface (he does not sit in the penalty box); meanwhile, if an additional minor or major penalty is assessed, a designated player must serve out of that segment of the penalty in the box (similar to the above-mentioned "two-and-ten"). In some rare cases, a player may receive up to nineteen minutes in penalties for one string of plays. This could involve receiving a four-minute double minor penalty, getting in a fight with an opposing player who retaliates, and then receiving a game misconduct after the fight. In this case, the player is ejected and two teammates must serve the double-minor and major penalties.

A penalty shot
Penalty shot (ice hockey)
In ice hockey, a penalty shot is a type of penalty awarded when a team loses a clear scoring opportunity on a breakaway because of a foul committed by an opposing player. A player from the non-offending team is given an attempt to score a goal without opposition from any defending players except...

is awarded to a player when the illegal actions of another player stop a clear scoring opportunity, most commonly when the player is on a breakaway
Breakaway (ice hockey)
A breakaway is a situation in ice hockey in which a player with the puck has no defending players, except for the goaltender, between himself and the opposing goal, leaving him free to skate in and shoot at will . A breakaway is considered a lapse on the part of the defending team...

 –A penalty shot allows the obstructed player to pick up the puck on the centre red-line and attempt to score on the goalie with no other players on the ice, to compensate for the earlier missed scoring oppurtunity. A penalty shot is also awarded for a defender other than the goaltender covering the puck in the goal crease, a goaltender intentionally displacing his own goal posts during a breakaway to avoid a goal, a defender intentionally displacing his own goal posts when there is less than two minutes to play in regulation time or at any point during overtime, or a player or coach intentionally throwing a stick or other object at the puck or the puck carrier and the throwing action disrupts a shot or pass play.
Officials also stop play for puck movement violations, such as using one's hands to pass the puck in the offensive end, but no players are penalized for these offences. The sole exceptions are deliberately falling on or gathering the puck to the body, carrying the puck in the hand, and shooting the puck out of play in one's defensive zone (all penalized two minutes for delay of game).

A new penalty in the NHL applies to the goalies. The goalies now are unable to play the puck in the "corners" of the rink near their own net. This will result in a two-minute penalty against the goalie's team. The area immediately behind the net (marked by two red lines on either side of the net) is the only area behind the net in which the goalie can play the puck.

An additional rule that is not a penalty in the new NHL is the two line offside passes. There are no more two-line offside pass whistles blown. Now players are able to pass to teammates who are more than the blue and centre ice red line away.

The NHL has taken steps to speed the game of hockey up and create a game of finesse, by retreating from the past where illegal hits, fights, and "clutching and grabbing" among players were commonplace. Rules are now much more strictly enforced resulting in more infractions being penalized which in turn provides more protection to the players and allows for more goals to be scored.

There are many infractions for which a player may be assessed a penalty
Penalty (ice hockey)
A penalty in ice hockey is a punishment for inappropriate behavior. Most penalties are enforced by detaining the offending player within a penalty box for a set number of minutes, during which, the player can not participate in play. The offending team usually may not replace the player on the ice,...

. The governing body for United States amateur hockey has implemented many new rules to reduce the number of stick-on-body occurrences, as well as other detrimental and illegal facets of the game ("Zero Tolerance").

In men's hockey, but not in women's, a player may use his hip or shoulder to hit another player if the player has the puck or is the last to have touched it. This use of the hip and shoulder is called body checking
Checking (ice hockey)
Checking in ice hockey is any one of a number of defensive techniques. It is usually not a penalty.- Types :There are various types of checking:...

.
Not all physical contact is legal — in particular, hits from behind and most types of forceful stick-on-body contact are illegal.

Officials

A typical game of ice hockey has two to four official
Official (ice hockey)
In ice hockey, an official is a person who has some responsibility in enforcing the rules and maintaining the order of the game. There are two categories of officials, on-ice officials, who are the referees and linesmen that enforce the rules during game play, and off-ice officials, who have an...

s
on the ice, charged with enforcing the rules of the game. There are typically two linesmen who are mainly responsible for calling offside
Offside (ice hockey)
In ice hockey, the current play is offside if a player on the attacking team enters the attacking zone before the puck itself enters the zone, either carried by a teammate or sent into the attacking zone by an attacking player. If a defending player carries, passes, or otherwise intentionally sends...

 and icing
Icing (ice hockey)
Icing in ice hockey occurs when a player shoots the puck across at least two red lines, the opposing team's goal line being the last, and the puck remains untouched. It is, however, not icing if the puck is shot from behind the halfway line into the goal, or when the shot must be played by the...

 violations, breaking up fights, and conducting faceoffs, and one or two referees, who call goals and all other penalties. Linesmen can, however, report to the referee(s) that a penalty should be assessed against an offending player in some situations. The restrictions on this practice vary depending on the governing rules. On-ice officials are assisted by off-ice officials who act as goal judges, time keepers, and official scorers.

The most widespread system in use today is the 3-man system, that features one referee and two linesmen. Another less commonly used system is the two referee and one linesman system. This system is very close to the regular 3-man system except for a few procedure changes. With the first being the National Hockey League, a number of leagues have started to implement the 4-official system, where an additional referee is added to aid in the calling of penalties normally difficult to assess by one single referee. The system has proven quite successful in the NHL and the IIHF has adopted it for the World Championships, slightly discussed during the 2008 World Championships in Quebec City and Halifax, Canada. Many other leagues are adopting the system for the next season, which only downside at the moment is the increased cost for the leagues.

Officials are selected by the league for which they work. Amateur hockey leagues use guidelines established by national organizing bodies as a basis for choosing their officiating staffs. In North America, the national organizing bodies Hockey Canada
Hockey Canada
Hockey Canada, formally known as the Canadian Hockey Association, is the national governing body of ice hockey in Canada and is a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation. Hockey Canada controls a vast majority of ice hockey in Canada, with a few exceptions...

 and USA Hockey
USA Hockey
USA Hockey is recognized by the International Olympic Committee and the United States Olympic Committee as the governing body for amateur ice hockey in the United States and is a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation. The organization is based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and has...

 approve officials according to their experience level as well as their ability to pass rules knowledge and skating ability tests. Hockey Canada has officiating levels I through VI. USA Hockey has officiating levels 1 through 4.

Tactics

Checking

An important defensive tactic is checking—attempting to take the puck from an opponent or to remove the opponent from play. Stick checking, sweep checking, and poke checking are legal uses of the stick to obtain possession of the puck. The neutral zone trap
Neutral zone trap
The neutral zone trap is a defensive strategy used in ice hockey to prevent an opposing team from proceeding through the neutral zone to force turnovers...

is designed to isolate the puck carrier in the neutral zone preventing him from entering the offensive zone. Body checking is using one's shoulder or hip to strike an opponent who has the puck or who is the last to have touched it (the last person to have touched the puck is still legally "in possession" of it, although a penalty is generally called if he is checked more than two seconds after his last touch). Often the term checking is used to refer to body checking, with its true definition generally only propagated among fans of the game.

Offensive tactics

Offensive tactics include improving a team's position on the ice by advancing the puck out of one's zone towards the opponent's zone, progressively by gaining lines, first your own blue line, then the red line and finally the opponent's blue line. NHL rules instated for the 2006 season redefined offside
Offside (ice hockey)
In ice hockey, the current play is offside if a player on the attacking team enters the attacking zone before the puck itself enters the zone, either carried by a teammate or sent into the attacking zone by an attacking player. If a defending player carries, passes, or otherwise intentionally sends...

 to make the two-line pass legal; a player may pass the puck from behind his own blue line, past both that blue line and the center red line, to a player on the near side of the opponents' blue line. Offensive tactics are designed ultimately to score a goal by taking a shot. When a player purposely directs the puck towards the opponent's goal, he or she is said to "shoot" the puck.
A deflection is a shot which redirects a shot or a pass towards the goal from another player, by allowing the puck to strike the stick and carom towards the goal. A one-timer is a shot which is struck directly off a pass, without receiving the pass and shooting in two separate actions. Headmanning the puck, also known as cherry-picking or breaking out, is the tactic of rapidly passing to the player farthest down the ice.

A team that is losing by one or two goals in the last few minutes of play will often elect to pull the goalie; that is, remove the goaltender and replace him or her with an extra attacker
Extra attacker
An extra attacker in ice hockey is a forward or, less commonly, a defenceman who has been substituted in place of the goaltender. The purpose of this substitution is to gain an offensive advantage to score a goal...

on the ice in the hope of gaining enough advantage to score a goal. However, it is an act of desperation, as it sometimes leads to the opposing team extending their lead by scoring a goal in the empty net.

A delayed penalty call occurs when a penalty offense is committed by the team that does not have possession of the puck. In this circumstance the team with possession of the puck is allowed to complete the play; that is, play continues until a goal is scored, a player on the opposing team gains control of the puck, or the team in possession commits an infraction or penalty of their own. Because the team on which the penalty was called cannot control the puck without stopping play, it is impossible for them to score a goal, however, it is possible for the controlling team to mishandle the puck into their own net. In these cases the team in possession of the puck can pull the goalie for an extra attacker without fear of being scored on. If a delayed penalty is signaled and the team in possession scores, the penalty is still assessed to the offending player, but not served.

One of the most important strategies for a team is their forecheck. Forechecking is the act of attacking the opposition in their defensive zone. Forechecking is an important part of the dump and chase strategy (i.e. shooting the puck into the offensive zone and then chasing after it). Each team will use their own unique system but the main ones are: 2–1–2
2-1-2 Forecheck
The 2-1-2 forecheck, or pinch on a wide rim is an ice hockey forechecking strategy which uses two forwards deep in the offensive zone, with the remaining forward positioned high in the offensive zone, and the two defencemen positioned at the highest part of the zone near the blue line...

, 1–2–2, and 1–4. The 2–1–2
2-1-2 Forecheck
The 2-1-2 forecheck, or pinch on a wide rim is an ice hockey forechecking strategy which uses two forwards deep in the offensive zone, with the remaining forward positioned high in the offensive zone, and the two defencemen positioned at the highest part of the zone near the blue line...

 is the most basic forecheck system where two forwards will go in deep and pressure the opposition's defencemen, the third forward stays high and the two defencemen stay at the blueline. The 1–2–2 is a bit more conservative system where one forward pressures the puck carrier and the other two forwards cover the oppositions' wingers, with the two defencemen staying at the blueline. The 1–4 is the most defensive forecheck system, referred to as the trap, where one forward will apply pressure to the puck carrier around the oppositions' blueline and the other 4 players stand basically in a line by their blueline in hopes the opposition will skate into one of them.

There are many other little tactics used in the game of hockey. Pinching is the term used when a defencemen pressures the opposition's winger in the offensive zone when they are breaking out, attempting to stop their attack and keep the puck in the offensive zone. A saucer pass is a pass used when an opposition's stick or body is in the passing lane. It is the act of raising the puck over the obstruction and having it land on a teammates' stick.

Deke

A "deke," short for "decoy," is a feint
Feint
Feint is a French term that entered English from the discipline of fencing. Feints are maneuvers designed to distract or mislead, done by giving the impression that a certain maneuver will take place, while in fact another, or even none, will...

 with the body and/or stick to fool a defender or the goalie. Many new players, such as Patrick Kane
Patrick Kane
Patrick Timothy Kane, Jr. is an American professional ice hockey right winger currently playing for the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League . The Blackhawks selected him with the first overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.-Minor and junior:Kane attended the St...

, Mike Legg
Mike Legg
Mike Legg is a Canadian former ice hockey player. He is most famous for a goal he scored while playing for the University of Michigan, in a 1996 NCAA Tournament game against the University of Minnesota, in which he picked the puck up onto his stick behind the net and wrapped it around into the top...

 and Pavel Datsyuk
Pavel Datsyuk
Pavel Valerievich Datsyuk is a professional ice hockey player from Russia and alternate captain for the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League . He is known for his stick-handling and is considered the best two-way forward in the game today, having won the Frank J. Selke Trophy in the...

, have picked up the skill of "dangling," which is more fancy deking and requires more stick handling skills.

Fights

Although fighting is officially prohibited in the rules, it is both a source of criticism and a considerable draw for the sport. At the professional level in North America fights are unofficially condoned. Enforcers and other players fight to demoralize the opposing players while exciting their own, as well as settling personal scores. A fight will also break out if one of the team's skilled players gets hit hard or someone gets hit by what the team perceives as a dirty hit. The amateur game penalizes fisticuffs more harshly, as a player who receives a fighting major is also assessed at least a 10 minute misconduct penalty (NCAA and some Junior leagues) or a game misconduct penalty and suspension
Suspension (punishment)
Suspension is a form of punishment that people receive for violating rules and regulations.- Workplace :Suspension is a common practice in the workplace for being in violation of an organization's policy...

 (high school and younger, as well as some casual adult leagues).

Periods and overtime

A professional game consists of three periods of twenty minutes each, the clock running only when the puck is in play. The teams change ends for the second period, again for the third period, and again at the start of each overtime played(playoffs only; same ends as the odd periods otherwise). Recreational leagues and children's leagues often play shorter games, generally with three shorter periods of play.

Various procedures are used if a game is tied. In tournament play, as well as in the NHL playoffs, North Americans favor sudden death overtime
Overtime (ice hockey)
Overtime is a method of determining the winner and loser of an ice hockey match when the scores are tied after regulation. The two main methods are the overtime period and the shootout.-Overtime periods:...

, in which the teams continue to play twenty minute periods until a goal is scored. Up until the 1999–2000 season regular season NHL games were settled with a single five minute sudden death period with five players (plus a goalie) per side, with both teams awarded one point in the standings in the event of a tie. With a goal, the winning team would be awarded two points and the losing team none (just as if they had lost in regulation).

From 1999–2000 until 2003–04, the National Hockey League
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

 decided ties by playing a single five minute sudden death overtime period with each team having four players (plus a goalie) per side to "open-up" the game. In the event of a tie, each team would still receive one point in the standings but in the event of a victory the winning team would be awarded two points in the standings and the losing team one point. The idea was to discourage teams from playing for a tie since previously some teams might have preferred a tie and 1 point to risking a loss and zero points. The only exception to this rule is if a team opts to pull their goalie in exchange for an extra skater during overtime and is subsequently scored upon (an 'Empty Net' goal), in which case the losing team receives no points for the overtime loss.

International play and several North American professional leagues, including the NHL (in the regular season), now use an overtime period identical to that from 99–00 – 03–04 followed by a penalty shootout. If the score remains tied after an extra overtime period, the subsequent shootout consists of three players from each team taking penalty shot
Penalty shot (ice hockey)
In ice hockey, a penalty shot is a type of penalty awarded when a team loses a clear scoring opportunity on a breakaway because of a foul committed by an opposing player. A player from the non-offending team is given an attempt to score a goal without opposition from any defending players except...

s. After these six total shots, the team with the most goals is awarded the victory. If the score is still tied, the shootout then proceeds to a sudden death format. Regardless of the number of goals scored during the shootout by either team, the final score recorded will award the winning team one more goal than the score at the end of regulation time. In the NHL if a game is decided by a shootout the winning team is awarded two points in the standings and the losing team is awarded one point. Ties no longer occur in the NHL.

Modern women's ice hockey

Ice hockey is one of the fastest growing women's sports in the world, with the number of participants increasing 350 percent in the last 10 years. In 2010, Canada has 85,624 women players, USA 61,612, Finland 4,694 and Sweden 3,425. While there are not as many organized leagues for women as there are for men, there exist leagues of all levels, including the Canadian Women's Hockey League
Canadian Women's Hockey League
The Canadian Women's Hockey League is one of two major women's ice hockey leagues in Canada. The league was founded in 2007. The league currently has six ice hockey teams: three in Ontario, one in Quebec, one in Alberta and one in Boston, Massachusetts....

, Western Women's Hockey League
Western Women's Hockey League
The Western Women's Hockey League is one of two major women's hockey leagues in Canada. The league was established in 2004, and consisted of teams in Canada and one from the United States...

, Mid-Atlantic Women's Hockey League
Mid-Atlantic Women's Hockey League
The Mid-Atlantic Women's Hockey League is the oldest continuously active women's ice hockey league in North America. This League is not a professional women's ice hockey. The MAWHL is an amateur hockey league and have three divisions allowing for differents levels of women's players in United...

, and various European leagues; as well as university teams, national and Olympic
Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

 teams, and recreation
Recreation
Recreation is an activity of leisure, leisure being discretionary time. The "need to do something for recreation" is an essential element of human biology and psychology. Recreational activities are often done for enjoyment, amusement, or pleasure and are considered to be "fun"...

al teams. There have been nine IIHF World Women's Championships.
The USHL
United States Hockey League
The United States Hockey League is the top junior ice hockey league in the United States. The USHL has 16 member teams located in the Midwestern United States, consisting of players who are 20 years of age and younger...

 welcomed the first female professional hockey player in 1969–70, when the Marquette Iron Rangers signed Karen Koch
Karen Koch
Karen Koch [pronounced "Cook"] was an American ice hockey goaltender for the Marquette Iron Rangers during the 1969-70 season. She signed a contract for $40 per game which made her the first professional female hockey player in North America...

.

Women's ice hockey was added as a medal sport at the 1998 Winter Olympics
1998 Winter Olympics
The 1998 Winter Olympics, officially the XVIII Olympic Winter Games, was a winter multi-sport event celebrated from 7 to 22 February 1998 in Nagano, Japan. Seventy-two nations and 2,176 participans contested in seven sports and 72 events at 15 venues. The games saw the introduction of Women's ice...

 in Nagano, Japan. The United States won gold, Canada won silver and Finland won bronze.

The chief difference between women's and men's ice hockey is that body checking is not allowed in women's ice hockey. After the 1990 Women's World Championship, body checking was eliminated because female players in many countries do not have the size and mass seen in North American players. In current IIHF women's competition, body checking is either a minor or major penalty
Penalty (ice hockey)
A penalty in ice hockey is a punishment for inappropriate behavior. Most penalties are enforced by detaining the offending player within a penalty box for a set number of minutes, during which, the player can not participate in play. The offending team usually may not replace the player on the ice,...

, decided at the referee's discretion.

In addition, players in women's competition are required to wear protective full-face masks.

One woman, Manon Rhéaume
Manon Rhéaume
Manon Rhéaume is a Canadian ice hockey goaltender. An Olympic silver medalist, she achieved a number of historic firsts during her career, including becoming the first and only woman ever to play in a National Hockey League exhibition game.In 1992 Rhéaume signed a contract with the Tampa Bay...

, appeared as a goaltender for the NHL
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

's Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning are a professional ice hockey team based in Tampa, Florida. They are members of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League . They have one Stanley Cup championship in their history, in 2003–04. They are often referred to as the...

 in preseason games against the St. Louis Blues and the Boston Bruins
Boston Bruins
The Boston Bruins are a professional ice hockey team based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. They are members of the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League . The team has been in existence since 1924, and is the league's third-oldest team and its oldest in the...

, and in 2003 Hayley Wickenheiser
Hayley Wickenheiser
Hayley Wickenheiser is a women's ice hockey player from Canada. She was the first woman to play full time professional hockey in a position other than goalie. Wickenheiser is a member of the Canada women's national ice hockey team...

 played with the Kirkkonummi
Kirkkonummi
Kirkkonummi is a municipality of inhabitants in southern Finland. The literal meaning of the words "Kirkkonummi" and "Kyrkslätt" in English is "church moor"....

 Salamat
HC Salamat
HC Salamat is a Finnish ice hockey team from Kirkkonummi. Salamat plays in the Mestis league. It was partly owned by Teemu Selänne.- History :...

 in the Finnish
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 men's Suomi-sarja
Suomi-sarja
The Suomi-sarja is Finland's third-highest ice hockey league. Suomi-sarja has 4 divisions. Suomi-sarja has been played since the 1999-2000 season. Prior to this, Finland's third league had been Division II since 1975 and before that the Provincial Series since 1947. During the 1990s the series also...

 league. Several women have competed in North American minor leagues, including goaltenders Charline Labonté
Charline Labonté
Charline Labonté is a women's ice hockey player. Labonté now lives in Montreal, and is studying Physical Education at McGill University.-Playing career:...

, Kelly Dyer
Kelly Dyer
Kelly Dyer is a member of the Northeastern University athletics Hall of Fame, and a former ice hockey goaltender for the United States women's national ice hockey team.-Youth:...

, Erin Whitten, Manon Rhéaume
Manon Rhéaume
Manon Rhéaume is a Canadian ice hockey goaltender. An Olympic silver medalist, she achieved a number of historic firsts during her career, including becoming the first and only woman ever to play in a National Hockey League exhibition game.In 1992 Rhéaume signed a contract with the Tampa Bay...

, and defencewoman Angela Ruggiero
Angela Ruggiero
Angela Marie Ruggiero is an American ice hockey defenseman. She is a member of the United States women's national ice hockey team. She is also the author of a memoir about her hockey experiences and a former contestant on the NBC reality show The Apprentice...

.

Pond hockey

Pond hockey
Pond hockey
Pond hockey is a form of ice hockey very similar in its object and appearance to traditional ice hockey, but far simpler and designed to be played on part of a natural frozen body of water...

 is a form of ice hockey played generally as pick-up hockey on lakes, ponds and artificial outdoor rinks during the winter. Pond hockey is commonly referred to in hockey circles as shinny. Its rules differ from traditional hockey because there is no hitting and very little shooting, placing a greater emphasis on skating, puckhandling and passing abilities. Since 2002, the World Pond Hockey Championship has been played on Roulston Lake in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick
New Brunswick
New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

.

National teams

The annual men's Ice Hockey World Championships
Ice Hockey World Championships
The Ice Hockey World Championships are an annual ice hockey tournament organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation . First officially held at the 1920 Summer Olympics, it is the sport's highest profile annual international tournament. The IIHF was created in 1908 while the European...

 are more highly regarded by Europeans than North Americans because they coincide with the Stanley Cup
Stanley Cup
The Stanley Cup is an ice hockey club trophy, awarded annually to the National Hockey League playoffs champion after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals. It has been referred to as The Cup, Lord Stanley's Cup, The Holy Grail, or facetiously as Lord Stanley's Mug...

 playoffs. Consequently, Canada, the United States, and other countries with large numbers of NHL players have not always been able to field their best possible teams because many of their top players are playing for the Stanley Cup. Furthermore, for many years professionals were barred from play. Now that many Europeans play in the NHL, the world championships no longer represent all of the world's top players.

Hockey
Ice hockey at the Olympic Games
Ice hockey tournaments have been staged at the Olympic Games since 1920. The men's tournament was introduced at the 1920 Summer Olympics and was transferred permanently to the Winter Olympic Games programme in 1924. The women's tournament was first held at the 1998 Winter Olympics...

 has been played at the Winter Olympics
Winter Olympic Games
The Winter Olympic Games is a sporting event, which occurs every four years. The first celebration of the Winter Olympics was held in Chamonix, France, in 1924. The original sports were alpine and cross-country skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, Nordic combined, ski jumping and speed skating...

 since 1924 (and at the summer games in 1920
Ice hockey at the 1920 Summer Olympics
Ice hockey was introduced to the Olympic Games at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp. The matches were played between April 23 and April 29, 1920. All matches took place in the Palais de Glace d'Anvers . The rink measured 56 to 18 meters . All games were played with seven players on each side,...

). Canada won six of the first seven gold medals, except in 1936
Ice hockey at the 1936 Winter Olympics
At the 1936 Winter Olympics, Great Britain won the men's ice hockey competition. While only one player on the team was born in Canada, nine of the thirteen players on the roster grew up in Canada, and eleven had played previously in Canada.-Medalists:...

 when Great Britain won. The United States won their first gold medal in 1960
Ice hockey at the 1960 Winter Olympics
At the 1960 Winter Olympics held in Squaw Valley, California, United States, one ice hockey event was held: men's Ice Hockey. This tournament was also counted as IIHF World Championship and IIHF European Championship. Games were held at Blyth Arena.Canada, the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and...

. The USSR
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 won all but two Olympic ice hockey
Ice hockey at the Olympic Games
Ice hockey tournaments have been staged at the Olympic Games since 1920. The men's tournament was introduced at the 1920 Summer Olympics and was transferred permanently to the Winter Olympic Games programme in 1924. The women's tournament was first held at the 1998 Winter Olympics...

 gold medals from 1956 to 1988 and won a final time as the Unified Team
Unified Team
The Unified Team was the name used for the sports team of the former Soviet Union at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville and the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. The IOC country code was EUN, after the French name, Équipe Unifiée...

 at the 1992 Albertville Olympics
1992 Winter Olympics
The 1992 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XVI Olympic Winter Games, were a winter multi-sport event celebrated from 8 to 23 February 1992 in Albertville, France. They were the last Winter Olympics to be held the same year as the Summer Olympics, and the first where the Winter Paralympics...

. Amateur US college players defeated the heavily favored Soviet squad on the way to winning the gold medal
Gold medal
A gold medal is typically the medal awarded for highest achievement in a non-military field. Its name derives from the use of at least a fraction of gold in form of plating or alloying in its manufacture...

 at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics
1980 Winter Olympics
The 1980 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XIII Olympic Winter Games, was a multi-sport event which was celebrated from 13 February through 24 February 1980 in Lake Placid, New York, United States of America. This was the second time the Upstate New York village hosted the Games, after 1932...

 – an event known as the "Miracle on ice
Miracle on Ice
The "Miracle on Ice" is the name in American popular culture for a medal-round men's ice hockey game during the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, New York, on Friday, February 22...

" in the United States. Since the 1998 games in Nagano
1998 Winter Olympics
The 1998 Winter Olympics, officially the XVIII Olympic Winter Games, was a winter multi-sport event celebrated from 7 to 22 February 1998 in Nagano, Japan. Seventy-two nations and 2,176 participans contested in seven sports and 72 events at 15 venues. The games saw the introduction of Women's ice...

 all top players from the NHL have been able to take part, with Vancouver 2010
2010 Winter Olympics
The 2010 Winter Olympics, officially the XXI Olympic Winter Games or the 21st Winter Olympics, were a major international multi-sport event held from February 12–28, 2010, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with some events held in the suburbs of Richmond, West Vancouver and the University...

 being the first in an NHL market since then and nowadays Winter Olympics games are the most highly regarded international tournament by ice hockey fans.

The 1972 Summit Series
Summit Series
The Summit Series was the first competition between the Soviet and an NHL-inclusive Canadian national ice hockey teams, an eight-game series held in September 1972...

 and 1974 Summit Series
1974 Summit Series
The 1974 Summit Series was the second of two competitions between Soviet and Canadian professional ice hockey players. Canada was represented by World Hockey Association players instead of National Hockey League players, as it had been in the 1972 Summit Series. The Soviet team won the series 4-1-3...

, established Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 and the USSR as a major international ice hockey rivalry. It was followed by five Canada Cup
Canada Cup (ice hockey)
The Canada Cup was an invitational international ice hockey tournament held on five occasions between 1976 and 1991. The tournament was created to meet demand for a true world championship that allowed the best players from participating nations to compete regardless of their status as professional...

 tournaments, where the best players from every hockey nation could play, and two exhibition series, the 1979 Challenge Cup and Rendez-vous '87
Rendez-vous '87
Rendez-vous '87 was an international ice hockey series of games between the Soviet national ice hockey team and a team of All-Stars from the National Hockey League, held in Quebec City. It replaced the NHL's All-Star festivities for the 1986–87 NHL season...

 where the best players from the NHL played the USSR. The Canada Cup tournament later became the World Cup of Hockey
World Cup of Hockey
The World Cup of Hockey is an international ice hockey tournament. Inaugurated in 1996, it is the successor to the previous Canada Cup, which ran from 1976 to 1991...

, played in 1996 and 2004. The United States won in 1996 and Canada won in 2004.

There have been eleven women's world championships as of 2008, beginning in 1990. Women's hockey has been played at the Olympics
Ice hockey at the Olympic Games
Ice hockey tournaments have been staged at the Olympic Games since 1920. The men's tournament was introduced at the 1920 Summer Olympics and was transferred permanently to the Winter Olympic Games programme in 1924. The women's tournament was first held at the 1998 Winter Olympics...

 since 1998. The 2006 Winter Olympic final
Ice hockey at the 2006 Winter Olympics
-Leading scorers:-Leading goaltenders:Goalkeepers with 40% or more of their team's total minutes.-Awards:Antero Niittymäki was named the most valuable player and received the Directorate Award for best goaltender of the tournament. Directorate Awards also went to Teemu Selänne for best forward, and...

 between Canada and Sweden marked the first women's world championship or Olympic final that did not involve both Canada and the United States

The annual Euro Hockey Tour
Euro Hockey Tour
The Euro Hockey Tour is an annual ice hockey tournament only open to the national men's teams of the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, and Sweden. Most of the teams use the competition as a preparation for the upcoming World Championships or Olympics, allowing less experienced players to collect...

, an unofficial European championships between the national men's teams of the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden have been played since 1996–97.

Other ice hockey tournaments featuring national teams include the World U20 Championship, the World U18 Championships
IIHF World U18 Championships
The IIHF World U18 Championship is an annual event organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation for national under-18 ice hockey teams from around the world. The tournament is usually played in April and is organized according to a system similar to Ice Hockey World Championships and World...

, the World U-17 Hockey Challenge
World U-17 Hockey Challenge
The World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, originally known as the Quebec Esso Cup, is an international ice hockey tournament held annually in Canada. The tournament does not operate during years in which the Canada Winter Games are held. As such, the World Under-17 Challenge is held three out of every...

, the World Junior A Challenge
World Junior A Challenge
The World Junior A Challenge is an annual under-20 international ice hockey tournament sponsored by Hockey Canada, the Canadian Junior Hockey League , and the International Ice Hockey Federation . The tournament showcases Junior A level players and is modeled after the IIHF World U20...

, the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament
Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament
The Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament is an annual event held each August for national under-18 ice hockey teams from around the world. Unsanctioned by the International Ice Hockey Federation , the tournament is not granted official status by the sport's governing body...

, the World Women's U18 Championships
IIHF World Women's U18 Championships
The IIHF World Women's U18 Championships are the junior edition of the IIHF World Women's Championships. The championships are limited to female ice hockey players under 18 years of age...

 and the 4 Nations Cup
4 Nations Cup
The 4 Nations Cup is an annual women's ice hockey tournament, held between four major national teams in the sport; currently, these are Canada, the United States, Sweden and Finland. Until 2000, when Sweden joined, the tournament was the 3 Nations Cup. In general, it is held in or around November...

.

Clubs

The National Hockey League
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

,(NHL) and specifically the Stanley Cup
Stanley Cup
The Stanley Cup is an ice hockey club trophy, awarded annually to the National Hockey League playoffs champion after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals. It has been referred to as The Cup, Lord Stanley's Cup, The Holy Grail, or facetiously as Lord Stanley's Mug...

 trophy, is the oldest still operating international competition, featuring clubs from the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

.

The Kontinental Hockey League
Kontinental Hockey League
The Kontinental Hockey League is an international professional ice hockey league in Eurasia founded in 2008. As of 2009, it is ranked as the strongest hockey league in Europe....

,(KHL) an international ice hockey league in Eurasia
Eurasia
Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

 and the successor to the Russian Super League and the Soviet League, the history of which dates back to the 1940s, was launched in 2008
2008–09 KHL season
The 2008–09 KHL season was the inaugural season of the Kontinental Hockey League. It started on September 2, 2008, and finished on February 26, 2009...

 with clubs from the post-Soviet states
Post-Soviet states
The post-Soviet states, also commonly known as the Former Soviet Union or former Soviet republics, are the 15 independent states that split off from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in its dissolution in December 1991...

 and seeks to expand beyond the former USSR
Post-Soviet states
The post-Soviet states, also commonly known as the Former Soviet Union or former Soviet republics, are the 15 independent states that split off from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in its dissolution in December 1991...

 for the league's future seasons.
The Professional Hockey League (PHL) is the sole professional league in Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 and successor to the nation's Ukrainian Hockey Championship. The history of the league dates back to 1992 and the country's independence, and dissolution of the Soviet league format.

The Elite Ice Hockey League is the highest level of ice hockey in Great Britain
British national ice hockey team
The British men's national ice hockey team is the name of the national ice hockey Team for the United Kingdom...

. The league is served by teams from all of the home nations
Home Nations
Home Nations is a collective term with one of two meanings depending on the context. Politically, it means the nations of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom...

: England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

, Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 and Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

.

The Asia League Ice Hockey
Asia League Ice Hockey
Asia League Ice Hockey is an association which operates a professional ice hockey league based in East Asia, with seven teams from Japan, China, and South Korea. The league is headquartered in Japan...

, an international ice hockey league featuring clubs from China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 and South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

, is the successor to the Japan Ice Hockey League
Japan Ice Hockey League
The Japan Ice Hockey League was an annual ice hockey league that began in 1966 and ended in 2004 when it was replaced by Asia League Ice Hockey...

.

International club competitions organized by the IIHF
International Ice Hockey Federation
The International Ice Hockey Federation is the worldwide governing body for ice hockey and in-line hockey. It is based in Zurich, Switzerland, and has 70 members...

 include the Champions Hockey League
Champions Hockey League
The Champions Hockey League was a short-lived ice hockey league which was launched in 2008 by the International Ice Hockey Federation and only played in the 2008–09 season. Its creation coincided with the IIHF's 100th anniversary and replaced the IIHF European Champions Cup, the former competition...

, the Continental Cup, the Victoria Cup and the European Women's Champions Cup.

One of the oldest international ice hockey competition for clubs is the Spengler Cup
Spengler Cup
The Spengler Cup is an annual ice hockey tournament held in Davos, Switzerland. First held in 1923, the Spengler Cup is often cited as the oldest invitational ice hockey tournament in the world. The event is hosted by the Swiss team HC Davos and played each year in Davos, Switzerland, between...

, held every year in Davos
Davos
Davos is a municipality in the district of Prättigau/Davos in the canton of Graubünden, Switzerland. It has a permanent population of 11,248 . Davos is located on the Landwasser River, in the Swiss Alps, between the Plessur and Albula Range...

, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, between Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

 and New Year's Day
New Year's Day
New Year's Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in ancient Rome...

. It was first awarded in 1923 to Oxford University Ice Hockey Club
Oxford University Ice Hockey Club
Oxford University Ice Hockey Club, sometimes known as Oxford Blues, is one of the world's oldest ice hockey teams. Tradition places the origin of the club in 1885, when a match is said to have been played against Cambridge University Ice Hockey Club at St Moritz...

.

The World Junior Club Cup
World Junior Club Cup
The World Junior Club Cup is an international junior ice hockey tournament. The first edition of the tournament will take place between 30 August, 2011 and 3 September 2011 in Omsk. It will feature 8 teams from 8 different countries.-Group A:...

 is a tournament for junior ice hockey
Junior ice hockey
Junior hockey is a catch-all term used to describe various levels of ice hockey competition for players generally between 16 and 20 years of age...

 clubs from all over the world.

Pre-season
Season (sports)
In an organized sports league, a season is the portion of one year in which regulated games of the sport are in session. For example, in Major League Baseball, one season lasts approximately from April 1 through October 1; in Association football, it is generally from August until May In an...

 tournaments include the European Trophy, European Trophy Junior
European Trophy Junior
European Trophy Junior is the junior edition of the European Trophy ice hockey tournament. European Trophy Junior is for ice hockey players younger than the age of 20...

, Tampere Cup
Tampere Cup
Tampere Cup is an annual international ice hockey tournament held in Tampere, Finland.Metallurg Magnitogorsk has won the tournament three times and Djurgården, Dynamo Moscow, Tappara and Espoo Blues two times each....

 and the Pajulahti Cup
Pajulahti Cup
Pajulahti Cup is an annual ice hockey tournament held in Finland. So far, it has been won exclusively by Russian teams.- Pajulahti Cup winners :...

.

The Australian Ice Hockey League and New Zealand Ice Hockey League are represented by seven and five teams respectively.

Ice hockey in popular culture

Ice hockey is the official winter sport of Canada. Ice hockey, partially because of its popularity as a major professional sport, has been a source of inspiration for numerous films, television episodes and songs in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

n popular culture
Popular culture
Popular culture is the totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are deemed preferred per an informal consensus within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the...

.

Attendance records

Attendance in the 30,000 range was once quite common for major international matches held outdoors in the 1940s and 50s in Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

's Lenin Stadium
Luzhniki Stadium
The Grand Sports Arena of the Luzhniki Olympic Complex in Moscow, or briefly Luzhniki Stadium , is the biggest sports stadium in Russia. Its total seating capacity is 78,360 seats, all covered. The stadium is a part of the Luzhniki Olympic Complex, previously called the Central Lenin Stadium...

. Figures of this type are still common in bandy
Bandy
Bandy is a team winter sport played on ice, in which skaters use sticks to direct a ball into the opposing team's goal.The rules of the game have many similarities to those of association football: the game is played on a rectangle of ice the same size as a football field. Each team has 11 players,...

, a relative of ice hockey played outdoors.

The record for a Stanley Cup
Stanley Cup
The Stanley Cup is an ice hockey club trophy, awarded annually to the National Hockey League playoffs champion after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals. It has been referred to as The Cup, Lord Stanley's Cup, The Holy Grail, or facetiously as Lord Stanley's Mug...

 playoff game is 28,183, set on April 23, 1996, at the Thunderdome
Tropicana Field
Tropicana Field is a domed stadium in St. Petersburg, Florida, which has been the home of Major League Baseball's Tampa Bay Rays since the team's inaugural season in 1998, when they were the Devil Rays. It has also served as the host stadium for the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl, an NCAA-sanctioned college...

 during a Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning are a professional ice hockey team based in Tampa, Florida. They are members of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League . They have one Stanley Cup championship in their history, in 2003–04. They are often referred to as the...

 – Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia Flyers
The Philadelphia Flyers are a professional ice hockey team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League...

 game.

A new record was set on December 11, 2010, when the University of Michigan
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the United States. It is the state's oldest university and the flagship campus of the University of Michigan...

's men's ice hockey team
Michigan Wolverines men's ice hockey
The Michigan Wolverines men's ice hockey team is the college ice hockey team that represents the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Earning varsity status in 1922, the program is competing in its 90th season...

 faced cross-state rival Michigan State
Michigan State Spartans men's ice hockey
The Michigan State Spartans men's ice hockey team is the college ice hockey team that represents Michigan State University . The team plays at the Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing, Michigan, on the MSU campus. The current head coach is Tom Anastos, who took over coaching duties on March 23, 2011,...

 in an event billed as "The Big Chill at the Big House". The game was played at Michigan's (American) football
Michigan Wolverines football
The Michigan Wolverines football program represents the University of Michigan in college football at the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision level. Michigan has the most all-time wins and the highest winning percentage in college football history...

 venue, Michigan Stadium
Michigan Stadium
Michigan Stadium, nicknamed "The Big House," is the football stadium for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan Stadium was built in 1927 at a cost of $950,000 and had an original capacity of 72,000. Before playing football at the stadium, the Wolverines played on Ferry Field...

 in Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Ann Arbor is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Washtenaw County. The 2010 census places the population at 113,934, making it the sixth largest city in Michigan. The Ann Arbor Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 344,791 as of 2010...

, with a capacity of 109,901 as of the 2010 football season
2010 Michigan Wolverines football team
The 2010 Michigan Wolverines football team represented the University of Michigan in the 2010 NCAA Division I FBS football season. Michigan played its home games at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan and competed in the Big Ten Conference. The season was the first since the renovation of...

. When UM stopped sales to the general public on May 6, 2010, with plans to reserve remaining tickets for students, over 100,000 tickets had been sold for the event. Ultimately, a crowd announced by UM as 113,411, the largest in the stadium's history (including football), saw the homestanding Wolverines win 5–0. Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records, known until 2000 as The Guinness Book of Records , is a reference book published annually, containing a collection of world records, both human achievements and the extremes of the natural world...

, using a count of ticketed fans who actually entered the stadium instead of UM's figure of tickets sold, announced a final figure of 104,173.

Number of registered players by country

Number of registered hockey players, including male, female and junior, provided by the respective countries' federations. Note that this list only includes countries with more than 1000 registered players. Out of 70 IIHF members 31 have more than 1000 registered players as of October 2011.
Country Players % of population
 Canada 572,411 1.682%
 United States 500,579 0.160%
 Czech Republic 100,668 0.988%
 Finland 65,251 1.241%
 Russia 63,580 0.046%
 Sweden 62,003 0.682%
 Germany 28,932 0.036%
 Switzerland 26,166 0.342%
 Japan 20,226 0.016%
 Early Modern France 17,381 0.027%
 Austria 10,489 0.128%
 Slovakia 8,280 0.151%
 Italy 6,829 0.011%
 Norway 6,177 0.132%
 United Kingdom 4,901 0.008%
 Ukraine 4,500 0.010%
 Latvia 4,424 0.201%
 Denmark 4,405 0.080%
 Belarus 4,374 0.046%
 Kazakhstan 3,929 0.025%
 Australia 3,188 0.015%
 Netherlands 2,485 0.015%
 Poland 2,292 0.006%
 Hungary 2,087 0.021%
 South Korea 1,880 0.004%
 Estonia 1,510 0.118%
 Mexico 1,254 0.001%
 New Zealand 1,205 0.028%
 Belgium 1,157 0.011%
 North Korea 1,130 0.005%
 Mongolia 1,001 0.032%
Total 1,549,984

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK