History of Ball Hockey in Canada
Ball Hockey in Canada -
The Canadian version of the game began to take its shape in the late 1960s in Toronto, Ontario, with Habitant Arena hosting a summer program in 1969, and some speculate that it may have even started the year before in the east end of the city. The first plastic orange ball was introduced by Arnold Herka, of Viceroy Rubber, to George Butterwick who was operating a Toronto league circa 1970, and the game has never looked back.
The Canadian Ball Hockey Association was founded a few years later in 1977. For more information on the Canadian game, see the website page entitled About Us.
Global Expansion -
The development of ball hockey until recently, has closely followed that of ice hockey, as it has spread around the world in the northern (colder) climates. Formally organized street or ball hockey leagues, in its modern form, grew independently in several countries, Canada (late 1960s), the USA (early 1970s), Austria, Czechia, and Slovakia (1980s), Finland, Germany, Japan, and Switzerland (early 1990s). Due to its close relationship with ice hockey, street and ball hockey developed with similar rules throughout these countries. After the political changes in Eastern Europe in 1989, international exchanges flourished, and included cross-Atlantic competitions as early as 1991, leading to the establishment of the International Street & Ball Hockey Federation in 1993, and the bi-annual World Junior and Senior Championships, which commenced in 1996. The past few years have seen an explosion of the game in tropical nations, and in the orient where it's ease of play is very attractive.
Because street hockey is so easy to play, it is quickly finding its way around the world in as many as 48 countries, including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honk Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Ukraine, USA, Mongolia, Bahamas, Turks & Caicos Islands, Northern Ireland, Serbia & Belarus.
For more information about our international ball hockey family, please visit the International Street & Ball Hockey Federation website (ISBHF): www.isbhf.com