Canadians invented ice hockey sort of.
Similar stick-and-ball games, with balls and without ice, were played by ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Arabs, Romans, and Persians.
A precursor called hurley was developed by the Irish more than 2,000 years ago, and native South Americans had a similar game when Columbus arrived in 1492.
However, the dubious idea of playing the game while hurtling wildly about on ice skates took a special kind of crackpot genius you’d expect to find only among extremely bored soldiers in a wintry clime.
And so it was: British soldiers stationed in Canada in the mid 1850s came up with the basics of ice hockey, and the rules were refined and set down by students at McGill University in Quebec in 1879.
The name comes from the old French word for a shepherd’s crook, hoquet.
By the beginning of the 20th century, the sport had spread to the United States and Europe.
In 1917, professional players formed the National Hockey League.