Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ice Hockey




Ice hockey, often referred to simply as hockey in Canada and the United States, is a team sport played on ice. It is a speedy and physical sport. Ice hockey is most popular in areas that are sufficiently cold for natural, reliable seasonal ice cover, though with the advent of indoor artificial ice rinks it has become a year-round pastime at the amateur level in major metropolitan areas such as cities that host a National Hockey League (NHL) or other professional-league team. It is one of the four major North American professional sports, and is represented by the National Hockey League (NHL) at the highest level, and the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL), the highest level of women's ice hockey in the world. It is the official national winter sport of Canada, where the game enjoys immense popularity, and is also the most popular spectator sport in Finland.[citation needed] Only six of the thirty NHL franchises are based in Canada, but Canadian players outnumber Americans in the league by a ratio of almost four to one.[citation needed] About thirty percent of the league's players are non-North American.[citation needed]
While there are 64 total members of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and the United States have finished in most of the coveted 1st, 2nd and 3rd places at IIHF World Championships. Of the 63 medals awarded in men's competition at the Olympic level from 1920 on, only six did not go to the one of those countries, or a former entity thereof, such as Czechoslovakia or the Soviet Union. Only one of those six medals was above bronze. Those seven nations have also captured 162 of 177 medals awarded at 59 non-Olympic IIHF World Championships, and all medals since 1954. Likewise, all nine Olympic and 27 IIHF World Women Championships medals have gone to one of those seven countries. Also deserving of mention is Switzerland, which has won two men's bronze medals at the Olympics and finished third at least seven times at the World Championships. Switzerland also maintains one of the oldest and top-rated ice hockey leagues (the Swiss Nationalliga) outside of the NHL.


1 comment:

Jacqueline Emery said...

Hi boys,

I see you love sports!
What kind of sports do you like most? Do you practice any? Do you think it is important to practice sports?

God job!
Teacher