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07-29-2014, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Seems to me you need to define what you mean by hockey. Also, if you want to draw the line at shinny, it would ignore the question of where shinny came from. This is why drawing a line and saying "only things on this side are hockey" because it shuts out those things that led up to that point.
Not at all. Shinty coming from Scotland to Nova Scotia (New Scotland) isn't exactly a stretch for me, nor is its proliferation toward Quebec/Ontario. But see, shinty would be in the same boat as hurley, bandy, etc: transplanted games that would provide some of the basic equipment and some of the basic framework in terms of stick/ball game basics. Shinny, however, may represent the branching out of one of those transplanted games (shinty) and development in the direction of what we now call hockey (i.e. not field hockey, nor "Russian" hockey, nor "hockey on the ice", which seems similar mostly in name; not so much in execution, etc).

Again, once you attempt to find a link back on the other side, I suspect you end up forced to give equal credit to every British stick/ball game that was ever played on ice, and you might as well stop the search anyway. They can't all be "legitimate parents" of one game. Since shinty is believed to be derived from hurling (rules from the two have even been meshed in our times to allow matches between Ireland and Scotland, it would seem), we can even start tracing a (postulated) genetic lineage:

hurling -> shinty -> shinny -> "hockey"
(hurling/field hockey/bandy) -> shinty -> shinny -> hockey
(hurling/field hockey/bandy/shinty) -> shinny -> hockey

Either way... if the tie was established between shinty and shinny, that would be significant given the readily apparent ties between shinny and hockey. I think it's significant that, of all the older stick/ball games we're talking about, shinny (informal or even "pick up" hockey) is the one that hasn't been absorbed into history over here. Lots of talk about what the English, Irish, or Russians may have contributed in the past, but I think it might be time to give the (transplanted) Scotsman a bit more airtime.

Finally coming back to your first sentence, I suppose I'd start by defining hockey as NOT hurling, field hockey, bandy, or even shinty - all being their own distinct and specific games whose lineage can be traced farther back than necessary here, imo. Shinny as an informal, loosely structured "melting pot" of them all or "primordial ooze" from which hockey would emerge makes a lot more sense to me now.

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