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07-29-2014, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Certainly not. We know for a fact that the first printed Montreal hockey rules were based on one particular version of English field hockey - the Hockey Association rules, which were based on the earlier Teddington/Surbiton rules. So if you want a direct antecedent, this is it.

There's no need for a melting pot if you can determine the direct ancestor.
Unless I'm missing some of the rules, most of them seem to simply govern the stopping and starting of play - particularly when the puck exceeds a boundary. The restriction on forward passing wasn't even exclusive to field hockey. If you wanted to re-invent rugby tomorrow, you could borrow those rules exactly as written... like Creighton did.

As for the direct ancestor, having brought up Creighton, the guy who first put those rules to paper grew up playing shinny in Halifax. What if Creighton simply borrowed fairly commonly known rules for stopping/starting of play out of convenience, as part of adding a bit of structure to the game he grew up playing (which is almost defined by its very lack of structure).

Beyond that, the goaltender position and the nets in the "original" game were reportedly borrowed directly from lacrosse. So like I commented in an earlier post, the shinny and Mi'kmaq influences may have been two of the bigger influences in distinguishing "hockey" from any of the semi-related stick/ball/ice games that came before it, and lead us back to Eastern Canada.

Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Would you define a cat to be "not a dog, a rabbit or a weasel"? Why would you start with what it isn't, rather than what it is? What are ice hockey's defining characteristics?
No, but if there were only 5 or so animals in the whole world (like there are games that seem closely related enough to hockey to warrant inclusion in the discussion), removing 4 of them from consideration doesn't exactly leave much room for confusion.

You're right though, the common characteristics are the most important. If someone was wondering if soccer and football (American) had a common ancestry, I wouldn't suggest anyone make a big deal of the fact that they both start with kick-offs from centre. I think I already listed a few of what I consider to be key characteristics in a previous post. I'm thinking that scoring, the net, and the goaltender position are pretty key at this point, but I don't think I have the depth of knowledge to develop that much beyond anything I've shared already.

Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
More sense than putting field hockey on ice, like they were doing in England for several years before? If we're looking at direct lineages, the version of the game that developed into modern ice hockey, we know it started with field hockey rules specifically.
If we're still looking at the rules, all we know is that it started with a former shinny player from Halifax who borrowed a handful of stoppage/start rules from field hockey specifically (though it shares at least one of them with rugby as well) and adopted them into "his" game. In contrast, the equipment used seems to be quite different, as do descriptions of game play and strategy. If we were watching instead of reading words on a page, which of all these would we really expect to resemble the hockey that evolved most closely? Where did Creighton really get all his ideas, and which ones provide us with links to hockey's ancestor(s)?

Heck, do we even know if he was aware of/familiar with all of these games that we're making connections to? Is he not the bottleneck through which this whole path of evolution must pass, as the "father of the modern game"? Didn't really intend to make this all about Creighton (just one link in the chain of history), but we can't make a big deal about the ties created by the rules without making a big deal about the background of the guy who supposedly first published them.

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