Canada's National Sport?

As everyone knows, Canada's national sport is hockey. (I know, there are a few sports that can definitely be documented as having been developed in Canada, such as Lacrosse and Basketball and therefor have better claim to the moniker; I just like to stir the brown stuff:) and what I'm really referring to when I say "Canada's National Sport" is this nation's preoccupation with the sport of hockey. But, where did the sport originate?

Imagine my surprise when I walked through the "Rijksmuseum" in Amsterdam back in 1997: there was a 16th century painting that very obviously depicts the use of a stick to move a round object around on the ice. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to make the leap from playing around to a game. The most fascinating thing about this picture is the shape of the head of the stick, which reminds one of a golf club. And keep in mind that most researchers agree that golf got its start in the Netherlands. And while you're taking another look, have a close peek at the shape of the round object; not quite a puck, almost looks like a golf ball, doesn't it?

All these pictures were shot under available light; that meant fairly slow shutter speeds, as you can see from the slight camera shake on the 3rd shot.

complete painting

This page has been up for many years -20 at least by 2021- and was done originally to poke fun at hockey's origins, however, with the internet containing so much more information I did a bit of digging in March 2021 and I found a Wikipedia page with a much sharper picture of the painting. It would appear as if the game depicted in the painting is called "kolven" or "kolf" and has evolved from swinging a club-like implement at a ball aiming for an agreed upon object which could be a post or even a tree played outdoors in the middle-ages to where it is now played indoors on a fairly short course where the objective is to hit a post at the end. It is primarily played in the northern part of the country to this day, there are around 30 clubs with a total of about 600 members.

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Pages last updated 28 November 2018