Hockey: Canada's Royal Winter Game/II

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II.

INTRODUCTION.

WITH the natural modesty becoming to a player who is still in the game, the author feels that he should assure his friends that, in his present undertaking, he has been prompted more by the demand—in fact, the necessity of a book on hockey—than by any impression of confidence in his ability to do justice to the subject.

That a book on our national winter sport has not yet appeared in Canada is a marvel. If hockey were a novelty to us, then we might not reproach ourselves for our tardiness in this respect, but it is our most popular winter game, long established, thoroughly appreciated, and it certainly deserves a place with the other athletic pastimes that boast of a hand-book.

To realize the necessity of a book that explains rules and the intricacies of the play of our glorious sport, one has but to travel to some town where the game is just developing from its infancy, where the players are scarcely able to appreciate its scientific points, and he will readily perceive that it is a long-felt want. Situated at a distance from the hockey centres, a young team cannot, by their own interpretation of the rules—without hints or instruction, without seeing the more practiced men at play—arrive at a thorough appreciation of these rules, or grasp with sufficient clearness the idea, the objective point of our noble sport, until they are grown old and stiff.

Besides, our younger enthusiasts, even in cities where they enjoy every advantage of learning the game, are deficient in their knowledge of the rules and the fine points of the game, because, perhaps, they have never had a clear explanation of the same. They need, too, a guide to help them to the more quickly perfect themselves in their favorite pastime, and to avoid the dangers to which every player, however careful, is exposed.

A few random hints on the essential requisites of the game, on practice and scientific plays, should prove of some value to a careful reader.

To fill this necessity, to supply a demand that increases as the love of hockey spreads, to help educate the younger players, and to endeavor to make our exhilirating sport even more popular, the author assumes the pleasant task of writing this little essay, sincerely hoping that it may prove instructive to those who have not yet figured in senior ranks, and not uninteresting to those who have.

The Author.