Two National Games of Canada You Need to Know

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The official national game of Canada is the icy hockey and Lacrosse game. Basketball, baseball, football, rugby union, canoeing, equestrian and volleyball are other games that the people of Canada love playing. Canada also shares many major professional leagues with the US. In the national game of Canada, national hockey leagues Canada has three major franchises and three major league soccer teams.

Canada hosted Olympic programs and international sporting events, including the 1976 summer games and the 1988 Winter Olympics, in 1994; Canada also hosted the basketball World championship and the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Canada also enjoyed great success in the winter Olympic games compared to the summer games. And Canada also has one team in the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball.


The national games of Canada have a very exciting and interesting history. Canada has two national sports, Canada Ice Hockey and Canada Lacrosse. These games also have their club, the Montreal Lacrosse Club for Lacrosse and the Icy Hockey Club for Icy Hockey.

The history of Canadian sports falls in the five stages of development. The first stage was the early recreational activities in the year around 1840.

The second stage includes competitive sporting events, which took place in the year between 1840 to 1880.

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By billberryphotography on Unlim

Then the third stage was related to the national organization formation, including the national lacrosse and Canadian lacrosse association in the year between 1882 to 1914.

The fourth stage includes the rapid growth of professional league sports and amateur from 1914 to 1960.

And the last stage is related to the advanced development in sports and encouraging the Canadian team to participate in the events, including Canada’s National Summer Sport, National Summer Sporting Events, the National Game of Canada, in the commonwealth games.

National Game Of Canada

At first, only Ice hockey was considered the national game of Canada. In 1964, the Former Canadian Amateur Hockey Association president, along with a member of the parliament, Jack Roxburgh, did very deep research to find out if the Canadian parliament ever declared the national game.

After searching the parliament records, they found that Lacrosse was not declared the national game of Canada. This raised a series of controversies. It was reported that Lacrosse, the national game of Canada, might have come from the book of Lacrosse, The National Game of Canada, published in 1869.

Later, based on Bill C-132, Ice Hockey was announced as the national game of Canada.

Many people, along with many famous leaders and associations, came in favour of lacrosse being announced as Canada’s national sport. Leaders also tried to pass many bills. They tried giving different statements in the press in favour and in opposition to this discussion of announcing lacrosse as only Canada’s national sport. 

This followed a lot of confusion in declaring lacrosse the national sport of Canada. It even affected the government of Canada. To solve the issues, in 1967, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson of the Canadian government proposed the concept of the National Summer and Winter Sport, but nothing happened.

Soon after several debates and arguments by the House of Commons, ice hockey was declared Canada’s Winter sport and Lacrosse was declared Canada’s national summer sport. In 1994, the National Sports of Canada Act came up with three new dignations.

The national game of Canadian lacrosse can be played in all seasons, indoors and outdoors. And with the national winter sport, ice hockey, when there is a winter season both outdoors and indoors. In the summer season, it will be played with the help of artificial ice. 

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By Wavebreakmeadia on Unlim

1. National Winter Sport (Ice Hockey)

The national winter sport, Ice hockey, is played indoors and outdoors, mostly in the summer season; artificial ice rinks are used when there is no ice outside. This game was played between two teams. This is the fastest sport which is growing in Canada. This is among the most popular sports in Canada, along with the national summer sport, lacrosse.

The Canadian parliament has already declared lacrosse as the national summer sport along with the national winter sport, ice hockey. Ice hockey has professional teams of players, who took part in major events and won the Olympic medals, and bronze medals for the first nations, Canada.

The modern Ice hockey form began in Canada in the late 19th century. This is a very popular sport in Canada, just like other sports. Ice hockey is also considered Canada’s national pastime, with a very high level of participation by men, women, and children at every level of competition. Ice hockey is a very important sport in every age group.

Canada’s national winter sporting event, Ice hockey has one premiere trophy known as the Stanley Cup; this premiere trophy originated in the year 1893. The other prominent trophies in Canada are the Memorial cup for the junior-age men’s team and the Allan cup for the men’s senior team sporting events.

Hockey Canada is the official governing body for Canada’s national winter sport. This governing body governs this popular sport; this community or the organization makes every decision to favour this game. They are also responsible for arranging or organizing the time-to-time events of these popular games to make them popular sports among the Canadian population.

Hockey Canada is also a member of the International Ice hockey Federation. The Canadian’s men ice hockey team is composed of professional players.

The National Hockey League is a very important professional hockey league with teams from both United Nations and Canada. This is among one the most competitive sports played in Canada.

The National Winter sport in the National Hockey league includes 7 teams from Canada’s side; their names are Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg free press, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens.

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Photo by Braden Barwich on Unsplash

1.1. Rules And Regulation Of The Ice Hockey

Ice hockey is played between two teams; The two teams have six players in each team. Those were divided into skates and competed on an ice rink. The main object of this popular game is to propel a vulcanized disk made of rubber. The goaltender guarded the punk past the goal line into the net and the net. This is the simple way to play these popular games.

This popular sports of Canada act has become one of the most popular sports in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, European settlers and the french world, and international sports. Ice hockey has now also become the Olympic games, and in the world, millions of registered players of this popular sport are performing in the regular leagues.

1.2. Women’s Hockey

Ice hockey, the national winter sport of Canada, is one of the very popular sports in Canada; both genders and all ages play it. Although this popular sport in Canada is considered a men’s sporting event, it has also been played by women for over 100 years.

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By iofoto on Unlim

The very first major event or the very beginning of this game played was women’s in 1892, in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. And the first-ever world championship was held in the year 1990.

Due to its popularity, the International Olympic Committee added the women’s ice hockey team around 1998. And in Nagano, the sport made its first national winter games presence.

1.3. Play Of The Game Of Canada

This game is played between the two teams just like any other sport. This game also has an appearance in the Olympic medals. Ice hockey has some major events, including several premium leagues. Now Let’s talk about its Rink and equipment.

1.4. Rink And Equipment

According to the National Hockey League, it is typically played on a standard-size rink; the shape of the rink is a round-cornered rectangle that is approximately 200 feet long and around 85 feet wide. This sport in Canada has international rinks also, which are usually 184-200 feet or 85-98 feet. The college rinks are mostly 200 feet by 200 feet.

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Photo by Mariah Hewines on Unsplash

The size of the goal cage is 4 feet high and 6 feet wide, and a spike which can cross the 2-inch line is considered the goal.

In front of the goal is one cage, and a semicircular area followed or corresponded by the circles has a radius of 6 feet, marked by the red line.

2. Canada’s National Summer Sport (Lacrosse)

Canada’s national summer sport is Lacrosse. This sport in Canada is as famous as Canada’s national winter sport, ice hockey. This summer and Canada’s national winter sports have a huge fan following. People not only admire these national sport but also follows the team players. They are ideal for many budding and naturing sports persons.

Box lacrosse is a very popular sport among the young generation; box lacrosse has millions of fans all over the nation. First nations refused to accept lacrosse as the national game of Canada, but then after so many debates and arguments, the first nations declared lacrosse as Canada’s national summer sport. This Canada’s national summer sport can be played in both seasons, that two outdoors and indoors. According to the sports of Canada act, Canada’s national summer sport has its own governing body, which is responsible for making any decision for this Canada’s national summer sport. This Canada’s national game has its team representing the country in the commonwealth games, national championships and other sporting events.

This game, just like Canada’s national winter sport in Canada, is displayed between two teams and is played on the lacrosse field. Both two sports have gold medals in the Iroquois nation. Although modern lacrosse is a very popular sport in Canada, along with the modern lacrosse sport in Canada, its traditional form also has many followers and passers. It is one of Canada’s oldest sports and that team sport.

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Photo by Forest Simon on Unsplash

2.1. The Game Of Lacrosse

Declaring lacrosse as Canada’s national sport brings significant changes to this game. Lacrosse is considered a very fast game; the objective of this game is to send the ball to the opponent’s goal. And along with this, the other objective is to protect your goal from the opponent team. The lacrosse men’s team usually has 10 players, three goalkeepers, three midfielders, three defensemen, and three attackmen.

During playing them, it is compulsory to have almost four players in its defensive half and exactly three players in the offensive half to control the overcrowding around a goal.

In Canada’s national sport, only two officials are present, and the first is the referee and a judge. Only the goalkeeper and the three defensive men will be there around the goal to protect it. Only the midfielders have the advantage to ream the field, reinforcing the defence and attack whenever needed.

This national game of Canada is divided into four periods, each of which is fifteen minutes. There are only one to two minutes between the first and second quarters and the third and fourth. Almost ten minute break at halftime.

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Photo by Gene Gallin on Unsplash

And if the score is equal for both teams at the end, then the game will be continued after a two-minute break, the same as Canadian football. After this, if the score remains the same, substitution is allowed, as in Canadian football.

The only rule in this national game of Canada is that players can run with the ball in any direction, but the only condition is they do not touch the ball with their hands. Only the exception is the goalkeeper.

The unique feature of this popular game is the cradling. In cradling, the player can rotate the stick rapidly in half-turns while holding the ball upright as he runs. Now, you must be wondering how this can be done- So, yes, this is a technique in which the centrifugal force principle is used; the centrifugal force keeps the ball positional and provides accurate throwing.

2.2. Women’s Lacrosse

Women’s lacrosse is generally popular in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the British Isles and in United states. Women’s lacrosse was the first ever introduced or played in Scottish and English private schools. In the year 1900.

Women’s lacrosse has more rules than men’s; in women’s lacrosse, no body contact is allowed. And also, no rough game with the stock is allowed. Some more equipment is also used in women’s lacrosse. The goalkeeper of the women’s lacrosse also has to wear a chest pad and leg guards. The team in women’s lacrosse has twelve players in each team.

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Photo by Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash

The goal in women’s lacrosse is almost 90 to 110 yards far. And also, in women’s lacrosse, there are fewer lines you will see on the ground. There were no sidelines or any end lines in women’s lacrosse. The women’s lacrosse consists of twenty-five minutes halves, with almost ten minutes of intermission. In women’s lacrosse, there is no time, if after the time competing, the score remains the same, then there will be no overtime, and the match will be considered a tie.

The All-England Ladies Lacrosse Association designs all the rules of women’s lacrosse. After declaring lacrosse the national summer sport in Canada, it is also present in the Commonwealth and Olympic games.

2.3. Type Of Lacrosse

Lacrosse is a very famous and very popular sport in Canada. Also, in nearby countries, lacrosse has mainly four major versions, and each version has certain rules, equipment and field styles. These four versions are Field Lacrosse, Women’s Lacrosse, Box lacrosse and Intercross.

A. Box Lacrosse

In Box lacrosse, there are five runners plus one goalkeeper on an Ice Hockey rink. The playing area in the box lacrosse is called the box. This lacrosse version was introduced or started in the year the 1930s.

B. Women’s Lacrosse

We will also discuss further in detail women’s lacrosse, but women’s lacrosse is a little different than men’s. In this, no body contact is allowed and no rough playing. Along with the rule, there is more safety equipment in women’s lacrosse than the men’s.

C. Intercross

It is also called soft stick lacrosse. This form of lacrosse is non-contact with some standardized rules and regulations. The stick used in the intercrossed is slightly different from the other sticks. 

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Photo by Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash

The head of the stick is made up of plastic in place of nylon pockets and leather. This form of lacrosse is mostly popular in Quebec city.

D. Field Lacrosse

This is the lacrosse version, especially for men’s outdoor lacrosse. In this, there are almost 10 players on each team. Three attackmen, three midfielders and three defencemen, along with one goalkeeper. Every player has a lacrosse stick. The stick used in this version is 42 inches long and is mainly used by the midfielder and attackmen.

One team member carries the long stick, which is 12 inches wider and 40 to 72 inches long. The parameter of the field is 110 by 60 yards.

Commonwealth Games And Olympic Games

Commonwealth games and the Olympic games both contain a series of games; there is very little difference between the Olympic games and the commonwealth games; 

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Photo by Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash

Any country can participate in the Olympic games in the Olympics, and every country is eligible to participate. Still, in the commonwealth games, only, predominantly there are only individual games, but in 1998, Kuala Lumpur introduced some team games in the commonwealth games too.

Final Note

The national game of Canada is Ice hockey and lacrosse. Both the games are team sports, and the governing parties arrange whole-year sporting events for these national sports. 

Lacrosse is Canada’s oldest sport and this Canada’s oldest sport has many praises. This Canada’s oldest sport now has a recognized hockey team as well. Canada’s national sports are also included in the Olympic and commonwealth games. 


Last Updated on by Apeksha Soni

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