Humanities › History & Culture The History of Ice Hockey Rules of Modern Ice Hockey Were Devised by James Creighton in 1875 Share Flipboard Email Print Solovyova / Getty Images History & Culture Inventions Famous Inventions Famous Inventors Patents & Trademarks Invention Timelines Computers & The Internet American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Genealogy Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Mary Bellis Inventions Expert Mary Bellis covered inventions and inventors for ThoughtCo for 18 years. She is known for her independent films and documentaries, including one about Alexander Graham Bell. our editorial process Mary Bellis Updated August 03, 2019 The origin of ice hockey is unknown; however, ice hockey probably evolved from the game of field hockey that has been played in Northern Europe for centuries. The rules of modern ice hockey were devised by Canadian James Creighton. In 1875, the first game of ice hockey with Creighton's rules was played in Montreal, Canada. This first organized indoor game was played at Victoria Skating Rink between two nine-player teams, including James Creighton and several other McGill University students. Instead of a ball or "bung," the game featured a flat circular piece of wood. The McGill University Hockey Club, the first ice hockey club, was founded in 1877 (followed by the Quebec Bulldogs named Quebec Hockey Club and organized in 1878 and the Montreal Victorias, organized in 1881). In 1880, the number of players per side went from nine to seven. The number of teams grew, enough so that the first "world championship" of ice hockey was held at Montreal's annual Winter Carnival in 1883. The McGill team won the tournament and was awarded the "Carnival Cup." The game was divided into 30-minute halves. The positions were now named: left and right wing, center, rover, point and cover-point, and goaltender. In 1886, the teams competing at the Winter Carnival organized the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada (AHAC) and played a season comprising "challenges" to the existing champion. Stanley Cup Origins In 1888, the Governor-General of Canada, Lord Stanley of Preston (his sons and daughter enjoyed hockey), first attended the Montreal Winter Carnival tournament and was impressed with the game. In 1892, he saw that there was no recognition for the best team in Canada, so he purchased a silver bowl for use as a trophy. The Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup (which later became known as the Stanley Cup) was first awarded in 1893 to the Montreal Hockey Club, champions of the AHAC; it continues to be awarded annually to the National Hockey League's championship team. Stanley's son Arthur helped organize the Ontario Hockey Association, and Stanley's daughter Isobel was one of the first women to play ice hockey. Today's Sport Today, ice hockey is an Olympic sport and the most popular team sport played on ice. Ice hockey is played with two opposing teams wearing ice skates. Unless there is a penalty, each team only has six players on the ice rink at a time. The puck is a vulcanized rubber disk. The aim of the game is to knock the hockey puck into the opposing team's net. The net is guarded by a special player called the goalie. The first artificial ice rink (mechanically-refrigerated) was built in 1876, at Chelsea, London, England, and was named the Glaciarium. It was built near the King's Road in London by John Gamgee. Today, modern ice rinks are kept clean and smooth by the use of a machine called the Zamboni. Fibreglass Canada worked with Canadiens Goalie Jaques Plante to develop the first-ever hockey goalie mask in 1960.