The word “hockey” comes from the old French word “hocquet”, meaning “stick”. The origins of ice hockey are unclear, but it is widely accepted that the British are responsible for bringing hockey to North America. Soldiers stationed in Nova Scotia, Canada, played the earliest games.
In 1879, a group of college students at McGill University in Montreal organised competitions and developed the first known set of hockey rules. The sport migrated south to the United States during the 1890s. The first known hockey games took place between John Hopkins and Yale Universities in 1895. The first Olympic Games to include Ice Hockey for men were the Antwerp Games in 1920. However, the first Olympic Winter Games took place in 1924 in Chamonix. Women’s Ice Hockey was introduced to the Winter Olympics at the 1998 Games at Nagano.
The first Olympic Games to include ice hockey for men were the Antwerp Summer Games in 1920. Four years later it was part of the first Winter Olympic Games in Chamonix and has remained on the program ever since.
Women’s ice hockey made its debut at the Winter Olympics at Nagano 1998. In another first for the sport, professional players from the world's premier competition, the National Hockey League of North America, played in the Nagano Games.