Snow Sports

A winter sport is a sport commonly played during winter. As a formal term, it refers to a sport played on snow or ice; informally, it can refer to sports played in winter that are also played year-round, such as basketball. The main winter sports are ice hockey and figure skating, sledding events, such as luge, skeleton and bobsleigh, skiing (Alpine and Nordic) and snowboarding. Other common winter sports include skiboarding, monoskiing, skwal and snowmobiling.

Ice hockey is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use their sticks to hit a puck into the opponent's net. It is a fast-paced physical sport. Ice hockey is most popular in areas that are sufficiently cold for natural reliable seasonal ice cover, such as the Czech Republic, Latvia, the Nordic countries (especially Finland and Sweden), Russia, Slovakia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland but mostly known to be played in Canada and the northern latitudes of the United States.

With the advent of indoor artificial ice rinks it has become a year-round pastime in these areas. In the United States, ice hockey is the lesser of the four major professional sports, but is followed almost religiously in Canada. In North America, the National Hockey League (NHL) is the highest level for men and both the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) and the Western Women's Hockey League (WWHL) are the highest levels for women. It is the official national winter sport of Canada, where the game enjoys immense popularity.

Professional ice hockey has existed from the early 20th century. By 1902, the Western Pennsylvania Hockey League was the first to openly employ professionals. The league joined with teams in Michigan and Ontario to form the first fully professional International Professional Hockey League (IPHL), in 1904. The IPHL hired numerous players from Canada, and Canadian leagues in response started to openly pay players, who played alongside amateurs.

 


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