Puck (sports)

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A puck is a disk used in various games serving the same functions as a ball does in ball games. The best-known use of pucks is in ice hockey, a major international sport.

Contents

Etymology

The origin of the word "puck" is obscure. The Oxford English Dictionary[clarification needed] suggests the name is related to the verb "to puck" (a cognate of "poke") used in the game of hurling for striking or pushing the ball, from the Scottish Gaelic puc or the Irish poc, meaning to poke, punch or deliver a blow:[1][2]

It is possible that Halifax natives, many of whom were Irish and played hurling, may have introduced the word to Canada. The first known printed reference was in Montreal, in 1867, just a year after the first indoor game was played there.

A hockey puck is also referred to colloquially as a "biscuit".

In ice hockey

Ice hockey requires a hard disk of vulcanized rubber. A standard ice hockey puck is black, 1 inch (25 mm) thick, 3 inches (76 mm) in diameter, and weighs between 5.5 and 6 ounces (160 and 170 g);[3] some pucks are heavier or lighter than standard (see below). Pucks are often marked with silkscreened team or league logos on one or both faces.[3]

The game evolved in Great Britain[3] from bandy, which is a "ball and stick on ice" game played by field hockey players who wanted to continue to train during the European winters. Early forms of ice hockey, once known as "Canadian rules bandy", used a ball rather than a puck when it first came to North America from Europe. Early players found that the wooden ball used in field hockey was far too active on the hard ice surface, so they cut off the top and bottom of the ball to form the hockey puck.

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