Although the sport is now much more organized, for many, their first experience remains the same as for those who first played ball hockey. It simply involved a few friends or family members, an open area, such as a roadway or parking lot near their home, some rocks or bricks to mark the goal posts, a tennis ball, old hockey sticks, and the game was on.
Ball Hockey has been played in Newfoundland since the mid 1970’s. Played in gymnasiums and recreation centers, the sport took on a more structured look with the formation of Floor Hockey Newfoundland in 1978. The first provincial mens “A” championships was held that year in Windsor with sixteen teams competing.
The name changed to Ball Hockey in 1979 as the province became members of the Canadian Ball Hockey Association.
The first representatives at the national championships were the India Bears from St. John’s. They made a very respectable debut finishing fourth. Teams representing Newfoundland have won men’s title on five occasions:
1982 India Bears
1987 Best Western Travellers
1988 Best Western Travellers
2010 Black Horse
The best showing for Newfoundland at the Ladies Championships was a silver medal performance by the C.B.S. Raiders in 1987.
In 1982 a challenge series was held between the Canadian Ball Hockey Champions India Bears and the American champions Can-Am Rams of Leominster, Massachusetts at St. John’s Memorial Stadium. A three game total goal series was arranged with the Bears claiming the title by out scoring the Rams 21-12. The Bears won the opening game 7-4 and followed up with a 9-4 victory in the second game. The third game ended in a 5-5 tie.
During our first two years of provincial competition, regular ice hockey rules were used. In 1980 we adopted the floating blue line off-sides rule and all other Ball Hockey rules.