Shinny

From Academic Kids

Hockey has its roots in a wide variety of similar sports, played long ago in many different countries.

These early versions of hockey had many different names, depending on the country that the player came from. People from England called their version "bandy" or "field hockey", the Irish referred to it as "hurling". To Scots it was "shinty" and to Americans "ice polo". Native Canadians played a game called "baggataway". Canadians called it "shinny".

Shinny was informal enough that the pucks and sticks were often makeshift. During the American Great Depression, for example, northern boys used tree branches or broomhandles as sticks, and a tin can as a puck. (After many games, the can would begin to resemble a metal ball.)

Today the game of shinny refers to an informal type of hockey, either on ice or as street hockey. There are no formal rules or specific positions, other than the goaltenders, and the goals themselves may be marked simply by found objects. Bodychecking and lifting or "roofing/reefing the puck" (shooting the puck so it rises above the ice) are often forbidden because the players are not wearing protective equipment. It is often called pick-up hockey.

The name is probably derived from the Scottish game shinty. Shinny hockey, a primarily Canadian term, is usually called Scrimmage or Pick-up Hockey in the United States.

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