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Windsor, NS: The birthplace of pond hockey

Nathan Coleman, Reporter
January 31, 2013 — The first game of pond hockey ever recorded took place in Windsor, Nova Scotia. Before the big arenas and Zamboni machines, it was just a frozen pond and people with sticks. Back then the weather played a big role in how the game played out.

The right weather conditions are important for pond hockey
The right weather conditions are important for pond hockey

Windsor, Nova Scotia is considered the birthplace of hockey, with games first played on a frozen pond.

In the early years, the pucks were made of wood and there was no such thing as an indoor rink.

"The weather is probably the most important factor in outdoor hockey all across Canada whether itís on a pond, a lake, or anyone making outdoor rinks," says Long Pond property owner Danny Dill.†

Dill still maintains the historic Long Pond and says the right amount of rain is what gives it itís smooth surface.†

"Sometimes we like the way mother Nature can put on a natural flood with a nice rain and hopefully just a slow freeze and not a sudden and a windy freeze. If you get any amount of wind with the freeze then youíre going to get some real rough ice," he explains.

Long Pond Classic begins on February 9th
Long Pond Classic begins on February 9th

After the great fire destroyed much of Windsor in 1897, a building was erected to store lumber that would help rebuild the town.

ďAfter the lumber was all cleared out and the building was still standing, someone decided that it would make a great rink and it was still natural ice," says Trina Norman with the Windsor Hockey Heritage Society.

Organized games then made the move out of the cold and into indoor arenas in Quebec.†

"The first game of hockey, organized hockey, played indoors was played in Montreal under Halifax rules," says David Hunter, Long Pond Classic Organizer. "They used our skates and sticks that were made by the Mi'kmaq Indians here in Nova Scotia."†

Windsor will play host to former NHL stars during the Long Pond Classic that begins on February 9th. Game times will be subject to change, depending on the weather conditions at the time.

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