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Halifax Rules

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Halfiax Rules are believed to be the first known rules of ice hockey. They were never wriiten down but are believed to date back to the mid-18th century. Colonel Byron Weston spelled out the rules in an interview with sport reporter James Power after the Montreal or McGill Rules had already been published in "The Gazette",

The Halifax RulesEdit

  • The game is played with a block of wood for a puck.
  • The puck is not allowed to leave the ice.
  • The stones marking the place to score goals are placed on the ice (at right angles to those at present), parallel to the sides of the ice surface.
  • There is to be no slashing.
  • There is to be no lifting the stick above the shoulder.
  • When a goal was scored, teams change ends.
  • Players must keep ‘on side’ of the puck.
  • The ‘forward pass’ is permitted. -This is different from later rules published for as the forward pass was not permitted
  • All players play the entire game.
  • There is a no-replacement rule for penalized players.
  • The game is made up of two thirty-minute periods with a ten-minute break.
  • The goal-keeper must stand for the entire game.
  • Goals are decided by the goal umpires, who stand at the goal mouth and ring a handbell.

These rules were taken to Montreal by Creighton James Creighton who altered the rules in to the McGill or Montreal Rules.


hockey history page on "Halifax Rules"

CBC story on the debate of the birthplace of ice hockey rules

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