HOW IT GOT STARTED
Women’s ball hockey in the province of Ontario emerged in the mid 1980’s as a result of the efforts of Ontario Ball Hockey Association pioneer and Hall of Famer (inducted in 1991), Judy Ilcio.
The first ever female president of the OBHA (1989), Judy formed the Toronto Women’s Ball Hockey Association in 1983 and played an integral role in the development of the Canadian Ball Hockey Association and Women’s ball hockey in Canada.
TWBHA’s role is to promote and develop women’s ball hockey in the Toronto and surrounding area providing two levels of play, House League and Competitive.
HISTORY OF THE GAME
Street Hockey was appropriately described by Toronto Star writer Mitch Potter as, “the recessive gene that makes us Canadian…..the precise point on the genetic double-helix spiral that equates road hockey with spontaneous, innocent fun…..a truly cultural phenomenon that harkens to Canadians on the street and their memories of childhood.”
The official version of street or ball hockey is a relatively young sport with a very short modern history, but its roots can be traced back to similar games played with a ball and stick. The first documented history of such a game, called hurling, dates back to the second millennium BC when it was played in Ireland. The word hockey derives from a similar game played by Indigenous peoples in North America, firstly observed in 1572.
The Canadian version of the game began to take its shape in the late 1960s in Toronto, Ontario, with Habitant Arena hosting a summer program in 1969, and some speculate that it may have even started the year before in the east end of the city. The oldest continuously run league is the Mississauga Ball Hockey Association, which commenced in 1971. The first plastic orange ball was introduced by Arnold Herka, of Viceroy Rubber, to George Butterwick who was operating a Toronto league circa 1970, and the game has never looked back.
All players must wear a CSA (Canadian Standards Association) approved helmet, ice hockey gloves and running shoes.
Women are required to wear full facial protection as well.
Although not mandatory, it is recommended that players wear elbow pads, athletic cup, soft knee pads and shin guards.
Standard ice hockey sticks are used to play the game.