While the first hockey game was officially played in North America more than a century ago, the actual game called chamie or chamiare (another word for shinty) started sometime during the winter of 1607-1608 in Scotland. It would not be for a couple hundred years that the sport would become popular in Montreal. After moving to Montreal in 1872, James Creighton is credited with organizing a public exhibition hockey game.
A few years later, the first game was held in honor of Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley. It was first called the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup in 1893 but would not be named after its patron Stanley until the following year in 1894. Hockey officially began as a league after this point and was first called the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association (AAA) and then subsequently called Canadian Amateur Hockey Association. After several name changes, the National Hockey League in North America was developed in 1917. As with all things, as the game took form in what is now the UK and North America, it spread throughout the rest of Europe. Asian countries developed an interest in the sport as well.
The origin of hockey is unclear. It is believed that British soldiers and immigrants to Canada and the United States brought their stick and ball games and played them on the ice and snow of winter. Many others believe it originated from Egypt as many drawings of hockey have been found in an Egyptian tomb that was 4000 years old.
Various museums offer evidence that a form of the game was played by the Roman and Greeks several centuries before Columbus discovered the New World. However, the modern game is believed to have emerged in England in the mid – 18th century. Hockey is similar to an ancient game played in Scotland called shinty.