While the origins of ice hockey are still hotly debated, it is thought that the modern form of the game was taken to North America by the English. The first game of ice hockey was played between soldiers stationed in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. In 1879 students at McGill University established the first rules for the game and organized ice hockey competitions. The first official menís international ice hockey tournament at the Olympic Games was held in 1920. Women's ice hockey has been included in the Olympic Games program since 1998.
Ice hockey games take place on an ice rink. A puck made of vulcanized rubber is used. Before top level matches, the puck is frozen in order to reduce friction on the ice surface, therefore increasing its speed.