Unicycle Hockey? Yes, Seriously! (Part II)

Unicycle hockey

Unicycle hockey became a thing throughout the 1900s.

In 1925, in Germany, a silent movie was shown called Variete (Variety). At one point, the black and white grainy film depicts two men riding unicycles. One of the men has a walking stick and the other has a hockey stick.

They each try and move a small towel around that’s been rolled up and put into a ball. It appears as if there are two very small goals that they’re trying to push the towel into. This seems to be the first reference to anything close to unicycle hockey.

35 years went by without any talk of unicycle hockey. However, in August 1960, an article was in The Bicycle Journal where Lloyd W. Smith discusses being a member of The Albuquerque Unicycle Club. He stated that the activities were riding, basketball, racing, and unicycle hockey.

In the meantime, over in Japan, an article appeared in 1971 with a picture where Takafumi Ogasawara is seen playing unicycle hockey with some weird sticks. Back in the US, a couple of years later in 1976, an organization called Wheel People began playing unicycle hockey games in California.

During the 80s, European countries began to play the sport and Germany, specifically, was a very keen early adopter. In 1985 their first team was LAHIMO and stayed their only team until 1990 in which Bremen came to the arena with their Uniwheelers team. Frankfurt followed in 1991 with their RADLOS team which encouraged several other teams to develop rapidly. 

Over in Great Britain, John Dash began to promote the sport to the world after returning from Germany where he played from 1987-88. Teams began to form rapidly in many of the big British cities.

In 1994, Unicycle Hockey participated for the first time in the World Unicycling Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Teams from Canada, Germany, USA, and Puerto Rico participated, and the result was Germany winning. 

Unicycle Hockey Today

Presently, there are unicycle hockey teams all around the globe and the sport is acquiring interest all the time.

 

Unicycle Hockey? Yes, Seriously! (Part I)

Yes, unicycle hockey was a thing.

Unicycle hockey is a sport that is like inline or roller hockey, although played while on a unicycle. There aren’t any records as to when or where the first unicycle hockey game was played. Though, in the 1925 film Variety, the sport was shown.

A unicycle hockey team has five players and substitutes. Though, some clubs don’t have goalkeepers. Substitutes are permitted at any time. It’s not necessary to tell this to the referee. A unicycle hockey court is between 20 to 25 meters wide and 35 to 45 meters in length. It can either have round or bevel corners. This sport can be played indoors or outdoors.

Any sticks legal for ice hockey, but the ones the goalkeeper uses can be used in unicycle hockey. A street hockey or tennis ball can be used. The ruling body for this sport is the International Unicycling Federation. In Germany, the UK, and Switzerland, there are registered unicycle hockey leagues.

Unicycle Hockey History

Today, unicycle hockey is with us on an international level, having national leagues and teams appearing and increasing in numbers every year. Every game is now documented and stored somewhere on the internet. But where it originally emerged from is not so obvious. You have to learn about the history of unicycle hockey.

The Invention of the Unicycle 

In June 1791, a vehicle called a Celerifere was created and displayed to the folks of Paris, by Comte De Sivrac. It was only a piece of wood linked to two wheels. The rider would straddle the wood and move around with his feet. Looking at this now, you’d think that it looked like a child’s toy. A few years later, and the Celerifere started to take on new models frequently with ornate horse heads cut into the front section.