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.