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Alberta Sports

100 YEARS OF SPORTS IN ALBERTA

100 YEARS OF SPORTS IN ALBERTA*

By David Mills


On 1 September 1905, the creation of the Province of Alberta was heralded in Edmonton with much pomp and military pageantry by a ceremony, attended by the Governor General, Earl Grey, the Prime Minister, Sir Wilfrid Laurier and the new Lieutenant Governor, G.H.V. Bulyea. Thousands of people watched a festive parade, featuring native groups of Cree and Stoney; Franco-Albertans; veterans of the Boer War; early pioneers, or “Old-Timers”; and floats representing the business community. The holiday spirit in Edmonton was not dampened by a storm that dumped three inches of snow on the capital city, but a number of sporting events that had been scheduled to celebrate Alberta’s birthday had to be cancelled.

Team Sports

Volleyball

Voices of Alberta Volleyball: 1960-99

Voices of Alberta Volleyball: 1960-99 


An oral history project made possible by Volleyball Alberta, the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation, and the Alberta Lottery Fund 


By Joelle Reiniger

Team Sports

Soccer

Success in Relative Terms: The History of Professional Soccer in Edmonton

“Success in Relative Terms: The History of Professional Soccer in Edmonton” 

By Jill Horbay 


An Essay submitted to meet the requirements of HIST 470 in the Department of History & Classics University of Alberta (Winter 2010)

Team Sports

Lacrosse

The History of Lacrosse

By 1974 the Lethbridge Lacrosse Association included seven teams. There were two each at the 11-12 and 13-14 age groups, and one each at 15-16 (Midget Mohawks), 17-18 (Labor Club Lancers), and 18-21 (Native Sons) levels. In 1975 a senior team (over 21), the Ebony Hawks, was organized to compete in the Alberta Major Lacrosse League. Lethbridge hosted their third Challenge Cup tournament that same year. The Ebony Hawks continued to play in the Alberta Major Lacrosse League before switching to the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League in 1979. By this time the team had become the Labor Club Ebony Hawks, playing their home games at Henderson Arena. Midget-aged lacrosse also took place at the Labor Club arena where the Labor Club Mohawks hosted the Labor Club midget lacrosse tournament in June 1979. By 1980, however, the Ebony Hawks pulled out of the Rocky Mountain league. Terry Kerkhoff along with city lacrosse supporters sought to create a city recreational league to revitalize grassroots interest in lacrosse. Yet, by the end of the 1981 season, lacrosse at the senior men’s competitive level ceased in Lethbridge.


In the spring of 1999, Bernie Williams and John Eng discussed the absence of lacrosse in Lethbridge. Both men had old wooden sticks with leather and cat gut mesh, but did not have a proper lacrosse ball. After numerous inquiries at local sports stores, arrangements were made to have lacrosse balls sent to Lethbridge by bus from Calgary, and discussions of the idea of reintroducing lacrosse in Lethbridge began. In May 2002 the Lethbridge Lacrosse Association, which had disbanded in 1982, was reorganized. A six member board led by Bernie Williams, President, John Eng, Vice President, Andy Cimolai Secretary, Dave Whittaker, Treasurer, Brandon Van Dyk, Technical Advisor, and Rick Pilling, Member at Large applied for society status and gained official recognition from the Alberta Lacrosse Association. The newly formed board developed a plan to reintroduce the sport to city children through skills development clinics. Successes in 2002 included sending an U13 team to the Provincial Field Lacrosse Championships in Red Deer led by coach Brandon VanDyk. 


Box lacrosse play resumed in 2003 with a formal league featuring 27 teams in four age divisions from Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Brooks. At the end of the season a Bantam select team comprised of the best players from Lethbridge competed in the Calgary Canada Day Tournament and won the gold medal in their division. In the initial year league games were played in Adams and Labor Club arenas and in subsequent years added the Lethbridge Soccer Centre where the association’s annual Floorbusters tournament was held to raise money to support the association’s programs. The following year, in 2004, a junior team, the Lethbridge Barracudas, was entered into the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League. Wayne Smith, John Eng, and Bernie Williams coached the team. In 2005 a Tyke (5, 6 and 7 years old) program was launched in order to attract more young players and build a foundation for future growth.


In 2006, due to the rising number of players graduating form the minor program, a second junior team was added in Lethbridge. That year there was also pressure from the Alberta Lacrosse Association to form an umbrella organization in Southern Alberta and the Southern Alberta Lacrosse Association was founded as the local governing body for the geographic area stretching from south of Calgary to the US border and spanning the entire width of the province. Bernie Williams served as the founding president and a overnance structure was developed that included the presidents of all the founding member clubs–Crowsnest Pass, Pincher Creek, Lethbridge, Brooks and Medicine Hat. In subsequent years additional clubs were added including Nanton, Claresholm, Strathmore, Swift Current and Cranbrook. 


Today, lacrosse in Lethbridge is once again thriving with both male and female players participating in eight different age categories spanning from mini-tyke (4 and 5 years old) to Senior (over 21) and Masters (adult non-contact). The Southern Alberta Lacrosse League is one of five minor lacrosse leagues recognized within the province and is the home to more than 50 teams in Southern Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.


The 2011 season will feature the debut of the newly formed Lethbridge Pioneers, comprised primarily of players who played minor and junior Lacrosse in Lethbridge, which will compete in the Senior C Division of the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League. Up to date information on lacrosse in the Lethbridge area, including teams and schedules, can be found at www.lethbridgelacrosse.com and www.southernalbertalacrosse.com


After a 20-year absence, lacrosse has enjoyed resurgence in Lethbridge, thanks to the efforts of a group of individuals who dedicated themselves to reviving the sport. Lacrosse had a decade-long run in the 1970s, beginning with the formation in 1971 of the original Lethbridge Lacrosse Association. A lack of volunteers and players led to the association disbanding in 1982.


In the autumn of 2001, in response to pressure from their sons, a group of hockey dads undertook to re-establish Canada’s national summer sport in Lethbridge and area. An organizational meeting in April 2002 led to the formation of an executive board of six founding members of the new Lethbridge Lacrosse Association. They included President Bernie Williams, Vice-president John Eng, Secretary Andy Cimolai, Treasurer Dave Whittaker, Director-at-large Rick Pilling and Technical Adviser Brandon Van Dyk. The group began tackling the myriad details involved in rebuilding a lacrosse program from the ground up. This included securing the use of facilities, enlisting sponsors for uniforms, and acquiring essential equipment such as nets and shot clocks. With the support of the Alberta Lacrosse Association, the group hosted a demonstration game at Henderson arena featuring two junior teams from Calgary. This generated interest in the community and a series of player skill development clinics for youths aged 8-18 was offered,

with more than 80 players participating. That enthusiastic response led to a summer program and the formation of an under-13 field lacrosse team which competed in the Provincial Championships in Red Deer in the summer of 2002.


In the spring of 2003, the LLA and its founding members were instrumental in the formation of its first formal lacrosse league featuring 27 teams in four age divisions from Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Brooks. At the end of the season a Bantam select team comprised of the best players from Lethbridge competed in the Calgary Canada Day Tournament and won the gold medal in their division.


From its inception in 2001, the LLA has grown into a thriving amateur sports organization boasting annual

membership in the 250-300 range. As a part of the Southern Alberta Lacrosse Association, the LLA has worked for the promotion and development of the sport in Southern Alberta and beyond, including Crowsnest Pass, Nanton, Claresholm, Pincher Creek, Duchess, Strathmore, Taber, Fort McLeod, Maple Creek and Swift Current in Saskatchewan and Cranbrook in B.C. The solid foundation built by the pioneers has served the association well and should continue to do so for many years to come.


Researched by Robert Kossuth, University of Lethbridge with help from Bernie Williams. 


Lacrosse was among the earliest sports played in Lethbridge. A variety of lacrosse games including ‘baggataway’ and ‘twaarathon’ existed before the arrival of Europeans in North America. These contests served as important religious and cultural events for First Nations peoples. These First Nation contests were adopted and adapted in the in the 1850s and 60s by young men from Montreal to become the European Canadian version of field lacrosse. In the late 1800s, lacrosse travelled from central Canada to the Canadian west with the young men who built and settled in prairie communities including Lethbridge.

The first documented evidence of lacrosse in Lethbridge is found in the Lethbridge News newspaper on 26 March 1890 where a report noted “Football and lacrosse have been indulged in on the square on several afternoons during the past week.” A meeting held on Monday 24 March 1890 resulted in the organization of the Lethbridge Lacrosse Club. At this first meeting officers were elected and the club’s membership fee for the first year was set at $1. Among the organizers were honourary President Mr. C.A. Magrath who became Lethbridge’s first mayor in February 1891, and President J.D. Higginbotham, the town’s druggist (pharmacist). Magrath remained involved in the club during the early 1890s as honourary president or patron. Lethbridge’s second mayor Harry Bentley became club president in 1893. As a result, the Lethbridge Lacrosse Club enjoyed the patronage and support from many of the community’s early political and business leaders.


Early lacrosse in Lethbridge continued with some interruptions through the 1890s into the first decade of the 1900s. The first recorded match played against another community occurred on Dominion Day, 1 July 1890, a 1-1 tie against the Calgary Lacrosse Club. During this period lacrosse teams from Lethbridge played primarily against rivals from Calgary and Medicine Hat usually on holidays such as the Dominion Day and the Queens’ Birthday, Victoria Day. Due to relatively infrequent games the lacrosse club was not active in every year during this period. After a several years hiatus the Lethbridge Lacrosse Club officially reorganized in 1901 and the following year joined the Territorial Lacrosse League. In 1902 and 1903 the Lethbridge club won the Levassuer Cup emblematic of the top team in the Crow’s Nest Pass. The club remained active within the Crow’s Nest Pass League through the 1906 season, although, as with other sports in the early period, lacrosse suffered from a lack of stability and continuity. A further barrier to stable league play was the cost of travelling to games by train. By the 1910 season the Lethbridge club joined a three-team league that included Calgary and High River. In the years before the beginning of World War One, lacrosse in Lethbridge was already in decline, disappearing altogether by 1915. The reappearance of lacrosse in Lethbridge occurred in May 1927 the result of an initiative by the local branch of the Native Sons of Canada, an organization that sought to promote Canada generally and in this case Canada’s national sport, lacrosse. The group urged former players to attend a public meeting to discuss a proposal to introduce lacrosse into the city’s high schools. The Native Sons continued their campaign through 1928. When a lacrosse league did not materialize the Native Sons decided to donate the 50 lacrosse sticks that had been purchased to the local schools. Despite these efforts a league did not emerge, and it would be another five years before lacrosse reappeared in Lethbridge. The impetus for the sports’ revival in the mid and late 1930s was the introduction of arena-based box lacrosse. On Saturday 12 August 1933 box lacrosse burst on the scene in the form of the Lethbridge All-Stars, a team led by former hockey and lacrosse star A. B. Cook. Paced by Cook’s five goals the All-Stars defeated the provincial champion Calgary Shamrocks 7-5 in front of a crowd of 600. The following season Cook assumed leadership of the lacrosse team renamed the Lethbridge Huskies, and presidency of the newly formed Foothills Lacrosse League that included teams representing Vulcan and Nanton. In addition to the senior team two junior city teams, a YMCA outfit and the Crystal Greens, competed in a series of matches.


In 1935 the Foothills Lacrosse League disappeared. Lacrosse in Lethbridge continued with junior teams, one representing the YMCA and another named the Maroons, competing in a city league. The teams also played exhibition games against a team from Nanton in that year. The ongoing problems that faced lacrosse in Lethbridge was presented in a 5 September 1935 Lethbridge Herald article that quoted players who questioned “How can we put lacrosse over in Lethbridge when we have no place to practice and less than no support?” While junior lacrosse in the city continued through 1936 and 1937, it was not until 1938 that a team named the Bloods entered the Alberta Senior Lacrosse League.


In late August of 1938 the Lethbridge Bloods completed their league schedule with a 21-6 victory over the Calgary Pontiacs. A notable first took place the same day the Bloods defeated their visitors from Calgary. The first girls’ lacrosse game, organized by the playground association, was played. This contest resulted in the ‘Puffs’ led by Key Frey defeating the Helen Jooreas captained ‘Squaws’ 2-1. There is no evidence of girls’ teams playing again in 1938. The Bloods, however, entered the league playoffs with high hopes but after losing to the eventual provincial champions from Medicine Hat in early September, sought an exhibition match to close out their season. The result was a contest against the Kootenay Killers an all-star team from the Kootenay League. Despite the disappointing end to the season for the Bloods, lacrosse enthusiasts in Lethbridge ended the season with high hopes for 1939.


In July 1939 some discussion took place concerning the establishment of a senior lacrosse team along the lines of the 1938 Bloods. A team sponsor, Hoyt Hardware manager Nick Murchie, was announced. However, there is no evidence that a senior Lethbridge lacrosse team played any games in the summer or fall of 1939. It is likely that the outbreak of World War Two played a part in the team not forming. Between 1939 and 1945 lacrosse in Lethbridge was largely confined to youth competition for boys and girls organized in the summer months by the playground department. One notable exception occurred in 1944 when a series of lacrosse matches were played between teams representing military bases as part of the Southern Alberta Air Force Sports League. The Lethbridge the No. 8 ‘Redbirds’ defeated the No. 15 SFTS (Service Flying Training School) of Claresholm 11-2 in June 1944. In 1946, there was some discussion about reviving the sport, and a match was organized between two Saskatchewan teams that took place in July at the Henderson baseball stadium. 


Despite these efforts, evidence suggests that lacrosse play completely ceased in Lethbridge through the late 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. There was at least one brief attempt to revive the sport that occurred in 1955, spearheaded by former players Bill Rollingson and Arne Folger who co-chaired a committee to form a four-team city league, yet nothing tangible resulted from these efforts. It was not until 1970 that organized competitive lacrosse returned to Lethbridge.


In 1970 the Lethbridge Native Sons entered a team in the Alberta Junior Lacrosse League. In May that year the team split a two game weekend series against the Calgary Trojans. The Native Sons’ player coach was Dave Smith who had played the year previous with the North Glenora Blues (Edmonton) and the Alberta entry in the Canada Summer Games in Halifax. In 1971 the Lethbridge Lacrosse Association formed with Bob Leonard elected President. Joining Leonard on the executive were Ken Gregus, Secretary, and Terry Kerkhoff, Treasurer. In addition, Bill Rollingson was appointed Assistant Commissioner of the junior league for southern Alberta. The Association planned to enter both junior and juvenile teams in the league for the 1971 season. In May 1972 the Native Sons held their first Challenge Cup an event they won by defeating the visiting Assiniboia Chiefs (Saskatchewan). The same event was held again in 1973 indicating a growing interest in the sport in Lethbridge.

Team Sports

Cricket

More Than a Game

More Than a Game


What was the first National sport of Canada?

What was the first organized sport in Edmonton.?


The sport of Cricket has not received the attention and development of other North American sports but the Edmonton cricket club and other clubs in the City proudly continue to play here and continue to be part of a significant history. Edmonton cricket club was founded in 1882 when games were started between the men of Fort Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan. Strathcona cricket club began in those early days also.

Track and Field

HISTORY OF TRACK AND FIELD IN ALBERTA AS REMEMBERED
BY DOUG KYLE IN 2011

HISTORY OF TRACK AND FIELD IN ALBERTA AS REMEMBERED

BY DOUG KYLE IN 2011


PRE-1900:

Formal track and field did not start yet, but long distance running races were held set up by promoters, who took bets on the outcome of the races. The distances were usually 10 or 15 miles, and usually run in arenas where the crowd could watch and bet. Deerfoot, an Indian runner, was the most famous runner in Alberta in those days, and won many races against all comers from all over Canada, but often got bilked out of his rightful share of the winnings, as the promoter took more than his share for expenses, he called it. The first recorded track and field meet in Alberta was held in Fort McLeod in 1876 with the RCMP, settlers and Indians participating. The Mounties did this to get the settlers and Indians mixing with each other. Long distance races were also held in Edmonton during this period, just like Calgary, so betting could be done.


TRACKS:

After 1900 tracks were built around the province, mostly in Calgary and Edmonton. The first major track and field facility was built in 1918 in Calgary, and called Mewata Track, as it was next to Mewata Armories. It was a 440 yard shale track and lasted until 1998 or 80 years, when it was demolished for a skateboard facility. Also the Stampeder Football Club played at Mewata until 1960, when McMahon Stadium was built. Canadian Championships were held at Mewata in 1922, 1932 and 1948. Edmonton, Lethbridge, Red Deer and Medicine Hat and other smaller towns followed with building track mainly so they could run their school programs and meets.


TRACK CLUBS:

Small groups with usually one coach trained in the pre- War II era. After the War Clubs sprang up in Edmonton and Lethbridge. In 1958 Carol and Doug Kyle, both track and field athletes from Montreal and Vancouver got married and moved to Calgary so Doug could work in the oil industry. There was no club in Calgary so they formed on and built it into a dynamic club. They were President and Vice-President, and also coached the club along with a few others. In 1969 they moved to Toronto, but left the club in good hands and the club continued to flourish. In 2008 the 50th anniversary was held to a sold out crowd of former and present members. In the late 1960’s the Spartans and Road Runners Clubs started. Today there are about 6 clubs in Calgary and 9 in Edmonton--- plus many around the province in Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, etc. The key is to have someone in that town who is willing to coach the potential athletes.

FIELD HOUSES: Edmonton has the only 2 field houses in Alberta that can hold an official track and field meet. Calgary is working to build one, but the funds are still not available. However both Calgary and Lethbridge have indoor training and running facilities associated with the Universities.


OLYMPIANS FROM ALBERTA:

1908 Art Burns, J.T. Fitzgerald

1912 Alex Decouteau

1948 Ernie McCullough, Don Pettie, Lionel Fournier

1952 Jim Lavery

1956 Doug Kyle, Dorothy Kozak

1960 Doug Kyle, Gordon Dickson

1972 Debbie Van Kiekebelt, Ian Gordon

1984 Jillian Richardson, Ian Newhouse

1988 Jillian Richardson, Brian Morrison, Michael Smith

1992 Jillian Richardson, Karen Clarke,, Michael Smith, Tim Berrett

Georgette Reed, Janice McCaffrey, Lisa Harvey

1996 Michael Smith Tim Berrett, Janice McCaffrey

2008 Brian Barnett

Team Sports

Volleyball

A Brief History of the A.V.A.

A Brief History of the Alberta Volleyball Association

Team Sports

Ringette

Ringette in Alberta: A History from Backyards to Arenas

“Ringette in Alberta: A History from Backyards to Arenas” 

By Emma Brook and Katie Miller 


An Essay submitted to meet the requirements of HIST 470 in the Department of History & Classics University of Alberta (Winter 2010)

Team Sports

Field Hockey

The Sport of Field Hockey

The Sport of Field Hockey


Introduction


Field Hockey, or simply Hockey as it is known outside North America, is an outdoor, 11-a-side team game. Several ancient cultures have records of a ball-and-stick game similar to our modern Field Hockey which is believed to have originated in England in the mid-eighteenth century. The game was spread throughout the British Empire, primarily by the British Army.


The indoor version of Field Hockey is known universally as indoor hockey; not to be confused with floor or ball hockey, which are iceless versions of ice hockey. The likeness of indoor hockey to team handball and ice or ball hockey, led to its popularity in European countries, and later across the world.


The earliest record of field hockey in Alberta is 1905, when games were played in Calgary. The Calgary Grass Hockey Club was founded in 1914, but the first World War heralded its demise. There are no further records until the 1950s, when in 1957, an organization was formed that would later become the Field Hockey Association of Calgary (FHAC). Prior to 1962, men and women played together on mixed teams, until the league divided along gender lines the Calgary Ladies’ Field Hockey Association (CLFHA) was formed.


The 1976 Montreal Olympics Games was the setting for a fundamental change to the Field Hockey game, as this was the first time games were held on artificial turf. The ball travelled faster and more predictably over the smooth surface which required different technique and skill from the players.


Albertan teams have celebrated success at the provincial, national, and international levels in both women's and men's field hockey. The Alberta women's field hockey team won the inter-provincial championships in 1971 and 1972.  In 1981, the Alberta men’s U-21 team won a junior national title. This same group of athletes won Alberta’s sole senior national title in 1987.


Both Edmonton and Calgary have played host to national field hockey events. Edmonton hosted the 2003 FHC Senior National Championships at Foote Field and Calgary hosted the boy’s 2004 U-16 National Championships at the Calgary Canadian Irish Athletic Club.


Since 2000, FHAC has seen a significant decline in membership with several teams folding, and since 2005, have only run one division of competition which included up to eight teams. CLFHA 50th anniversary celebrations were held in 2012 and their leagues are proving strong and well attended.

Today, well over half of all field hockey in Canada is played in BC where the climate allows the game to be played all year. Other provinces, such as Alberta, play field hockey during the summer and indoor hockey during the winter.

Snow Sports

Cross-Country Skiing

The History of Cross-Country Skiing in Alberta

The History of Cross-Country Skiing in Alberta


The Origins of Cross-Country Skiing


The oldest skis found were located in the Altaj Mountains of Siberia. Made of tightly bound rushes, the skis are thought of as the predecessor of the wooden skies that were found in Sweden in 2000 B.C. There are also stone drawings that date back to this time, which indicate that skiing was used as a common method of transportation. According to historical documentation, in about 1000 A.D., North America was introduced to the concept of skiing by the Vikings even though cross-country skiing didn’t catch on in North America until the Scandinavian settlers re-introduced it after 1840. It was also about 1100A.D. when King Swerre of Sweden used skis in his army that resemble the skis used today more closely than any previous version used to date. Describe as being 1.45 m long and 16 cm wide, the used of the skis were a contributing factor to the Swede’s victory in a battle that took place near Oslo, Norway.

Team Sports

Volleyball

Volleyball Introduction

Volleyball Introduction


In 1885, William Morgan, the director of the Holyoke YMCA was searching for a less intense game for his older members. The game he developed combined elements from a number of different sports, had minimal equipment and could be played in a variety of settings with varying numbers of participants. Volleyball was born.

Team Sports

Volleyball

Going Coastal: The Development of Beach Volleyball in Alberta 1987-2013

Going Coastal: The Development of Beach Volleyball in Alberta 1987-2013

By Joelle Reiniger


Author’s Note: Upon learning about my research on the history of beach volleyball in Alberta, many friends and acquaintances commented on the apparent irony of the topic. Admittedly, it was this same sense of irony at the words “beach” and “Alberta” in the same breath – a quite visible breath in the protracted spring thaw of 2013 – that drew me to the project. Aside from the notable exception of Sylvan Lake, most of Alberta’s sand courts are far from any substantial shoreline. In discussing beach volleyball in a landlocked province, it is important to note that this sport is often termed “sand volleyball” in technical documents to reflect its increasingly typical inland, man-made venues. Meanwhile, in marketing and conversation, the words “beach volleyball” represent the norm. In this article, I apply the terms interchangeably, sometimes using “sand volleyball” for accuracy and other times “beach volleyball” to reflect the place of this sport in our collective imagination.

Team Sports

Ringette

The History of Ringette in Alberta

The History of Ringette in Alberta


Ringette in Canada


Early 1960’s - The history of Ringette in Canada is short. Mr. Sam Jacks, a former director of Parks and Recreation in North Bay, Ontario used his love of youth activities to develop an ice-sport for females that would be comparable to hockey. By 1963, ringette a basic set of rules was established, and the first official match was held at an Espanola high school in Northern Ontario. The following year, a complete set of rules was comprised, and the sport traveled to Mount Royal, Quebec care of one of Mr. Jack’s friends, Herb Linder.

Team Sports

Cricket

Cricket

Cricket


Cricket is a ball and bat game that originated in England in the 16th century and has been a part of Canada’s history since before the Confederation. The first recorded cricket game in Canada was 1785 in Montreal. The British military introduced the game when they settled in Canada and games of cricket were often played where there was a military post. The game spread as the settlers moved throughout the territory. By the time Canada became a nation in 1867, cricket was so popular that Prime Minister John A. MacDonald named it the first national sport of Canada.


Cricket is played with two teams of 11 players each. There are two wickets on the pitch, 22 metres apart. A batsman will defend each wicket by hitting the ball when the other team’s bowler throws it toward the wicket. The batsman is out if the ball hits the wicket. A run is scored if the batsman reaches the opposite wicket safely. A game consists of two innings. The first inning has one team batting while the other team is fielding. In the second inning, the team that fielded will bat while the team that batted will field. An inning is over when 10 players have been struck out or a limited number of balls have been bowled.

The game of cricket was introduced to Alberta by the North West Mounted Police. Letters from men stationed at Fort Macleod in 1874-75 suggest that cricket games were an almost daily occurrence. At first, games took place between different troops but by 1882, the Edmonton Cricket Club was formed and made up entirely of civilians. For the next several years the city cricket clubs would often play different N.W.M.P. detachments or intrasquad games. In 1890, city teams began to travel to other cities for games. The first Edmonton vs. Calgary game took place in 1892. By the start of the 20th century, cricket was well established at Calgary, Millarville, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Edmonton, Strathcona, Pincher Creek, Macleod, Pine Lake, Red Deer, Innisfail, Banff, and Fort Saskatchewan.


The two earliest recorded instances of women playing cricket in Alberta were in 1900 and 1905. The games featured a women’s versus a men’s team with the men being put at a disadvantage in some way (playing left-handed or with broomsticks instead of bats). The women won both of these recorded matches.


After the turn of the century, tournaments begin popping up over Western Canada. In 1909, Calgary was invite to the west coast and attended a tournament against teams from Seattle, Burrard, Victoria and Portland. In 1910, the first Western Canada Cricket Association tournament was held in Winnipeg and Alberta sent a team to compete for the Dingwall Cup. The team went without a win in the tournament, however, the next year they finish second.


1912 was one of the most active years in Alberta cricket history. The Alberta Cricket Association was established and both Edmonton and Calgary started city cricket leagues. The Edmonton Cricket league had five teams in its initial season. The local newspapers donated a silver trophy to the league, which became known as the Press Trophy, that was given out to the winning team in the league. The Calgary and District Cricket League was formed on June 20th with five teams. Calgary hosted the Western Canada Cricket tournament that year. As tournament hosts, Calgary formed their own team as well as having a Team Alberta in the tournament.  Alberta defeated Calgary in the final game to win the Dingwall Cup.


World War I greatly reduced the number of cricket players and almost all cricket games were suspended until after the war. Cricket did return after the war and some significant events occurred such as the Australian tour in 1932 that featured Don Bradman, one of the most famous cricket players in history.

Cricket has not received the recognition or increased the way other North American sports have throughout the past century, but the sport has continued on. Cricket seems to be on the upswing due to Canada’s multiculturalism and citizens immigrating from countries where cricket is a major sport. At present, the Edmonton and Calgary Cricket Leagues are active and there are women’s cricket teams in both cities.


The following timeline provides an outline of how cricket came to Alberta and developed, as well as some of the significant events that have happened in Alberta cricket history. This timeline is by no means a complete history of cricket in Alberta, but it serves as a valuable resource until the full story is written.


Timeline


Pre 1800 – Cricket was brought to Canada by the British military in the 18th century. The first recorded game of cricket in Canada was between British troops in Montreal, 1785.


1800-1874 – In the beginning of the 1800s, most matches played were ‘friendlies’ as no formal cricket clubs had been organized. There is a record of a game of cricket on the ice between two Royal Navy ships in 1822-1823 when they were stranded near the island of Igloolik, Nunavut. In 1827, the Toronto Cricket Club was founded and became the first organized club in Canada. The first Canadian cricket game was between the Toronto Cricket Club and the Guelph Cricket Club in 1835. Cricket began to spread west as the North West Cricket Club in Winnipeg, Manitoba was founded in 1864. Due to the sport’s great popularity in 1867 when Canada became a nation, Prime Minister John A. MacDonald named cricket first national sport of Canada.


1875-1899 – Cricket is finally brought to Alberta through the North West Mounted Police in 1875. Matches were played almost daily between the men stationed at each fort. In 1882, the Edmonton Cricket Club was formed, entirely of civilians, and matches between the club and the N.W.M.P. were regular occurrences. A couple years later in 1884, the Calgary Cricket Club was formed. The first Calgary versus Edmonton cricket game happened in 1892. That was the year the Canadian Cricket Association was established.


1900-1910 – By 1900, cricket teams were present in Calgary, Millarville, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Edmonton, Strathcona, Pincher Creek, Macleod, Pine Lake, Red Deer, Innisfail, Banff, and Fort Saskatchewan. The years 1900 and 1905 also feature records of women’s teams playing cricket in Calgary. The games were women versus men with the men being at a disadvantage somehow. In 1900, the men played with broomsticks instead of bats and they played left handed in the 1905 game. These cricket matches seem to have been light hearted affairs rather than serious competitions but the women did prevail in both recorded games. In 1909, the Calgary Cricket Club was invited to the west coast to play a tournament against teams from Victoria, Seattle, Portland and Burrard. Calgary beat Seattle in their first game but lost to Burrard the game after. In the year 1910 the first Western Canada Cricket tournament was hosted in Winnipeg. Alberta sent a team made up almost completely by players from Calgary except for two from Fort Macleod. Alberta played Winnipeg, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and lost all of their games.


1911-1920 – The 1911 Western Canada Cricket tournament went much better than the intial competition as Alberta finished second. 1912 was perhaps one of the biggest years for Alberta cricket as it was the year the Alberta Cricket Association, the Edmonton Cricket league and the Calgary and District Cricket league were formed. The Edmonton Cricket League was composed of five teams in its initial season: the Edmonton Cricket Club, Hudson’s Bay Cricket Club, Caledonia Cricket Club, Strathcona Cricket Club and Swift Canadian Cricket Club. Edmonton newspapers donated a silver trophy for the winning team each year in the league. This trophy became known as the Press trophy and was won by the Hudson’s Bay Cricket Club that first year. The Calgary Cricket League was formed on June 20th, 1912 when representatives from several Calgary cricket teams met together. The Calgary league was also made up of five teams: St. John’s Cricket Club, Calgary Cricket Club A Team, Calgary Cricket Club B team, Civics Cricket Club and Hillhurst Cricket Club. Calgary also hosted the Western Canada Cricket Tournament that year. Alberta defeated Calgary in the final game and won the Dingwall Cup.


When World War I started in 1914 the number of cricket players was greatly reduced as they enlisted in the Armed Services. Very little cricket was played during that time although a few friendly games were played between the Calgary team and the soldiers stationed at Camp Sarcee. Cricket did rebound after the war and in 1920 there were reported to be 12 teams in the Calgary league.


1921-1940 – The first signs of junior cricket were reported. The year 1932 brought one of the greatest events in Alberta cricket history as the Edmonton Cricket Club hosted Australian team during Australia’s North American Goodwill tour. One of the most famous cricket players in history, Don Bradman, was part of this tour and played games in Edmonton and Calgary August 8th-11th, 1932.


1941-1960 – In 1949, the Dominion Cricket tournament (national championship) was held in Calgary. A big step for cricket in Alberta happened in 1954 when Mr. H. Bullen became the first known Calgarian to make the Canadian National team.


1961-1980 – The Canadian Cricket Championships were held in Calgary in 1961 and the interprovincial tournament was held in Calgary in 1975.


1981-2000 – In 1995, Alberta Schools Cricket Association was founded with the aims of promoting the playing of cricket in schools across Alberta, providing registered school cricket players with competitive games, and facilitate inter-provincial school matches.


2001-Present - Both Edmonton and Calgary have a women’s cricket team. They play against each other as well as junior cricket teams and women’s teams in British Columbia.


ROUGH WORK

1785 – First record of cricket being played by British troops in Montreal.

1827 – Toronto Cricket Club is founded.

1864 – North West Cricket Club in Winnipeg formed.

1867 – Due to the sport’s great popularity when Canada became a nation, P.M. MacDonald names cricket first national sport of Canada.

1875 – Cricket is brought to Alberta through the North West Mounted Police. Games are played at the forts between officers and between other forts.

1876 – Victoria Cricket Club formed

1882 – Edmonton Cricket Club founded, composed entirely of civilians.

1884 – Calgary Cricket Club formed

1892 – Canadian Cricket Association is established.

  • First recorded Edmonton versus Calgary cricket game

1900 – A women versus men game of cricket took place in Millarville where the women put together innings of 72 and 29 to beat the men’s tally of 31 and 67. However, the men were handicapped in that they were required to use a broom handle instead of a bat.


1905 – Another women versus men game took place, this time in Calgary, where the males had to bowl, bat and play left handed. The women won 56 to 54.


1909 – The Calgary Cricket Club travels to the west coast to play in a tournament for the International Cup. There, they competed against teams from Portland, Burrard, Vancouver, Seattle and Victoria. Calgary beat Seattle but then lost to Burrard in their next game.


1910 – The first Western Canada Cricket tournament is hosted in Winnipeg. Alberta sends a team made up almost completely by players from Calgary except for two from Fort Macleod. Alberta played Winnipeg, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and lost all of their games.


1911 – Alberta finishes second at the Western Canada Cricket tournament.


1912 – The Alberta Cricket Association is established.

-The Edmonton Cricket League, established in 1912, became the Edmonton and District Cricket League (E.D.C.L.) in 1976. Teams in initial season were the Edmonton Cricket club, Hudson’s Bay Cricket Club, Caledonia Cricket Club, Strathcona Cricket Club and Swift Canadian Cricket Club  http://www.albertaonrecord.ca/edmonton-and-district-cricket-league-fonds;rad

– Local newspapers in Edmonton donate trophy for winning team in league (HBCCC). It has become known as the Press Trophy.

  • On June 20, 1912 representatives of several Calgary cricket clubs met and established the Calgary and District Cricket League. City and District league was formed with St. John’s, Calgary CC A Team, Calgary CC B team, Civics CC and Hillhurst CC (pdf)

- Calgary hosts the Western Canada Cricket tournament. Alberta defeats Calgary on the final day to win the Dingwall Cup.


1913 – First time Australian team tours Alberta. The Australian Cornstalkers play in Edmonton and Calgary and beat both teams easily.


1914 – Alberta wins the Western Canada Cricket tournament and the Dingwall Cup in Regina, Saskatchewan with their three win and three draw performance.


1914-1918 – WWI greatly reduces the number of cricket players as they enlist to in the Armed Services. Very little cricket was played during this time although a few friendly games were played between the Calgary team and the soldiers stationed at Camp Sarcee.


1920 – Reported to be 12 teams in the Calgary league


1930 – first reported signs of Junior cricket development in Calgary


1932 – Edmonton Cricket Club hosts Australian team during Australia’s North American tour. One of the most famous cricket players in history, Don Bradman, was part of this tour and played games in Edmonton and Calgary August 8th-11th, 1932.


1949 – Dominion Cricket tournament (national championship) is held in Calgary


1954 – First known Calgarian to make the Canadian National team, Mr. H. Bullen.


1961 – Canadian Cricket Championships held in Calgary


1975 – Inter provincial tournament held in Calgary.


1995 – Alberta Schools Cricket Association was founded with the aims of promoting the playing of cricket in schools across Alberta, providing registered school cricket players with competitive games, and facilitate inter-provincial school matches.


2014 – Both Edmonton and Calgary have a women’s cricket team. They play against each other as well as junior cricket teams and women’s teams in British Columbia.



Sources


http://www.cricketedmonton.ca/cricket_in_edmonton

Sociology Article

http://www.albertaonrecord.ca/alberta-cricket-association-fonds;rad

http://gocricketgocanada.com/history

Cricket exhibit

Bryn’s article

Pdf

Sport in Early Calgary

www.ascacricket.com


It is played with two teams of 11 players each. There are two wickets on the pitch, 22 metres apart. A batsman will defend each wicket by hitting the ball when the other team’s bowler throws it toward the wicket. The batsman is out if the ball hits the wicket. A run is scored if the batsman reaches the opposite wicket safely. A game consists of two innings. The first inning has one team batting while the other team is fielding. In the second inning, the team that fielded will bat while the team that batted will field. An inning is over when 10 players have been struck out or a limited number of balls have been bowled.

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