Why Is Street Hockey Called “Shinny”, How Did the Game Originate, and What Does the Name Mean?

Although shins take a beating during a game of shinny, the name comes from the Celtic game of shinty.

A pick-up game of hockey, either on the street or on ice, shinny has no formal rules, and the goals are marked by whatever is handy.

The puck can be anything from a ball to a tin can.

There’s no hoisting, bodychecking, or lifting the puck because no one wears pads.

“Shinny” is a uniquely Canadian expression.

The first professional shin pads were hand-stitched leather-covered strips of bamboo, wrapped around the lower leg outside knee-high stockings.

For many Canadian kids during the 1930s and 1940s, copies of the Eaton’s catalog shoved into their socks were their first shin pads.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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