Women have started to break social and political barricades by playing sports that previously were played mostly by males. Ice hockey is played by both sexes but there are several differences in each game with the bylaws as well as origin. Although the United States is more heavily populated with females than males, ice hockey is a predominately male dominated sport. Over recent years, ice hockey's primary organization, USA Hockey has noted that there is twice the number of female participants registered over male participants. Women have started to make a difference in USA Hockey registration. .
The game of ice hockey first started on a pond or lake with just sticks and steel blades on players shoes. Men's ice hockey originated in the 1800's in Windsor, Nova Scotia, Canada. Canada's first college, Kings College School, established in 1788, adapted the exciting field game of hurley to the ice and originated a new winter game, Ice Hurley. Later on ice hurley evolved to ice hockey and was modified by others throughout Canada and European countries. Men adopted the game of ice hockey first and inspired women to create their own version of the game. Women's ice hockey originated in Canada by the Sexton sisters. By 1890, females had joined leagues and began to play. In the 1930's women's ice hockey started to develop as its male counterpart had 100 years prior. Women started to wear leather gloves and shin pads, instead of just their long wool skirts and turtleneck sweaters. It wasn't until 1996 when women's ice hockey became an Olympic sport and started to truly develop in the United States and Canada.
Although both women's and men's ice hockey follow the bylaws of USA Hockey, there are several differences in the rules of each game. For instance, women's ice hockey is played without checking. According to USA Hockey, "a body check is one in which a player checks an opponent who does or does not have possession of the puck, by using his or her hip or body, diagonally from the front or straight from the side, and does not take more than two fast steps in executing the check"(USAhockey.