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The Sports

Sports Played in an Alberta Summer Games

Athletics – Athletics encompasses many sport events that can be divided into involve running, jumping, and throwing. What is the difference between Athletics and Track and Field? Track and Field is an American term, whereas Athletics is the international term and includes all Track and Field events. The sport governing body for track and field in Canada, which is now called Athletics Canada, was established in 1884. It is one of the oldest affliated bodies with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Great Britian is the only governing body that has been in existence for a longer period of time. The Athletics events that are included in the Alberta Summer Games are:Running: 100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 800m, 1200m, 1500m, 2000m, 3000,80m

  • Hurdles, 100m Hurdles (women), 110m hurdles (men), 200m Hurdles
  • 4×100m Relay and Medley Relay
  • There are also the Pentathlon which includes 5 events (100m, High Jump, Shot Put, Long Jump, 800/1000), Heptathon for women which includes 7 events (100m Hurdles, Long Jump, Shot Put, 200m, Long Jump, Javelin, 800m) and the Octathlon for men which includes 8 events (100m, Long Jump, Shot Put, 400m, 110m Hurdles, High Jump, Javelin, 1000m)
  • Jumping: Long Jump, High Jump, Triple Jump, and Pole Vault
  • Field: Shot Put, Discus, Javelin, and Hammerthrow


Baseball – Baseball is based on an English game named “Rounders” which became popular in North America in the 19th century. In 1845 Alexander Cartwright created a set of rules which could be followed by all players and the first ever recorded baseball game took place in 1846. The first baseball club in Lethbridge was founded in 1888.

Basketball – Basketball was invented by Dr. James Naismith; a Canadian born in 1861 in Ontario, Canada. The concept of basketball was born from Naismith’s school days in the area where he played a simple child’s game known as duck-on-a-rock outside his one-oom schoolhouse. The game involved attempting to knock a “duck” off the top of a large rock by tossing another rock on it. Naismith developed basketball as a game that tested skill as oppose to just strength, and within a small indoor space he created the game using a soccer ball and two peach baskets. Today, basketball has grown to be one of the world’s most popular sports.

Canoe/Kayak – This sport is made up of 3 specific events: Kayak Polo, Kayak Slalom and Kayak Flatwater:
Kayak Polo – Kayak Polo is very similar to waterpolo except that the players can use either their hands or paddles to advance the ball. They may only hold the ball for a maximum of 5 seconds but can “dribble” the ball by keeping it in front or beside their kayak. Kayak Polo became a genuine international sport in 1987 and a final version of the ICF rules was published in 1990. They play in an area 30 meters long and 20 meters wide and have two 10 minute halves.
Kayak Slalom – Kayak Slalom, also refered to as whitewater canoeing, had its first known competition in 1933 and the first World Championships was introduced in 1949. Kayak Slalomists attempt to run very difficult rapids and rivers. There are numerous rating systems, but in North America the rapids are rated from Class I (the mildest) to Class VI (the most difficult). While flat racers must paddle continuously in a straight line, whitewater racers are propelled by the current of the water. They must develop the ability to slow down, stop and turn around obstacles and racing gates.
Kayak Flatwater – Kayak Flatwater, also refered to as Sprint Canoe, involves an individual or team paddling a kayak as fast as they can. It takes place on a straight course with each boat having a designated lane. In Canada, both men and women race canoes and/or kayaks but at most international events, women race only in kayaks. Flatwater racing has been a part of the Olympics Games since 1936 (for men) and since 1948 (for women).

Cycling – BMX – Biking was the first form of modern “individual mobility” and the first documented race was a 1,200 metre race held in 1868 in Paris, France. BMX began in the early 1970s when children began racing their bucycles on dirt tracks in Southern California. Today there are over 150,000 riders of all ages racing organized races at permanent tracks across Canada and the United States.

Cycling – Mountain Biking – Mountain Biking began in the hills of California when a few biking “freaks” took a hobby, added a few innovative improvements and turned mountain biking into a worldwide boom. As is the norm, the sport soon made its way north and in the early 1980s mountain biking took on popularity in Canada. Alberta has many challenging and scenic mountain biking trails, with views of the majestic rocky mountains and the winding Bow River; just be sure to keep your eyes peeled for wildlife such as elk, mountain sheep, bears, etc.

Football – Football in Canada originated from the sport of rugby. Football Canada was initially established in 1884 and was known as the Canadian Rugby Football Union. In 1909, Lord Earl Grey, then Governor-General of Canada created a trophy to be awarded for the Rugby Football Championships in Canada, The Grey Cup was then created and had been given out every year to this day. Canadian football is different from the American game in 3 notable ways: Canadians play with 12 players on the field instead of just 11, we have 3 downs as oppose to 4 and our field is both longer and wider than that of American football. Lethbridge has seen a very successful past with the Lethbridge Collegiate Institute (LCI) Rams. Between the years of 1988 to 1990, the Rams went 37-0 and won 3 provincial Tier 1 titles. This past summer Lethbridge was the host to the largest amateur football event in Canada, the 2011 Football Canada Cup which hosted 8 football teams from across the country.

Inline Hockey – Canada made an appearance in the first three IIHF Hockey World Championships, winning Silver in 1996 and 1997. In 1998, the Canadian squad defeated the two-time world Champions United States, in the gold medal game to win the first gold medal in country history. Canada did not compete internationally for the next ten years but returned in 2008 to win the division 1 World Championship.

Lacrosse – Lacrosse was created by the Native People of North America where it played a significant role in the community and religious life of tribes across the continent. The 1840s saw the first games between townsfolk and the Natives and in 1867 The National Lacrosse Association became the first national sport governing body in North America. The unforgettable motto of the organization was OUR COUNTRY OUR GAME! In 1890, the Lethbridge lacrosse team took on the Calgary team for the Northwest Territories championship. This game was reported as the hardest fought game ever seen and Lethbridge took the crown.

Rugby – Rugby was brought to Canada by the country’s many immigrants, members of the regimental armies and the Royal Navy in Nova Scotia and British Columbia. The first recorded game of rugby was played in 1864 and Rugby Canada was incorporated in 1974. Locally, the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns have won 5 consecutive Canada West titles and won 3 consecutive CIS titles from 2007 to 2010. With such an amazing team in the city, the popularity of rugby in Lethbridge is steadily increasing.

Soccer – The earliest recorded soccer game was played in 1859 in Toronto, Ontario. In 1876 the first recorded Football Association outside the British Isles was formed in Toronto and in 1905 the Alberta Football Association was developed. The Canadian Soccer Association was created in 1910 and in 1913 the organization became a member of FIFA. In 1968 the North American League was formed and covered Canada and the United States with European professionals brought in to supplement the domestic talent. Today there are 3 professional sport teams in Canada that are part of Major League Soccer (MLS), the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Toronto FC, and the Montreal Impact. Soccer is the world’s most popular sport and professional soccer is starting to catch on in Canada.

Softball – The game of softball was created in the United States in 1887 by one man playfully throwing a boxing glove to another man who hit the golve away with a brrom handle. The rules were developed in a building used for a boat club and in 1897 the game spread north to Toronto. The game gained popularity when a Chicago reporter and a salesman created a softball tournament to go along with the 1933 World’s Fair. They invited 55 teams to play and over 350,000 people watched the games at the field inside the World’s Fairgrounds. This tournament was what propelled softball onto the world’s stage.

Swimming – Canada has a long and successful history in the sport of swimming. The Canadian Olympic Swimming Team just recently celebrated its Centennial participation and competition at the Olympic Games in 2008. There have been a total of 40 Olympic medals won by Canadian swimmers and the future of swimming in Canada looks very positive.

Triathlon – Triathlon is the makeup of three different events: swimming, biking and running. The first triathlon ever held in Canada was staged in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1981 and in 1988 the president of the IOC (International Olympic Committee) organized a meeting to discuss including triathlon in the Olympic Summer Games line-up. Since Simon Whitfield’s thrilling sprint to the finish line in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing the sport has taken off in Canada, growing 300 per cent in the last 5 years.

Volleyball – Beach – The sport of Volleyball began on the beaches of Hawaii and California in the early 20th century but it wasn’t until the 1950’s that it was adopted in Canada. In 1986 the International Volleyball Federation recognized beach volleyball officially and in 1989 Reebok sponsored the National Beach Championships in Toronto with teams across Canada entering directly. Locally, volleyball has become a local winter staple for the city.

Sports Associations

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Phone: (403) 320-7766
Email: info@2012albertasummergames.ca