Citizenship and International Goodwill through Silver Stick Hockey, News (St. George Minor Hockey)

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Citizenship and International Goodwill through Silver Stick Hockey
Submitted By Katie Vallee on Thursday, January 9, 2020
Starting today our Bantam LL team is competing against other teams who also been successful in winning their Regional Qualifying Tournaments.

This is the 62nd year of Silver Stick.  Currently host to 15 American and 27 Canadian Qualifying Tournaments as well as their International Finals (8 boys, 4 Girls & Sled).

The Start...

International Sliver Stick Hockey was the brainchild of Mr. Jack Kinsella. It germinated while attending a friendly exhibition game in Potsdam, New York between the Bantam Woodroffe Cardinals from Ottawa West and the Bantam Potsdam Golden Knights in November, 1956. After watching his son play for Woodroffe, Jack Kinsella decided a return match should be setup to promote the game and foster “goodwill” between the two countries.

The tournament philosophy would be aimed at helping the boys develop “Citizenship and International Goodwill through hockey”.  Ernie Temple, a coach in the Richmond Minor Hockey Association wanted to test the idea with Jack Kinsella. They organized two games to be played in the Richmond, Ontario arena on February 6, 1958. The game featured the Woodroffe Bantams and the Richmond Peewees playing their counterparts from Potsdam, New York. The games were sold out and the enthusiasm of the fans was high, despite the winning efforts of Potsdam who won both games. This proved that the concept was a successful one and paved the way for the first Silver Stick hockey tournament.

The first tournament was held in February of 1958 and was based on a four-game total points system. Bantam and Peewee teams from both Potsdam, New York and South Carleton, Ontario (an all-star team made up of players from the Richmond area) each played in a two game, home and home series.  They played using American College rules for all of the games, which seemed more suited for Peewee and Bantam aged boys at the time. The teams from Potsdam defeated those from South Carleton 5 points to 3 thus crowning Potsdam as the first International Silver Stick champions. This first tournament led to a gradual expansion of International Silver Stick Hockey and its philosophy in Canada, the United States, and even into Canadian Forces Bases in Europe.

Jack Kinsella’s only hope was that everyone, who participated, regardless of the outcome, would adopt the philosophy of “Citizenship and International Goodwill.”

The Now... 

From its humble beginnings as a four team tournament based out of Richmond, Ontario, Jack Kinsella’s masterpiece has grown into the largest North American minor hockey tournament. It hosts over 65,000 players and coaches every year from across North America.

The Larry McGrath Memorial Scholarship was established in 1970 to reward one Canadian and one American player $500 each, to be used for post secondary education. In 2008 the amount of the scholarship was increased to $1000 each, and the number of recipients was increased to 8, 4 American and 4 Canadian.

This continued growth shows no signs of slowing down and plans of the organization to include a World Series might not be far behind. This will allow for a global diffusion of Jack Kinsella’s original Silver Stick philosophy, to instill “Citizenship and International Goodwill” in all of its competitors.

For more information about Silver Stick please visit their website:

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