Canadian Sport StampsIn 2009 the Canadian Postage Office  published an interesting series of stamps celebrating the countries contributions to the world of sports.  Many of these games are probably not that familiar to many U.S. citizens.

The design of the stamps is simple yet colorful which feature well-worn equipment used in each sport featured.  A block of 4 goes for about an average of $3.50 on Ebay.

Four sports are included:

James Naismith invented basketball because he wanted an indoor winter game – Hoping to devise an indoor game to fill the winter months between football and baseball seasons, James Naismith’s experiment in a YMCA class was an instant hit. A long way from its peach-basket beginnings, basketball is now an international athletic and marketing phenomenon that stands among the world’s most widely played sports.  Student History Project about James Naismith and the invention of basketball.  (Youtube)

Thomas F. Ryan created five-pin bowling by introducing a smaller ball and fewer pins – When members of the Toronto Bowling Club complained about the weight of the standard ten-pin bowling ball, Thomas F. Ryan, the club’s co-founder, introduced a smaller ball and had his father whittle down five pins to match. He devised a new scoring system and introduced his game in 1909. This year, five-pin bowling, now the number-one participant sport in the country, celebrates its 100th anniversary. Note that on the first day cover, a bowler holds the coveted goose prize.

Lacrosse began as a native ball and stick game called baggataway – When French explorers were first introduced to the native ball and stick game, baggataway, they called it “la crosse” for the stick’s resemblance to a bishop’s crosier. Europeans began playing the game in the 19th century, but rules were not standardized until lacrosse goalkeeper George W. Beers published the first set in Montreal in 1867. In 1994, lacrosse was declared the national summer sport of Canada. A brief history of Lacrosse, focusing on the native American origins. (YouTube)

Sam Jacks combined the speed of hockey and the strategy of basketball to create Ringette – In 1963, Sam Jacks, Director of Parks and Recreation in North Bay, Ontario, combined the speed of hockey with the strategy of basketball to create ringette, an on-ice alternative to hockey for girls and women. Designed to emphasize skill and teamwork with no intentional body contact, Jacks was confident his game would be a hit—and it was. Today, more than 50,000 girls and women belong to ringette teams worldwide.