Do you remember the days of tube skates, full-length hockey pants and the exclusive use of wooden hockey sticks? CARHA Hockey (the Canadian Adult Recreational Hockey Association) certainly does. CARHA Hockey is currently in its 37th year of operations, which almost qualifies the organization for oldtimer status! Armed with a rich history and plenty of tales to tell, this storied organization looks towards the future and the next thirty years. In this section you will find information on the history of adult recreational hockey in Canada, interesting facts and figures and an outlook to the future of CARHA Hockey.
The early years date back to the inception in 1974 when founder John Gouett quit his full-time job as a school principal to start the Canadian Oldtimers’ Hockey Association (COHA.) A $4500 grant was received from Recreation Canada and he started promoting the first national tournament for oldtimers held in Peterborough, Ontario. A total of 56 teams traveled to Peterborough that year from Vancouver Island to Corner Brook, Newfoundland.
In a short film titled “For the fun of it” which features footage from this first tournament one of the highlighted teams, a group of forty year olds from Vancouver explain how they came together three weeks prior to the tournament and traveled three quarters across the country, all for the love of the game. Similar to many teams, the players on the roster ranged from mill workers to doctors to the town sheriff.