World Ball&Dek Hockey Federation

First international ball hockey game (1972)

First international ball hockey game (1972) | WBDHF
The NF Griffins team of 1972 had their 50th year reunion celebration dinner the other night in Niagara Falls.
10 Players went to Leominster, June 16th 1972 and played the MYLEC All Stars.
Below are some highlights of that trip.
8 players attended the dinner, Jim Cappa Joe and Bruce Murray John Barton Chris Housser Camillo Pettinato Gilles Hurtubise and Dave Guitar
( Joe Miller was missing and Pierre Sonier who passed away in the early 90's. RIP)
(Chris Housser WBHF VicePresident)
June 16 to the 19th m1972, the Niagara Falls Griffins played the Mylec All Stars in Leominster Ma. The event was an adventure and changed the perception of the sport forever.
It was the 1st International Tournament for Street Hockey.
The NF Griffins would go on to win both games 9 to 1 then 13 to 1.
Mr Leclerc was inspired by this one event to have another in 1973 at the same site 1st St in Leominster.
By 1974 he would the build the Leominster Dekhockey Center complex. The tournaments and leagues in Leominster would be a launching pad and blueprint for the sport, under his direction inspire other cities' and entrepreneurs to build facilities and plan events in their own communities.
What started with just 2 teams in 1972 is now played all over the world. Hard to measure the impact of the NF Griffins trip and the new challenges that followed.
There was an excitement in the air for a new game and hockey was booming.
Call it Street Hockey, Dekhockey or Ball Hockley its because one man Ray Leclerc created the Orange No Bounce Ball, then had the vision to set in motion organized rules, equipment and grow the game. A priceless accomplishment.
The Griffins in the pictures below are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their visit. Older yes but the memories are still fresh. and still neighborhood friends.
PS During our trip home in 72 we named the trophy Lorraine Leclerc, she has carried the torch for the game for over 50 years on many levels. God Bless her at a young 92 years of age. In spirit she was at the dinner with us too, as seen below.