What does ice hockey have to do with marksmanship? Having played ice hockey as both a youth and adult, I can assure you that shooting a puck past a goalie takes a great deal of precision. A player can make a “wrist shot” with great precision, and also a “slap shot” which can travel over a hundred miles per hour. Either way, a good goalie will only a few inches for the player to hit, so learning to shoot a puck takes the same kind of mental practice and skill as rifle and pistol shooting.
Which brings us to the remarkable recent victories of Israeli youth hockey clubs. Israel’s pee wee (11-13 year old) hockey team from Bat Yam won an international tournament in Quebec. Interestingly, as the article points out, many of the kids practice exclusively on roller blades. Another Israeli team from Ma’alot just won big tournament in Ohio, at the highest AAA level.