The earliest origin of the sport is debated. Though many Russians see their old countrymen as the creators of the sport, England and Holland each had sports or pastimes which can be seen as forerunners of the present sport. The match, later dubbed "the original bandy match", was held in 1875 at The Crystal Palace in London. However, at the time, the game was called "hockey on the ice", probably as it was considered an ice variant of field hockey. At the same time as ice hockey rules were formalized in North America, bandy rules were formulated in Europe. A cross between English and Russian bandy rules eventually developed, with the football-inspired English rules dominant, together with the Russian low border of the sidelines.
English bandy developed as a winter sport in the Fens of East Anglia. Members of the Bury Fen Bandy Club published rules of the game in 1882, and introduced it into other countries. The first international match took place in 1891 between Bury Fen and the Haarlemsche Hockey & Bandy Club from the Netherlands. The same year, the National Bandy Association was started in England. The organized bandy then appeared in many countries of Europe. The first national bandy league was started in Sweden in 1902. Bandy was played at the Nordic Games in 1901, 1903, 1905. A European Championship was held in 1913. The Federation of International Bandy was founded in 1955, and the World Championships beginning in 1957.