Facts on the History of the International Ice Hockey Federation

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Type: article
Parent page: Understanding the Ice Hockey Federation
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IIHF came into existence on the 15th of May in 1908. Its original name was Ligue Internationale de Hockey Sur Glace (LIHG). The official sealing of the league took place in Paris, France, at Rue de Provence. Five countries came together to sign the founding document. These countries were Bohemia, Switzerland, Great Britain, Belgium, and France, whose representative became the first president of the federation.

The First Competition

In January 1909, the first competition and playing rules were finally established with an annual European Championship, which was agreed to start the following year. In September of the same year, Germany joined the LIHG.

Russia became the seventh member to join LIHG in 1911, which is the same year that the league adopted Canadian rules. The following year, a congress took place before the annual championship, which brought Austria, Luxembourg, and Sweden on board.

World War I and the LIHG

A lot of changes happened until 1914 when the league’s operations came to a standstill because of World War I. When activities finally resumed in 1920 after the war, Germany, and Austria were expelled from their ranks. Bohemia’s membership was taken on by Czechoslovakia.

In the same year, the Olympics integrated hockey in the 1920 games, and Canada, together with the United States team, cemented their global debut. The two countries performed well with Canada taking home the gold and US, silver. The Winter Olympics 1932 was a merger between the European and the World Championship, and a record-breaking number of 11 teams participated in the games. Canada won gold for the third time.

In 1954, LIHG finally adopted an English name; currently, International Ice Hockey Federation and East Germany signed into the league. The federation continued to grow ever since, and its fan base increased across the globe as many people came to know about ice hockey.