Ice hockey in Germany
Ice hockey is one of the more popular sports in Germany, however it still ranks far behind football in spectator favour and meaning. Ice hockey is organized today in Germany by the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, the highest professional league, and by the Deutschen Eishockey-Bund ice hockey federation, which is the sport's federation in Germany and a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation.
The Men's German national ice hockey team stands eighth in the world on the current IIHF rank list. Since they were eighth before the Ice Hockey World Cup 2005, they automatically qualified for the Olympic Ice Hockey tournament.
The beginnings of the ice hockey in Germany lie around 1900 in Berlin. An ice hockey-like game was probably played as early as on February 4, 1897 on the Halensee Lake in Berlin. However, this game likely had more in common with the related sport bandy. The participants were Akademischer SC 1893 Berlin and a team of students.
1901 saw the first German club that created its own ice hockey department, the Berliner Schlittschuhclub. As a consequence, further ice hockey associations or departments developed first in Berlin and then in other large German cities. In 1908 ice hockey was taken up as section of the Deutscher Eissport-Verband. On September 19, 1909, Germany became the sixth member nation of the predecessor organization of the IIHF, the "Ligue International de Hockey sur Glace" (LIHG).
By 1910, when Germany participated in the first European Ice Hockey Championship a city league with ten teams was already playing in Berlin. Beside the Berliner Schlittschuhclub of the BFC Preussen, the teams were the Sportclub Berlin, the Berliner Eislaufverein 1904, the BFC Britania, the Berliner EV 1886, the Hockey Club Berlin, the Sportklub Komet, the SC Charlottenburg and the Eislauf Verein Berlin. In 1912, the first German championships were held, which the Berliner Schlittschuhclub would win.
After the First World War, Germany was excluded from the LIHG in 1920 and could thus not in any LIHG tournaments. On January 11, 1926, the Deutsche Eissport-Verband, the body responsible for ice hockey in Germany, was re-admitted to the LIHG, and Germany was once again able to participate in the European Ice-Hockey championships beginning in 1927.
Until 1940, the development of the ice hockey in Germany made great strides. By the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, Germany attained the bronze medal, and during the European championships (then a qualifier for the Ice Hockey World Cup) won the European title in 1930 and 1934. The 1936 Winter Olympics saw a contentious issue arise when the Nazi party were forced to include a Jewish player (Rudi Ball) on the team. Ice hockey developed further in this time period with the emergence of new regional organizations across the country.
After World War II, Germany was again excluded from the LIHG in April 1946. At this time a national league for the best teams, the Oberliga (Ice Hockey), developed in the Federal Republic, while the Soviet occupation zone, the later German Democratic Republic, took its own development. (See Also: Ice Hockey in the DDR)
The Oberliga was replaced 1958 by the reintroduced Ice Hockey Bundesliga, before 1963 the Deutsche Eishockey-Bund was created, which remained under the umbrella of the Deutschen Eissport-Verbandes. Internationally the national team of the FRG created the jump into the A-World Championship, where they could be established end of the 1970s and into the 1980s. However, it never ranked among the top four teams in the world.
Tournaments and championships
- Internationale Tournaments
- Olympische Eishockey-Turniere in Germany
- The Men's Eishockey-Weltmeisterschaft in Germany
- The men's Eishockey-Europameisterschaft in Germany (nur reine Europameisterschaften)
Coaches, Players and rankings of the German national team. See German National Ice Hockey Team
References and Literature
- Eckert, Horst: Eishockey-Lexikon. München: Copress, 1993. ISBN 3-7679-0407-1. (German)
- Seite des Deutschen Eishockey-Bundes
- Seite der Deutschen Eishockey-Liga
- Geschichte des Eishockey im deutschen Osten
- GermanHockey.net - English website with daily updates on German DEL hockey