Ice hockey in Australia

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Ice hockey in Australia[1]
Federation: Ice Hockey Australia
Established: 1923 (as Australian Ice Hockey Assosciation)
IIHF-member since: February 11, 1938
First WC participation: 1962
First Olympic participation: 1960
Medal Wins:

WC: Nil OG: Nil

First National Championship: 1909
First National Champions: Victorian state team
Current National Champions: Melbourne Mustangs (2014)
Top League: Australian Ice Hockey League

Ice hockey in Australia is only a moderately popular sport, with low participation and spectator attendance figures when compared with many other sports played in the country.[2]

However, the establishment of the semi-professional Australian Ice Hockey League (abbreviated as AIHL) in 2000 (in place of the collapsed former state-based national competition)[3] has seen an increase in popularity for the sport,[4] a trend which continued in 2012 with the successful expansion of the league into Western Australia with the inclusion of Perth-based side Perth Thunder and the introduction of a two-conference competition.[5]

The AIHL is the top-level ice hockey league in Australia, and the largest league in the Southern Hemisphere.[6] The Australian Women's Ice Hockey League (AWIHL) is the top-level women's competition and was formed in 2005.[7]

Ice hockey in Australia is governed nationally by the Australian Ice Hockey Federation (currently trading as Ice Hockey Australia),[8] formed in 1923 as the Australian Ice Hockey Association.[9] Australia is an active full-member of the International Ice Hockey Federation having been admitted to the federation in 1938.[1]

As of 2012 there are approximately 3,200 registered ice hockey players in Australia.[1]


The history of ice hockey in Australia can be traced to the opening, in 1904, of the country's first ice rink in Adelaide, South Australia, where informal games of bandy were first played.[10] The first organised game of the Canadian sport of ice hockey was held in Melbourne on the 12th of July, 1906, between a local Melbourne team and a team from the crew of a visiting United States warship, the USS Baltimore.[10]

In 1909 state teams from Victoria and New South Wales first contested the Goodall Cup, which has since served continuously as the trophy awarded to the winners of the annual national competition (with hiatuses for the two World Wars, the closure of the Sydney Glaciarium in the late 1950s and for a single year in 1993),[9] thus making the Goodall Cup the third-oldest still awarded ice hockey trophy in the world,[11] and the oldest outside of Canada.[12]


Ice Hockey Australia has seven state and territory-based affiliate associations across Australia which are in turn responsible for the organisation of the sport at the state and territory level.[8]

International competition[edit]

Australia's performance in international competition has been ordinary, qualifying for the Winter Olympic Games only once in 1960. As of 2012 the men's national team is ranked 32nd in the International Ice Hockey Federation's rankings; the women's national team is ranked 24th.[1] 2012 saw the inaugural Trans-Tasman Champions League games between the previous season's two top-ranked sides from both the Australian Ice Hockey League and the New Zealand Ice Hockey League.[13]

The Australian Ice Hockey League[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "About Australian Hockey". Australia. International Ice Hockey Federation. 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Participants" (PDF). 4177.0 - Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation, Australia, 2009-10. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2010. p. 13. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "History of the Australian Ice Hockey League". Australian Ice Hockey League. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  4. ^ Brodie, Will (4 September 2011). "Ice hockey shoots, and scores". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  5. ^ "Nine Teams, Two Conferences, One Cup". Australian Ice Hockey League. 27 April 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  6. ^ "About the AIHL". Australian Ice Hockey League. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "About the AWIHL". Australian Women's Ice Hockey League. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "About Ice Hockey Australia". Ice Hockey Australia. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "History of Australian Ice Hockey" (PDF). Ice Hockey Australia. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "How It All Began" (PDF). THE J.E. GOODALL CUP CENTENARY SOUVENIR PUBLICATION (1909 - 2009). Ice Hockey Australia. 2009. p. 4. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  11. ^ "About Australian Ice Hockey Federation (Ice Hockey Australia - IHA)". Pointstreak Completes Agreement with the Australian Ice Hockey Federation. Pointstreak. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  12. ^ Allen, Trevor (13 April 2011). "Australians head for Cce Hockey Championships". Reportage Online. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  13. ^ "Melbourne Ice win innaugural Trans-Tasman Champions League". Australian Ice Hockey League. 7 August 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]