Ice Hockey in the UK
Whilst ice hockey remains a minor sport in Britain, the sport has had a loyal following in this country since the beginning of the 20th century. As ice hockey steadily increased in popularity in Canada towards the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries, interest also became heightened in the UK and, by 1903, there was a five team league in the country. The British Ice Hockey Association oversaw the game for much of the 20th century until this organisation was replaced with Ice Hockey UK in 1999.
British ice hockey teams have even managed to find glory on the international stage. In 1910, the British national team won the first European Ice Hockey Championship and, in 1936, another British team even managed to defeat the mighty Canadian team at the Winter Olympics.
Ice Hockey UK Ice Hockey UK is, unsurprisingly, the governing body for ice hockey in the United Kingdom and is also affiliated with the International Ice Hockey Federation. The organisation’s duties include picking teams to represent Britain in international competitions. They also have a very informative website which covers most aspects of the game in the UK. Specific questions not addressed by the website can be addressed to the organisation by post, telephone or e-mail:
Ice Hockey UK
19 Heather Avenue
Tel.: +44 (0)7917 194 264
English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA) Oversees the sport of ice hockey in England. The organisation is currently affiliated to 32 ice hockey clubs and over 8000 players. The EIHA website is an essential resource for potential ice hockey players in England looking for their local club or team. The website also contains information about men’s, women’s and youth ice hockey in England, in addition to useful information about insurance and training courses. There are also sections which will be of particular interest to current or potential coaches and game officials. Most queries should be satisfied by the FAQ page or the rest of the website but, if you have a more specific inquiry, you can contact the organisation directly:
England Ice Hockey Association
12 Arnside Avenue
Blackpool FY1 6NB
- Wales falls under the jurisdiction of Ice Hockey UK. The best place to find information specific to playing ice hockey in Wales is the Wales index page. Contact information for a number of hockey and ice hockey clubs, arranged by region, can be found on this page.
- Ice Hockey fans in Northern Ireland can contact The Northern Ireland Hockey Association:
Mrs. Barbara McCarter (Secretary)
Dundonald International Ice Bowl
111 Old Dundonald Road
Tel.: +44 (0)780 360 8727
Fans might also be interested in the website of the Belfast Giants.
- Scottish ice hockey fans should start by looking at the Scottish Ice Hockey website, which contains information about the Scottish Ice Hockey League (SIHL). The Scottish Ice Hockey Association (SIHA) is also a useful resource for Scottish players. You can also contact the SIHA by phone on: +44 (0)134 354 7252.
Whether you are a junior player looking for a youth team, or an adult who wants to play in an amateur league, the best thing you can do is contact the amateur team closest to your home directly. The teams which play in the Northern and Southern Conferences of the ENIHL are listed above. A regularly updated list of local ice hockey clubs and rinks, senior teams, ladies teams and junior teams can also be found on the EIHL website. See also the club index page.
Scottish ice hockey players should consult the club contacts page of the Scottish Ice Hockey website. A list of amateur Scottish teams is also listed above.
You might also want to consider buying tickets to see your local team play in an EIHL or EPIHL game. Tickets are available on the websites of most of the teams and are generally very affordable – you shouldn’t expect to pay more than £12 for an adult ticket, and £7-8 for a child.