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Australia
Flag and abbrev. Flag of Australia AUS
Continent Oceania
Leader Jewlia Gillard
(Prime Minister)
Population 22,125,582 (2010 est.)
Registered players 2,836
Percentage 0,01%
National team The Mighty Roos
National federation Ice Hockey Australia
IIHF ranking 31st (+2)
Top league Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL)
Current champion Adelaide Adrenaline (2009)

Australia is an Oceanian nation of the southern hemisphere, on the Pacific and Indian Oceans. It has a population of over 21,000,000 and its capital is Canberra.

HistoryEdit

800px-Flag of Australia svg

The beginningsEdit

As is often the case with warm nations who experience little to no snowy winters, ice hockey remains a niche sport in Australia, where it is practiced and enjoyed by a small number of enthusiasts. Nevertheless, ice hockey enjoys a long and rich tradition in Australia.

The history of ice hockey in Australia begins as far back in time as 1904, when a group of enthusiasts decided to adapt field hockey so it can be played on ice in Adelaide, then Australia's lone city with an ice rink. Three of the participants later moved to Melbourne and introduced the game there. Melbournian youth enjoyed the game and in 1907, they challenged American soldiers who had docked with their warship Baltimore near the end of the season. The locals challenged the Americans for a game, which the visitors gladly accepted. That match turned out to be the first organized ice hockey game in Australia - a first game with an international flavour. The Americans won the match in front of a capacity crowd. Much attention was given to the event in the press that day and the game became a regular activity at the Melbourne rink.

A first hockey club was formed the following year, 1908. Then, 1909 proved to be a very developmental year for hockey in Australia. A new rink opened in Victoria and four new clubs came to existance in the territory: the Glaciarium, the Beavers, the Brighton and the Melburnians. The latter two had restricted membership, as they were only open respectively to members of the Brighton field hockey club and to the members of the Old Boys of Melbourne Grammar. Field hockey sticks have also been replaced by real hockey sticks imported from Canada, and the tennis ball used was re4placed by real canadian pucks. This marked the need for new rules to be adopted, based on English bandy and on Canadian ice hockey. The resulting product was rather violent and despite the lack of modern protective equipment, the players still took the ice and player the game, with very little intervention from the umpires (as the referees were called, as they are in cricket) except on the most violent hits.

1909 also marked the first Interstate Tournament in Australia, as the states of Victoria and New South Wales faced up. The latter team was the most inexperienced, but they still mananged to win the first game 1-0 on August 31st 1909. Victoria however bounced back to win the other two games 1-0 and 6-1. Victoria successfully defended its title the next year.

In 1911 came a revolution called Jimmy Kendall. A Canadian, Kendall settled in Sydney and brought to New South Wales hockey a wind of change. Kendall possessed skills, speed and accuracy well above that of the average Australian players, which didn't fail to cause consternation among the Victorian players and selectors.

World War I and beyondEdit

It took longer for ice hockey than other sports to resume after World War I. Some rinks, like that in Sydney, had closed and took several years to reopen. When the Sydney rink reopened in 1920, hockey activities in Melbourne quickened too. But the war had left the sport in a sorry state: records and equipments had disappeared, players had drifted away and there was not even a single copy of the rules left. Basically, all what had been done had to be restarted from scratch.

Interstate activities resumed in 1921. The few pre-war players still alive and able were drafted into a team. This team included one of the most important figures of Australian hockey, Ted Molony and John Goodall, inactive since 1913, who was the donator in 1909 of the Goodall Cup. Jimmy Kendall was still there as well, and his coaching proved important in making New south Wales win the 1921 tournament.

InternationalEdit

Australia

Info

Rinks

Players

Referees

Population

20,835 000

Indoor

20

Total

2404

Male

166

Capital

Canberra

Outdoor

0

Male

1156

Female

18

IIHF Since

February 11,1938

Junior

1248

Per Capita

Female

240

The Australian men's national ice hockey team is the national ice hockey team for Australia. As of 2010 the Australian team are ranked 34th. The official nickname of Australia's national ice hockey team is the Mighty Roos.

Some Australian national team players are expatriates of Canada and other hockey-playing nations, who have since become outright citizens of Australia or who hold dual citizenship. Australia's ice hockey team has participated in just one Winter Olympics: the 1960 Games in Squaw Valley, California. Australia lost both their games against powerhouses Czechoslovakia (18-1) and eventual gold medalists, the United States (12-1).

Australia has competed in the Division II World Championships since 2001. As of 2007 they are coached by Steve McKenna, a former eight-year veteran of the National Hockey League. At the 2007 Division II World Championships, Australia won three games and lost one, finishing second in their group behind host nation South Korea and narrowly missing promotion to Division I.

Australia hosted the 2008 IIHF World Championship Division II Group B, which was held in Newcastle, Australia. The Mighty Roos finished first and captured the gold medal by winning all five games and they have now have been promoted to Division I. Australian U20 and U18 teams also participate in the world championships,

National TeamsEdit

LeagueEdit

Australian Ice Hockey League

Some great Australian playersEdit

See alsoEdit


Flag of Australia Ice hockey in Australia Flag of Australia
Australian Ice Hockey League         Adelaide AdrenalineAIHL BearsBrisbane Blue TonguesCanberra KnightsCentral Coast RhinosMelbourne IceNewcastle North StarsWestern Sydney Ice Dogs
Ice Hockey Australia
Men's Australian National TeamWomen's Australian National Team



Sources and referencesEdit

http://www.iha.org.au/history.asp

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