If we were to look at the most popular sports in Germany, ice hockey would rank third after handball and football. Currently, 0.03% of the population is involved in this sport, while a much larger number of people are passionate about it. This sport is not only popular in the country, but the German national team has achieved significant international success and is one of the best teams in the world.
Here is a brief digression into the history of ice hockey in Germany and its current state.
History of ice hockey in Germany
Due to the weather conditions in Germany, winter sports have been one of the main and quite popular in Germany. The country’s first ice club was founded in 1864 in Frankfurt, and in 1881 the first ice rink was opened in the same city, which was also the world’s third artificial ice rink. Ten years later, this ice rink was replaced by a permanent facility.
The first official hockey match was played in Germany in February 1897 in Berlin between a student team and the Akademisher SK sports club. Ice hockey soon replaced other traditional games and quickly gained popularity. In 1901, Germany’s first sports club formed a separate ice hockey department, followed by the formation of more associations in Berlin and other major cities.
Germany became a member of the International Sur Glace Hockey League (LIHG), the predecessor of the IIHF, in 1909. A year later, the country took part in the first European Championship. By that time, Germany had its own league in Berlin with ten teams. The first German ice hockey championship was held in 1912.
From 1920 to 1926, Germany did not participate in any LIHG activities, as it was excluded from the body after the First World War. The country was re-admitted in 1926 and began participating internationally again in 1927.
At the 1932 Winter Olympics, Germany won bronze in ice hockey. The team also won European titles in 1930 and 1934. These were the golden years of ice hockey and the country achieved great success internationally. However, after World War II, Germany was once again expelled from ISIS in 1946.
Around the same time, a national league was formed in the Federal Republic of Germany, while the German Democratic Republic, occupied by the Soviet Union, went its own way. Five years later, the federal faction was re-admitted to ISIS, with the German Democratic Republic joining as a separate member in 1954. get into the top four teams in the world. In 2018, the German team won a silver medal at the Winter Olympics.
Germany national ice hockey team
The national governing body for ice hockey in Germany is the Deutscher Eishockey-Bund or German Ice Hockey Federation. The authority was established in 1963, and until 1990; he served ice hockey in West Berlin and the Federal Republic of Germany. Since 1990 it has been the main ice hockey governing body for the whole of Germany and oversees the country’s regional ice hockey leagues.
The men’s ice hockey team is currently ranked 7th.th in the IIHF rankings. The team has been playing internationally since 1911, when it took part in the European Ice Hockey Championship. In addition to several medals at the World Championships, the team won silver medals at the 1930, 1953 and 2018 Winter Olympics. Since the reunification of the East and West German teams in 1990, the best finish to date is silver at the 2018 Winter Olympics, followed by 6th place at the 2003 World Championships and 4th place at the 2010 Ice Hockey World Championship.
German Hockey League
The Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) is the top hockey league in Germany. It was formed in 1994 as a replacement for the earlier major league, the Eishockey-Bundesliga. Until 1997, DEL was managed by the Deutscher Eishockey-Bund and became an independent organization.
DEL is the fourth highest ice hockey league in Europe after Sweden, Finland and Switzerland. There are currently 15 teams in DEL. The current DEL champion is Eisbaren Berlin, who recently won their 9th league title.
In the DEL regular season, each team plays 52 games. The top ten teams advance to the playoffs, while the top six advance to the quarter-finals. The teams ranked from 7th to 10th play in the preliminary round of the playoffs. After each knockout round, the rankings are re-evaluated. As in the NHL, the highest ranked team has home field advantage in the final game.