Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the silver medal won by the Greek National Team at the IIHF World Championships Div.3 held in Luxembourg in April 2010. The greatest achievement of Greek Ice Hockey!
Proposal for modification of:
Bylaw 412: Minimum Standards to participate in IIHF Ice Hockey Men’s World Championship
Firstly, before presenting our proposal for modification of Bylaw 402, we would like to present the current status of Ice Hockey in Greece and the impact of Greece’s National Team removal by the IIHF from participating at the World Championships. We are confident that our proposal can help all lower division countries develop the sport in a more structured and monitored fashion.
With the dire financial situation that Greece is in, an Olympic size rink will not be a reality in the near term without the aid of some sort of financial angel benefactor. Despite the difficulties though, and because of an undying love of the game, some former athletes took the risk and invested in an ice rink.
Greece has now 3 permanent indoor ice rinks, open 10 months a year:
- IceNskate in Athens: (800sqm)
- Athens Heart Ice rink in Athens (1.100sqm)
IceBergCenterinThessaloniki(1.100sqm)(Rink closed permanently in 2021)
They are not Olympic size, but ice hockey is absolutely still being developed in these facilities. It’s not easy, but the sport in still alive.
The IIHF decision to exclude the Men’s National Team from International competition has had devastating results for the sport of ice hockey in our country. In only three years after this decision, and the effects have been catastrophic.
In 2013, 11 Men’s teams participated in the Greek National League. Teams
Today, only a few teams are left; that play scrimmage hockey once a week, and organize friendly games against visiting teams from abroad. All other teams have folded or are on hiatus.
In the below chart, you can clearly see the Active Player registration and Team development between 1999 and 2022, and how the National Team participation has aided in the growth of both these figures. You can also see the severe negative impact that non-participation of our National team has, not only in the present time but also in the past.
2013: 11 Men’s teams vs. 2022: 3 Men’s teams (as you can see below)
In 2013, weeks before the IIHF decision to exclude Greece (together with Ireland and Mongolia) we had sent the IIHF office a long letter explaining what exactly the National Team means to our country. In that letter, we went to great lengths to articulate that in other countries, the National Team is on the top of the pyramid when it comes to the development of the sport, but in Greece the pyramid is upside down – The National Team is the foundation that keeps everything else in place. Similar to any structure, if the foundation is removed, then everything above it will collapse.
Q & A with Dimitris Kalyvas captain of the Greek national team about the past, the present and the future of Greek Ice Hockey.
July 14, 2016 by National Teams of Ice Hockey
Greek Ice Hockey has been suspended since 2014, we chatted with team Captain of the Greek national team Dimitris Kalyvas who is on a mission to get Greece back on the world stage.
Can you tell our audience little bit about yourself?
[Dimitris Kalyvas] Well, I was born in Montreal, Canada and moved to Greece at a very young age. I started playing hockey in Montreal, as most kids did back in the 70s, and fell in love with the sport. Moving to Greece was a lot easier when I found out that ice hockey is being played there. I started playing hockey in Greece from the minute the plane landed in 1989 and haven’t stopped since. As for the National Team, I was a member of the first Junior National Team that was formed in 1989. In the Men’s Team, I become captain from 1998 and remained until the last National Team in 2013. I’ve participated in 8 IIHF World Championships and I am the all-time top scorer of the National Team.
How did ice hockey get started in Greece?
[Dimitris Kalyvas] Ice Hockey started in Greece in 1984 by players that returned to Greece from abroad. There was a small ice rink in Athens. No boards, no Zamboni. But, it was ice hockey! At the beginning, it was just games being played amongst friends, but very soon things started to organize. Team were formed, a Federation was created (1987), and the first Junior National Team participated in the IIHF World Championships in Yugoslavia in 1989.
Anyone who forgets his history is doomed to be forget himself. Whether culturally, in sports or elsewhere. In Greece unfortunately, we have a tendency to forget easily. If you ask a child today who is Nick Galis, I’m more than certain that few will respond correctly. The Greeks never knew how to honor those who have contributed.
From this page we will try to keep the memories alive, not that we can compare ourselves to Nick Galis, but for our sport, we offered a lot!
Let us remember how the golden years of the Greek Hockey started: