Ice Hockey has been played in New Zealand for over 80 years. It was first played in the South Island by farmers and farm workers playing the sport on any frozen surfaces. The first real ice hockey tournament took place in 1937 in Opawa, which is close to Albany in South Canterbury. After this tournament was over a meeting was held and the New Zealand Ice Skating Association was formed. Later on in the year in 1986 the New Zealand Ice Hockey Federation was formed. New Zealand's first international debut was in 1987 in Perth, Australia where they won the Bronze medal. New Zealand continues to compete in the International Ice Hockey Federation world championships in to this day.
New Zealand has four top league Ice Hockey teams. Four of the top league teams participate in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships annually. These teams include:
- Ice Blacks (Senior Men's National Team)
- Ice Fernz (Senior Women's National Team)
- Under 20 Men's National Team
- Under 18 Men's National Team
|Winter||7 to 10 June|
|Spring||15 to 18 October|
|Summer||10 to 13 January|
|Autumn||25 to 28 April|
Ice Hockey can be quite expensive to play, as you need lots of different items of gear because it is a contact sport. Although it is pricey you can find second hand gear and items that you will need to play.