Hockey in Greece
Hockey, both field and ice, is not very popular in Greece. Until recently, an organized championship did not exist and only amateur tournaments were organised by few fans of the sport. The establishment of hockey federations is relatively recent as well as the organisation of Panhellenic championships. However, a form of this game was played by ancient Greeks. A marble relief of 510 B.C., on display at the Archaeological Museum of Athens, depicts athletes that play a sport like hockey. In addition, the 2nd-century BC writer Plutarch (or Pseudo-Plutarch) refers to a sport like hockey with the name Keretizein (Κερητίζειν).
The first appearance of field hockey in Greece dates to the interwar period. It was introduced in the country by Panathinaikos A.O. in the early 20th century, but a national championship was organized much later. At the first post-World War II years the sport was played only in Anavryta Schools in Kifissia. Many years later, in 1994, the Greek Field Hockey Federation was founded and just after the Greek championship was held with the presence of six clubs. The first champion was the club AOH Hymettus from Anavryta Schools. The next years the hockey clubs increase. In 1998, the indoor hockey championship started. Because of the 2004 Athens Olympics a field hockey venue was created in Hellinikon Olympic Complex, the Hellinikon Olympic Hockey Centre. After the Olympics interest about the sport remained low, so in 2014 the Greek Field Hockey Federation was abolished, a move associated with a scandal related with the conducting of fake youth championships so that the athletes would gain bonus for the university entry exams.
Greek ice hockey clubs were found in North America since 1920. In Greece itself the sport began in 1984 by players that had come from abroad. At first, there were only five clubs, Iptamenoi Pagodromoi, Aris Thessaloniki, Avantes Chalkis, Tarandus Moschato and PAS Piraeus. In 1986 the Greek Federation of Ice Sports was founded. The federation regulates ice hockey as well as ice-skating and curling. Soon the first official championship was held in the Peace and Friendship Stadium, in 1989. The Peace and Friendship Stadium was the first big stadium with an ice rink in Greece. The Greek national team was formed in 1992. Despite the initial growth of the sport financial problems led to temporary stopping of ice hockey action. The championship stopped from 1994 to 1999 and the national team confronted great difficulties. Another championship was held in 2000 and the next was held in 2008. A continuing problem for the growth of the sport is the insufficiency of ice rinks. Today few permanent ice rinks operate in Athens and Thessaloniki.
- "History of Hockey". fih.ch. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
- "Η ιστορία του Χόκεϋ (ancient)". hellenichockey.gr. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
- "Η ιστορία του Χόκεϋ". hellenichockey.gr. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
- "Λουκέτο» στο χόκεϊ και αντιδράσεις!". gazzetta.gr. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
- "Κάθε χωριό και ομάδα... χόκεϊ στην Αργολίδα". kathimerini.gr. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
- "Κοντάρια, πακ και πατινάζ θα πει χόκεϊ επί πάγου". kathimerini.gr. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
- "Οι παγοδρομίες και τα «μαγικά» αγωνίσματά τους". kathimerini.gr. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
- "Ιστορία". icehockey.gr. Retrieved 26 April 2015.