Description: What is the current state of Ice Hockey in the Philippines and what does the future hold for a country that many would not expect to be participating in a game which is mainly played in the countries that experience snowing for the better part of the year?
The Philippines would not feature among the nations where Ice Hockey is played. As a tropical country, Ice Hockey and skating to a large extent are the last games that one would expect to be popular. However, these games are now becoming mainstream, where they are also moving from recreational to competitive sports. With paypal betting sites being popular in the Philippines, it is an excellent idea to familiarize yourself with some of the games that you can find on these sites.
With paypal being an international payment methods, betting enthusiast in the Philippines find it convenient to make deposits and withdraw their winnings.Ice Hockey is one of the games that are offered. Evelyn Balyton, our sport betting expert (You can view his profile here), gives an insight on this game, its prospects in the Philippines as well as what is happening in other regions especially in the countries where it is deep-rooted. This information is important as betting enthusiasts using online sports betting sites will get a direction on where to place their bets. Let us explore this interesting sport together.
For those who may be new to Ice hockey, this is a contact sport that is played on ice. The two teams in a game, each fielding six players, use sticks to shoot the ball aiming at the opponent’s net to score and gain points. The sport is fast-paced as well as physical. The players in the game include the goaltender whose responsibility is to stop the puck into his or her net, two defenders, and three forwards whose main task is to score against the opponents.
Ice hockey is most popular in countries that experience a long winter season and subsequent snowing. In Canada, it is one of the most popular sports, often regarded as a national activity. It is also a major sporting activity in Eastern Europe, United States, and Northern Europe. Canada is the current world champion having won most of the international tournaments. North America National Hockey league which includes teams from the United States and Canada is one of the highest men’s ice hockey professional leagues in the world. Kontinental Hockey League is equally a higher league drawing teams from Russia and the Eastern part of Europe.
World Ice Hockey giants
Internationally, hockey is governed by the International Ice Hockey Federation, the IIHF. The body is charged with the role of managing the sports, organizing major tournaments, and also maintenance of world rankings. Currently, the hockey federation has a membership of seventy-six countries including the Philippines. International competitions are dominated by six countries which are also known as the Big Six, they include Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, The United States, and Sweden.
Looking at the above list, one thing in common; they are all located in temperate regions. This is the area that experiences a long winter season and ice is a common feature. In these countries and others in the temperate regions, Ice Hockey is played outdoors in the natural setting. The situation is different in tropical countries where winter is nonexistent and in areas where it is experienced it is normally mild and for a short period. The Philippines, due to its location does not experience winter, so the sport is played in artificial settings, mostly indoors. Ice Hockey and skating have become big times recreational activities, especially among the youth in the urban areas.
Ice Hockey in the Philippines
Although it is not a big name in the world arena, the Philippines is among the countries that are members of the International Ice Hockey Federation, having been admitted as an associate member in 2016. The sport is governed by the local Federation of Ice Hockey League. Although the country has been a member of IIHF since 2016 the national men’s team has been participating in the international arena since 2014 when they made a debut.
The Philippines despite being disadvantaged in terms of the environment where the game can be played naturally has been a force to reckon with in the world of Ice Hockey. In 2017, the men’s national team won the gold medal in the South East Asian games, something that shocked the world. It is not only the men’s team that has been participating in the international arena, the women’s and junior’s side made a debut at this level in 2017.
Full membership in the IIHF
In 2020, the Philippines were granted full membership in IIHF. Admission to this level is associated with the hard work and dedication that the country has shown in the game. The team has been performing well in recent years especially in the South East Asia region where they have won several titles including the Bronze in 2018 and the gold medal in 2017. The popularity of the game is now at a higher level.
It is one of the major recreational activities among the youths in the urban area. Indoor skating venues are used as practicing grounds and some of them have produced players for the national team. Like basketball, the game is almost becoming a mainstream competition. The recent upgrading of the country into full membership at the IIHF is a big boost. Among the clubs to watch as the game moves to another level following the upgrading of the membership include:
- Manilla Lighting
- Manilla Bearcats
- Philippines Eagles
- Manilla Chiefs
These teams have been producing most of the players in the national team.
Currently ranked at position 65 in the IIHF rankings, the Philippines is a team to watch in the future. With no Ice Hockey natural environments it has managed to field a strong team in international tournaments. Their eyes are on the major international tournaments and with the determination, they have shown, this is coming soon. For the hockey betting enthusiasts, the Philippines is a country to watch, the odds are high that they will soon feature among the best in the region as well as in the international arena.