Hockey in Indonesia got a huge boost this week, with the IIHF granting their hockey program conditional status in their membership program.
According to Rule 19 in the IIHF Statutes and Bylaw handbook, the “Council may temporarily grant conditional full membership status to a Member National Association that has made progress toward full independent status and has a clear transition plan.” Currently, the Federasi Hoki Es Indonesia does have three indoor arenas and does have a small league, but there isn’t much going on otherwise just yet. It is good news, however, that they are recognized by the IIHF, because that should give them long term benefits to help grow the program.
To earn a full membership to compete in IIHF events, a program has to meet the following rules:
- A country needs to have, at a minimum, an artificial indoor rink that meets all the size and regulation standards. It must also have a minimum of 500 spectators, so a makeshift pond in Zimbabwe won’t exactly get you the status you want.
- You need to have a minimum of 60 players to choose from in a single category. So, if you want to play at the men’s World Championship, you can’t just pick out a beer league team and have nothing else to choose from. Same goes for any other competition, whether it be a IIHF U18 event or even a women’s tournament.
- They need to have a league of some sort. Zimbabwe couldn’t just say “hey, we have 60 players that practice for fun” and be fine. You don’t need to have a great league, but it needs to be organized and keep track of records and info and whatnot. It needs to have a minimum of four teams, so two teams playing each other every week doesn’t qualify.
- The country must also have a development program, aimed at educating players, coaches, officials and more to help build the game in the country. It basically serves as a way to help recruit players in the long run and, hopefully, avoid a lack of development and player registration in the few years after.
Hockey in Indonesia is still relatively small. Founded in 2000, Indonesia’s program has hosted and set players and teams to various tournaments around Asia. Richie Regehr, a former NHLer with the Calgary Flames, is the only top end professional hockey player to come from the country.
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