|National federation||Korea Ice Hockey Association|
|IIHF since||July 25, 1960|
|Top league||Korea Domestic Championship|
|Current champion||Anyang Halla|
South Korea is a country in East Asia. Seoul is the capital and largest city. Korean is the main language.
See Category:Arenas in South Korea
|Korea Domestic Championship||1946||-||National championship|
|Korean Ice Hockey League||1995||2004||Defunct national league|
|Korean Championship||Various championships staged|
|Korea Divisional Domestic Championship||1954||2001||Defunct student competition|
History of hockey in South Korea
The first documented ice hockey game in South Korea was played in 1928 when the Yonsan Railway Club of Seoul faced the Tokyo University team from Japan. The members of the railway club later organized informal matches and a rival soon emerged in the form of the Kyungsung University team. Chun Yoo-Ryang was a key figure in the early days of the sport.
An early incarnation of the Korea Ice Hockey Association was founded in 1928, but the modern version of the association was not formed until 1947, with Choi Sun-Ik as president. The country joined the IIHF on July 25, 1960. In 1964 the Dongdaemun Rink was opened as the country's first artificial ice facility. A year later, the first IIHF-sanctioned match was played in Korea when a university team from Japan visited the country.
In 1930, the Chosun Hockey League was contested for the first time and Yonsei University became the inaugural champion. The Korea Domestic Championship has been staged annually since 1946. It is open to both university and professional teams. There was also a student competition, the Korea Divisional Domestic Championship, in place from 1954 to 2001.
The first semi-professional team (Seoktop) was formed in 1993 and the Korean Ice Hockey League existed alongside the Domestic Championship from 1995-96 until it folded in 2004. Since the 2003-04 season, the top Korean teams have participated in the multi-national Asia League, which also has teams from China and Japan. Anyang Halla won the Asia League in 2010, and was co-champions with the Tohoku Free Blades from Japan in 2011.
The men's national team first participated in the World Championships in 1979, playing in Pool C. They next participated in 1982, competing in the C Pool until 1996, when they were relegated to the D Pool. South Korea was back in the C Pool by 1999 and made it up to Division I (the former B Pool) in 2001. In 1984, in celebration of the opening of the Taenung ice rink in Seoul, the national team hosted an invitational tournament featuring the French club Viry-Chatillon, a team from Tokyo and the University of Alaska-Anchorage.
The team's most successful campaign thus far was a fifth place finish in the 2013 Division IA tournament, ranking them 21st overall in the world. As the hosts, they will compete in their first Winter Olympics in 2018 in Pyeongchang. The national team's recent run of success has been keyed by players such as Park Woo-sang, Kim Woo-jae, and Kim Ki-sung. Sang-Won Seo and Eui-Sik Shim were formerly among the top players during the 1990s and early 2000s.
Jim Paek, who is currently the director of hockey for the Korea Ice Hockey Association and head coach of the national team, was the first Korean-born player to make it to the National Hockey League. He played 217 games in the league and won two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Richard Park later made it to the show in 1995 and played over 700 NHL games. Neither player grew up in Korea.
The women's national team made its international debut in 1999, playing in the Asian Winter Games. They also participated in the Asian Winter Games in 2007 and 2011. In 2004, the country made its debut at the IIHF World Women's Championships. Their best finish was first in Division IIB in 2013. They competed in the IIHF Women's Challenge Cup of Asia on three occasions, taking third place in the 2011 edition.
The junior national team made its debut at the IIHF World U20 Championships in 1990, playing in Pool C. They have competed solely in the lower pools. The U18 national team had success at the IIHF Asian Oceanic U18 Championships, which existed from 1984-2002, winning a total of 14 medals, including two golds. Atthe 1998 tournament, in which they won gold, they defeated Thailand by a score of 92-0, which still remains an international record for most goals scored and largest margin of victory.