Hockey’s Governing Bodies

Here’s a look at some of the most prevalent governing bodies involved in the sport of hockey.

  1. The Federation of International Hockey, or FIH, is the international governing body of outdoor and indoor field hockey. Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland the FIH is responsible not only for field hockey’s major international tournaments like the World Cup, but also aims to encourage, promote, develop and control hockey at all levels throughout the world.
  2. The International Ice Hockey Federation, or IIHF is the worldwide governing body for ice hockey and in-line hockey. Responsible for the management of international ice hockey tournaments, the maintenance of the IIHF World Ranking, controlling the international rulebook and dictating officiating guidelines, it is based in Zurich, Switzerland, and consists of 72 members. Canada (Hockey Canada) and the United States (USA Hockey) are the only members who have their own rulebooks. The IIHF museum is located in Toronto, Ontario, and occupies over 3,500 square feet within the Hockey Hall of Fame.
  3. Although the International Ice Hockey Federation maintains worldwide authority, the organization has little control of hockey in North America, where the National Hockey League (NHL) is the highest hockey organization. Organized in 1917 in Montreal, the nation to which the name of the league originally referred to was Canada, but in 1924 it expanded into the United States. The NHL Board of Governors is the ruling and governing body of the NHL, and each team in the league is a member. The NHL Board of Governors aims to establish the policies of the National Hockey League, uphold its constitution and monitor any changes to the game in North America.
  4. The European Hockey Federation, or EHF, is the governing body of hockey in Europe, and the organization is based in Dublin, Ireland. Founded in 1969, it is the umbrella organization for all European national federations and they organize the Euro Hockey League. The EHF is one of five Continental Federations that are affiliated with the International Hockey Federation.
  5. The England Hockey Board, or EHB, is the national governing body for hockey in England and undertakes a number of roles including strategic direction of the sport, coordination of competition and international team management. The England Hockey Board was officially organized in 2003, now employs over 70 people and is supported by many dedicated volunteers at the club, county, regional and national level. The EHB is also a member of the Federation of International Hockey (FIH), and the European Hockey Federation (EHF).