Bosnia and Herzegovina
|Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|National teams|| Men's|
|National federation|| Bosnia and Herzegovina|
Ice Hockey Federation
|IIHF since||May 10, 2001|
|Top league|| Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Current champion||Blue Bulls Sarajevo|
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country in the Balkan region of Southeastern Europe. Sarajevo is the capital and largest city.
|Bosnia and Herzegovina Hockey League||2002||-||Top-tier national competition|
|Jaroslav Jandourek Cup||2010||-||National cup competition|
History of hockey in Bosnia and Herzegovina
In the early 1950s athletic trainer Jaša Bakov first saw an ice hockey game played in Novi Sad, Serbia. He liked what he saw and brought the game to Sarajevo. The first ice hockey in Bosnia and Herzegovina was played around Sarajevo at the lake close to the park of the Pionirska Dolina in November 1953. The temperature was freezing and the conditions were ideal for the game.
The first players were Laban, Bakov, Andrilovic, Vuk, Dimitrijevic, Frajsar and Kreso. Soon Bakov organized games against the neighbors from Serbia. The first games were played against the Belgrade teams HK Partizan and KHK Red Star. Sarajevo lost to Partizan 5-4 and tied Zvezda 3-3. The historic Sarajevo team looked like this: Hamić, Rajniš, Bokan, Burazor, Čorovič Karalič, Laban, Trboglav, Simić, Šandor, Bakov.
Bakov also took his players to play in Slovenia. But the level of Slovenian hockey was considerably better. In Ljubljana and Jesenice the Sarajevo team was trounced 40-0 and 14-0.
Despite the heavy defeats the players weren’t discouraged. They continued to train and play local tournaments around Sarajevo. They also formed a team named “Bosna Hockey Klub”. When Jaša Bakov returned to Novi Sad the sport slowly died out in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Not until 1980 was the game resumed again in this part of the country. Zdravko Kebat, Ramo Karalić, Grujo Matić, Ibro Jelać and Anto Banić were some of the men who formed a new Bosna Hockey Klub (HK Bosna). They soon played against Croatian teams from Belgrade, Subotica and Sisak. HK INA Sisak especially helped the Bosnian club a lot in their development. They also had Czechoslovakian clubs from Prague visit them. They were able to secure a trainer from Czechoslovakia, named Jaroslav Jandourek, a former player for Slavia Prague.
Players from Zagreb and Skopje went on to play in Sarajevo. In the early 1980s the Sarajevo team played in the second Yugoslavian league. Led by Jandourek the roster looked like this: Matić, Šišić, Škrilj, Cvitanović, Požegija, Brajdić, Mučibabić, Čabak, Đozgić, Zurak, Gajić, Stoisavljević, Atanasov, Datbegović, Mitrović, Ređić, Karalić, Trboglav, Mitrović, Kebat, Prica, Planinič, Stradal, Njegać, Belev, Muhić.
When Sarajevo was awarded the 1984 Winter Olympics it meant that interest in hockey received a bit of a boost. In preparation for the Olympic games there was a friendly game played between players from the national team. One of the sides was named “Bosna” and won 10-8.
In 1985-86 the first Canadians showed up in Sarajevo where they went on to play. Jokat, Jamieson and Hayward all did well. The club finished seventh among the 12 teams in the Yugoslav Ice Hockey League. Jokat won the scoring championship scoring 50 goals. The next season Jokat and Jamieson left the club, but another Canadian, Rick Koritko, from Laurentian University showed up instead. Two quality veteran Czechs from Pardubice also played, Milan Kodousek and Vladimir Bezdicek. Kodousek led the league with 39 goals.
After the independence from Yugoslavia in 1992 there were only sporadic ice hockey activities in the country. Not until the beginning of the new millennium did they start to organize things on the hockey front. In recent years the HK Bosna club have arranged yearly hockey school for kids. They have also invited qualified trainers from Finland and Czech Republic.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina Hockey League was established for the 2002-03 season. Four teams participated in the league, which was won by HK Bosna. After the season, three of the teams became inactive, and the league went on hiatus.
In January 2007 the HK Bosna team played two games against KHL INA Sisak from Croatia, losing the first 4-6 and winning the next one 7-5. On February 10, 2007 HK Bosna lost to INA Sisak 4-5 (0-2,2-1,2-2).
The league was revived for the 2009-10 season, with teams all playing out of Olympic Hall Zetra (where the 1984 Olympic hockey tournament was staged) in Sarajevo. HK Stari Grad defeated HK Bosna in the league final to win the title. HK Bosna claimed the title in 2010-11 by defeating HK Alfa in the final.
HK Bosna left the league for the 2011-12 season to play in the Total TV Hockey League (also known as the Open Championship of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which also had teams from Bulgaria, Greece, and Macedonia participating. In February 2012 heavy snowfall caused the collapse of the roof of Olympic Hall Zetra, leading to the season being indefinitely postponed. It was restarted in November after the rink had been repaired, and saw HK Illidza 2010 emerge victorious. HK Stari Grad were champions of the 2012-13 season. Bosna also returned to the league that year. The Jaroslav Jandourek Cup, named after the old Czech coach, has also been contested since the 2010 season.
The Bosnian National Team played its first games in 2002. They lost in a ournament to HK Vojvodina 12-2 and Yugoslavia 10-4 at the Olympic Hall Zetra rink. BiH also participated in an international tournament held in Novi Sad, together with HK Vojvodina, Yugoslavia, Jesenice from Slovenia and Zillina from Slovakia.
In December 2007 the Bosnian national team played a friendly game against Croatian club HK INA Sisak and lost 2-8 (2-2,0-6,0-0). They made their debut in IIHF-sanctioned competition at the 2008 Division III Qualification tournament, which was held in Sarajevo. Bosnia lost to Greece 10-1, and Armenia 18-1. The game against Armenia was later changed to a 5-0 forfeit victory for Bosnia, due to the fact that Armenia had used ineligible players.
The national team was then inactive until 2015, when it returned to play in the IIHF World Championship Division III tournament. The Bosnians finished in seventh and last place after losing all six games while being outscored 46-3.
The junior national team played in Belgrade U18 in April 2002 together with Partizan Belgrade and Tas from Yugoslavia and Dinamo Bucharest from Romania. They participated in the World U18 Championships Division III in 2003 and 2004. In 2005, they took part in the U18 Division III Qualification tournament.
Special thanks to Patrick H. for supplying information on this country.