Scottish National League (1929–1954)

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The Scottish National League was the first ice hockey league in Scotland. It operated from 1929 to 1954, with a break between 1940 and 1946 due to World War II.

History

It was founded in 1929 by 10 teams based out of the Crossmyloof Ice Rink in Glasgow. Two teams, Doonside and Bridge of Weir, were not based in Glasgow, but still played out of Crossmyloof.

In its inaugural season, the league's 10 teams started by playing in a Points Competition. The five top teams in the standings went on to play in the First Division, while the bottom five finishers formed a Second Division. The Glasgow Mohawks won the First Division and became the first Scottish champions.

The 1930-31 season began with nine teams, Doonside having disbanded over the off-season. The Canada Cup was introduced as the league championship trophy. It was donated by a Canadian club that had played at Crossmyloof Ice Rink the previous year.

The league's membership remained at nine for 1931-32, but dropped to eight the following year as the Achtungs merged with Bearsden to form the Glasgow Bears and Glasgow Skating Club was incoroporated into Glasgow University. A new team, known as Juniors, was formed and was restricted to players aged 18 and under.

Queens folded prior to the 1933-34 season and the Glasgow Bears followed suit a year later, leaving six teams remaining in the Scottish League. The Dennistoun Eagles, Juniors, and the defending-champions Bridge of Weir were disbanded after the 1934-35 season. To account for the losses, two new teams - the Glasgow Mustangs and Glasgow Lions - were formed.

The Scottish National League finally expanded beyond the confines of Crossmyloof Ice Rink for the 1936-37 season, with the formation of the Perth Panthers, who played at Central Scotland Ice Rink. The league, which had been strictly amateur at its outset, saw the first signs of semi-professionalism creep in this year, as Perth paid small "expenses" to obtain Canadian imports. A new rule, stipulating that the first place team was required to finish at least three points ahead of any challengers, or face a playoff, was introduced this year.

A second team in Perth, the Perth Black Hawks, joined the Scottish National League in 1937-38. The two Perth teams, aided by their semi-professional players, finished first and second in the league, with the Panthers coming in three points ahead of the Black Hawks.

The transition to semi-professionalism was complete by 1938-39, as the league further expanded, admitting the Dundee Tigers, Falkirk Lions, and the Fife Flyers, all of whom paid to acquire talent from Canada and England. Three teams folded prior to the season, the Glasgow Mustangs, Glasgow Lions, and the Perth Black Hawks. With the extensive amount of roster and team changes, the Points Competition was re-introduced this year to serve as a "settling in" period prior to the commencement of the league championship for the Canada Cup.

Further changes ensued for 1939-40, the final season played prior to a six year hiatus due to World War II, as the Ayr Raiders and Dunfermline Vikings came aboard, while the Glasgow Mohawks and Kelvingrove disbanded. This marked the end of Scottish National League hockey at Crossmyloof Ice Rink. The Points Competition was once again contested to begin the season, followed by the league championship. The Canada Cup was retired as the championship trophy prior to the season. Due to the effects of the war, regulations on player movement were relaxed this season.

It was suspended during the Second World War, but returned in 1946. Membership remained mostly unchanged, save for the addition of the Paisley Pirates. End-of-year playoffs were also introduced, with the teams vying to win the Anderson Trophy. The Bairns Trophy was also introduced as a consolation event for teams who failed to qualify for the playoffs. It served this function through the 1951-52 season.

The league was split into Eastern and Western Sections for the 1947-48 season. A new team, the Glasgow Bruins, entered the league this year. The divisions reunited the following year after the demise of the Bruins. Between 1948-49 and 1951-52, the regular season champions were awarded the Coronation Cup.

Membership remained unaltered until the 1952-53 season, when the Edinburgh Royals were admitted to the league. The Dunfermline Vikings withdrew prior to the 1953-54 season, which was the last season of the Scottish National League.

In 1954, the league merged with the English National League to form the British National League. Seven of the 11 teams to play in the first season of the BNL originated from the SNL.

Champions

Regular season

For additional information, see the articles on the Scottish Canada Cup and the Coronation Cup.

1930: Glasgow Mohawks
1931: Kelvingrove
1932: Glasgow Mohawks
1933: Bridge of Weir
1934: Kelvingrove
1935: Bridge of Weir
1936: Glasgow Mohawks
1937: Glasgow Mohawks
1938: Perth Panthers
1939: Dundee Tigers
1940: Fife Flyers
1947: Perth Panthers
1948: East Division - Dundee Tigers, West Division - Paisley Pirates
1949: Fife Flyers
1950: Fife Flyers
1951: Paisley Pirates
1952: Ayr Raiders
1953: Ayr Raiders
1954: Paisley Pirates

Playoffs

For additional information, see the article on the Anderson Trophy.

1947: Dunfermline Vikings
1948: Dundee Tigers
1949: Falkirk Lions
1950: Falkirk Lions
1951: Paisley Pirates
1952: Falkirk Lions
1953: Ayr Raiders
1954: Falkirk Lions

References

See also


Scottish National League seasons
1929–30 - 1930–31 - 1931–32 - 1932–33 - 1933–34 - 1934–35 - 1935–36 - 1936–37 - 1937–38 - 1938–39 - 1939–40 - 1946–47 - 1947–48 - 1948–49 - 1949–50 - 1950–51 - 1951–52 - 1952–53 - 1953–54
Competitions in Scotland (1929-1956)
Major Competitions

Scottish National League (1929-1954) - Points Competition (1929-1940) - Mitchell Trophy (1929-1939) - Scottish Canada Cup (1931-1954) - President's Pucks (1933-1939) - Coronation Cup (1937-1953) - Scottish Cup (1939-1955) - Anderson Trophy (1939-1954) - Scottish League Flag (1946-1947) - Scottish Autumn Cup (1947-1953) - Scottish Amateur League (1955-1956)

Minor Competitions

Airlie Trophy (1939-1953) - Alexander Trophy (1940-1951) - Association Cup (1949-1950) - Bairns Trophy (1939-1953) - Coronation Tournament (1937) - Fife Championship (1949-1951) - Silver Jubilee Cup (1948-1951) - Simpson Trophy (1938-1956) - West of Scotland Challenge Cup (1949-1955)

European Hockey Overview
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