The Annual Congress in Bratislava granted Kyrgyzstan membership in the International Ice Hockey Federation as the 70th member nation. Kyrgyzstan was welcomed unanimously as an Associate Member.
Ice hockey was introduced in Kyrgyzstan in the Soviet era when kids saw idols like Kharlamov, Mikhailov, and Tretiak on television, but only started to become an organized sport in the mid-2000s.
The Ice Hockey Federation of the Kyrgyz Republic lists 218 registered players from six clubs in as many cities. There are three ice arenas in the capital of Bishkek one of it with an international size ice sheet (60 x 30 metres) and 900 seats and additional natural ice rinks throughout the mountainous country.
Arstan Bishkek were the 2012 national champions, the fourth time the championship had been conducted in Kyrgyzstan.
One youth club, Ilbirs Bishkek, has taken part in the championship of neighbouring Kazakshtan since 2010.
Kyrgyzstan had its international debut during the 2011 Asian Winter Games in Astana, Kazakhstan, where it won the second-tier event (Premier Division) with a 6-0 record, finishing sixth overall in mens ice hockey at the event, helping raise the interest level in ice hockey in Kyrgyzstan.