Ice hockey began in Romania in 1921 when the first games took place in Miercurea Cuic. The popularity of the game grew quickly and in 1924 the Romania Ice Hockey Association was founded. On January 24, 1924, Romania joined the International Ice Hockey Federation. Until 1927, Romania's hockey administration was a part of the Romanian Winter Sports Committee. In 1927, the Romanian Winter Sports Committee became the Romanian Ice Sports Committee. Four years later, it became the Romanian Winter Sports Federation. Today, the Federatia Romana de Hochei pe Gheata (Romanian Ice Hockey Federation) is in charge of the sport in this country.
Romania's first national hockey championship was held in 1925 and won by the provincial club Brasovia Brasov. The popularity of the sport increased after the country's first artificial ice rink was built in 1931, though many games continued to be played on natural ice surfaces in the country's mountain areas. Throughout most of the 1930's the capital of Bucharest contained all the top domestic clubs. HC Roman, the Roman Tennis Club, Club Venus, Club Telefon and HC Bragadiru. In 1938 the Dragos Voda Cernauti team from the Bukovine Region became the second club from outside Bucharest to claim the title.
Major steps towards developing the game took place in the 1940s and '50s, including the construction of new ice rinks in Bucharest, Galati, and Miercurea Ciuc in 1958. Coaches from Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union also helped develop hockey in Romania. The Rapid, Juventus and Venus clubs of Bucharest dominated the domestic championships during most of the 1940's. This was followed by titles on the part of provincial teams such as Miercurea Ciuc (1949), Lokomotiva Rata Tirgu Mures (1950, 1951) and Stinta Cluj (1954). Beginning in 1964, the Dinamo Bucharest and Steaua Bucharest teams dominated the league. The former was supported by the police while the latter was backed by the army.
Romania made its international debut at the World and European Championships in Poland in 1931, losing its first game to the United States 15-0 on February 2 in Krynica. Gifted netminder Constantin Dron was arguably Romania's first hockey star. His goalkeeping at the 1947 World Championships in Prague stood out as the only highlight in a dismal tournament for the Romanians. In the aftermath of this poor showing, the national team withdrew from international hockey for more than a decade. They resurfaced at the 1959 tournament where they won a separate group against Austria and Hungary. During the 1960's, Varga, Czaka, Ionescu, Ferenczi and the Szabo brothers were the best in the country. Also of note was defenseman Ion Tiriac who played with the national team from 1961 to 1964 and later became one of the world's most successful tennis coaches. Romania has played chiefly in "B" and "C" pool since the mid-1960's. Their high point came when they qualified for "A" Pool in 1977 and the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics. The top individual performers at this time were Ionita, Justinian, Antall, Gall and the forward line of Costea, Tureanu and Axinte. Following the revolution in 1989 that overthrew dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, the hockey program suffered while social and economic problems were addressed. The program has shown signs of a solid recovery with back-to-back silver medals in the "C" Pool Championships in 1998 and 1999.