Israel's first ice skating rink was opened in January, 1986 in the Haifa suburb of Kiryat Motzkin in northern Israel. Hockey practices began in Apriln of that year with former Canadian players as instructors. Shortly after formal coaching began, "shinny" hockey started and attracted many players who formerly lived in Canada, the United States, the Soviet Union and other traditional hockey countries.
In May, 1988, a new and larger skating rink opened in the city of Bat Yam near Tel Aviv. That same year, the Israel Ice Hockey and Figure Skating Association was founded. One of the first hockey games played in Israel was an exhibition game in July, 1988 between teams representing the rinks in Kiryat Motzkin and Bat Yam. Bat Yam won the game 8-5 before 200 spectators. Marcus Silverberg proved to be the hero of the game with a hat trick.
Israel's National Team played its first game in 1989-90 when a team of Israeli Selects met a team made up of Canadian UN Forces posted in the Golan Heights. Although the Israeli team featured several immigrant Jewish players from North America and the USSR, it was native Gal Assa who scored the country's first goal during the 20-2 loss. The first national championship was played in the summer of 1990 with HC Haifa defeating Jerusalem in the playoffs. Since most of the rinks in Israel were far below regulation size, teams played with only four skaters per side.
The Israel Ice Hockey and Figure Skating Association (now the Ice Hockey Federation of Israel) joined the International Ice Hockey Federation on May 2, 1991. Paul Shindman and David Popko were key figures behind this historic step. The National Team made its debut at the "C" Pool, Group 2 World Championships in 1992. They lost their first game 23-4 against Spain in Johannesburg on March 22, 1992. A few days later Israel recorded its first win at an IIHF championship when it defeated Turkey 8-2. They finished 10th at this tournament and remained in Group 2 ("D" Pool) where they began to enjoy some success in 1998 with a bronze medal win. The following year they . Israeli hockey has received a major boost in recent years with the opening of an almost Olympic-sized skating rink at the Canada Centre in Metulla in 1995. Through this period Benny Shapiro and Uzi Lee were the top individual performers in the national colors.