In the early days of Spanish ice hockey, the game was played on natural rinks in the Pyrenees Mountains and the region of Catalunya. The game first made an impact in the country at the beginning of the 20th century with a series of exhibition games featuring Canadian and British players. Spain's first indoor rink with artificial ice was build in Madrid in the 1930s. Four clubs created a hockey association in the early 1920s as a division of the Spanish Field Hockey Federation. The Federacion Espanola Deportes de Invierno (Spanish Winter Sports Federation) was founded in 1923. On March 10 of that year, Spain joined the International Ice Hockey Federation. The country participated at the 1924 European Championships in Madrid but lost 12-0 to Switzerland in its first international game on March 12, 1924. Spain also played at the 1926 European Championships.
Over the next 25 years, ice hockey was rarely played in Spain though roller hockey was very popular. The game was revived in the 1950s, but with only a few games played among the country's three hockey teams. During the 1970s, some of the country's top soccer clubs (such as FC Barcelona) began to sponsor hockey teams as well. In 1971, Spain's first modern indoor arena opened in San Sebastian and in 1972-73 that city's Real Sociedad team won Spain's first official national championship. They repeated their success the following season before crosstown rivals Txuri-Urdin claimed the title. Other participating clubs were 1976-77 champions Casco Viejo of Bilboa, Hielo Madrid, Jaca, and Puigcerda. The peak of domestic hockey in Spain was 1975-77 when the national league numbered 12 teams. During this time the membership included clubs from outside traditional hockey playing regions such as Seville from Andalusia and Las Palmas of the Canary Islands. In 1978 Casco Viejo became Spain's first ever representative in the European Cup. Unfortunately they stumbled badly against the Fenstra Flyers of Holland by scores of 9-3 and 21-2.
In 1986 the "Great Depression" took place in Spanish hockey. Faced with severe financial problems and a small fan base, the national team ceased operations. Players continued to practice and play informal matches until Romanian born Radu Enesco formulated a plan to improve the domestic league and national team. Other coaches, such as Jan Mitosinka and Dr. Richard Pergi of Czechoslovakia and West Germans Toni Waldmann and Bernard Haake, contributed to development of the game in Spain. The national team returned to the "D" Pool championships in 1989 and 1990. They won the bronze medal at the latter competition and played in "C" Pool from 1992 to 1995. In 1996 and 1997 the squad played in "D" Pool where it won the bronze medal both years. Those wins led to a promotion to the "C": Pool for 1998, but an eighth place showing sent the Spainards back to the "D" pool for 1999 where they won the gold.
A list of the top Spanish players would be topped by forward Frank Gonzalez. After growing up in Canada, he starred with FC Barcelona, Casco Viejo and Puigcerda. He also captained the national team, served as an IIHF referee and the Spanish delegate to the IIHF Council. Other notable figures were goalie Inaki Leclrecq, defensemen Roman Munitiz, Luis Fernando "Tito" Marcelino, Miguel Baldris and Carlos Kubela along with forwards Antonio Capillas, Ricardo VeaCarlos Del Saz, Jordi Pous, Ignacio Salegui, jua M. Izquierdo and Inaki Izaguirre.