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Bulgarian Ice Hockey Federation
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  • Incorporated  1946
  • Joined the IIHF  July 25, 1960
  • 230  registered players
  • 9  registered clubs
  • President:  Krasimir Krastev
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Hockey in Bulgaria
The history of hockey in Bulgaria began in 1929 when the Bulgarian Skating Club was created. A handful of players took part in a few intramural games and later played against each other on newly created teams: AS-23 and FC-13. Sources indicate the Bulgarian National Team played its first international game against Yugoslavia on January 17, 1942 and won 4-2.

Hockey was revived in Bulgaria after World War II. In 1946 the Bulgarian Skating and Ice Hockey Federation (now the Bulgarska Federatsiya po Hokej na Led or Bulgarian Ice Hockey Federation) was founded. Sofia's Yunak sports arena was converted into a hockey rink in 1949 in preparation for the country's first tournament. Four teams participated -- Spartak, Slavia, Levski, and Sredec -- with Spartak emerging victorious. Also that year, Akademik won the first Sofia city championship.

Hockey became increasingly popular in Bulgaria and in 1950 five new sports clubs were founded, each with their own hockey team. In 1952, the country's first national championship took place on the ice of a frozen lake near the Musala mountains. The first national junior tournament was also held that year. Cervano Zname dominated the national league up to 1963 then continued its winning ways under its new label, CSKA Sofia. In 1968 the name was again changed to CSKA September Fahne. The balance of power shifted in 1976 when Levski-Spartak Sofia won its first title. Soon the CSKA, Spartak and Slavia clubs from the capital began taking turns claiming the title. The national championship has invariably been contested between these traditional powers plus Akademik Sofia and Metallurg de Pernik.

Bulgaria's first artificial ice rink opened in Sofia in 1960. After joining the International Ice Hockey Federation on July 25, 1963, Bulgaria began to play regularly at the World and European Championships. They debuted at the 1963 "C" Pool Championships and remained chiefly at that level until 1991. Bulgaria played at the "B" Pool level in 1992 and 1993 before difficulties set in which caused them to drop as far as "D" Pool by 1996. They started to climb again , however, and after capturing the gold in the 1998 "D" Pool World Championships, Bulgaria rejoined the "C" Pool for 1999. However a last-place finish would relegate them back to the D level. The national team finished 12th during their first Olympic appearance at Innsbruck in 1976.

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