Ice hockey tournaments have been around for a very long time. In 1875, Canadians adapted the sport of hockey into an on-ice version which is played to this day and has grown in popularity around the world. In 1920, ice hockey made its debut at the Olympics in Belgium, and the competition between proud hockey-playing countries was on. The idea of playing against players from all over the world was a dream for any hockey player but this was reserved for the sport’s top players and was out of reach for many who play the sport recreationally.
Fast forward to 1996… CARHA Hockey, in its 21st year of operation, had experience in organizing ice hockey tournaments for adult rec players but wanted to bring that international flair and excitement to a hockey tournament that could be enjoyed by all. This is where the CARHA Hockey World Cup was born. It would be the first international recreational tournament of its kind with the goal of bringing hockey players from around the world to Canada to experience an Olympic-style tournament in a fun and spirited way. The first installment, hosted in Toronto, Ontario, saw 2,500 ice hockey players gather in one of Canada’s greatest cities, and this would turn out to be something special. The hockey was one thing, but the camaraderie and relationships made from the tournament stood out and are what make the tournament a unique experience to this day. The first edition of the CARHA Hockey World Cup would generate seven million dollars in economic stimulation and help establish the tournament to be held every four years in a different Canadian city. The Olympic-style structure proved to be a great success, and the hype from the first tournament would continue on to its second installment in Vancouver.
Coming off the success of the 1996 tournament in Toronto, the Cup made its way out west to beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2000. The start of a new millennium saw huge growth for the tournament as 4,500 players from 135 teams and 11 different countries registered for the second playing of the CARHA Hockey World Cup. Vancouver would draw 63 travelling teams to Western Canada for the hockey and festivities. The 2000 edition of the World Cup saw the community in Vancouver come together as a whopping 15,000 spectators made their way to the arenas to join in on the fun and take in the international play. The success of the tournament created 12 million dollars in economic impact for the city and province of British Columbia. Ten years later, Vancouver would play host to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, and we like to think the CARHA Hockey World Cup community lent a little helping hand in making that happen 😉 The 2022 edition of the CARHA Hockey World Cup will be heading back west to British Columbia and will be hosted in Richmond, the neighbouring city to Vancouver. See you there!