It all started in Paris, 1908

The International Ice Hockey Federation was founded on May 15, 1908 at 34 rue de Province in Paris, France, as Ligue International de Hockey sur Glace (LIHG). Representatives from Belgium, France, Great Britain and Switzerland signed the founding document. Later the same year, Bohemia (later Czechoslovakia) joined as the fifth member. Louis Magnus, a Frenchman, became the first president of the LIHG. The first congress was in Paris the same year and the second in Chamonix, France, in 1909.

The General Congress is the IIHF's highest legislative body and makes decisions about the rules of the game, the statutes and bylaws. The General Congress elects the president and the council (board). The IIHF President is elected by the General Congress and chairs all congresses and council meetings. The council is the IIHF's highest executive body. The president represents the interests of the IIHF in all external matters and is responsible that all decisions are made in accordance with the federation's statutes, bylaws and regulations. The president also has the right to sign on behalf of the IIHF.

The IIHF General Secretary is the federation's highest ranked employee and has the role of the federation's chief executive officer.

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