1934-1945

During the 1930s, some new LIHG members were added: the Netherlands (1935), Norway (1935), and Yugoslavia (1939), as well as the three Baltic countries Latvia (1931), Estonia (1935) and Lithuania (1938); and the first and so far only representative of the African continent, South Africa, was admitted in 1937. After the decisive congress in Prague, the Belgian Loicq continued as president, and he was assisted in the following six years by the vice presidents Luigi Tornielli from Italy (1933-1934), Gianni Andreossi from Switzerland (1934-1935), George Brown from USA (1934-1935 and 1936-1937), once again Hermann Kleeberg (1935-1936), Reynolds from Canada (1935-1936), Vassar Hunter from Great Britain (1936-1937), the Czech Rudolf Kraffer (1937-1938), Cecil Duncan from Canada (1937-1939) and the Swede Anton Johansson (1938-1939). The mandate of the two vice presidents elected in 1939, Jean Hediger from Switzerland and Joseph Wirtz from USA, lasted because of World War II until the first congress after the war.

 

The 1936 Olympic ice hockey tournament in Garmisch-Partenkirchen brought another record with 15 participating teams and a sensational winner, Great Britain; the winning team however counted a great number of British-Canadian dual citizens. Beside the modern artificial ice rink, which was constructed specially for the Olympic Games, some matches were played on the natural ice of the frozen Riesser Lake. After various negative effects on the game through snowfall as well as based on the experiences from Chamonix in 1930, the LIHG leadership decided to allocate any future international championships only to countries which dispose of an artificial ice arena.

 

According to a decision of the federation, official LIHG championships should continue to be played every year, but recognized as world championships only if at least one association from outside Europe would take part. In the Olympic years, there should not be a separate LIHG championship, instead, the Olympic ice hockey tournament should be considered as world championship. It was believed that these decisions would point the way ahead for a long time towards a sound development, and there was reason to hope for a further impetus – then came World War II with all its horrors.

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