Welcome Puerto Rico!
by Martin Merk|29 SEP 2022
Puerto Rican teams have played at tournaments in the United States in recent years.
The International Ice Hockey Federation welcomes the Puerto Rico Ice Hockey Association as its newest member. The 2022 IIHF Semi-Annual Congress today approved the admission of Puerto Rico as an associate member.

With the addition of the Caribbean island, the IIHF grows to 83 member national associations.

The Puerto Rico Ice Hockey Association was formally founded in 2020. Currently 205 players are registered with the organization from the island of 3.1 million inhabitants.

“We are extremely honoured to be admitted as a member of the IIHF. Our goal is to represent Puerto Rico at the highest level possible on the international stage and this brings us one step closer to doing that,” said Scott Vargas, the Executive Director of the PRIHA. “In just 28 months we have accomplished a lot for a small hockey nation and this official recognition will give us a greater ability to grow the game of ice hockey in Puerto Rico.”
Puerto Rico’s only ice rink is located in Aguadilla on the west coast.
After a short-lived ice rink in the ‘70s, ice hockey restarted when the Aguadilla Ice Skating Rink opened its doors on the west coast of Puerto Rico in October 2004 – a small rink in beachfront location that allowed for 3-on-3 ice hockey but is currently closed due to damage created by a hurricane.

In 2006 the New York Rangers and the Florida Panthers visited the island and played an NHL pre-season game in the capital of San Juan at the multifunctional Jose Miguel Agrelot Coliseum. It was the first time NHL teams played in the Caribbean and on the American continent south of Florida.
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In recent years Puerto Rican teams participated in international amateur hockey tournaments in the United States.

Click here for the country profile of Puerto Rico.

The 2022 IIHF Semi-Annual Congress also approved the change from associate to full membership for Iran following the country’s first participation in the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship program.