Thanks for visiting the home of the International Hockey Lineal Championship – created as a fun way to follow the lineal progression of international hockey in a boxing / wrestling style, “king of the hill” competition, where every game could potentially mean a new world champion! Inspired by the amazing Unofficial Football World Championships, the IHLC was born to follow a similar path to see who hockey’s latest unofficial champion would be, and where they rank among the world’s best by how long they can keep the “title” by defending it in “championship matches.” Tracking from Belgium’s victory over France in the first ever internationally-sanctioned game in 1905, the IHLC follows 100+ years of history, with over 400 title changes amongst 20+ countries in men’s, women’s and under-20 junior competition.
Due to political boycotts, NHL involvement (or lack thereof) in international tournaments throughout history, and the ever-changing formats of the IIHF World Championship and Olympic tournaments, the title has been held by the likes of perennial powerhouses Canada, the United States and Russia (sometimes for years at a time), and even by the likes of less powerful squads such as Poland, Italy and Japan. And the advancement of both junior and women’s hockey since their first international tournaments in 1974 and 1987, respectively, has brought an entirely different stream of competition to the IHLC.
As the game continues to evolve, and with emerging nations improving every year, the title will surely become more competitive than even the IIHF could have ever imagined, when the IIHF formed in 1908 with four member nations (mind you, neither of which were Canada or the United States). Whether during the annual World Championship, the quadrennial Olympic Games, or the semi-recurring (and we use “semi” very lightly) World Cup Of Hockey, every game has the potential to be a title game. How can you make every game more exciting than that?