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Thread: Austria - Nationalliga and other leagues

  1. #101
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    How do the lower tiers (3rd and further) of Austrian hockey look like nowadays? Are there any online sources of information when one could take a look at the resultst, standings and so on?

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drax View Post
    How do the lower tiers (3rd and further) of Austrian hockey look like nowadays? Are there any online sources of information when one could take a look at the resultst, standings and so on?
    The third tier leagues are run by the respective provincial federations, information on them can be found on their websites, as far as I know there is no single site that has info an all these leagues. The strongest ones are the top competitions of the Tyrol ("Tiroler Eliteliga" including teams from Vorarlberg and also Brixen from Southern Tyrol/ITA, google TEHV), Carinthia ("Kärntner Liga Division I", including teams from Salzburg, Eastern Tyrol and Toblach from Southern Tyrol/ITA, google KEHV) and Styria (Elite Liga, google STEHV). In Vienna the equivalent is "Wiener Liga" (WEHV) which only has 5 teams this season (including my club ;-). The top leagues of Upper Austria (including the best team from Lower Austria, OOEEHV) and Salzburg are considerably weaker.

    The leagues in Tyrol and Carinthia (probably the strongest of them) start pretty late as some of their teams play in open air arenas. Styrian Elite Liga (including the former higher league clubs Kapfenberg and Zeltweg) and Wiener Liga start end of September (all teams there play in indoor arenas).

    The leagues are all amateur although in some (esp. Carinthia) the most prominent players (typically retired pros are younger guys from EBEL and AHL clubs who didn't make it there) will typically receive some pay.

    platintv.com used to stream Styrian Elite Liga games last season (and also some from Wiener Liga), here's one of the final games between Kapfenberg and Zeltweg: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF3LKg8zhXY

  3. #103
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    Interesting (but disturbing) development around the amateur leagues in Carinthia/AUT: Due to obvious geographical reasons and for the sake of being good matches several Italian teams play/have played in leagues organized by the provincial hockey federation of Carinthia (Kärntner Eishockey Verband KEHV). Toblach Ice Bears (from the Southern Tyrol/Pustertal valley close to the AUT border) for instance have played a few seasons in the top league of Carinthia which also includes teams from the Eastern Tyrol. The former Serie A club Pontebba from Veneto has its mens team in one of the lower leagues of KEHV and so does a team from the South Tyrolean town of Olang near Bruneck (were Alps Hockey League club HC Pustertal is based). Last season the senior team of Brixen/Southern Tyrol has played in the "Tyrolean Elite League" run by the provincial federation of the Austrian (Northern) Tyrol. So far so good. This off season, however, the Italian federation (FISG) has decided not to give permission to these clubs to have their teams in Austrian leagues in an effort to force them back into the Italian league system which might or might not provide equally attractive competitions for these teams. While Brixen complied and entered their mens team in the Italian Serie A, the other clubs mentioned did not and chose to continue playing in Austria. As a reaction FISG has complained at the IIHF that teams affiliated with them play in leagues of another country without its consent which consequently has prompted IIHF to order the Austrian federation (OEHV) to use its jurisdiction over the Carinthian federation to exclude the Italian teams from its leagues. KEHV, however, has denied doing so stating that "Kärnter Liga" (where Toblach plays) is no longer a federation sanctioned league but rather a self-organised and governed rogue leagu (which is obviously a trick to get around having to comply with national governing body/IIHF regulations). OEHV has not accepted this and has prohibited its referees (i.e. all licensed refs) to officiate any games involving an Italian team...

    I'm absolutely stunned that in the European Union of 2017 national private organisations such as governing sports bodies with the help of the international governing bodies are coercively able to dictate their members not to take part in a league which happens to be run from another country although it obviously is a better fit for the club. The governing bodies imho abuse their monopoistic power over their clubs for their own goals instead of acting in the best interest of their individual member teams. I sincerely hope that FISG/IIHF/OEHV do not get through with this blatant attack on the clubs which simply want to play hockey in the leagues they think they best fit in.

  4. #104
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    Thanks for this information, although it's a pretty sad one. I really don't understand why is it necessary to build hockey borders especially on such "low level" where the most important thing is to keep the game going.
    Pontebba can get to most teams in KEHV in about an hour ride so now they should go for 2-3 hour trips to the closest team? This kind of decisions can ruin hockey centers, for what, just to play in a competition governed by the same country?
    What does Italian federation get from this?

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  5. #105
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    From my point of view, hockey clubs based in Italy have to abide by the rules of Italian hockey federation. Some people may prefer to abolish the countries and dream about United States of Europe with member states having less selfrule than individual states in United States of America, but it is not universal opinion, perhaps not even the majority one.

  6. #106
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    I can see both sides of the argument.

    However while we still have IIHF tournaments where countries are playing against countries, I have to agree with Drax, The participation of teams in foreign leagues can directly influence the level of the other teams that stayed in the home league system and the level of competition in those leagues.

    One might argue that we are talking about a lower level, however a decision at this level can set a precedent for the higher levels as well.
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  7. #107
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    Of course they have to abide federation rules, but wouldn't it be in national federation interest just to let the players develop?
    If Serie A (pro league) merged to Alps Hockey League, what is the problem with amateur teams which can't afford long trips every weekend?
    Like I said, we have an example of Pontebba, what should they do, in which league should they play?


    Anyway, in my opinion national federation should make sure that teams (players) improve, work with kids and work on infrastructure and so on... not in which league they play, that is an implementation detail and it has nothing to do with countries in geopolitical sense, but let's say we don't agree on that.

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  8. #108
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    There is already a precedent when in 2014 the FISG forced INL teams to move back in Serie A. It lasted two years before they let the surviving teams go into the AlpsHL.

    I do feel for the federation. The country's top team is in EBEL and the 8 following ones are in AlpsHL. The national championship is awarded by a Final Four tournament. They want to get back some kind of control over Italian hockey but I don't think doing it at such a low level will help anything in anyway apart from creating more animosity between the different parties involved.

    I don't know about the FISG setup but maybe it's time Italian hockey gets its own NA independent from other ice sports.

  9. #109
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    The situation is more complicated than simply clubs affiliated with the national governing body of the sport in the country they are located in choosing to play in a foreign league. Apparently it is the case that some of the affected clubs are not even members of FISG (and never were). Furthermore, Toblach (Icebears) and Pontebba are playing in Carinthia since several years now and are apparently happy with the situation. Pontebba is pretty far off from any other Italian hockey town and they are playing in one of the lower leagues in Carinthia (more or less rec hockey), a level on which afaIk there simply is no FISG organized league. The official policy of FISG is to grant permission to play abroad provided there is no equally good (or better) domestic league for the club seeking to leave. Apparently equally good is interpreted quite loosely.

    What puzzles me is that the rules set by the national and international federations have little to no democratic legitimation as these are private entities with no legislative power. Nevertheless they force their ways on all their members (and even non-members) via the factual power they have as (stately sanctioned) monopolists interfereing with fundamental rights of the clubs and the ppl orgaized therein (freedom of association for instance). And to make matters worse there is no independent jurisdiction within the system (except CAS) to which the clubs negatively affected by the actions of the federations can turn to. This is imho an untolerable situation that should be brought to an ordinary court. I say this as someone who holds a position in a sports federation so I'm not against federations at all. They should just do their jobs well and don't force their will on clubs that want to go different ways for plausible reasons.

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