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Thread: How to get started??

  1. #1
    IHF Prospect
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Schenectady NY

    Questions How to get started??

    Hey guys this is my first post on this forum.
    I had a question about hockey in Italy.
    Currently I play division 1 in ACHA. However after college I want to give Europe a shot. I have Italian ancestry and I know in terms of playing as a foreigner their rules are pretty relaxed. Anyway my question is how does one get into the leagues. I assume you don't just tryout for Serie A. Are the junior teams the you play for first, and then move up until you get drafted or are there amateur leagues or something? How do get in contact with the teams and coaches? I have been looking around on the internet and anytime I search Italian hockey the only leagues that come up are professional leagues. There's more than that right? Any help would be great.

  2. #2
    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Some of our European members might give you a better explanation, but I think it's fair to say you're looking at things with a very North American perspective. There is no "draft" as in North America.
    You might get a tryout contract with a team, either in Serie A (which is pro, or mostly so), though with only ACHA experience I think it's safe to say that's unlikely at best. Once you get into lower tiers of Italian hockey (Serie A2, and then I think it jumps to Serie C if memory serves right) it quickly becomes fully amateur hockey. If they take imports at all, the most you could expect would be for the team to hook you up with a job to pay your rent and help you find somewhere to live.
    Having Italian ancestry will not necessarily get you anything in Italy. Looking at Serie A players who are not Italian-born, the large majority of them played major-junior hockey, or NCAA Division I hockey.

    I'm not going to say you'll never find a place to play, but you have to realise that the odds against you are great with only ACHA experience.

    You might also enquire into playing in either Ireland, Belgium or Spain (the last one might be tough, considering some of the Slovak imports that have been seen there were from the Extraliga). Those are all amateur leagues, where you'd probably get help to get set up to live, but you'd be on your own for bills... Ireland's import restriction is fairly relaxed, though you might be expected to pay for your ITC (not uber-cheap). Belgium might be a bit tougher to get into, but they have a pretty established hockey history, league and clubs. Lastly, we have members who play with Turkish clubs, and who have information that you may or may not find helpful.
    If you want to follow up on those options, look at our "Players Looking For A Club" section. You might find some answers and advice there.

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