The Turkish Ice Hockey Super League (Turkish: Türkiye Buz Hokeyi Süper Ligi, abbreviated TBHSL) is the highest level of ice hockey in Turkey. It is operated under the jurisdiction of the Turkish Ice Hockey Federation, a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation. Unlike the National Hockey League, the Super League is not divided into conferences; teams compete in a single division. The league currently consists of six teams, from two different cities.
The Bel-Pa Ice Rink hosted the first match ever played in compliance with the IIHF rules and regulations, at the end of 1989 between Ankara Tarım Kredi Spor and Istanbul Paten Kulübü teams.
As of January 1990, ice hockey in Turkey was operated under the jurisdicition of the Turkish Ski Federation, and the first official championship ever was organized among two teams from Ankara and two from Istanbul. Ankara Büyükşehir Belediyesi, İstanbul Paten Klübü, Ankara Atatürk Buz Hokeyi Takımı and İstanbul Boğaziçi Patinaj Klübü has participated to the championship and B.B. Ankara SK became the champion.
The rising interest in ice hockey effected the increasing number of players and then the teams. The Turkish Ice Hockey Federation was founded in 1991. Rino Ouellette, a Canadian diplomat in Ankara, who coached two teams consecutively, contributed much to the development of ice hockey sport in Turkey. A tournament, organized in 1992, laid the ground stone for the establishment of Turkey's first ice hockey league in 1993.
Turkish Ice Hockey Super League games are played in two hockey rinks in Turkey. The Bel-Pa Ice Rink in Ankara has a seating capacity of 1150 spectators and hosts the games of the teams based in Ankara. The Kocaeli Ice Rink in Izmit has the largest seating capacity of any Turkish Ice Hockey Super League arena with its 3600 seating capacity and it is home to the Kocaeli B.B. Kağıtspor. Hockey rinks in Turkey follow the IIHF specifications for ice surface dimensions, 60 metres (200 ft) length x 30 metres (98 ft) width, and a corner radius of 8.5 metres (28 ft).
Apart from the hockey rinks in Ankara and Izmit, new olympic size hockey rinks are planned to be opened in Istanbul, Erzurum and Bolu. A new hockey rink will open in September 2008 in Istanbul. Another hockey rink is planned for Bolu, but construction has not yet begun. Under the 2011 Winter Universiade to be held in the city of Erzurum, three rinks will be installed. One is intended to be permanent, the other two will be dismantled and re-established in the other cities of Turkey after the 2011 Winter Universiade games
Since the 1992-93 a regular Turkish national league is staged. In the first ever edition six teams competed and B.B. Ankara crowned themselves the champion, by winning all five games. This team earned most titles – seven in all. They battled out their last championship in the 2002-03 season. Polis Akademisi ve Koleji (Police Academy) won five championships and is the most successful team in recent years. Kocaeli B.B. Kağıt S.K. from Izmit was stopped after reigning from 2004.. Since the beginning of the Turkish Ice Hockey Super League, Ankara teams earned most titles. Apart from the teams based in Ankara, only İstanbul Paten and Kocaeli B.B. Kağıt has won the championship.
Turkish Ice Hockey First League
The Turkish Ice Hockey First League (Turkish: Türkiye Buz Hokeyi 1. Ligi) is the second highest level of ice hockey in Turkey, after the Turkish Ice Hockey Super League. It is operated under the jurisdiction of the Turkish Ice Hockey Federation, a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation.