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Pacific Hockey League Australia

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So not sure what this means for the Australian Ice Hockey League or if this is the new AIHL but this could be a competing league but there is a new league in Australia and New Zealand. The Pacific Hockey League will be starting (most likely in July) in 2022 with 5 teams and one in New Zealand in 2023. Teams will be a revamped Adelaide Avalanche, Melbourne Ducks, Brisbane Rampage, The Coast and Canberra. Queenstown Rush will begin play in 2023 in Queenstown, New Zealand. Having played at the Queenstown Ice Arena, its a very small arena that already houses the NZIHL's Southern Stampede. I have a soft spot for the NZIHL as I was part of a group that got the NZIHL's first expansion team in Dunedin and I wonder what this could mean for the NZIHL. I'd be all for a trans-tasman league but not at the expense of the NZIHL.




Pacific Hockey League website

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I don't think it's got anything to do with the AIHL other than the Avalanche being the team who went broke and the then players started the Adrenaline and the original Brisbane side moving to the Gold Coast and going bust, oh and the Central Coast Rhinos pulled out in 2008??


Seems strange that the AIHL would start in April and then this new league would start in July, even more so if the Avalanche are using the same Arena as the Adrenaline.


Melbourne Ducks Hockey will play out of an Arena that can only hold a small crowd of around 500.


None from Sydney will limit exposure for this league.


Love to see the logistics behind a Brisbane to Queenstown match.

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1 hour ago, Geoff said:

Is this related to the NHSL or will Australia have three "top" tier leagues? It looks to be unrelated. 


The NHSL although called National is only in Adelaide, South Australia (SA has this problem calling all their leagues National for some reason?) and even though it claims to be the oldest Ice Hockey League in Australia it only started in 2021 after the last incarnation went bust.


It's a three team state or City league at best.


As for the Pacific league i was told that it could be the league that merges with the AIHL after the AIHL has also reported on their site that they have an expansion team entering in 2023 and another one in 2025. Central Coast and Brisbane is my guess.

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  • Conrad. changed the title to Pacific Hockey League Australia

I was just thinking it is somewhat strange that they seem to be marketing themselves as a top teir league and could potentially be competing with the AIHL. Its a sport that is not a major in Australia and I dont understand the reason to have two top level leagues of hockey in a country that hockey isnt that popular. 


Again, maybe my softspot for the NZIHL, but I really don't like this idea and I dont think the Rush will last in Queenstown. The Southern Stampede have got a nice following in Queenstown and have great local support and the NZIHL would be playing at the same time as this league. Just don't see it working (and kind of hoping they don't). Even though they are the Dunedin Thunder's biggest rival, I don't want them to lost out to an Australian league.


Thank's @Conrad.for the spell check on the topic name. I saw that after I hit button to start the topic and couldn't change it.

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Agreed. I'm all for growing the game down there but I believe they should keep their leagues seperate. New Zealand and Australia aren't actually that close geographically. It still takes 3 hours to fly from Christchurch to Sydney. It's still kind of pricey to fly betwen the two nations and the travel costs to constantly fly back and forth often would be a financial disaster for a low populatrity sport like hockey in those two countries. I'm all for an annual Trans-Tasman Tournament like they had a few years ago and only lasted a season. It was a tournament style with the top two teams from each league if I recall. Do it as a pre-season tournament and alternate hosting between the two countries each season. 


Just doing a quick Google map search, here are the flight times between Queenstown and the Australian based PHL teams:


Queenstown-Adelaide: 9 hours

Queenstown-Melbourne: 6.5 hours

Queenstown-Brisbane: 6.5 hours

Queenstown-Central Coast: 7 hours to Sydney then a drive to Central Coast


All have connecting flights and costs are like $800 a ticket return... Just a rough estimate, that would be $20 000 for a team of 25 players and staff and that doesn't include player equipment. Unless they got an airline like Quantas, Air New Zealand, Jetstar or Virgin to sponsor the league, travel cost is gonna kill it.


I just don't see it being that successful

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It's bizarre that we'd have 2 competing national leagues for what is such a niche sport over here. I don't understand that at all. It must be some sort of breakaway political issue but it's definitely not sustainable long term.


21 hours ago, kiwi_canadian said:

New Zealand and Australia aren't actually that close geographically. It still takes 3 hours to fly from Christchurch to Sydney.


Yeah but it's 2.5 hours to fly from Adelaide to Brisbane. 4.5 hours to fly from Perth to the east coast. Long flights are just a reality of conducting national level sport in Australia unfortunately. We have or have had NZ teams in our basketball, soccer, rugby league, netball and various other national leagues basically constantly over the last 20 years.


On 3/3/2022 at 1:53 PM, tigers said:

(SA has this problem calling all their leagues National for some reason?)


This makes sense for Australian Rules Football, because 100 years ago "National Football" was a relatively common term to differentiate it from the World game. That's long gone by the wayside but the SANFL live about 40 years in the past. I have no idea why an Ice Hockey league based only in SA would have National in the name.

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