World Ball Hockey Federation

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August 2014

  • Category: Blog
  • Published on Tuesday, 12 August 2014 17:50
  • Written by Domenic Di Gironimo
  • Hits: 803

Our sport has lost one of its all-time great wingers, Robert Mentis of Brampton Midnight Express (Canada).  Sadly, he passed away during a game at the old-timers provincial championship in London, Ontario.  Even in his 50's he loved the sport and was considered a spectacular offensive threat.  He is best remembered for his explosive speed off the wing and his laser-like shot.  Bobby was one of the most decorated Canadian athletes ever, with numerous gold medals from provincial, national and international championships as well as a multitude of individual awards, both all-star and MVP's.  I will always remember him as the teenaged boy I would pick up with his younger brother Chicky to travel with my team to some ball hockey tournament where he would amaze, as usual.  If there is ball hockey in the after life, some team just got a whole lot better.

June 2014

  • Category: Blog
  • Published on Sunday, 29 June 2014 09:32
  • Written by Domenic Di Gironimo
  • Hits: 1001

Jun-28-14 - Budapest: As much as I would rather focus only on the positives in the sport, such as Hungary hosting an international junior championship for the first time or India participating at U20, I find myslef needing to respond to the ridiculous social media comments about the WBHF and our WJC. Typically I do not engage in social media responses because it is a forum used mainly by the misinformed who lack the courage to engage in meaningful conversation to discover the truth.

For the record, the WBHF declared its WJC dates long before the ISBHF. There was no effort on our part to compete on the same dates, rather the other way around. It is a little known fact that I travelled to Europe late last fall to meet with some European leaders affiliated to the ISBHF to open dialogue between our organizations. I truly believe that we all have important roles to play in the development of our sport. Myself, Jaroslav Melisek and Chris Housser were the three most influential people in the development of the international growth of the game. Without our efforts there would be no ISBHF or certainly one without 90% of their members, which we recruited.

The decision to leave the ISBHF and form the WBHF was based mainly on a difference of opinion on leadership vision. The ISBHF prefers to allow the strong nations to have more power and take advantage of those still in early development. The ISBHF constitution is set up that way and their track record reveals this. The WBHF is founded on the basic principle that all nations have equal right and equal importance.

Getting back to the 2014 WJC, in December we invited the ISBHF to work together to host one big event matching best on best. They declined. I have to wonder why. Is it that their European members would rather not face the best Canadian and American national teams or to avoid the talent India would put on the floor against them. Or perhaps ASHI and CBHA would rather not be embarrassed by the USDHF and NBHAC superior national teams. Whatever their reasons it shows a lack of commitment to find common ground in growing the sport and I dare say a serious lack of courage.

The ISBHF has no official recognition by any international sport or games governing body, regardless what the mindless facebook and twitter bloggers say. If anyone knows that, it is me. After all, it is I who worked directly with IIHF to promote our game as a development tool. The IIHF has been very kind to provide resource materials to improve development support. It is largely inappropriate to use the IIHF name as a way to raise the profile of the ISBHF. The last dozen times I read the IIHF newsletter, which I regularly receive, there has never been a mention of the ISBHF or any of its events. Not because our sport is not worthy of praise, but rather because there is no official affiliation.

The real shame in all of this is that athletes are being hurt and prevented to enjoy international opportunities in the sport. Case in point, both the ISBHF versions of national governing bodies for Czech Republic and Slovakia issued threats against players if they attended the WBHF WJC. In a true act of abuse of civil rights there are several people who will be forced to explain to government authorities why they feel they have the ability to prevent people from playing an amatuer sport. It is the sole reason why a set of U18 Czech jerseys remain empty in Budapest and why many top players from Slovakia are at home instead of assisting their couragious borthers in Budapest. We will press this issue within those nations. The WBHF supports the players, first and foremost, something others should be more mindful of.

So I say here, in this blog, that all of us are equally responsible for the future of the sport and I challenge everyone to act in such a manner. I offer congratulations to the hosts in both Budapest and Bratislava and all of the athletes who compete at both WJC events. After all, is it not really about the players and not the politics.

OCT 2012

  • Category: Blog
  • Published on Tuesday, 09 October 2012 17:52
  • Written by President
  • Hits: 2077

The WBHF is alive and well through its early founding period.  Having earlier announced the world championship for 3+1 ball hockey in Bratislava, Slovakia in November 2013, the details for the 5+1 WC has been recently circulated to participating nations.  The WBHF 2013 World Ball Hockey Championships is officially announced as taking place June 4 to 9 with the cosmopolitan city of Toronto, Canada the backdrop for this historic event.  As many as 20 nations are expected to participate, some with entries in both the men’s and women’s divisions, staging the largest gathering in the sport’s history with some 800+ players and team staff competing.

The Men’s A-Pool already boasts the strongest field of teams ever assembled for an international event.  Top athletes representing Canada, Czech Republic, India, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, USA and the West Indies are confirmed and await as many as two more entries.

The Men’s B/C-Pool is expected to also feature as many as 10 competing nations, such as China, Croatia, Great Britain, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, and Spain among others whose applications are pending and/or being vetted.  After round-robin play, this pool will play out with the top clubs vying for the B-Pool title and the balance competing in the C-Pool medal games.

The Women’s event is also building up with competitive squads representing Canada, Great Britain, India, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, and USA, with more to follow.  The ladies’ championship will play down into two separate pools with the top nations chasing the A-Pool Gold and the remainder challenging in the B-Pool.

Billed as a senior event, the athletes are predominantly aged 18 to 35 years old with a sprinkling of exceptional younger players.  This showcase of the sport in one of the largest hotbeds of ball hockey will attract large crowds and much media attention.  Major sponsors will include international sports brand GIVOVA that has graciously extended an outstanding sponsorship apparel package.

More news on both WC events will follow as entries from national teams are confirmed and approved.

Plans are under way for several other major events in 2013 with continental championships, dekhockey international competitions and a Masters Cup.

Keep reading and more importantly keep playing!



May 2014

  • Category: Blog
  • Published on Monday, 26 May 2014 20:14
  • Written by President
  • Hits: 1173

I do apologize for the lack of updates. We have been focusing our energies on development projects.  I am pleased to announce that our Junior event this year, June 26-29, will bring for the first time a World Championship of ball hockey to Hungary.

The WBHF is focused on developing the sport through positive relationships.  We resist the temptations to react to those who choose only to pollute the sport.

The WBHF was formed and built on the foundation of the strongest people and organizations in the sport.  With the biggest and strongest national federations of both Canada and USA, the original founders of the India, Italy, Pakistan and Slovakia federations, as well as the most influential developers of the sport at the international level for the past 25 years all part of the WBHF, our future is bright and strong.

Our latest news features some of the biggest developments in the game.

The WBHF and their members share several important characteristics: proven history of development, love of the sport above politics and unwavering integrity.

The 2013 World Championships in Toronto proved without doubt that the majority of the best players in the world complete in the WBHF.  The competition in both the Men and Women’s divisions was unparalleled.

We encourage like-minded individuals around the globe to join our forces as we prepare for ground breaking World Championships in 2015 and 2017.

AUGUST 17, 12

  • Category: Blog
  • Published on Friday, 17 August 2012 17:01
  • Written by Domenic Di Gironimo
  • Hits: 2328

The world of ball hockey, street hockey, dekhockey is ever evolving.  I am very excited to be part of a new global initiative that has been launched as the World Ball Hockey Federation.  We used the term "ball hockey" in our name because it more accurately describes the many forms of the sport, the commonality throughout is the we use a ball, play with hockey sticks and a variation of hockey rules.

Everyone involved, far beyond just those listed as current Board members, are united in the pursuit of growing the sport.  Our vast network of experienced sport and event organizers provide expert development guidance, valuable resource materials at no cost and important contacts for suppliers, manufacturers and much more.  These services will expand as our website construction is completed.

We plan an extensive list of tournaments around the world, celebrating each format commonly played.  The WBHF recognizes that the sport has many forms and should be contested as each region requires, with integrity and fair competition at the forefront.

Check us out regularly.  The changes will be fast.  The news exciting.  The opportunities to enjoy the sport will be many.

Keep playing!



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