Gartenweg 16, 5700 Zell am See, Austria

The Tournament

25 Years World Tournament Zell am See

Established 1992

The basic idea of the tournament – enabling international games on the youth level – hasn’t changed to this day. The success story keeps evolving – other tournament-organizers tried to copy the „Zeller“ tournament, but they are gone just as fast as they appeared. The fixed annual date, the field of international participants (up to 20 nations per tournament), the solid organization and the sportive valence/athletic significance (AAA rating of the Canadian Hockey Association) are the key success factors of this tournament.

Since 1992 the World Tournament has established itself as a stable fixture within the wintry event calender and evolved into an significant touristic and economic factor in this region.

The economic figures are impressive:

– 6.500 overnight stays per tournament
– 470.000 € of added value per tournament
– approx. 162.000 overnight stays since the beginning, that means a single hockey player could stay overnight in Zell am See for 443 consecutive years
– approx. 12 Mio. € of added value in total
– approx. 117.000 € of visitors tax paid
– approx. 150.000 € of paid rent for the ice rink

Key facts

– Ice hockey was played on 250 days in total, usually from 6 a.m. until midnight
– 75 opening ceremonies have been conducted, as well as 75 victory ceremonies
– approx. 25.000 medals and 525 trophies have been presented and the national anthem of the champion has been played 75 times
– 144 games per tournament – sums up to 3.600 ice hockey games = 3.600 hours = 150 days of non-stop hockey
– approx. 1.100 athletes per tournament amount to a total of 26.000 young hockey players from 1.200 participating teams
– in the meantime the oldest participants are already 41 years of age !!

– approx. 25.000 young hockey players that associate Zell am See with a positive experience:

  • 2.300 Goalies
  • 9.600 Defenders
  • 14.400 Forwards

– around 10.800 goals have been scored – that’s an average of 3 goals per game
– approx. 18.000 penalty-minutes have been handed out – that’s an average of 5 minutes per game

Zell am See- Niedernsill

If we were to line up all the hockey players that participated in the tournament so far – the resulting row would reach from Zell am See to Niedernsill (18 km or 12 miles).


Participants from 32 nations:

Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Holland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Norway, Austria, Poland, Russia, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, UAE, Ukraine, Hungary, USA, Belarus, and nations that don’t exist anymore: Czechoslovakia, Russian Federation


25 years have passed since the premiere of the first tournament, 25 years is long period of time:
enough to use up 6 cars……
outgrow the teen age……
bring up children……
roughly complete half of your active work-life average life expectancy of a chamois, fox, tiger or penguin……

A couple of glances on the first year 1992:

The eastern bloc really was behind an iron curtain (it actually existed); a lot of nations that nowadays play in the tournament haven’t existed back then; the journey to the tournament happenend in several day trips e.g. from Novokuznetsk – Siberia. Steffi Graf was still playing tennis and lost to Monica Seles for the first time; the Olympic Winter Games took place in Albertville/France and the Summer Games were openend by King Juan Carlos in Barcelona. The Stanley Cup celebrated its 100. birthday, Sweden won the Icehockey World Championship in Prague ahead of Finland and Czechoslovakia, the Pittsburgh Penguins won back to back Stanley Cups. Mario Lemieux was the leading scorer with 131 points, Brett Hull scored the most goals with 70 and Wayne Gretzky assisted on 90 goals. For the first time the Baseball World Series took place outside of the USA and also for the first a Caadian team – Toronto Blue Jays – took home the title.

The contract to found the European Union has been signed in Maastricht; in Washington the USA, Canada and Mexico reached an agreement on forming a free-trade area (NAFTA); Helmuth Kohl was the German Chancellor and George Bush Sen. was the President of the USA until November when he was followed by Bill Clinton. Croatia and Serbia concluded a ceasefire agreement. Thomas Klestil became Federal President of Austria and Franz Vranitzky was named Chancellor. Michael Schuhmacher won his first Fomula 1 Grand Prix; Viennas Hofburg palace caught fire; the first text message from a computer to a mobile phone was sent. The amusement park „Euro-Disneyland“ was opened in Paris and the movie „Terminator II“ received 4 Oscars. Microsoft released „Windows 3.1“; the mobile network „D-Netz“ became operational; the PC wasn’t common property. The game reports were hand-written (in triplicate); statistics were manually entered and analysed; the equipment was patched up; the players tactical discipline wasn’t fully developed (players moved to wherever the puck went); every Eastern European tem needed a visa; currency exchange was a special task; communication with teams happened via telephone or fax and the language barrier was high.

Weiteste Anreisen innerhalb Europas:

Zell am See – Novokuznetsk RUS 6170 km (3840 miles)
Zell am See – Chelyabinsk RUS 4100 km (2548 miles)
Zell am See – Vantaa FIN 2300 km (1430 miles)
Zell am See – Moskau RUS 2300 km (1430 miles)
Zell am See – Espoo FIN 2100 km (1305 miles)
Zell am See – Novolopotsk RUS 1770 km (1100 miles)
Zell am See – Kiew UKR 1700 km (1056 miles)
Zell am See – Riga LAT 1700 km (1056 miles)
Zell am See – Minsk BEL 1580 km (982 miles)
Zell am See – Gheorgheni RUM 1350 km (839 miles)
Zell am See – Grodno BEL 1300 km (808 miles)
Zell am See – Herning DEN 1300 km (808 miles)

Overseas teams are not included – teams from Park City, Seattle, Chicago, from the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Ontario

The „who is who“ of the icehockey-scene

Malmö, Jönköping, SC Bern, Zürcher SC, Geneva, Cologne, Berlin, Rosenheim, Mannheim, Kranj, Bled Ljubljana, Zell am See, Carinthia, Salzburg, Dukla Jihlava, Novy Targ, Tampere, Bratislava, Riga, Minsk, Kiev, ZSKA Moscow,…