In Sydney and NSW, ice hockey is administered at state level by Ice Hockey NSW (IHNSW). IHNSW runs official competitions ranging in age and standard from small children and beginners to elite level state based competitions with male, female and mixed gender teams.


There are various IHNSW aligned ice hockey clubs in Sydney and Newcastle. The main IHNSW club season runs during the Australian winter period (April – September), playing at various rinks in Sydney and Newcastle. [Read More]


Above adult level club level hockey, IHNSW also administers the East Coast Super League (ECSL) competition. There are 5 teams in the ECSL with 4 teams based in Sydney and one in Newcastle. ECSL runs parallel to but separate from the Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) which is a National level competition. 


The NSW based East Coast Super League (ECSL) is an elite/high level Australian mens (age/eligibility restrictions apply) competition where full contact is allowed. ECSL is held during the Australian winter (usually March/April – August/September in parallel with the Australian Ice Hockey League (AHIL). Prior to 2017, ECSL games were played immediately after AIHL games. ECSL is a step between Ice Hockey NSW (INSW) club hockey and AIHL ESCL is administered by IHNSW.


To help promote and develop players before possibly playing at AIHL level, there is age & eligibility restrictions. ECSL is also good for players who do not want to play AIHL but want to play at a high level. There is a lot less travel in the ECSL with 4 teams in Sydney and 1 in Newcastle. The Sydney based ECSL teams are not linked or affiliated with the Sydney based AIHL teams. Sydney based ECSL players are initially drafted onto one of the Sydney ECSL teams after taking part in a tryout before the season starts.


  • ECSL/AIHL players under 23 – Can play unlimited games in both AIHL & ECSL.
  • ECSL/AIHL players over 23 can play up to 5 AIHL games per season. Players with 6 or more AIHL games in the season can not return to ECSL that season but can remain in AIHL.
  • As of 2016, 40% of team roster must be under 25 years old. Minimum age is 17 years old. 
  • Up to 3 imports (non Australian/New Zealand citizens or Pernmanent Residents) are allowed according to IHNSW rules.


There is a 20 game per team regular season with a multi-game Finals series for the top 4 teams. Games are played over 3 X 20 minute periods with a maximum duration of 90 minutes. Periods 1 & 2 are Running Time while Period 3 has 15 minutes of Running Time then 5 minutes of Stop TIme. Draws are allowed during the regular season with no overtime or shootouts applying.


Bombers, Raptors, Rebels & Sting are Sydney based teams with Sydney games played at the various Sydney rinks on weekends. Newcastle North Stars (home games at Hunter Ice Skating Stadium) also compete in the competition and often travel to Sydney to play the Sydney teams.


There is usually a themed ECSL All Star game held midway through the season.

Page updated 17 November 2018