Ice hockey, a game invented by Canadians towards the close of the nineteenth century, was first played in New Zealand during the early 1930s. At first matches were played under the auspices of ice skating clubs but, as the sport became popular, several ice hockey clubs were formed. For some years these remained members of the New Zealand Ice Skating Association. In 1963, however, following discussions with the Australian Ice Hockey Federation, four ice hockey clubs broke away from the NZISA to form the New Zealand Ice Hockey Federation. At the same time an application for affiliation was lodged with the International Ice Hockey Federation in London. If the application is approved, New Zealand teams will be able to participate in the World and Olympic championships. Affiliation will also facilitate negotiations for tours by overseas teams. In July 1963 the Australian Hakoah ice hockey team visited New Zealand and played several matches against local teams.