Hall of Fame

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The ISBHF Hall of Fame was established in 2010 with the inaugural class of inductees.  The Hall of Fame is the highest honor the sport can bestow on a member of the ball hockey community.  

***NOTE:  This page is currently in development and we will have more details about each member added over the coming months.

Categories

Builder

Builders are those persons whose contributions to the sport have
helped enable the sport to achieve levels of excellence above and
beyond that which regular contributors demonstrate. Their passion
for the sport is demonstrated through their continued pursuit
growing and developing the sport on national and international levels.

Referee

Referees are those persons whose officiating careers have been
consistently performed at a level of excellence where they are
regarded as models for all officials to emulate. They are the best
the sport has seen when it comes to ensuring fair competition and
correct interpretation and execution of the rules of ball hockey.

Player

Players are those persons whose play at the international level is
recognized as among the best of their generation. They are the
talented individuals who have shown their ability to perform successfully
at the highest levels of international competition over their career.

Coach

Coaches are those persons whose knowledge of the game
has proven to be among the elite of the sport. Their leadership has been
proven to be immeasurable in helping their teams achieve success. They are the masters of the game in terms of strategy, tactics, and execution.

Class of 2010

George Gortsos (CAN, Defenceman, Coach, Builder)

George Gortsos is a true legend of ball hockey. He was the captain of the winning team at the first ball hockey World Championship in 1996 in Bratislava, scoring one goal and adding 12 assists as a defenseman. He later became the Head Coach of Team Canada that won four Gold Medals in a row (2001, 2003, 2005, and 2007). He also served as the ISBHF president for ten years from 2012 to 2022.  He is the only person in the Hall of Fame as a member of three separate categories.

His playing career as a defenceman was described by his teammates as a combination of Ray Borque and Larry Robinson – smart, physical, and simply dominant in the defensive zone with a hockey IQ as high as any player. “When the ball went into the corner with George and you were on offense, you knew he was going to win that battle and get the ball out of the zone.  He gave us such confidence on the floor and allowed us to take chances you normally wouldn’t take in tournaments.  But knowing we had George back there made it different – he was that good.” said his former teammate Frank Magno.

As a Coach, George’s 4 Gold Medals are the most of any Head Coach in ISBHF History.  As a Builder, George served as the President of the ISBHF for 10 years from 2012 to 2022.  You can read about his Coaching and Building history in this interview he gave in 2023 (click here to read) in Liberec, Czechia at the World Junior Ball Hockey Championships.

Peter Babák (SVK, Defenceman)

Peter Babák is forever immortalized in Slovakian Ball Hockey history as the person who captained their first ever Gold Medal team in 1996, scoring the game winning shootout goal to give his team the victory over Canada (click here to watch).   Throughout his ball hockey career, Peter was known as a leader in the locker room and one of the best all around forwards Slovakia ever produced.  He was a premier passer as well as one of the best centermen of his era.  He held several scoring records in Slovakian local leagues along with numerous MVP awards and championships.  He was one of the first players to truly define the “all around centermen” style of play.  His leadership is credited with helping Slovakia develop into the powerhouse they are today.  His passion for the game and love for competition was described as second to none by his peers on the Slovakian National team.

Christoph Jeannerat (SUI, Defenceman)

Christoph began his career as a member of Sahligut-Biel, and quickly became one of the best defencemen in the country.  He won his first National Championship in 1990 and went on to win five more national Swiss titles, along with numerous awards for MVP and MVD.

He was selected for the Swiss National team in 1997 and became the Captain in 1999.  He won All Tournament awards in 1999 and 2003 and finished his international playing career in 2005.  He was known as one of the best locker room leaders in Swiss Ball Hockey history, and was always the last person to leave the locker room while playing for his country.

His teammates described him as the perfect defenceman on the floor, never out of position and always able to read plays and break up offensive strategy of the opposing teams.  He was also one of the best outlet passers in ball hockey of his era, giving his offensive line mates many clean opportunities to start a rush into the offensive zone.

He later became involved in Coaching with SHC Grenchen, a top Swiss club team. 

Mojmír Hojer (SVK, Defenceman)

Jaroslav Pavlík (CZE, Defenceman)

James Mentis (CAN, Forward)

Peter Figura (SVK, Forward)

Robert Kašša (SVK, Forward)

Alexandre Burrows (CAN, Forward)

In 2005, the Canadian Ball Hockey Association conducted a poll on their website, asking people to vote for the best ball hockey player in Canadian history.

Alexander Burrows won with over 50% of the vote.  

Former Team Canada Coach George Gortsos described Alex as “having the best hands and offensive instincts I’ve ever seen in ball hockey.”  Burrows would win two ISBHF World Championships under Coach Gortsos in 2003 and 2005 before leaving the international scene to focus on his NHL career, which lasted 14 years.  Burrows credits his ball hockey career with helping him achieve his NHL dreams.

“The running and cardio demanded by ball hockey always had me in great shape for the game on the ice. I was always ready to go from Day 1 in ice hockey team camps.”

Alexandre Burrows burst on to the ball hockey scene in 2001, when the Montreal Red Lite won its first of seven Canadian National championships in British Columbia.  This highly skilled player was an offensive juggernaut who dominated with his passion and vision for the game. When the stakes were highest, Burrows came ready to be the best player on the floor.  He played on arguably the greatest line in Canadian ball hockey history with Ian Fontaine and Benoit Gilbert, setting numerous national and tournament scoring records.

“He’s the greatest player I’ve ever had the pleasure of competing against.” said former Czech Republic National Team and fellow ISBHF Hall of Famer Leos Rak. “He was gifted but really his determination and ability to lift the play of his team is what separated him from everyone else.  When Alex was on the floor, you had to account for him at all time.”

In the 2003 World Championships in Sierre, Switzerland, he helped Canada beat the Czech Republic 6–1 in the final. He tied for the lead in tournament scoring with five goals and 10 points, and was named the Most Valuable Forward. Two years later, in 2005, he won his second World Championship in as many appearances with Canada in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He capped the season off by being named the 2005 International Player of the Year by the ISBHF.

As of 2024, Mr. Burrows is currently an Assistant Coach with the Montreal Canadiens.  He is also heavily involved with ball hockey in his native province of Quebec and is the President of The Alex Burrows Tour, which specializes in large-scale ball hockey tournaments. They are renowned for being accessible to everyone and helping to bring together some the largest number of ball hockey players to tournaments, with more than 17 categories (men, women and mixed) and teams from all over North America.

Petr Kaňkovský (CZE, Forward)

Pavel Kormunda (CZE, Forward)

Robert Marchese (CAN, Forward)

“He’s the best sniper I’ve ever seen in this sport.  Balls came of his stick so quick it was unreal.  People talk about “an NHL type release”?  That was Rob.  If you gave him the smallest opening, he’d find a way to bury it.”  said former teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Gus Kourousis.

Rob Marchese is acknowledged as one of the most skilled players to have ever played the game. Certainly in the late 90’s and early years of 2000 he had reached his peak and was considered without peer as a scorer in the World. A sharp player, who had explosive speed, he also had the ability to turn on a dime with the ball, displaying wonderful ball handling skills. He was a goal scorer supreme, with the ability to dart into open holes and score big goals. He also had a great one timer of a shot that bedazzled goalies and probably still haunt them to this day. 

Mr. Marchese starred for the Midnight Express in Canada and was the spearhead of its high powered offence. He was a major reason why that club team won five CBHA National tittles in a row. He also was a leader on two ISBHF World Championship Canadian teams, 2001 and 2003.  He represented his country proudly four times at ISBHF World Championships, and helped set the table of a winning tradition and style that remains with the program to date.

Marchese’s biggest goal came in overtime in 2001 at the ISBHF World Championships against the Czech Republic.  The tournament was held in Toronto, Canada, where many friends and family were in attendance.  In an earlier interview with the CBHA, Rob was asked to describe the goal.

“Wow, what a great feeling that was. After losing in 1999 in Slovakia in a shoot out and coming home and winning in overtime to recapture the World Championship, that was something I’ll never forget. I remember the goal like it was yesterday. Gus Kourousis stole the ball at the blue line, the ball went back to Dave Marcelli.  Dave attempted to slap it in. His shot went straight up in the air and somehow ended up on James (Chicky) Mentis’ stick. Chicky then slapped the ball just wide of the net. Nelson Lajeunesse picked up the ball off the boards and threw it in front past two sliding defenders. The ball landed right on my stick and the rest as they say is history.”

Rob’s goal is remembered by every Canadian as one of the biggest goals in Canadian Ball Hockey history, and one of the many reasons why he is in the ISBHF Hall of Fame.  Coming up clutch when his team needed it most.

‘Rob was so good at find space on the floor to create shooting lanes.  But his athleticism and dedication to being in top shape also greatly helped him separate himself from the great scorers to the truly elite.” said former teammate Dave Marcelli. “He would still have gas in his tank to get a great shot off late in hard fought World Championship games.  He’s a big reason for Canada’s success at the World level.”

ISBHF President Elio Pascuzzo remembers Mr. Marchese this way “Rob played for me on several of my teams and he was no doubt head and shoulders above every one else when it came to big time goals in big time games.  He’s a sniper from everywhere on the floor and teams would often shadow him, which created opportunities for other guys.  He really helped change how teams approached defense in this sport when they saw Rob.  He’s one of the fiercest competitors I’ve ever seen, but also off the rink an absolute gentleman and true ambassador for the game.”

Rob was asked what his advice is for younger players.

“You must believe in yourself, strive to be the best you can be and never give up.  But of course – have fun.”

Rob has retired from competitive play and currently lives in Ontario, CA with his family.

Martin Lohnický (SVK, Goaltender)

Michel Perodeau (CAN, Goaltender)

Michael Perodeau burst on the Canadian National scene in 1995 while leading the Montreal Black Knights to Quebec’s first ever championship, beating the Burnaby Bulls with some unbelievable goaltending. This success lead him to be noticed for the Canadian National team, where he won back to back to back World Championships in 2001, 2003, and 2005.

Perodeau is considered without doubt one of the best goalies ever to play our sport. 6’4″ and agile, this great stand-up goalie was also a great ball handler.  Throughout his career he was a perennial National and International All-star, and through the years of 2001 to 2005 was considered one of the best goalies in the World. What set Perodeau apart was the great fire and intensity that drove him to be nicknamed “The Rock”.  That and the fact that off the floor, Michel Perodeau was a gentleman who was loved by all he played with.

“Michel was exactly the type of teammate you want as a goaltender – calm, cool, collected, but funny as hell too, which helped keep the locker room in the right mentality for all those big games.” said former teammate Roland Devantro.

With his hybrid standup style of goaltending influenced by Dominik Hasek and Martin Brodeur, Perodeau was know to make some of the most incredible saves you would ever see in a World Championship.  His size and agility were only one part of his arsensal, as those who faced him say his focus was arguably his greatest asset.

The pinnacle for Perodeau’s net presence was in 2003 when Team Canada dismantled a tremendous Czech team 6-1,in Sierre, Switzerland.  Prior to the Championship game and throughout it, the arena floor temperature soared to 35 degree Celsius (95 Farenheit) due to a freak heat wave.  Despite the temperature, Perodeau rose to the occasion and played one of the games of his life to shut the door on the disheartened Czechs.

“The 2003 Team was one of the best Czechia had ever assembled.  I remember we had numerous scoring chances in the first period and Michel made some incredible saves that really turned the momentum of the game.” said former Czech National Team Forward Petr Škarecký. “To beat Michel, you really had to get him moving out of position because if he saw the shot he was going to save it.  He gave their team such confidence to go on the attack.  Just an unbelievable goaltender who rose to his best in the biggest games.”

Michel retired from competitive play after his third World Championship Gold medal in 2007.  He remains active in local leagues to stay in shape and have fun playing the game he became so dominant at in his prime.

Leoš Rak (CZE, Coach)

Vladimír Hnilička (CZE, Builder)

Pavel Piš (CZE, Referee)

Class of 2011

Robert Koštál (SVK, Defenceman)

Gus Kourousis (CAN, Forward)

When you talk about the best offensive forward players to play the game, in Canada that discussion always includes Gus Kourousis. In the Canadian Ball Hockey Association, names like Alex Burrows, Kourousis, Benoit Gilbert, Yvan Breton, Robert Marchese and Claudio Lessio are the pedigree beacons. These were the offensively gifted bandits that the CBHA created. And make no mistake besides Burrows, Kourousis may have been the most complete player both offensively and defensive to play the game, and who also really had the hands of an NHL superstar. Combine that with a passing vision of a computer. And most importantly a winning pedigree. Mr. Kourousis finished his playing career with 3 CBHA National Titles and 2 World Championships. He also gathered numerous all-star and MVP awards.

Like Alexander Burrows, he had become a complete superstar  type of player, who was able to play the game at both ends and in any situation. He was the Tournament Leading Scorer of the first ISBHF World Championships in Bratislava held in 1996.  After his dominating one game performances ever in a big game a World Championship Gold medal game, the Slovakian crowd  began chanting his name.  

“He had the best vision of anybody I’ve ever played with.” said former teammate Nat Macri. “Gus could make plays from anywhere in the zone, and sometimes you would think he’s about to lose the ball and then bang, the ball is on a teammates stick to make a play because Gus just found a way.”

He returned to represent Canada in 2001 and played on Team Canada’s first line, along with his childhood friend Rob Marchese and Nelson Lajuenesse.  After this Gold Medal, Mr. Kourousis decided to wind down his competitive ball hockey career to focus on his family.

However, seven years later in 2008 he was he was asked to help establish and lead the Hellenic Ball Hockey Association, which represents Greece at ISBHF tournaments, to success.  Through his leadership and mentoring, he helped lead young Hellenic players in learning the many winning lessons he learned during his esteemed career. Not only did Mr. Kourousis lead them to the ISBHF B pool championship in 2009 in their first ever World Championship, he donned the pads once again.  Leading by example on the floor and in the locker room, Gus led the team in scoring.  In a sport dominated by the stamina of youth, this was an unheard of achievement for any ISBHF Hall of Famer.

“What Gus did in 2009 was nothing short of amazing.  This game relies so much on stamina, which is why around 30 a lot of guys don’t make the national team because they may still have their speed but they just don’t have the stamina that our youth gives us.  But Gus adapted his game so well and played what was really the smartest style of hockey anyone could have played.  Never out of position, always knew where to go with the ball, and really showed the Greece newcomers what it takes to be the best.” said former Team USA Forward Bill Sullivan.

We asked Gus to talk about his career.

“I began playing ball hockey at the age of 7 on the streets of Toronto just like a lot of other kids, and was fortunate enough to be part of a street team called the Westmoreland Bombers. I think back now, and recall at the age of eight we had to participate in a camp which involved running around the block, and doing pushups and sit-ups. I still remember being in the captains house trying to complete my third sit-up. That whole experience stuck with me for life because it taught me at a young age that I had to work hard to make the team.

I was blessed with the ability to play this game at a young age and fell in love.  I guess my skills were developed by competing against kids much older than me when I was younger. Also we used to play three on three on a driveway that was no bigger than ten feet by twenty feet. That would really help develop stick handling abilities.

My first worlds was an amazing experience.  To be able to say that you are a world champion at a sport is wonderful achievement, and to have memories that last a life time is precious.  The crowds in Bratislava were fantastic.  To hear the crowd chant your name in a foreign country sent chills up and down my spine and I will never forget it.  When I had the opportunity to play again in 2001 at home that also was special, especially in the fashion that we won which was overtime.  I had a chance to celebrate a championship with two really close childhood friends in Ross Ferreira and Rob Marchese who was my linemate.”

As of 2024, Mr. Kourousis has retired as a player from competitive ball hockey, but is still involved with the sport through his enthusiasm for coaching youth teams in his native province of Ontario, CA,,  He also helps the HBHA recruit and assess players for their National Teams.

Richard Král (CZE, Forward)

Class of 2012

Pavol Demitra (SVK, Forward) 

Mr. Demitra was part of the 1999 Slovakian National Team featuring three NHL players that defeated Canada in an Overtime Shoot-out to win their first ever Gold Medal.  Demitra was the 2nd to last shooter for Slovakia and scored on his attempt (click here to watch).  He lead the team in Assists and was named a Tournament All Star.  

Demitra held numerous ball hockey records throughout Slovakia, and is widely regarded as one of the best ball hockey players Slovakia has ever produced. His teammates often said that he would make plays at the World Championship level that nobody else could make because of his natural ability to see the game slowly and from a unique perspective.

“Pavol was just dominant in ball hockey, plain and simple.  He would make plays against top level defenders that nobody else could make.  I don’t know how he even did it sometimes and I would be watching from the stands.” said former Team Canada member Robert Belliveau. If he didn’t have NHL commitments, he would have set so many records for Slovakia.  He was also one of the nicest and most respected team members for Slovakia.  He set a standard for their National Team that remains to this day.”

Mr. Demitra was also a professional ice hockey player who played nineteen seasons of professional hockey, for teams in the Czechoslovak First Ice Hockey League (CSL), National Hockey League (NHL), Slovak Extraliga (SVK), and Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). A skilled offensive player, Demitra was a top-line forward throughout his career.  He was the Tournament leading scorer in the 2010 Winter Olympics, finishing in 4th place with Team Slovakia.  His ball hockey career in Slovakia was unrivaled by his peers due to his tremendous offensive abilities.  Demitra was known for being able to score from anywhere in the offensive zone, and would often force double teams allowing his linemates scoring opportunities.   

Sadly, Pavol passed away on 7 September 2011, when at 4:02 PM local time, a Yakovlev Yak-42 passenger aircraft, carrying Demitra and his Lokomotiv Yaroslavl teammates, crashed near Yaroslavl, Russia, on its way to Minsk, Belarus, to start the 2011–12 KHL season. The airplane caught fire and crashed shortly after take-off, a mere 4 kilometers from the Tunoshna airport. There was only one survivor out of 45 passengers and crew. The Slovak Ice Hockey Federation retired jersey number 38 from the national team in memory of Pavol Demitra.

Class of 2013

Marian Giba (SVK, Defenceman)

Martin Beseda (CZE, Defenceman)

Martin Kurz (CZE, Forward)

 

Class of 2014

Paolo Musto (CAN, Forward/Defenseman)

Martin Miklík (SVK, Forward)

Peter Tóth (SVK, Forward)

Sandro Morello (CAN, Forward)

Raymond W. Leclerc (USA/CAN, Builder)

Mr. Leclerc is considered the Father of Street Hockey and was the inventor of the “no bounce orange ball”.  The founder of Mylec Hockey, he helped propel them to be a leading innovator and manufacturer of street hockey equipment since 1970 when it was founded in Winchendon, Massachusetts.  

While Mr. Leclerc may not have officially invented street hockey — kids have been playing hockey in the streets with tennis balls and wooden hockey sticks for decades — he was the first to manufacture equipment specifically for street hockey, items like plastic hockey stick blades and plastic balls specifically designed to act like hockey pucks.

In 1972 Ray Leclerc developed the first orange “no bounce” street hockey ball, that allowed the game to be played on all surfaces and is still the standard today for street and ball hockey. 

His creation of products for street hockey in the 1970s came at a time when hockey’s popularity was taking off. He had deep roots in Canada, having attended boarding school there, and grew to love hockey.  

In a 1984 pamphlet celebrating the 10th anniversary of the American Street Hockey Institute, Mr. Leclerc wrote:

Those of us who love the sport want to see a healthy growth tor the benefit of everyone involved. We must continue to expound its’ merits and, with time, Dek Hockey will attain the wider recognition it so well deserves. There are many sports to choose from but no team sport offers more satisfaction to the average athlete than playing Dek Hockey. 

Mr. Leclerc passed away at his home in Naples, FL at the age of 88 in November, 2014.  His legacy lives on today through the sport we all love.

Ladislav Grunt (CZE, Coach, Builder)

Class of 2019

Stanislav Petrik (SVK, Goaltender)

Class of 2022

Kristen Cooze (CAN, Defenseman)

As one of the best to ever play the game, Kristen Cooze has become the face of Canadian Women’s ball hockey. A constant on the Canadian national team, she has represented Team Canada on 7 occasions, including wearing the captaincy in 2024. It is hard to know when or if this career will ever end, as she will likely be a part of the program for years to come.

Perhaps the most underrated player at the tournament each and every year, Cooze goes about her business in a calm and controlled manner that leaves opponents turning their heads with her intelligence on the floor. Her incredible international career began as a forward in 2011 in Bratislava, Slovakia where she claimed the Silver medal for her country. She followed this by assisting on both goals in a 2-0 victory to capture Gold in her home province, in her home country in 2013 in front of hundreds of family and friends. In 2015, Cooze transitioned to the defence position. And as someone who can really do it all, she was then awarded tournament MVP honours in the 2015 ISBHF World Championship. She followed this by winning the MVP Defensemen award in 2017, and All-Star Defense in 2022.

“I’ve played against Kristen in several World Championships for the Czech Republic.” said 2017 World Championship MVP   Kateřina Zechovská.  “Her hockey IQ for defenseman is the best I’ve ever played against, and she just makes everyone around her better.  Whenever you watch her play, you can see that she just knows where to be it seems a step ahead of everyone else.  It’s been an honor to compete against her and I look forward to watching her career continue on with Team Canada.” 

Perhaps what Kristen would rather be known for is her ability to help lead Team Canada to 4 Gold, 1 Bronze, and 1 Silver medal through 6 Championships (thus far), and the impact she has had on other young players in her home province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Throughout her province, and country, she has become the face of Women’s ball hockey. From coast to coast she is well known and respected by all who have had the honour of playing with or against her. She has set the standard for what it means to be one of the best in the world, both on and off the floor. Her passion and dedication for the sport of ball hockey will leave a legacy that will be impossible to duplicate. 

A former Team Canada teammate added, “She is the type of player that teammates are amazed by. She pushes us to carry ourselves with a certain level of class. We are constantly in awe of how she can outthink opponents and slow down the game. It has been such an honour to call her a friend and teammate throughout the years. She is so deserving of the hall of fame honours, and we can’t wait to see what she does next in the sport.” 

Denny Schlegel (USA, Forward)

Denny Schlegel is the all time leading point scorer in ISBHF Tournament history.  Few people would argue that Denny is GOAT of goal scorers.

He also holds several other records but perhaps the most astounding is that he holds the record for most ISBHF World Championships as Tournament Leading Scorer. To lead any World Tournament in scoring is a career achievement.  Denny Schlegel did it four times, including back to back tournaments –  2009, 2011, 2015, 2019. 

“Denny is a generational talent in ball hockey.  He has such a gift for understanding the game of hockey and his ability to read plays.  When the ball is on his stick, he is the most dangerous offensive player I’ve ever seen.  He can score from any angle and has the best vision for his shot I’ve ever seen.  He can pick spots in the net and score on those spots where regular players don’t even see a spot.” said former National Team teammate Andrew Hildreth.

“People often talk about how great Denny is offensively, but what he also does as good as any forward are the little things that set up your team for success – blocking shots, clogging passing lanes, maintaining proper position on his man.  Yes he can put the ball in the net, but if you go back and watch his games at any World’s event, he consistently leads the team in penalty kill minutes and blocked shots.  He’s just an all around talent that I don’t think we’ll ever see again in our lifetime.” said former USA National Team Head Coach Cory Herschk.

“I’ve seen Denny do things in games that people couldn’t even do in practice.  He just has this ability to see the game almost in slow motion.  He’ll pull up from inside the red line and unleash a slap shot to beat a goaltender because Denny saw that the goalie’s feet weren’t set right.  He’ll make a blind backhand pass to a wide open teammate and the ball will be right on the center of their stick.  He’s the greatest scorer this sport has ever seen.” said former Team Greece player Joe Barbas.

Denny Schlegel’s ball hockey career continues on as he recently helped lead the USA to the Silver Medal in the 2023 Masters World Championship, losing in a shootout to Canada 4-3.

Former USA National Teammate Chris Haynes added “When you’re on the bench with Denny, you know you have a chance to win.  He’s a quiet leader who is epitome of leading by example.  When you talk about what it means to be a Hall of Famer, its not just about scoring.  Denny never complains.  He never takes bad penalties.  He does whatever is asked of him for the team.  He is what everyone would want in a teammate.  But I think most importantly, he just loves the game and gives it everything he has every time he steps onto the floor.  To me, that’s why he is in the Hall of Fame.”

Daniel Medeiros (CAN/POR, Goaltender)

In this history of our great sport, few goaltenders have achieved the level of success that Daniel Medeiros has achieved.  Shown below are just some of his international highlights. When asked to describe Mr. Medeiros in an interview in 2013, his teammates answered “clutch, leader, unflappable.”  Those attributes led Daniel to accumulate many accolades over his long career, accolades that are unmatched by any other Canadian goaltender.
  • 1998 – Starting goaltender for Team Canada – Bronze Medal.
  • 2005 to 2017 – played in 7 consecutive World Championships with Portugal. Reached the Quarter-Final in every tournament – reached the Semi Final twice 2005, 2013.
  • In 2005, Portugal started in B Pool but defeated the host team USA in a crossover game to be promoted to A Pool. They then defeated the Czech Republic in Quarter-Final, which was the first time first time Czechs did not medal in a world championship.  Daniel was named Outstanding player in the game.  In an interview with Hokejbal.cz after the tournament, the Czech General Manager stated that Daniel Medeiros had no business winning that game for Portugal, and he is still in shock at the number of amazing saves Daniel made in a single game.
  • Named Tournament World All-Star Goaltender in 2013 St. John’s, Newfoundland and 2015 Zug, Switzerland.  He led Portugal into the Medal rounds by defeating Team USA 5-3 in the Round Robin to win the B Division of the Men’s A Pool.  Portugal was outshot 37-17.  Said USA Assistant Coach Mike DeFazio after the game “Maybe the best goaltending performance I’ve seen in a Worlds game where a team was literally outshot 2-1.”  In this same tournament, he also led Portugal to a 1-0 victory over the Czech Republic, the only time they were shutout.  At the 4:00 mark of this video (click here to watch), you can see highlights and hear from one of the Czech players about how well Daniel played.
  • 2014 – Silver Medal World Masters – Team Canada Wolfpak.
  • 2016 – Gold Medal World Masters – Team Canada Wolfpak.
  • 2018 – Gold Medal World Masters – Team Canada
Daniel’s career is still ongoing as he has been named to the 2024 Team Portugal Legends, which will compete in the ISBHF first ever Legends Division World Championship.  He also served as the General Manager for Men’s Team Canada in 2022, assembling a roster that led them to the Gold Medal in their home country in Laval, Quebec.
 
USA Ball Hockey President Chris Banks coached the USA team which lost to Portugal in 2013 at the World Ball Hockey Championships.  He’s seen Daniel in action many times over the years.  When asked where he would rank Daniel versus his peers, Mr. Banks said “Dan is one of the most clutch netminders this sport has ever seen.  If you were to ask any team General Manager or Coach who has faced him, they would all say the thing – I don’t want to go against him because he’s THAT good.  Doesn’t matter who is in front of him, he just gives his team a chance to win every game.  And to me, that’s probably the highest compliment you can pay any goaltender – they always give their team a chance to win.  That’s Daniel.”

Alessandra Glista (USA, Goaltender)

Christoph Curchod (SUI, Builder)

Jamie Cooke (USA, Builder)

Jamie Cooke: A Visionary Leader in American Ball Hockey:

Jamie Cooke’s impact on ball hockey in the United States is nothing short of legendary. Widely regarded as the “second founder” of the sport in America, Cooke’s leadership, dedication, and vision have been instrumental in shaping the landscape of ball hockey in the United States.

As the founder and president of COOL Hockey Events, Cooke breathed new life into a sport that was on the verge of fading away in the early-2000s. His unwavering commitment to revitalizing the game led to its resurgence, paving the way for the vibrant ball hockey community that thrives today. Under Cooke’s guidance, not only did he revive the men’s side of the sport, but he also spearheaded the establishment of the Women’s National Program, blazing a trail for future generations of female athletes.

Cooke’s influence extends far beyond the playing field. In 2007, recognizing the need for a governing body to oversee the sport, he founded a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing ball hockey in the United States. Through this organization, Cooke played a pivotal role in laying a solid foundation for the sport’s growth and sustainability.

A true visionary, Cooke’s impact transcends borders. Through his brainchild, Cool Hockey Events, he revolutionized tournament hockey in the United States, organizing some of the largest and most prestigious events in the country, including the North American Championships. His innovative approach to event management saw teams crisscrossing the nation and even venturing abroad to compete, further elevating the profile of ball hockey on a global scale.

Cooke’s legacy as a builder of the sport is unmatched. His tireless efforts have not only expanded the reach of ball hockey but have also fostered a sense of camaraderie and sportsmanship within the community. As a mentor, Cooke has inspired countless individuals, imparting invaluable knowledge and shaping the next generation of leaders in the hockey world.

In reflecting on his journey to the Hall of Fame, Cooke humbly acknowledges the countless individuals who have supported and inspired him along the way. From players to mentors to steadfast allies, Cooke’s gratitude knows no bounds. Yet, at the heart of it all, Cooke’s unwavering focus remains on the players—the true driving force behind the sport he loves.

Jamie Cooke’s induction into the Hall of Fame is not only a testament to his extraordinary contributions to ball hockey but also a celebration of his indelible mark on the sport’s past, present, and future. As a visionary leader, mentor, and advocate, Cooke’s legacy will continue to inspire generations of ball hockey enthusiasts for years to come.

Christine Pellerin (CAN, Builder)

Darsh Grewal (CAN, Referee)