Global Online Hockey Association is the premier virtual sports community you've heard about in Second Life. The league is independently managed and run by long term league members and founder Jack Belvedere. It is free to join and play.
Global Online Hockey Association (GOHA) was established in 2005, with game play starting in early 2006, and
is the largest and oldest fully-functioning hockey league inside Second
Life®. GOHA is an independent virtual sports organization managed by
Jack Belvedere, Katia Ixtab and Marjan Tomba. The Mission of GOHA is to
provide, manage, and promote virtual hockey inside the virtual world of
Second Life®, at all levels of ability; to assist participants in their
various forms of involvement with the game; to provide clear rules and
promote adherence to all the rules of the game; and to encourage and
facilitate the involvement of as many people as possible in the
activities. GOHA's major effort is to provide an opportunity for all
online participants, regardless of physical, financial or computer
limitations, to achieve their own maximum potential for enjoyment and
competition in the virtual online game, provide social opportunities,
and maintain an enjoyable online hockey community.
GOHA (Global Online Hockey Association) was originally known as SLH
and later as SLHA. Due to limits on the use of Second Life® in group
names, the group was renamed in 2009 as GOHA.
Jack Belvedere initiated the formation of the league and built
the first rink. He joined in 2004 and had found the hockey rink at
Spittoonie owned by Trimda Hedges, but no active league. Desiring to
bring active ice hockey to SL, Jack built the first rink at Jericho Hill
and continues to act as the community leader and league commissioner.
Jack was assisted in the original formation of the league by Weis
Hickman, Katia Ixtab and Marjan Tomba.
The league is non-profit. People wishing to join the league are
free to do so regardless of financial status. The philosophy of the
league is that it should be free to join and play, with members acting
as a community by voting and discussing issues on rules, expansion, and
general direction. All equipment and jerseys are free and are produced
by the league members.
The original rink is located on Jericho Hill. This sim inside Second Life® is owned by Jack Belvedere and Katia Ixtab.
The league started with two teams, the Whales and the Wolves. In
season 2, the league expanded to 4 teams. The Cobras and the Moose were
formed. Scheduling and rules became more complicated and intense as the
expansion took place. Team captains took over major roles in the league,
arranging practices and organizing their teams. Weis Hickman assisted
with the building of a new rink and the organization of many aspects of
the league. Next, a European division was formed in order to allow
persons from European time-zones to participate in the games. The Pandas
and the Ravens were created for this division.
Season 7, in preparation for some extensive growth both in and out of
the Second Life® world, the league changed its name to GOHA (Global
Online Hockey Association). They also linked up with a second sim,
TreeSong, owned by Anhayla Lycia. The spectators are located on one sim
with the players on another, greatly helping with lag without any
compromise for our fans to see the action.
Over the years, the league has continued to thrive. North American Teams have included: Cobras, Ice Lords, Mammoth, Moose, Mustangs, Polar Bears, Whales and Wolves.
European Teams have included: Pandas, Blades, Foxes, Ravens and Storm.
GOHA exists not simply as a sporting event but a full-fledged
community, offering many activities for residents to get together and be
a part of social events as well as the competitive hockey seasons. GOHA
members follow a Code of Conduct which helps to keep the entire
community a friendly, fun place to be. Longtime friendships and even
real life romances have formed out of the community.
The hockey game was originally scripted by Alex Jevon in 2006.
Following the initiation of Havok, NeoBorkrug Elytis (the creator of The
Wastelands) was hired to help revamp the game script. This script was
modified longtime league member and professional scriptor Dyz Warburton
of Dyzware. The game offers realistic game play and animations and rules
based on NHL play, with GOHA's own developed modifications to meet
Second Life® demands. GOHA continues to update and add member-requested
features with an aim of continuing to offer the premier in-world ice
hockey activity to Second Life® Residents.
GOHA was proud to introduce the most detailed automated
statistics system to hit Second Life®. It offers up-to-the-minute stats
on +/-, goals, assists, scores, penalties, player history, awards, and
GOHA Automated Statistics Site
2010, the GOHA community became involved in a special Linden Lab
project called the Community Partnership Project.The Community
Partnership Program is a collaboration focused on expanding Linden
Lab's™ relationship with large inworld communities. The purpose of this
program is to improve the Mainland and create a rich and innovative
overall Second Life® experience for all. The CPP provided additional
space which resulted in expansion off the coast of the Snow Sims of
Sansara (the original mainland continent), with a bridge connecting the 6
sims at Braggiani. This area was named Chamonix City, after the site of
the original Winter Olympics, and consists of Off Sides, Neutral Zone,
Cross Check, Empty Net, Breakaway and Blueliner. Along with the original
rink on Jericho Hill, rinks now exist on Blueliner and Empty Net.
Spectators view the games from Cross Check on the north and south edges,
overlooking the rinks.
Chamonix City also offers skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, hiking
trails, freebies, balloon rides and has several other winter sports
projects in development as of 2011 including bobsledding.
City and GOHA hosted Second Life®'s annual Winterfest party in December
of 2010. Winterfest organizers Katia Ixtab, Ashlene McMinnar, Marjan
Tomba, Dyz Warburton, Kalita Magic, Tangle Giano, Lobo Rodriquez,
Janieke Blanchard, and Anhayla Lycia arranged the many activities such
as the Ski Jump, Scavenger/Puck Hunt, Snowman Building Contest, and
musical acts. GOHA members assisted to help man the teleport landing
spot, welcome and direct visitors, and to help host the multitude of
events. Linden Lab employees who assisted with the event included
Blondin Linden, Courtney Linden, Michael Linden, Torley Linden and Delby
There was a great lineup of live music for the weeklong event:
Mankind Tracer, Noma Falta, Guitar Zane, Andreus Gustafson, The Follow,
Reggie Sunset, Jimmyt49 Dukes, CCTV Giant, Tamra Sands, XanderNichting
Writer, Skye Galaxy, Jean Munro, Keiko Takamura, Phemie Alcott,
CraigLyons Writer, TwinGhost Ronas, Louis Volare, Dann Numbers, Lance
Rembrandt, Buckley Moonwall, Maximillion Kleene (original GOHArian!),
David Csiszer, Mimi Carpenter, and Edward Kyomoon.
Marjan Tomba created a popular new ski jump which opened during
Winterfest, and Lancelot Skytower created balloon tours across the sims.
Live DJ Bonfire parties were a great relaxing end to several evenings,
provided by Ashlene McMinnar/Merrik Caproni, and DJ Mac Ronas from The
Underground. Lobo Rodriquez organized a fantastic All-Star's Hockey
Game, with special uniforms made by Merrik Caproni and the game filmed
The highlight of the week was the traditional Lindens Vs.
Residents Snowball fight, which was held on the Breakaway sim, and
eventually had to be spread out to 3 sims due to the amount of traffic.
The visitors, with many Linden in attendance, managed to crash the sim
in good spirits many times before the event was moved out to the Cross
Check sim and even the Empty Net snow maze.
League Direction and Growth
The GOHA community continues to grow with a goal of enriching the
Second Life® experience. Jack Belvedere and Marjan Tomba currently
involved in projects such as the Virtual Sports Bureau aimed at
increasing the visibility of sports and community as a whole inside the
virtual world. We are forming alliances with other large, active SL communities with the goal of providing more activities and interest to all. GOHA plans to be here for the long haul, and new members are always welcome.