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-   -   Why is Norway not a hockey power? (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=739849)

Stephen 02-17-2010 12:58 AM

Why is Norway not a hockey power?
 
Out of curiosity, does anybody know why Norweigan hockey lags behind Sweden and Finland? The Norweigans have a pretty good reputation as winter athletes going by their Olympic history and are in a similar climate to their northern neighbours Finland and Sweden and I assume they have similar population numbers and lifestyles. That said, why are they such a non factor in the hockey world? It just seems kind of weird that hockey is popular in neighbouring countries and in Central Europe, but not in a place where you'd generally expect it to flourish. Any ideas or definitive answers on why Norway isn't good at hockey?

Vincent_TheGreat 02-17-2010 12:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stephen (Post 23955157)
Out of curiosity, does anybody know why Norweigan hockey lags behind Sweden and Finland? The Norweigans have a pretty good reputation as winter athletes going by their Olympic history and are in a similar climate to their northern neighbours Finland and Sweden and I assume they have similar population numbers and lifestyles. That said, why are they such a non factor in the hockey world? It just seems kind of weird that hockey is popular in neighbouring countries and in Central Europe, but not in a place where you'd generally expect it to flourish. Any ideas or definitive answers on why Norway isn't good at hockey?

I always wonder why they weren't closer to Sweden and Finlands level

CanadaBacon 02-17-2010 01:01 AM

The 8-0 kinda answers the "power" part.

But they should be given more credit then what they get

metalan2 02-17-2010 01:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CanadaBacon (Post 23955187)
The 8-0 kinda answers the "power" part.

But they should be given more credit then what they get

It answers nothing of the question, wtf are you even talking about. He is asking why they aren't a hockey power, he already knows they aren't.

Chimp 02-17-2010 01:05 AM

The biggest problem is a lack of hockey rinks. Currently, there are 37 of them in Norway. When Sweden and Finland took steps towards improving the hockey infrastructure, Norway didn't. Even in Norway's highest league, the conditions are quite bad (the locker room aren't in the same building as the rink, etc...)

I think it has to do with culture, hockey just didn't stick with the Norwegians, they prefer cross-country skiing and such. According to this article, such conceptions such as hockey had too much east block feeling stuck to it. If you played hockey in Norway, you were stupid. The success they had in soccer 1994, didn't help the hockey program.

It's a bad spiral. The interest in hockey is low, so media doesn't write about it. Hockey doesn't get alot of money and players, so the interest is kept low. And so on... and those few Norwegians who become good players, don't stay in their own league, but usually play in SEL.

Stephen 02-17-2010 01:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CanadaBacon (Post 23955187)
The 8-0 kinda answers the "power" part.

But they should be given more credit then what they get

Oh I just mean why they aren't a top hockey nation like their neighbours are, like what makes them unique from Finland and Sweden and even small countries like Czech and Slovakia that makes them so much less competitve traditionally.

HockeyAustralia 02-17-2010 01:05 AM

they should be a power. They have a great winter olympics tradition, but not in hockey unfortunately.

CanadaBacon 02-17-2010 01:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stephen (Post 23955227)
Oh I just mean why they aren't a top hockey nation like their neighbours are, like what makes them unique from Finland and Sweden and even small countries like Czech and Slovakia that makes them so much less competitve traditionally.

Sorry, i misunderstood you. They should get more credit then what they get but i dont know enough of their program to have an exact reason.

Sorry again

Drake1588 02-17-2010 01:26 AM

As noted, the usual answer that locals give on this point is that the government simply never made the decision to invest in the sport, whether in terms of rink infrastructure or the programs, not like they traditionally have for ski jumping and cross country, for example.

CanadaBacon 02-17-2010 01:28 AM

Anyone know off hand how many rinks/registered players etc etc Norway has?

finchster 02-17-2010 01:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CanadaBacon (Post 23955612)
Anyone know off hand how many rinks/registered players etc etc Norway has?

http://www.iihf.com/iihf-home/countries/norway.html

Scoot 02-17-2010 01:33 AM

During the Norway-Canada game Doc Emrick kinda answered the question.

The Norwegians are excellent at individual sports, but not so good at teams sports.

It is surprising/odd because you'd think Norway would be on a par with Sweden and Finland.

HowToHockey 02-17-2010 01:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CanadaBacon (Post 23955612)
Anyone know off hand how many rinks/registered players etc etc Norway has?

They showed it before the game. I think it was something like 6800 registered players, 37 hockey rinks

Compared to Canada with about 500 000 registered players.

CanadaBacon 02-17-2010 01:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beavboyz (Post 23955702)
They showed it before the game. I think it was something like 6800 registered players, 37 hockey rinks

Compared to Canada with about 500 000 registered players.

Thanks

574,125 according to THN and Hockey Canada ;)

David Brent 02-17-2010 01:49 AM

Too few rinks, and not enough people interested in the sport.

The number of rinks is on the rise, so things are looking better.

passive voice 02-17-2010 02:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scoot (Post 23955694)
During the Norway-Canada game Doc Emrick kinda answered the question.

The Norwegians are excellent at individual sports, but not so good at teams sports.
It is surprising/odd because you'd think Norway would be on a par with Sweden and Finland.

That's just an observation, not really an explanation. Pretty sure it just has to do with priorities. I find it hard to believe that Norwegians as a people can't grasp team sports.

Also of note; it's probably asking too much for them to be on par w/Finland and Sweden. First of all, for my money, those two are the best hockey countries on a per capita basis, so that's a pretty high standard. Also, Norway only has ~1/2 of Sweden's population.

All that said, if some rich Norwegian hockey benefactor came along and built a couple dozen rinks around the country, and pumped money into the league, I'm sure you'd see Norway make their way up the rankings pretty quickly. At least until (as with everything) hockey catches China's interest, whereupon it's pretty much game over for the rest of us ;)

CanadaBacon 02-17-2010 02:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by passive voice (Post 23956578)
That's just an observation, not really an explanation. Pretty sure it just has to do with priorities. I find it hard to believe that Norwegians as a people can't grasp team sports.

Also of note; it's probably asking too much for them to be on par w/Finland and Sweden. First of all, for my money, those two are the best hockey countries on a per capita basis, so that's a pretty high standard. Also, Norway only has ~1/2 of Sweden's population.

All that said, if some rich Norwegian hockey benefactor came along and built a couple dozen rinks around the country, and pumped money into the league, I'm sure you'd see Norway make their way up the rankings pretty quickly. At least until (as with everything) hockey catches China's interest, whereupon it's pretty much game over for the rest of us ;)

They are too short to compete :amazed:

Crazyhorse 02-17-2010 02:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CanadaBacon (Post 23956593)
They are too short to compete :amazed:

Yao Mings unknown brother says hello.:sarcasm:

Spamhuis 02-17-2010 02:53 AM

less population than toronto for the whole country..

IslesNorway 02-17-2010 02:56 AM

There are several reasons why hockey has never really caught on in Norway.

One of the main being the lack of rinks. In Finland and Sweden rinks are scattered all across the country and kids grow up playing hockey. In Norway, only in the Oslo area and a couple of other places are there any rinks at all. This of course ensures that the sport doesn't carry any nationwide interest.

Secondly- and this is important - hockey carries a bit of a bad rep in Norway. It is considered a somewhat brutish sport played by thugs and buillies. If you live in a hockey area there's a good chance that your local school bullies and self-proclaimed tough guys are also hockey players. This may seem like an unfair assumption but it carries a grerat deal of truth nonetheless. At the school where I work there have been cases of the local hockey coaches telling players that being aggressive at school benefits them on the ice (!!). Needless to say that doesn't enhance the sport's reputation.

Thirdly, there is no media exposure to speak of. Some games are televised on Pay TV channels but no one is watching anyway. If games had been shown on national tv it might have been different, but newspapers and tv don't really care much for the sport.
Lack of exposure = lack of interest.

A fourth and final explanation lies in the fact that other sports are more popular among kids. Soccer is the dominant sport and skiing is in our blood so that takes most of the kids time. That coupled with the lack of international success for the hockey team creates a viscious circle for the sport.

Whoever said that Norway aren't good at team sports obviously doesn't know much about Norwegian sports. The national soccer team have qualified for World Championships and European Championships in the past and are hugely popular. The same goes for handball. Norwegians aren't particularly geared towards individual sports, at least not more than Finns and Swedes, it's just that skiing's what we're brought up on - the same way Canadians are taught to play hockey.

Drudkh 02-17-2010 02:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain Kesler (Post 23956728)
less population than toronto for the whole country..


And Norway's population is barely less than Finland or Slovakia.

chaosof99* 02-17-2010 03:03 AM

I believe Norway suffers of the same fate as Austria in that regard: Other sports are just more popular and all the athletic talents are concentrated on this. Strangely enough, the most popular sport is not the one getting the best talent in both cases. In Norway and Austria Football (with which I mean Soccer for all the handegg fans out there) tops all in popularity, but Norway is having the most success in cross country skiing (and it's cousin biathlon) and Austria is a dominant force in alpine skiing.

Simply put, hockey is just not popular enough in either country.

SonomaShark 02-17-2010 03:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain Kesler (Post 23956728)
less population than toronto for the whole country..

lol wut? Canada's population is less than California, so what's yer point?

CanadaBacon 02-17-2010 03:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NorthBaySharksFan (Post 23956857)
lol wut? Canada's population is less than California, so what's yer point?

Toronto having a higher population then Norway was his point.
It was quite clear

Ohashi_Jouzu 02-17-2010 03:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scoot (Post 23955694)
During the Norway-Canada game Doc Emrick kinda answered the question.

The Norwegians are excellent at individual sports, but not so good at teams sports.

It is surprising/odd because you'd think Norway would be on a par with Sweden and Finland.

They certainly excel at individual winter sports, however I'm pretty handball is not only a team sport, but one that they excel at far better than the Finns, at least (the Swedes are the best in Scandinavia at THAT too, and possibly the best team out there). I may get ridiculed for bringing up handball, but many countries would ridicule Canada's love of curling, or America's obsession with golf or Nascar (all of which, I'm sure, could put over half the globe to sleep... I really like watching and playing the first two of them however, lol).

Also, they're pretty damn good at football (soccer), and I predict that rugby will become really popular and strong there very soon.

edit:

Quote:

Originally Posted by IslesNorway (Post 23956741)
Whoever said that Norway aren't good at team sports obviously doesn't know much about Norwegian sports. The national soccer team have qualified for World Championships and European Championships in the past and are hugely popular. The same goes for handball. Norwegians aren't particularly geared towards individual sports, at least not more than Finns and Swedes, it's just that skiing's what we're brought up on - the same way Canadians are taught to play hockey.

Haha, guess I should have kept reading... you've already covered the bases.


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