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02-22-2012, 03:49 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Bonn, Germany
Country: Germany
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Originally Posted by fintan74 View Post
ad 2. Why isn't hockey more popular? The eternal question... First of all football (or soccer) is extremely popular in The Netherlands and utterly dominates the media. There is hardly any room for other sports; the small sports that manage to get attention are dependant on the personal preferences of tv-makers and presenters. The funny thing is that hockey gets fantastic tv-ratings when broadcast during the Olympics; proof that there is plenty of potential for the sport.

Secondly it is a relatively expensive sport to play in The Netherlands. The number of rinks is low and icetime very costly. There are very few parents who are willing to fork out the money for contribution and kit when they could also send their kid off to play football with only a pair of footballshoes to invest in.

Thirdly the youth development programme has not always been optimal. Since a few years there are Hockey Academies, where youngsters can combine school and hockey. These sort of initiatives will help foster young talents and allow them to keep playing their sport.

These are just a few of the causes, but I feel they are key factors.

ad 3. The future of hockey here? That also depends on who you ask... Personally I think fostering youth and marketing the game more aggressively are vital for the long term prospects. Other countries have succesfully upgraded their youthplans, closing the gap between juniors and top level. Improved marketing of the game will also help attract people to play the game and others to come watch it. More spectators equals more corporate interest, which equals higher budgets, which equals better players and a more attractive league. It all seems so simple when I write it down...

This year our top division will, hopefully, consist of seven teams. That is the most it has been for years; only a few seasons back we had just four. There is good hope that Utrecht will join the top flight from the first division next season, which would bring the total to eight. Despite all the problems surrounding the game in Holland I am cautiously optimistic. If we could just get some coverage on tv...

Reading this post from 2007, it reminds me a lot of the situation here in Germany. I think our hockey benefited from the World Cup 2010 here and the situation has slightly improved.

How's the situation in the Netherlands? Has it stagnated or has the situation improved?

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