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Why isn't Hockey big in Britain or France?

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01-07-2012, 04:24 PM
  #1
Carlzner
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Why isn't Hockey big in Britain or France?

This is something i've wondered for years.
Hockey is very popular in other regions of Europe, even Germany (i traveled to Germany and Austria for 2 weeks and Hockey was surprisingly a lot bigger than i thought it would be)

The obvious answer to me was Football/Soccer, but it's also big in other European countries, including those that Hockey is big in.

Anyone have answers? just always been curious.

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01-07-2012, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Braden Carlzner View Post
This is something i've wondered for years.
Hockey is very popular in other regions of Europe, even Germany (i traveled to Germany and Austria for 2 weeks and Hockey was surprisingly a lot bigger than i thought it would be)

The obvious answer to me was Football/Soccer, but it's also big in other European countries, including those that Hockey is big in.

Anyone have answers? just always been curious.
Not enough indoor rinks. It's not cold enough for outdoor rinks.

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01-07-2012, 05:24 PM
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Sunking278
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It's too rough and tumble for the Brits and French to play, and I say that only half in jest. Germans, Russians & other various Slavs, they take to it like fish out of water. It's a North American and Central/Eastern European game, that's just the way that it is.

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01-07-2012, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Sunking278 View Post
It's too rough and tumble for the Brits and French to play, and I say that only half in jest. Germans, Russians & other various Slavs, they take to it like fish out of water. It's a North American and Central/Eastern European game, that's just the way that it is.
Take your condescending generalisations somewhere else. Britain and France are both big on Rugby, is that not a rough and tumble sport?


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01-08-2012, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by 99 Problems View Post
Take your condescending generalisations somewhere else. Britain and France are both big on Rugby, is that not a rough and tumble sport?
Exactly !

I just introduced a friend coming from West of France to hockey ... which he saw on TV but ... he didn't see the puck , nobody knows the rules ... no quality camera man ... they don't appreciate ... and can see it like 3 minutes every month ... and from time to time a hockey game on Eurosport (which is not the same than Eurosport Scandinavia where you get tons of hockey)

After having seen a NLA game here in Geneva he was very enthusiastic about it ... he found more entertaining than soccer and would definitely watch games if he had the opportunity in France.

I believe that it is cultural ... then no media support (medias spending to make clients not to promote new sports !) ... it is a virtuous/viciuous circle. It takes circumstances.

I repeated the story of my city many times on this board ... : Geneva (350'000 hab) was a soccer team ... their was a hockey team but in 1st regional league ... someone came ... financed ... (group amstutz) ... brought it up to LNB ... it wasn't satisfying so Amstutz withdraw ... it was almost finished ... then the soccer club went bankrupt ... They had to get rid of their players ... starting again in regional division 1 ... so many supporters of the soccer team started to watch hockey ... and the Geneva Eagles landed in LNA ... with decent success. ... some years later hockey rinks started mushrooming in the region as well as hockey teams ... juniors ... . It became a city with soccer AND hockey.

But Switzerland already has a very good league (equivalent to Sweden or Finland, slightly inferior to KHL) ... and medias broadly support hockey .. therefore the transformation of Geneva was "easy"!!

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01-08-2012, 01:41 PM
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MorrisWanchuk
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for those that did not know, hockey originated in Canada as a version of Rugby on ice (no forward passes was one of the original rules).

hockey is directly comparable to rugby - Britain & France have a long rugby tradition.

The correct answer is given by 99probs above. not enough indoor rinks. not cold enough for outdoors skating.

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01-08-2012, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunking278 View Post
It's too rough and tumble for the Brits and French to play, and I say that only half in jest. Germans, Russians & other various Slavs, they take to it like fish out of water. It's a North American and Central/Eastern European game, that's just the way that it is.
I'll be happy to continue the pile on but..

You have never watched a rugby game in your life, have you?

Even in rugby the British countries and the French have a reputation as tough, physical players, especially the French.

It's your types I giggle about when I hear Americans describe the French as soft. Never seen a French rugby game, I guess.

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01-09-2012, 02:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99 Problems View Post
Not enough indoor rinks. It's not cold enough for outdoor rinks.
Yes, you need the infrastructure. The same goes with Norway, which could be as Finland and Sweden, but they do not have the infrastructure rink-wise (and a weak hockey tradition, which leads to few rinks, etc).

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01-09-2012, 02:13 PM
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Im not sure but I think Britain has rinks, its not that different to other small hockey nations, its just that the ice-time for hockey is severely limited and it is not played in schools at all. Even ice-skating is not accessible through schools - very much perceived as a marginalised 'hobby'.

I'm a big sports fan and had the opportunity to play a lot of different sports growing up. I got to ice-skate about 5 times in 10 years and absolutely no chance to play hockey.

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01-09-2012, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Gwyddbwyll View Post
Im not sure but I think Britain has rinks, its not that different to other small hockey nations, its just that the ice-time for hockey is severely limited and it is not played in schools at all. Even ice-skating is not accessible through schools - very much perceived as a marginalised 'hobby'.

I'm a big sports fan and had the opportunity to play a lot of different sports growing up. I got to ice-skate about 5 times in 10 years and absolutely no chance to play hockey.
It depends where you live, when I lived in Wales I was 50 miles away from the rink in Cardiff. Now in Swindon I'm 300 yards from the rink .

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01-09-2012, 05:02 PM
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Not to be egocentric, but i will again speak about Switzerland because we have all this. Meaning not low enough temperatures to have hockey develop like soccer.

But ... we have mountains, where in altitude, you have snow in winter (natural ice) ... therefore this is where hockey comes from ... then it developped in the lowlands (cities) ... Bern, Zurich ... Geneva ... Basel not yet because soccer is very strong their (and Swiss cities are very small).

+++

To say that it is spectacular and interesting ....and all things included it would be gaining ground over soccer or other sports due to its spectacular nature ... but it takes a lot of momentum to turn crowds into fans ! to feed a passion, that creates the movement, the infrastructures, the monies, the teams for young players ... . It is a heavy dynamic that is created with difficulty.

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01-10-2012, 02:58 AM
  #12
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Interesting fact is, that Great Britain won gold on the World Championships in 1936 (actually Olympic games), won silver in years 1937, 1938 and won bronze in years 1924 and 1937. So, the tradition should be there.
But nobody know, when the passion for ice hockey died in Great Britain.

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01-10-2012, 07:18 AM
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France and Italy are in the top group of the WC this year despite most of their top players being poached to play for Swiss and German leagues.
I'll reverse this question.
When will soccer make that big break through in Canada even though CSA has 300,000 more registered players than Hockey Canada. Yeah the 3 MLS teams get some TV coverage.....but compared to hockey.......
You never see Rugby or Cricket on Canadian TV unless it's on a special digital channel next to the toe nail clipping channel.
When BBC.co.uk site puts hockey on it's main sports page you'll know there's been a break through like rugby or soccer on the CBC.ca site.
It is what it is trudge on

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01-10-2012, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by alko View Post
Interesting fact is, that Great Britain won gold on the World Championships in 1936 (actually Olympic games), won silver in years 1937, 1938 and won bronze in years 1924 and 1937. So, the tradition should be there.
But nobody know, when the passion for ice hockey died in Great Britain.
Most of the team were Canadians who were born in Britain, then returned home to Britain to play pro hockey.

Passion for hockey died at the turn of the century. In the 90's fans flocked in their thousands to watch games, Manchester Storm set a European attendance record in 1997 when over 17,000 people packed into the MEN arena for a game against Sheffield Steelers.

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01-10-2012, 03:19 PM
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It's rinks as always.

There's not enough large rinks to hold professional hockey, and not enough small rinks for people to play on.

Plus equipment is ludicrously expensive here, enough to really price people out of playing and there's not much of a second-hand market for the budget player. If you look at British games, they're all pretty cheap to play. So you have to be one of the fully converted just to get on the ice.

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01-10-2012, 04:48 PM
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Beer and Wine

Hard to stand on your skates when your always drunk on pints or vino!

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01-10-2012, 05:31 PM
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I belive its a mixture of lack of rinks. Very little main stream Exposure to the sport as to alot of people is considered a American/Canadian thing. As HabsbytheBay said hockey gear is hard to get a hold of in some citys and because of that expensive. I rememeber getting a free hockey trial when i was in school, really enjoyed it when i went to the shop to price stuff up it was an automatic " My folks arent going to spend that much".. Compaired to a pair of Boots and a gumshield for rugby it was crazy.. Im trying to get in to hockey now, but before you can go to the "hockey for all" in my city you need a minimum of Helmet,Groin,Gloves and a stick. thats a hundred or so there before you start..

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01-10-2012, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by HabsByTheBay View Post
Plus equipment is ludicrously expensive here, enough to really price people out of playing and there's not much of a second-hand market for the budget player.
I've done well with my equipment, had to buy it over the course of a year since that outlay in one go was a non starter, but got it all now, and a lot of it came from abroad.

Skates - purchased at a Canadian Tire, back when the exchange rate was £1=$2, cost £60
Gloves - sized up locally then went on ebay, new gloves for £50 inc shipping and taxes.
Got knee and elbow pads (supreme one90s) fo £60 combined on ebay including shipping and taxes.
Helmet & Chest/Shoulder pads and a basic stick, I got new from the Ice Arena in Nottingham, think it cost me £110 in total.
Shorts/Pants, socks, bag, composite stick, 2 rolls of stick tape and a roll of sock tape for around £120, shorts were 2nd hand.
Picked up warrior long pant 'nut hut' in a sale a website was having for around £25inc postage.

so it cost me around £430 to get kit, obviously I could have got more stuff 2nd hand, but my original timeline to start playing was last summer so I didn't expect to have as much time to shop around, then I got made redundant, had to wait until now to get started.

I think as an 'adult' you could probably get full kit for around £300-350 if you shop around.

Also I was planning on getting a few more sticks from Canada, but the guy I was going to buy off decided to quote $350 shipping for a pair of sticks.

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05-22-2012, 05:52 PM
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Many people from the UK and Australia seem to have a very negative view on hockey due to the helmet and other protective gear. They liken it to (american) football, which generally has the same amount of hate. I don't think many of them actually realize the speed and intensity the game is played at compared to soccer and rugby....

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05-22-2012, 06:09 PM
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I tried to introduce my Scottish friends to hockey but all they like is the fighting

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05-22-2012, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by n3ss View Post
Many people from the UK and Australia seem to have a very negative view on hockey due to the helmet and other protective gear. They liken it to (american) football, which generally has the same amount of hate. I don't think many of them actually realize the speed and intensity the game is played at compared to soccer and rugby....
I have found this to be the same reason that South Africans aren't more into hockey. Although, when I was there last the WJC Div 3 was being held in Cape Town and there seemed to be a good buzz.

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05-23-2012, 01:59 AM
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Originally Posted by n3ss View Post
Many people from the UK and Australia seem to have a very negative view on hockey due to the helmet and other protective gear. They liken it to (american) football, which generally has the same amount of hate. I don't think many of them actually realize the speed and intensity the game is played at compared to soccer and rugby....
American football isn't hated in the UK at all, when the superbowl is on everyone suddenly becomes a massive fan. The biggest problem in the UK and Australia is a lot of people have never actually heard of hockey, and everyone loves football (soccer or Aussie rules)

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05-25-2012, 07:05 PM
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AlanHUK
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American football isn't hated in the UK at all, when the superbowl is on everyone suddenly becomes a massive fan. The biggest problem in the UK and Australia is a lot of people have never actually heard of hockey, and everyone loves football (soccer or Aussie rules)
depends where in the UK you are, there are more of my friends and even people I know through others who consider 'football' to be rugby for ******* than there are who actually like it.

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05-25-2012, 07:07 PM
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depends where in the UK you are, there are more of my friends and even people I know through others who consider 'football' to be rugby for ******* than there are who actually like it.
Probably a generation gap, during the superbowl this year the whole of my facebook friends list (400+ and from different areas of the country) were suddenly massive NFL fans.

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05-25-2012, 07:28 PM
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Scarecrow Boat
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Probably a generation gap, during the superbowl this year the whole of my facebook friends list (400+ and from different areas of the country) were suddenly massive NFL fans.
Similar in Canada. We have tons of die hard NFL fans but I remember parents and kids being pissed when we had hockey on Super Bowl Sunday...

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