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Definition of a registered players by country

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12-03-2012, 07:48 AM
  #1
Jussi
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Definition of a registered players by country

As certain unnamed posters like to constantly compare how Russia has such a small number of registered players compared to especially Canada, I'd like to know what qualifies as a registered player in each country. I know in Finland pretty much every player on every level is counted as "a licensed player" where as in Russia the actual number is at least triple the listed. A Finnish poster at the jatkoaika.com forums said a couple of years ago that when he played for the Moscow Dynamo juniors 12 years earlier, they had approximately 1300 players but only the 20 playing in the first team were counted as "registered". I recall Swedish posters saying that Sweden also doesn't count every rec league player in to their figure either?

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12-03-2012, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jussi View Post
As certain unnamed posters like to constantly compare how Russia has such a small number of registered players compared to especially Canada, I'd like to know what qualifies as a registered player in each country. I know in Finland pretty much every player on every level is counted as "a licensed player" where as in Russia the actual number is at least triple the listed. A Finnish poster at the jatkoaika.com forums said a couple of years ago that when he played for the Moscow Dynamo juniors 12 years earlier, they had approximately 1300 players but only the 20 playing in the first team were counted as "registered". I recall Swedish posters saying that Sweden also doesn't count every rec league player in to their figure either?
Any player in Canada that is registered to play in any of the 13 provincial and territorial hockey associations that come under the umbrella of Hockey Canada is counted as a registered hockey player. If you are involved in any minor hockey program in the country, from volunteers, coaches, reffs...everybody is counted.

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12-03-2012, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jussi View Post
As certain unnamed posters like to constantly compare how Russia has such a small number of registered players compared to especially Canada, I'd like to know what qualifies as a registered player in each country. I know in Finland pretty much every player on every level is counted as "a licensed player" where as in Russia the actual number is at least triple the listed. A Finnish poster at the jatkoaika.com forums said a couple of years ago that when he played for the Moscow Dynamo juniors 12 years earlier, they had approximately 1300 players but only the 20 playing in the first team were counted as "registered". I recall Swedish posters saying that Sweden also doesn't count every rec league player in to their figure either?
Good question. I've often wondered this myself.

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12-03-2012, 08:38 AM
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I'm glad you asked the question. My opinion is that the most accurate numbers from the IIHF's Survey of Players are the number of registered players under the age of 20 and the number of indoor rinks in each country.

Here are some stats you might find interesting.

Number of registered players under the age of 20, (percentage of world total U20):
CAN 468,096 (45.2)
USA 302,104 (29.2)
RUS 61,000 (5.9)
SWE 41,053 (4.0)
FIN 35,167 (3.4)
CZE 22,828 (2.2)

Number of indoor rinks, (percentage world total):
CAN 2,486 (38.1)
USA 1,800 (27.6)
RUS 340 (5.2)
SWE 342 (5.2)
FIN 246 (3.8)
CZE 58 (0.9)

What I find most telling is that this shows there is a direct relationship between the number of hockey arenas and hockey players in each country. Furthermore if you look at the percentages of NHLers from each country since the early 90`s they also directly correlate to the percentages above. I should mention that Russians are now under represented in the NHL since many of them choose the KHL over a 3rd or 4th line NHL job.

My question to so many of those who don`t want to accept this is why wouldn`t you expect the number of arenas and kids playing hockey and high level pro`s all to be related?
Seems kind of obvious to me that they would be.

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12-03-2012, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jussi View Post
As certain unnamed posters like to constantly compare how Russia has such a small number of registered players compared to especially Canada, I'd like to know what qualifies as a registered player in each country. I know in Finland pretty much every player on every level is counted as "a licensed player" where as in Russia the actual number is at least triple the listed. A Finnish poster at the jatkoaika.com forums said a couple of years ago that when he played for the Moscow Dynamo juniors 12 years earlier, they had approximately 1300 players but only the 20 playing in the first team were counted as "registered". I recall Swedish posters saying that Sweden also doesn't count every rec league player in to their figure either?
When it comes to mens players you certainly have a point. For example in Canada the vast majority of men who play hockey recreationally would not be registered with Hockey Canada. I have heard that in the US more men register with Hockey USA for health insurance reasons.

Do you think it is possible that your example above regarding M Dynamo might not be accurate? Is it possible he was confused or mistaken about what registered meant in terms of this survey?

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12-03-2012, 02:07 PM
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Ya... I have at times wondered the same thing and at this point have realized that it probably isn't really worth putting a whole lot of stock in the numbers.

I have also noticed that the numbers seem to occasionally take substantial swings from year to year. For example per the IIHF website Finland is at 56,626 registered players this year, but last year they had over 65,000. Did Finland change their definition of a registered player or did they actually have a decline of nearly 9,000 players (about 14%) in a single year? If it's the former (IMHO it seems like the more likely scenerio) it is probably another example of why we shouldn't pay to much attention to them.

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12-03-2012, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by CoolForumNamePending View Post
Ya... I have at times wondered the same thing and at this point have realized that it probably isn't really worth putting a whole lot of stock in the numbers.

I have also noticed that the numbers seem to occasionally take substantial swings from year to year. For example per the IIHF website Finland is at 56,626 registered players this year, but last year they had over 65,000. Did Finland change their definition of a registered player or did they actually have a decline of nearly 9,000 players (about 14%) in a single year? If it's the former (IMHO it seems like the more likely scenerio) it is probably another example of why we shouldn't pay to much attention to them.
Well there is the natural turnover when kids quit hockey due to various reasons or leave the junior system and don't continue plying hockey.


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12-03-2012, 02:16 PM
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^ But hockey being very popular in Finland, the next wave of minor/junior players shouldn't have a 9k decrease.

Surprisingly Japan has quite a lot, at 20,540. More than France, Slovakia, Austria, Norway, Latvia, and Italy. Wow!

I am also surprised by how little the number of ice rinks in Russia. For a country so good in hockey and huge you'd think they would be in the upper 700s.

I think in America, a player has to register himself to USA Hockey either online or in person and pay a 20 dollar fee for that year(s?). Based on the information you fill out shows if you're an adult league player, junior player, or minor hockey player, but everyone is classified as a registered player.


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12-03-2012, 02:17 PM
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Well there is the natural turnover when kids quit hockey to various reasons or leave the junior system and don't continue plying hockey.
True, but you would also have new kids entering the system to help offset the ones leaving. If the decline is legit that must be kind of alarming to people involved in running the sport in Finland.

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12-03-2012, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by CoolForumNamePending View Post
True, but you would also have new kids entering the system to help offset the ones leaving. If the decline is legit that must be kind of alarming to people involved in running the sport in Finland.
It doesn't help that the hockey federation's license isn't very cheap not to mention the huge cost of the sport.


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12-03-2012, 03:28 PM
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it doesn't help that the hockey federation's license isn't very cheap not to mention the huge cost of the sport.
That kind of drastic drop doesn't happen because of those reasons unless they suddenly doubled the fees or something which afaik haven't happened. Decrease in popularity would show in statistics in a gradual decrease.

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12-03-2012, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by SirPena View Post
That kind of drastic drop doesn't happen because of those reasons unless they suddenly doubled the fees or something which afaik haven't happened. Decrease in popularity would show in statistics in a gradual decrease.
Numbers for this year:
Registered Senior Under-20 Female

Finland 56626 16752 35929 3945

Previous year:

Finland 65251 25324 35167 4760

Biggest drop off has been among the senior players and women.

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12-03-2012, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Jussi View Post
Numbers for this year:
Registered Senior Under-20 Female

Finland 56626 16752 35929 3945

Previous year:

Finland 65251 25324 35167 4760

Biggest drop off has been among the senior players and women.
I think the U20 data is the most accurate, a drop from 35929 to 35167 doesn't sound unrealistic.

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12-03-2012, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Kanadensisk View Post
I think the U20 data is the most accurate, a drop from 35929 to 35167 doesn't sound unrealistic.
Actually if I am reading that right it was actually an increase in U20 players. The major change was in senior players going from over over 25,000 to under 17,000. A drop of almost 33% in a single year! Like I said earlier I really don't trust these numbers that the national hockey federations/IIHF put out.

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12-03-2012, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by CoolForumNamePending View Post
Actually if I am reading that right it was actually an increase in U20 players. The major change was in senior players going from over over 25,000 to under 17,000. A drop of almost 33% in a single year! Like I said earlier I really don't trust these numbers that the national hockey federations/IIHF put out.
Sorry, you're right it was an increase for U20. I agree that there is always some amount of error in surveys such as these, and I believe the U20 category to be the most accurate which is why I use it. The number of indoor rinks should be pretty bang on, those aren't that hard to count. The fact that there is a clear correlation between rinks and U20 players does suggest those numbers are reasonably accurate.

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12-03-2012, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by CoolForumNamePending View Post
Actually if I am reading that right it was actually an increase in U20 players. The major change was in senior players going from over over 25,000 to under 17,000. A drop of almost 33% in a single year! Like I said earlier I really don't trust these numbers that the national hockey federations/IIHF put out.
Without any detailed information, it could in fact be that the Finnish hockey fed clarified their definition for registered players.

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12-04-2012, 02:11 AM
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Just wanted to point out that the numbers of registered players/indoor rinks that have been mentioned here earlier are wrong. One of the reasons is that they are old numbers and IIHF now has the updated numbers from last year on their website. But at least for the Czech republic they were wrong even in other ways (I know it´s not the posters fault, because it was posted on IIHF´s website not so long ago as well), but there is and was no way that the Czechs had just 58 indoor rinks and the current 148 is much more closer to the truth. Just look here.

As for the way registrations works in Slovakia, players have to be registered if they want to take part in a SIHF competition and for youth hockey players the age they start with registration is 6 (though I think it used to be a bit older not so long ago, though I´m not 100% sure on that).

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12-04-2012, 03:58 AM
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In Switzerland, only the top 6 levels of adult hockey are under the umbrella of the Swiss hockey association. Then you have a lot of lower level independant leagues whose players are not registered.

On the other hand, I know that in France, anyone playing hockey has to be registred for insurance purpose.

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12-04-2012, 04:00 AM
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Originally Posted by slovakiasnextone View Post
Just wanted to point out that the numbers of registered players/indoor rinks that have been mentioned here earlier are wrong. One of the reasons is that they are old numbers and IIHF now has the updated numbers from last year on their website. But at least for the Czech republic they were wrong even in other ways (I know it´s not the posters fault, because it was posted on IIHF´s website not so long ago as well), but there is and was no way that the Czechs had just 58 indoor rinks and the current 148 is much more closer to the truth. Just look here.

As for the way registrations works in Slovakia, players have to be registered if they want to take part in a SIHF competition and for youth hockey players the age they start with registration is 6 (though I think it used to be a bit older not so long ago, though I´m not 100% sure on that).
Thanks for pointing that out, the previously reported number for Czech arenas was definitely wrong, although in terms of overall percentages it doesn't make that big a difference. Here are the numbers from the most recent survey.

Number of registered players under the age of 20, (percentage of world total U20):
CAN 455,806 (43.4)
USA 305,453 (29.1)
RUS 61,220 (5.8)
SWE 53,334 (5.1)
FIN 35,929 (3.4)
CZE 34,113 (3.2)

Number of indoor rinks, (percentage world total):
CAN 2,486 (36.4)
USA 2,000 (29.3)
RUS 346 (5.1)
SWE 342 (5.0)
FIN 246 (3.6)
CZE 148 (2.2)

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12-04-2012, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr Kanadensisk View Post
Do you think it is possible that your example above regarding M Dynamo might not be accurate? Is it possible he was confused or mistaken about what registered meant in terms of this survey?
No, I initially started a similar thread at the Russian section in 2010 (which got zero responses) asking how they define a registered players there. I checked the post from jatkoaika.com back then before starting the thread and from what I remember the guy knew what he was talking about. I recall someone saying that it's the same St. Petersburg as well. Of course without further information, it's hard to tell if it's same other areas as well. Seems the Russian posters here haven't played much junior hockey since they've been so silent about this.

While trying to search for how much the license cost in Finland, I found this: https://finhockey-fi.directo.fi/@Bin...+2012-2013.pdf

It basically outlines that the license is an insurance cost and that every player, whether it's under hockey federation's junior systems, area junior leagues, recreational leagues or old timers. The fee isn't that big after all and should not affect kids very much. So you're right in assuming that the number of U-20 juniors is a more accurate number gauge the number of players. When it comes to Russia, common sense also tells me there is no way a country that big would have an almost equal number of hockey players as Finland and Sweden. It's "old joke" but when it comes to the method of licensing players, they really are doing things differently there.


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12-04-2012, 12:31 PM
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No, I initially started a similar thread at the Russian section in 2010, which got zero responses) asking how they define a registered players there. I checked the post from jatkoaika.com back then before starting the thread and from what I remember the guy knew what he was talking about. I recall someone saying that it's the same St. Petersburg as well. Of course without further information, it's hard to tell if it's same other areas as well. Seems the Russian posters here haven't played much junior hockey since they've been so silent about this.

While trying to search for how much the license cost in Finland, I found this: https://finhockey-fi.directo.fi/@Bin...+2012-2013.pdf

It basically outlines that the license is an insurance cost and that every player, whether it's under hockey federation's junior systems, area junior leagues, recreational leagues or old timers. The fee isn't that big after all and should not affect kids very much. So you're right in assuming that the number of U-20 juniors is a more accurate number gauge the number of players. When it comes to Russia, common sense also tells me there is no way a country that big would have an almost equal number of hockey players as Finland and Sweden. It's "old joke" but when it comes to the method of licensing players, they really are doing things differently there.
Part of the problem with getting Russian fans to respond is that I sense most of the ones on these boards now live in the west and may be out of touch with the finer points of kids hockey over there these days.

I think a big part of it is that per capita Finland and Sweden are much wealthier countries than Russia and also hockey is more popular relative to other sports in Sweden and especially Finland. Otherwise I don't think there is a way to explain why there wouldn't be such a strong correlation between the number of rinks, the number of kids playing and the number of high level professionals.

For example I'll give you some stats from the NHL for the 95/96 through 99/00 seasons. I picked this era because this was pre KHL and almost every European who was asked to play in the NHL was here. There may have been a handfull who didn't come, but not enough to make even a minor change in the percentages. Also I need to mention that the number of pro's in the late 90's should correlate more with the number of kids playing in the 80's and early 90's, so they may vary slightly when compared with today's numbers.

From 95-00 the percentage of NHL (skaters) from:
RUS 6.9%, CZE 5.2%, SWE 4.8%, FIN 2.3%.

From the last IIHF survey of U20 players:
RUS 5.8%, CZE 3.2%, SWE 5.1%, FIN 3.4%

From the last IIHF survey of arenas:
RUS 5.1%, CZE 2.2%, SWE 5.0%, FIN 3.6%

We have three broad ranging sets of stats all telling pretty much the same story. For me the connection is undeniable.


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12-04-2012, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Kanadensisk View Post
I think a big part of it is that per capita Finland and Sweden are much wealthier countries than Russia and also hockey is more popular relative to other sports in Sweden and especially Finland. Otherwise I don't think there is a way to explain why there wouldn't be such a strong correlation between the number of rinks, the number of kids playing and the number of high level professionals.

For example I'll give you some stats from the NHL for the 95/96 through 99/00 seasons. I picked this era because this was pre KHL and almost every European who was asked to play in the NHL was here. There may have been a handfull who didn't come, but not enough to make even a minor change in the percentages. Also I need to mention that the number of pro's in the late 90's should correlate more with the number of kids playing in the 80's and early 90's, so they may vary slightly when compared with today's numbers.

From 95-00 the percentage of NHL (skaters) from:
RUS 6.9%, CZE 5.2%, SWE 4.8%, FIN 2.3%.

From the last IIHF survey of U20 players:
RUS 5.8%, CZE 3.2%, SWE 5.1%, FIN 3.4%

From the last IIHF survey of arenas:
RUS 5.1%, CZE 2.2%, SWE 5.0%, FIN 3.6%

We have three broad ranging sets of stats all telling pretty much the same story. For me the connection is undeniable.
In Russia's case, the lack of indoor arenas hasn't been nor is that big of a problem. A lot of kids have played bandy as well as kids and that is huge in some areas. So while they may not have had much play inside a hockey rink, they countered it with playing
on the big outdoor bandy rinks and developed their skating(because that sport really requires good skating) that way.

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12-04-2012, 08:17 PM
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In Russia's case, the lack of indoor arenas hasn't been nor is that big of a problem. A lot of kids have played bandy as well as kids and that is huge in some areas. So while they may not have had much play inside a hockey rink, they countered it with playing
on the big outdoor bandy rinks and developed their skating(because that sport really requires good skating) that way.
If kids don't have acces to a hockey rink I'm sure having Bandy as a substitute helps, the skates are a bit different, but there would certainly be some benefit. As you know Bandy is also just as big in Sweden and popular in Finland as well. If Bandy made a significant difference in terms of hockey we should see it in the hockey numbers for all three countries, so I don't think it makes a big difference but probably helps a bit.

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12-04-2012, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Kanadensisk View Post
If kids don't have acces to a hockey rink I'm sure having Bandy as a substitute helps, the skates are a bit different, but there would certainly be some benefit. As you know Bandy is also just as big in Sweden and popular in Finland as well. If Bandy made a significant difference in terms of hockey we should see it in the hockey numbers for all three countries, so I don't think it makes a big difference but probably helps a bit.
It's not really popular here anymore. Attendances are dwindling almost every year.

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02-21-2013, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Kanadensisk View Post
I'm glad you asked the question. My opinion is that the most accurate numbers from the IIHF's Survey of Players are the number of registered players under the age of 20 and the number of indoor rinks in each country.

Here are some stats you might find interesting.

Number of registered players under the age of 20, (percentage of world total U20):
CAN 468,096 (45.2)
USA 302,104 (29.2)
RUS 61,000 (5.9)
SWE 41,053 (4.0)
FIN 35,167 (3.4)
CZE 22,828 (2.2)

Number of indoor rinks, (percentage world total):
CAN 2,486 (38.1)
USA 1,800 (27.6)
RUS 340 (5.2)
SWE 342 (5.2)
FIN 246 (3.8)
CZE 58 (0.9)

What I find most telling is that this shows there is a direct relationship between the number of hockey arenas and hockey players in each country. Furthermore if you look at the percentages of NHLers from each country since the early 90`s they also directly correlate to the percentages above. I should mention that Russians are now under represented in the NHL since many of them choose the KHL over a 3rd or 4th line NHL job.

My question to so many of those who don`t want to accept this is why wouldn`t you expect the number of arenas and kids playing hockey and high level pro`s all to be related?
Seems kind of obvious to me that they would be.
Of course there is a relation here and thanks for posting this. But I think that there are other factors too in this as culture (register or not as player at a certain level/prognosis of development and dedication. I also think that other structural factors of "harder" nature than culture are hidden in these numbers.

If one index these two sets of stats you kindly posted we get this:


("1" = percentage of players equal to percentage of players i.e. equilibrium)

Canada 0.84
USA 0.95
Russia 0.88
Sweden 1.35
Finland 1.12
Czech 0.41

What this really means can not be stated without further facts, but some musings/hypothesis can be made.

Firstly, I think that there are an even bigger percentage of number of outdoor rinks in Canada than they have in indoor rinks (60% or more?). This explains why Canada is so low in the index, they got other rinks which makes up for this. The Czech can hardly find this excuse, even if there are rinks they got a pretty bad winter compared to say Finland. Perhaps this number is indicative and explains the decline in Czech hockey. Or perhaps very many register as players and do not play very much, it could be a case of lax bureaucracy (which differs very much between nations).

Well this was some thoughts, others have certainly better idea and suggestions. I just want to point out that this is more complex than what first meets the eye.

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