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Olympics and the Worlds- Participiation qualifications

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Old
03-16-2013, 10:22 AM
  #1
SpeedDemon
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Olympics and the Worlds- Participiation qualifications

I've had this debate with others for a long time now regarding players representing a country they were not born in but may be citizens of.

Like Heatley or Nolan, born in Germany and Northern Ireland respectively representing Canada on the international stage

My personal belief is that birth should be the deciding factor not citizenship (unless perhaps the country doesn't have a national team)

what are your thoughts on this

agree? disagree? no comment?

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03-16-2013, 10:36 AM
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stv11
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I think players should represent the country where they were trained as hockey players. The point of a national team is to represent a national hockey federation and its entire hockey system.

In my opinion, going by country of birth is worst than using citizenship. Robin Regher wouldn't be a pro hockey player if he grew up in Brazil, as far as I'm concerned, he's a canadian hockey player.

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03-16-2013, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stv11 View Post
I think players should represent the country where they were trained as hockey players. The point of a national team is to represent a national hockey federation and its entire hockey system.

In my opinion, going by country of birth is worst than using citizenship. Robin Regher wouldn't be a pro hockey player if he grew up in Brazil, as far as I'm concerned, he's a canadian hockey player.
This. Though it gets a bit tricky with loads of kids going to play to countries with higher level of hockey at a very early age. It's kinda hard to determine where they actually were trained then.

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03-17-2013, 02:00 AM
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Tomas W
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I think the current rules are perfectly fine = they play for a country they are a citizen of . IF they are a citizen of several countries, they simply play for the country they WANT to play for.

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03-17-2013, 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Tomas W View Post
I think the current rules are perfectly fine = they play for a country they are a citizen of . IF they are a citizen of several countries, they simply play for the country they WANT to play for.
This.

Heatley might never even remember being in Germany, why should he play for them

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03-17-2013, 05:51 AM
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I think hockey is the most respectable of all sports in regard to who can represent a given country. There are strict rules, limits and playing criteria, whereas in most other Olympic sports all it takes is a quick citizenship change/addition. Having your birthplace be the sole deciding factor it would be ridiculous. Why should some players be kept from international competition, just because their mothers happened to be working/living abroad in a non-hockey country at the time of giving birth?

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03-17-2013, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Tomas W View Post
I think the current rules are perfectly fine = they play for a country they are a citizen of . IF they are a citizen of several countries, they simply play for the country they WANT to play for.
This is not the current rule.

IF they are a citizen of several countries, they are only allowed to play for the countries in which they played at least two consecutive years of organized hockey after the age of 12. Only then do they have the option to chose who they WANT to play for. Needless to say, only a few players qualify for more than one country.

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03-17-2013, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by stv11 View Post
I think players should represent the country where they were trained as hockey players. The point of a national team is to represent a national hockey federation and its entire hockey system.
Yes. I will never understand wanting a player to play for your country just because they meet the IIHF's criteria. You might as well just be cheering for laundry.

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03-18-2013, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jekoh View Post
This is not the current rule.

IF they are a citizen of several countries, they are only allowed to play for the countries in which they played at least two consecutive years of organized hockey after the age of 12. Only then do they have the option to chose who they WANT to play for. Needless to say, only a few players qualify for more than one country.
I wonder whether there is any point to this part of the rule. Because then you get the likes of Norbert Hari who played full four years in Hungary before going to play to Sweden at age 12 and acquiring Swedish citizenship. Despite those four years IIHF ruled him ineligible to play for Hungary at last years U18 IHWC (even thoug there was no word about the age of 12 thing in IIHF's Rules and Regulations at that point of time). Since the Hungarians have appealed against the decision, the IIHF might still rule Norbert eligible for Hungary. But overally does this rule make any kind of sense? When we consider that most players start playing at age 6 they might get full 6 seasons of hockey development in their home country, but it's still not enough to allow them to play in case that they acquire citizenship of their new country in order to make their live easier there. Yet it is okay for adult players with little to no ties to a country to play for this country after just two years there...

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03-18-2013, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by stv11 View Post
I think players should represent the country where they were trained as hockey players. The point of a national team is to represent a national hockey federation and its entire hockey system.

In my opinion, going by country of birth is worst than using citizenship. Robin Regher wouldn't be a pro hockey player if he grew up in Brazil, as far as I'm concerned, he's a canadian hockey player.
I completely agree with this

What is the legitimacy of this after the age of 12 rule, I've never read it anywhere in the IIHF eligibility rules?

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03-18-2013, 10:54 AM
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I completely agree with this

What is the legitimacy of this after the age of 12 rule, I've never read it anywhere in the IIHF eligibility rules?
That's probably because it has only been added to the Statutes and Bylaws in autumn of 2012. There was no mention of it anywhere before AFAIK. Didn't stop the IIHF to use it in the afforementioned case of Norbert Hari.

Quote:
1.6 When a player has changed his citizenship or has acquired or surrendered another citizenship and wants to participate for the
first time in an IIHF championship and/or an Olympic competition representing his country of choice he must:
a) prove that he has participated on a consistent basis, for at least two consecutive years (730 days) after his 12
th birthday
in the
national competitions of and be a legal resident in his new country during which period he has neither transferred to another
country nor played ice hockey for a team registered/located within any other country; and
b) have an international transfer that was approved by the IIHF and dated at least two years (730 days) before the start of the
championship in which he wishes to participate.
1.7 When a player has multiple citizenships where the relevant citizenships are for countries of Member National Associations and he
has never represented any country in any IIHF championship or an Olympic competition or in qualifications to these competitions,
then in order to play for the country of his choice he must
a) prove that he has participated on a consistent basis, for at least two consecutive years (730 days) after his 12
th birthday
in the
national competitions of and be a legal resident in the country that he wishes to represent during which period he has neither
transferred to another country nor played ice hockey for a team registered/located within any other country; and
b) if the country of his choice is one to which the player has transferred then he must have had an international transfer that was
approved by the IIHF and dated at least two years (730 days) prior to his proposed participation
Page 42 of IIHF Statutes and Bylaws

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03-18-2013, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by slovakiasnextone View Post
That's probably because it has only been added to the Statutes and Bylaws in autumn of 2012. There was no mention of it anywhere before AFAIK. Didn't stop the IIHF to use it in the afforementioned case of Norbert Hari.



Page 42 of IIHF Statutes and Bylaws
So what about in the case of Brendan Perlini? A Canadian who was born, played and lived in the UK until he was I think 12 (He's a 96 born, the most recent evidence I can find of him playing here is from the 06/07 season), then moved back to Canada and is now playing in the OHL. Is he not eligible to play for Great Britain even at U18 level?


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03-18-2013, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Imaginary Threats View Post
So what about in the case of Brendan Perlini? A Canadian who was born, played and lived in the UK until he was I think 12 (He's a 96 born, the most recent evidence I can find of him playing here is from the 06/07 season), then moved back to Canada and is now playing in the OHL. Is he not eligible to play for Great Britain even at U18 level?
Since he has not played those two years after he was 12 in the UK then clearly not acc. to the IIHF Statutes and Bylaws. And cases like this are exactly my issue with the age rule.

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03-18-2013, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by slovakiasnextone View Post
Since he has not played those two years after he was 12 in the UK then clearly not acc. to the IIHF Statutes and Bylaws. And cases like this are exactly my issue with the age rule.
Ok, what makes it even more stupid in this case is his older brother would be eligible

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03-19-2013, 02:12 PM
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I think players should be able to play for whatever nation they identify with. It's kind of silly that an Irish-American born and raised in Boston for example can't identify as Irish in the hockey world if he really wants to. Why should be be forced to play for USA Hockey if he has no interest in doing so?

I think the IIHF regulations are far too strict. Look at the World Baseball Classic, if they had the same rules the IIHF has then half the teams in the WBC would be getting mercy-ruled every game. Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Brazil, etc are all filled with players who could never meet IIHF criteria, and this goes for most other international sports too.

I understand the reasoning behind it, that the IIHF wants international competition to reflect the actual level of hockey development in that country, but I still believe it is too restrictive on the players themselves, and national identity is a personal issue that shouldn't be legislated.

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03-19-2013, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by EbencoyE View Post
I think the IIHF regulations are far too strict. Look at the World Baseball Classic, if they had the same rules the IIHF has then half the teams in the WBC would be getting mercy-ruled every game. Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Brazil, etc are all filled with players who could never meet IIHF criteria, and this goes for most other international sports too.

I understand the reasoning behind it, that the IIHF wants international competition to reflect the actual level of hockey development in that country, but I still believe it is too restrictive on the players themselves, and national identity is a personal issue that shouldn't be legislated.
Nothings perfect but I am fine with the idea behind the IIHF's relatively strict rules regarding eligibility. Looking at things long term IMHO it is far better for the sport both 'globally' and within the given country, if instead of just handing out passports to North Americans, they take the 'hard way' and develope the internal infrastruture and 'culture' that can produce elite talent.

I think Denmark and Norway are good examples that it can be done. Both nations are small, hockey has never really enjoyed a high profile in either country and I imagine the federations and local clubs have pretty limited resources (both on and off the ice) to work with. Despite this both countries have managed to claw their way on to the hockey map and seem like a decent bet to continue to gradually improve. It wasn't that long ago that Italy, a country that relies heavily on NAs was considered a stronger 'hockey nation' than both Denmark and Norway... Denmark now has half dozen players in the NHL & semi-regularly produces first round prospects, Norway has made two straight WC QF and Olympic games, Italy is again down in division 1.

As far as the WBC goes it looks like they are trying to create the illusion that baseball is more competitive and has more international depth than what it actually is and has. I am not positive but I'm pretty sure if your last name ends in a vowel you are eligible to play for Italy. I think long term baseball and the WBC would be better off if the players had closer ties to the national federation they are representing than just a paternal grandfather. Short and probably midterm it most likely means more blowouts or even shrinking the WBC field and organizing (and subsidising) regular tournaments between the 2nd/3rd tier nations (maybe a full blown ladder system like the IIHF has) but long term things could work out for the better.

I get what your saying about 'national identity' and in this ever shrinking world things like this are just going to continue to become more complex (perhaps even to the point where 'country vs country' competition eventually becomes obsolete) but if representing a particular country really means that much to someone all they need to do is gain citizenship and play in the domestic league for a couple of years.


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03-19-2013, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by EbencoyE View Post
I think players should be able to play for whatever nation they identify with. It's kind of silly that an Irish-American born and raised in Boston for example can't identify as Irish in the hockey world if he really wants to. Why should be be forced to play for USA Hockey if he has no interest in doing so?

I think the IIHF regulations are far too strict. Look at the World Baseball Classic, if they had the same rules the IIHF has then half the teams in the WBC would be getting mercy-ruled every game. Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Brazil, etc are all filled with players who could never meet IIHF criteria, and this goes for most other international sports too.

I understand the reasoning behind it, that the IIHF wants international competition to reflect the actual level of hockey development in that country, but I still believe it is too restrictive on the players themselves, and national identity is a personal issue that shouldn't be legislated.
The problem with that is you would get players who aren't good enough to represent their chosen country who would just say they want to play for the other one. For example a dual Italian/American citizen sees himself as an American but isn't good enough to play for USA, so he just says "yeah I see myself as Italian, let me play for Italy please"

My ideal restriction would be if you've played no hockey in that country, but you were born there and both your parents were from there, but you moved away at an early age, you should be allowed to play for them. Kolzig was still allowed to play for Germany but that was only because he never got a dual citizenship with Canada, people in that situation who do get a dual citizenship should still be allowed to play for their country of origin.

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03-20-2013, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by EbencoyE View Post
I think players should be able to play for whatever nation they identify with. It's kind of silly that an Irish-American born and raised in Boston for example can't identify as Irish in the hockey world if he really wants to. Why should be be forced to play for USA Hockey if he has no interest in doing so?
The guy in your example would have reached a high level as a hockey player thanks to USA Hockey's investments, he wouldn't have a single connection to hockey in Ireland. No one is "forced" to play for a national team, but players should remember who spend time and ressources to help them get where they are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EbencoyE View Post
I think the IIHF regulations are far too strict. Look at the World Baseball Classic, if they had the same rules the IIHF has then half the teams in the WBC would be getting mercy-ruled every game. Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Brazil, etc are all filled with players who could never meet IIHF criteria, and this goes for most other international sports too.
I think the IIHF rules are ok. I don't know enough about baseball to understand why the WBC has such eligibility rules, but I'm pretty sure team Italy's performances doesn't reflect the actual level of the sport over there, and it makes we wonder if those rules are in place to make the sport appears bigger than it actually is.

Look at France in hockey: the got as many good players as they could for the 1992 olympics, which put them in the top 10 for a few seasons and made a good job of hiding the true state of hockey in France. When those players retired, relegation followed. Now fast forward 10 years during which they restructured their entire hockey system, and they now are a well established team in the World Championship. What would you say is better for French hockey? Their current well earned 14th place in the IIHF ranking, or randomly reaching the quarter final in 1995 with half of their roster foreign trained?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EbencoyE View Post
I understand the reasoning behind it, that the IIHF wants international competition to reflect the actual level of hockey development in that country, but I still believe it is too restrictive on the players themselves, and national identity is a personal issue that shouldn't be legislated.
I guess we could have an entire debate about it, but in my opinion national identity is a concept that goes way further than a sport team. A country is defined by many things (its people, culture, lanaguage, government, territory, laws and many others...) that a sport team simply can't represent. In other words, let sport national represent their national federation, don't ask them to represent an entire country.

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03-20-2013, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by EbencoyE View Post
I think players should be able to play for whatever nation they identify with. It's kind of silly that an Irish-American born and raised in Boston for example can't identify as Irish in the hockey world if he really wants to. Why should be be forced to play for USA Hockey if he has no interest[ in doing so?
He's not forced to play for USA Hockey.

What is silly is having an Irish team full of American players. Or an Italian team full of Canadian players. There is just no point to such teams.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EbencoyE View Post
I think the IIHF regulations are far too strict. Look at the World Baseball Classic, if they had the same rules the IIHF has then half the teams in the WBC would be getting mercy-ruled every game. Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Brazil, etc are all filled with players who could never meet IIHF criteria, and this goes for most other international sports too.
I don't know about other countries but pretty much all the Dutch players would meet IIHF criteria, hardly any of them is even a dual-national.

The other teams are a joke and the WBC would probably be better off without them.

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Originally Posted by Imaginary Threats View Post
My ideal restriction would be if you've played no hockey in that country, but you were born there and both your parents were from there, but you moved away at an early age, you should be allowed to play for them. Kolzig was still allowed to play for Germany but that was only because he never got a dual citizenship with Canada,
Well even if he did he still does not meet your criteria.

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people in that situation who do get a dual citizenship should still be allowed to play for their country of origin.
Why should they be? What purpose does it serve?

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03-20-2013, 02:39 PM
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As far as the WBC goes it looks like they are trying to create the illusion that baseball is more competitive and has more international depth than what it actually is and has. I am not positive but I'm pretty sure if your last name ends in a vowel you are eligible to play for Italy. I think long term baseball and the WBC would be better off if the players had closer ties to the national federation they are representing than just a paternal grandfather.
I'm not really sold on this point either though. I think Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, etc having competitive teams in the WBC will do far more for the development of the sport in those countries than any grassroots development ever could. If Italy could ice a competitive team at the Winter Olympics, they might be a hockey hotbed by now.

Having a successful national team that people can watch on TV and generate interest will develop the sport better than any other way possible. For that reason, I think the MLB has struck gold with the WBC, and their lack of restrictions on player eligibility is the main reason why it will be so successful for them in spreading the game of baseball.

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The problem with that is you would get players who aren't good enough to represent their chosen country who would just say they want to play for the other one. For example a dual Italian/American citizen sees himself as an American but isn't good enough to play for USA, so he just says "yeah I see myself as Italian, let me play for Italy please"
I don't see anything wrong with that. Plenty of Italian-Americans see themselves as both Italian and American and would have no problem representing either country. If Italy is the only team of the two willing to give them a roster spot, so be it.

If someone identifies enough with a certain country to wear their uniform then I see no reason why they shouldn't be allowed to.

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Originally Posted by stv11 View Post
The guy in your example would have reached a high level as a hockey player thanks to USA Hockey's investments, he wouldn't have a single connection to hockey in Ireland. No one is "forced" to play for a national team, but players should remember who spend time and ressources to help them get where they are.
I know he wouldn't be "forced" to play for Team USA, but he wouldn't be allowed to play for anyone else is my point. Sure, USA Hockey developed him, but I'm not sure how that is relevant. National identity is a completely different subject from where you happened to learn the game. If he see's himself as Irish and not American, there's no reason he would play for Team USA just because he played in youth leagues that are affiliated with USA Hockey.

Quote:
I think the IIHF rules are ok. I don't know enough about baseball to understand why the WBC has such eligibility rules, but I'm pretty sure team Italy's performances doesn't reflect the actual level of the sport over there, and it makes we wonder if those rules are in place to make the sport appears bigger than it actually is.
I think it has more to do with using the WBC to spread the game. Why restrict people from playing when the whole point is to grow the game? They want Italy to play well so baseball gets bigger in Italy.

Quote:
Look at France in hockey: the got as many good players as they could for the 1992 olympics, which put them in the top 10 for a few seasons and made a good job of hiding the true state of hockey in France. When those players retired, relegation followed. Now fast forward 10 years during which they restructured their entire hockey system, and they now are a well established team in the World Championship. What would you say is better for French hockey? Their current well earned 14th place in the IIHF ranking, or randomly reaching the quarter final in 1995 with half of their roster foreign trained?
You're looking at this from an organizational perspective, I'm looking at this from a players' perspective. I don't care how France chooses players for their roster, but as a player I want to be able to play for whatever country I identify with on a personal nationality level.

Quote:
I guess we could have an entire debate about it, but in my opinion national identity is a concept that goes way further than a sport team. A country is defined by many things (its people, culture, lanaguage, government, territory, laws and many others...) that a sport team simply can't represent. In other words, let sport national represent their national federation, don't ask them to represent an entire country.
Fair point, but I think international sports are destined to become obsolete like the traditional views of ethnicity and nationality if they are too restrictive like the IIHF is, IMO.

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Originally Posted by jekoh View Post
He's not forced to play for USA Hockey.

What is silly is having an Irish team full of American players. Or an Italian team full of Canadian players. There is just no point to such teams.
There's no point in someone being allowed to play for the country they identify with? You act like Americans are forced to play for Ireland, or Canadians are forced to play for Italy. They aren't forced, they're voluntarily playing for countries they personally and nationally identify with.

Quote:
I don't know about other countries but pretty much all the Dutch players would meet IIHF criteria, hardly any of them is even a dual-national.
I thought most of them were from the Caribbean/Central America judging from their names, my mistake then.

Quote:
The other teams are a joke and the WBC would probably be better off without them.
Italy played pretty well. But the WBC wants as many countries as possible to spread the game, so from their point of view they wouldn't be better off at all.


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03-20-2013, 02:58 PM
  #21
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Originally Posted by EbencoyE View Post
I think it has more to do with using the WBC to spread the game. Why restrict people from playing when the whole point is to grow the game? They want Italy to play well so baseball gets bigger in Italy.
Italy used to have a hockey team full of Canadians, that didn't grow hockey in Italy, rather to the contrary.

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03-20-2013, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by EbencoyE View Post
I think players should be able to play for whatever nation they identify with. It's kind of silly that an Irish-American born and raised in Boston for example can't identify as Irish in the hockey world if he really wants to. Why should be be forced to play for USA Hockey if he has no interest in doing so?

I think the IIHF regulations are far too strict. Look at the World Baseball Classic, if they had the same rules the IIHF has then half the teams in the WBC would be getting mercy-ruled every game. Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Brazil, etc are all filled with players who could never meet IIHF criteria, and this goes for most other international sports too.

I understand the reasoning behind it, that the IIHF wants international competition to reflect the actual level of hockey development in that country, but I still believe it is too restrictive on the players themselves, and national identity is a personal issue that shouldn't be legislated.
The World Baseball Classic is a bad example.

I don't agree with the IIHF's new rule (at least they made it a rule finally, rather than just making stuff up), but the WBC is ridiculous allowing players who aren't even citizens to play for national teams.

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03-20-2013, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by stv11 View Post
The guy in your example would have reached a high level as a hockey player thanks to USA Hockey's investments, he wouldn't have a single connection to hockey in Ireland. No one is "forced" to play for a national team, but players should remember who spend time and ressources to help them get where they are.



I think the IIHF rules are ok. I don't know enough about baseball to understand why the WBC has such eligibility rules, but I'm pretty sure team Italy's performances doesn't reflect the actual level of the sport over there, and it makes we wonder if those rules are in place to make the sport appears bigger than it actually is.

Look at France in hockey: the got as many good players as they could for the 1992 olympics, which put them in the top 10 for a few seasons and made a good job of hiding the true state of hockey in France. When those players retired, relegation followed. Now fast forward 10 years during which they restructured their entire hockey system, and they now are a well established team in the World Championship. What would you say is better for French hockey? Their current well earned 14th place in the IIHF ranking, or randomly reaching the quarter final in 1995 with half of their roster foreign trained?



I guess we could have an entire debate about it, but in my opinion national identity is a concept that goes way further than a sport team. A country is defined by many things (its people, culture, lanaguage, government, territory, laws and many others...) that a sport team simply can't represent. In other words, let sport national represent their national federation, don't ask them to represent an entire country.
Precisely to expand the field and create more competitive teams. Italy actually aren't bad at baseball, they are the reigning European champion, beating the Netherlands, whose team is full of Caribbean players. MLB wants to use the WBC to grow the sport internationally and for now I think they are content to let the more fringe countries like Spain (entirely naturalized Caribbean players), Italy (I believe 8 or 9 domestic born players) or Mexico (mostly American born children of Mexican parents/grandparents) have a chance in the competition, not so much to win, but to compete.

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03-20-2013, 03:10 PM
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EbencoyE
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Italy used to have a hockey team full of Canadians, that didn't grow hockey in Italy, rather to the contrary.
Well, you need more than just a team. You need results, in tournaments that are on TV and widely available for people to watch, and a media presence to draw people to the TV in the first place and learn about the team.

Results usually lead to the other stuff, how many tournaments did those Canadians win for Italy?

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03-20-2013, 03:12 PM
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Italy used to have a hockey team full of Canadians, that didn't grow hockey in Italy, rather to the contrary.
I think you need to have some level of common sense. The current IIHF rule is slightly ridiculous. Why 12 years old? However yes, if a player was born in Canada, raised and trained in Canada, perhaps has an Italian grandparent and moves to Italy solely to play hockey at 24 or whatever, it would be reasonable to exclude him. Of course if a player really wants to play for a country, could they not just do what Alex Galchenyuk did and turn in their other passport?

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