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Spain, best sporting nation?

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Old
07-27-2012, 02:44 AM
  #126
PMF06
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I'm five months late to the party but I thought I would throw in my 2 cents worth regarding Australia's participation in some sports.

Lacrosse is not relevant here at all. There are some small amateur leagues and that's it. If anyone is going to use Australia as a country that plays lacrosse then I'm going to state that Australian Rules Football is an international sport as technically there are leagues all around the world. Regardless, any team that came up against an olympic-standard Australian team would barely touch the ball let alone actually score. I suspect the same thing would happen if an Australian lacrosse team was to play a US lacrosse team, but the other way around. Handball is no more popular than lacrosse here.

Baseball is more popular than both but I'm not sure we'd actually make a dint on the world stage. For arguments sake I don't really count cricket as a big international sport despite Australia, New Zealand, England, South Africa, West Indies, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan having competitive international teams (I've probably missed a couple too). Most continents are covered where baseball and handball seem to have strong teams in only two continents (I could be wrong here). Depends on how you define big though.


Also, the similarities between ice hockey and field hockey end with:
a) both sports are called hockey
b) both use a stick
c) both are "invasion" sports (a la soccer, basketball, handball to name a few)

I play field hockey and would say it resembles 'soccer with sticks' more than ice hockey. As well as the very obvious there are many significant differences between the sports including:
  • 11 players on the field versus 6 on the ice (this make tactics very different between the two sports)
  • Field hockey is a non-contact sport (in the same way that basketball is a 'non-contact' sport) where contact is an integral component of ice hockey.
  • Field hockey players can only use 1 side of the stick where ice hockey players can use both sides of the stick.
  • There's an out of bounds in field hockey.
  • You can't use your feet in field hockey (this is a big tactic for the more skilled players) where you can use your skates in ice hockey.
  • Ice hockey teams are generally 4 lines of 3 attackers and 3 defensive pairs where field hockey positions are a little more arbitrary (the general setup for a field hockey team are 3 attackers, 2 inners, 3 halves, 2 fullbacks and a goalie)
  • The very nature of the games are different. Ice hockey players play short high-intensity shifts where field hockey is a slower more aerobically demanding sport (from a physiological standpoint).


Most importantly to note is that every sport I've mentioned in this post is freaking awesome

edit: just thought of two more differences:
  • Field hockey player can only be played right-handed (sticks aren't made for left-handed players)
  • Many goals from field hockey come from set-pieces

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Old
07-27-2012, 02:57 AM
  #127
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Spain 113 total Olympic medals
United States 2296 olympic medals

No.

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Old
07-27-2012, 10:48 PM
  #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Dragon View Post
If you want the nation that "punches furthest above its weight" you have to pick Australia.
This response is months late but if we're talking strictly about the Olympics then I'd say Hungary punches furthest above its weight.

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07-28-2012, 01:06 AM
  #129
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how about Cuba? country of 11 million, yet gets more medals than any country in the Western Hemisphere except the USA...that's more than Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina....

1992 6th---only USA better
1996 8th---only USA better
2000 9th---only USA better
2004 11th--only USA better
2008 28th--better were Jamaica (11 medals total) Canada (18 medals total) Brazil (15 medals total), but this was only because of the gold medal priority, Cuba had 24 total medals.

Medal count since 1896

Canada 260---missed 2 Olympics
Cuba 194------missed 8 Olympics
Brazil 91-------missed 1 Olympics
Argentina 67--missed 4 Olympics
Mexico 55-----missed 5 Olympics

Medal count since 1992 (in other words, in the past 20 years)--100% Olympic participation

Cuba--132
Canada--84
Brazil----55
Argentina-20
Mexico --15

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Old
07-29-2012, 04:46 AM
  #130
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People should decide if "the best" sporting country means best overall (clearly a duel between US and China), or if you factor in the population, in which case you can make a case for Spain. I think Croatia is pretty impressive too.

EDIT: I guess Jamaica deserves a mention for their sprinting dominance. They've got less than 1% of USA's population.

EDIT: Oh yeah, obviously Cuba too, as mentioned above.


Last edited by tuozzi: 07-29-2012 at 04:53 AM.
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Old
07-29-2012, 08:34 AM
  #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuozzi View Post
People should decide if "the best" sporting country means best overall (clearly a duel between US and China), or if you factor in the population, in which case you can make a case for Spain. I think Croatia is pretty impressive too.

EDIT: I guess Jamaica deserves a mention for their sprinting dominance. They've got less than 1% of USA's population.

EDIT: Oh yeah, obviously Cuba too, as mentioned above.
I think it also can be made an argument in terms of what the country is good at....

For example, the USA and China are indeed the best overall, from BMX to shooting to ping pong...but...who the hell really follows any of this? the only thing the USA is good that is a true world wide sport is Basketball and tennis, and China...none...

I think the "importance" of the sport should be the bar to measure

Spain is among the best in the 2 most important sports in the planet, soccer and basketball...sorry but China can be all the good they wanna be in archery, swimming, ping pong, shooting, weightlifting, karate, judo ...nobody gives a crap

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Old
07-29-2012, 08:47 AM
  #132
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The best sporting nation should be the one best at most sports, and China is that one.

Nobody gives a crap about those sports yet nearly all of them are way more difficult than soccer, which is as simple as they come, I think if you're going to put importance as a factor, the difficult of a sport should be another factor as well.

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07-29-2012, 09:07 AM
  #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasilevski View Post
The best sporting nation should be the one best at most sports, and China is that one.

Nobody gives a crap about those sports yet nearly all of them are way more difficult than soccer, which is as simple as they come, I think if you're going to put importance as a factor, the difficult of a sport should be another factor as well.
1st of all, China is not that one, it's the USA

2nd of all, a lot of these "sports" are simply what I would consider "disciplines" (a literal translation from Spanish, you should know what I'm talking about)...and again, nobody cares how difficult BMXing, ping pong, weightlifting, shooting, fencing, etc. are because they are simply the fringiest of "sports", no matter how easy you think soccer or basketball or tennis are, they remain with untouchable status in the realm of sports....when do you hear about Chinese teams or Chinese athletes after the Olympic games are done? Yup, thought so...

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07-29-2012, 09:27 AM
  #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasilevski View Post
The best sporting nation should be the one best at most sports, and China is that one.

Nobody gives a crap about those sports yet nearly all of them are way more difficult than soccer, which is as simple as they come, I think if you're going to put importance as a factor, the difficult of a sport should be another factor as well.
Did you forget the , or are you just this ignorant?
The competition determines the difficulty, and in which sport is there the most competition again? Yeah, that's right.
I don't understand the tactical or whatever other nuances e.g. baseball and american football have, so refrain from commenting on them. You should do the same.

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08-04-2012, 01:08 PM
  #135
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Epic jinx thread for Spain as far as the Olympics go.

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08-04-2012, 01:31 PM
  #136
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe89 View Post
Epic jinx thread for Spain as far as the Olympics go.
It's not about the Olympics though.

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08-04-2012, 01:48 PM
  #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasilevski View Post
The best sporting nation should be the one best at most sports, and China is that one.

Nobody gives a crap about those sports yet nearly all of them are way more difficult than soccer, which is as simple as they come, I think if you're going to put importance as a factor, the difficult of a sport should be another factor as well.
I know everyone likes to hate on the U.S., but I think it is fair to say if it is the country at is best at the most sports, it would be the U.S.

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08-04-2012, 02:32 PM
  #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuozzi View Post
Did you forget the , or are you just this ignorant?
The competition determines the difficulty, and in which sport is there the most competition again? Yeah, that's right.
I don't understand the tactical or whatever other nuances e.g. baseball and american football have, so refrain from commenting on them. You should do the same.
it was an stupid post by me

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Old
08-06-2012, 04:59 AM
  #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Dragon View Post
If you want the nation that "punches furthest above its weight" you have to pick Australia. 20 million people: 14 gold medals at the last olympics, the most recent Tour De France winner, 2 Winter Olympic golds at the last one (particularly impressive due to Australia's climate), Rugby & Cricket World Cup finalists, current Moto GP champion, 2 full-time F1 drivers, 2 NBA 1st overall draft picks still active (Kyrie Irving was born in Australia, and Andrew Bogut).
New Zealand are the country that really punch above their weight and they do not have the same sporting programme as Australia do.

The whole thread is a nonsense. This need to classify and pigeonhole. Spain are doing well at present but what of the numerous sports they struggle in ?

And is the playing field really fair at present ? Many countries across the world might have potential world class athletes but they do not have the sports facilities available or any sporting programme at all.

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08-06-2012, 05:00 AM
  #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yotes Persevere View Post
I know everyone likes to hate on the U.S., but I think it is fair to say if it is the country at is best at the most sports, it would be the U.S.
It's more likely to be China and Russia after two decades of underinvestment and losing infrastructure and coaches are on the way back.

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08-06-2012, 06:20 AM
  #141
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Late to the party, but yeah...

If you take into account the most popular individual sports in the world and the most popular team sports in the world, it's amazing what's Spain's done over the last decade.

- football
- basketball
- handball (slight decline) - yes, this is huge in Europe
- waterpolo (slight decline) - yes, this is popular in Europe
- Nadal
- Contador
- Alonso
- etc etc.

Spain can't match the US, Russia or China in program money or sample size. Or in Olympic medals.
The fact that they've been so successful in the most popular sports is phenomenal.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure 99% of the countries in the world would swap 100 gold Olympic medals for the World Cup in football.
Nothing beats football WC.

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Old
07-22-2013, 06:32 AM
  #142
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Football!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jekoh View Post
Yeah but then rugby is derived from football and you still listed them separately.
What? When you say football, I assume you are referring to American Football not real football. If so then you are completely incorrect.

The fact of the matter is that rugby is older than American football.
The only truly international game is real football.

Anyway, the oldest team game is the Irish game of Hurling, as it has been played for over 2000 (possibly 3000) years. Hockey and all those other team "stick" sports come from Hurling.

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07-22-2013, 06:56 AM
  #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariconor View Post
What? When you say football, I assume you are referring to American Football not real football. If so then you are completely incorrect.

The fact of the matter is that rugby is older than American football.
The only truly international game is real football.

Anyway, the oldest team game is the Irish game of Hurling, as it has been played for over 2000 (possibly 3000) years. Hockey and all those other team "stick" sports come from Hurling.
A: You're bumping a thread that is about a year old

B: It's pretty obvious that by "football" he was referring to "Soccer" because Rugby was derived from "Soccer". Also that guy has a Soccer/Football player in his avatar.

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07-22-2013, 09:07 AM
  #144
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Right now Great Britain can make a good claim to being good at a lot of sports.

Aside from our Football team we have top Cricket teams (All formats-currently 2-0 up on Australia in the Ashes), hockey (Both men and women's), cycling (Dominate it at the Olympics and won last two Tour De France and often at the top in World Championships with Australia), Tennis (Murray winning two GS and the Olympic gold and 2nd in the world). We just hosted one of the best Olympics in a while and do well in a fair few sports played there (Rowing, Equestrian, Sailing to name but a few.)

We also have a top Rugby team both Union and League. Top Golfers that often compete not to mention a top F1 Driver in Hamilton. We're also competitive in Moto GP. Although our Men's football team is lacking our Women's is fairly strong although struggling lately. Dominate in Snooker and Darts too but that's stretching it.

For a country our size that often fails and gets laughed at I think we do quite well. I've probably missed one or two out as well.

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07-22-2013, 09:26 AM
  #145
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Then again, Britain is the third largest European nation by population and sports mad. The money and facilities are there to groom young talents into world class athletes. Couple that to the fact that the BBC is heavily invested in sports and you've got a good breeding ground. It also helps that many sports originated on your island and gained global popularity due to exposure in the colonies or was introduced by students/professionals/priests abroad. My local football team for example was founded in a catholic school where the sport was introduced by British priests who worked and lived here.

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Old
07-22-2013, 01:18 PM
  #146
J17 Vs Proclamation
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Of course "Britain" does very well at sport. It's a nation with a very sizable population that has excellent money power relative to population size and has a long and important heritage in the development of many sports. People argue Britain is having an golden era of sport (common phrase here) and it's true relative to what went before, but i'd also argue it is realistically what should be happening (of course deviation and luck will later this for periods of time).

Still, this thread is inherently absurd. How do you measure sporting success? What sports do you give greater value to? Why do you measure these sports more? Do you factor in any sliding system to incorporate differences in population, money and infrastructure (nevermind culture and genetics).

It is possible for fairly well sized or wealthy countries to appear "poor" at sport simply because they happen to emphasise their participation in sports with lower winning possibilities (medals etc), greater global competiton and greater number of athletes required (team sports). Canada is a good example of the contradiction to this question. On one hand, they are an excellent winter olympic sports country. Though, these sports are by and large very restricted. On the other hand, they clearly excell at ice hockey. On the other hand, opportunities to win medals/success is infrequent and they have a crazy number of athletes playing professional in this sport relative to others. So which do we measure up and down? Comes down to personal preferences and your own bias ... which again, makes the question utterly stupid.

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