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Development of ice hockey in exotic places

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08-15-2013, 05:23 AM
  #1
Vicente
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Development of ice hockey in exotic places

Hi everyone. I am very much interested in topics like the growth of the sports we all love - ice hockey - outside the usual hockey nations, especially when thinking about competition with sports like soccer, basketball or handball that are played in a lot more countries than ice hockey.

Have you heared of recently added new leagues/teams/arenas/assosications etc in Asia, Africa, South and Central America, Oceania or non-traditional hockey areas in Europe like Portugal, Andorra, San Marino, Macedonia, Greece etc?

And what can be done to promote ice hockey globally?

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08-16-2013, 11:40 AM
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Chukcha
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Even Germany with their powerful economics can't develop ice hockey up to soccer level... or at least F1 level. The more powerful hockey nations = the easier to promote ice hockey globally.

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08-17-2013, 06:08 AM
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Even Germany with their powerful economics can't develop ice hockey up to soccer level... or at least F1 level. The more powerful hockey nations = the easier to promote ice hockey globally.
It's hard in Germany with 4 top professional team sports (football, ice hockey, handball, basketball) and the fact that even 2. Bundesliga has an average attendance of 20,000+ (more than most top football leagues in Europe).

But there is interest in ice hockey and sometimes there are even cool events with many spectators.

2010 WC opener in Veltins-Arena (Gelsenkirchen): 78,000 spectators, world wide indoor record for ice hockey + back then highest spectator number for a single hockey game
Jan 2013 DEL Winter Game (Nürnberg): 55,000 specatators, DEL record

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08-17-2013, 02:35 PM
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Every country that participates in the IIHF World Championships has its own domestic league (certain exceptions apply). This includes countries like Mongolia, Hong Kong, South Africa, Iceland, Georgia, North Korea, and the United Arab Emirates.

Countries that are developing programs include Kyrgyzstan (which joined the IIHF a couple years ago and is expected to play in the World Championship within a few years), several Gulf and other Arab states (Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Morocco, Algeria all have played each other in tournaments recently), India, Singapore, Malaysia, and probably others.

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08-17-2013, 02:51 PM
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Are you sure about Qatar? I think they and Jamaica never had any nt games after joining IIHF - and off course also not before.

Maybe you mix it up with Kuwait?

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08-17-2013, 07:44 PM
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if there is big interest in ice hockey in Germany why germans can't gather a strong national team? It's very wonderful that such mighty sport nation as germans can't succeed in ice hockey.

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08-17-2013, 08:03 PM
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just imagine about nhlers of german descent, they could easily become a top team: Roenick, Schneider, all Niedermayers, Reinprecht, Langenbrunner, Holzinger, Horcoff, Mueller, Miller, Getzlaf, Kunitz, all Schultzs, Paetsch, Weiss, Fehr, Fritsche, Schubert, Ehrhoff, Kessel, Kesler...

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08-18-2013, 03:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Chukcha View Post
if there is big interest in ice hockey in Germany why germans can't gather a strong national team? It's very wonderful that such mighty sport nation as germans can't succeed in ice hockey.
No one said that there is big interest. There is interest in hockey, but it's simply not something that really attracts the masses for more than one or two special occasions. Just like other sports of similar status like Handball or Basketball.

The size of a country and its overall success in sports plays absolutely no role in how good a country is in a certain sport. Most of Germany doesn't really have the climate for hockey, so there is no huge interest. You can see the same in France. Any country whose climate is dominated by the sea will have trouble being a big hockey nation. What matters is the number of people who play hockey, and Germany is pretty much exactly where it should be if you rank countries by that criteria. If you want lots of people to play hockey, it needs to be ingrained in the country's, or at least the area's culture. You need frozen lakes and ponds for weeks or months on end, so that playing hockey seems like something everyone does everyday, not hope for them being frozen enough once every five years for a handful of days.

Descent is completely irrelevant. Most of the players you mentioned didn't become good or even great players because they were of German descent, they ended up as those players because they were trained in areas that have lots of high-level competition in hockey.


As for the actual topic, I read an article about hockey in India a while ago, there is some interest in the game, but it's obviously very local, maybe I can find it.

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08-18-2013, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Chukcha View Post
if there is big interest in ice hockey in Germany why germans can't gather a strong national team? It's very wonderful that such mighty sport nation as germans can't succeed in ice hockey.
Everyone, everywhere has to start somewhere.

What I mean by this is Germans National Football team wasn't always an Elite team like it is today. They had to start somewhere like you getting a six pack of abs. I wouldn't say hockey is very popular in Germany compared to other nations as it is still a regional sport, but the growth I have seen has been amazing and Leon Draisaitl is proof of the growth in the country as a sport. He could have easily went to football instead, but his father played hockey due to the interest of it (even how small it was back then) and made his son play it. Now it's looking like Draisaitl could be the best German forward to ever play and you grow it from there. Then the German depth has risen as well with many more players making CHL teams and then getting drafted. I do think their is potential in Germany to become a nation to challenge the likes of Sweden, United States, Canada, and Russia, but like I said its only potential and development.

Sanderson, I disagree with you on some occusions, sea nations not being interested in hockey is false. Look at the likes of Russia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland (climate wise is a whole different story). Those are all nations who have some land touching water. While I think its more due to the lack of ice rinks. Hear me out, if you decided to build 2,000 ice rinks in every part of France don't you think hockey would rise there and more NHL stars would come from France compared more than Germany who only built 200 rinks at the same given time?


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08-19-2013, 12:04 AM
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Are you sure about Qatar? I think they and Jamaica never had any nt games after joining IIHF - and off course also not before.

Maybe you mix it up with Kuwait?
I was thinking of the Gulf Cup, a regional tournament not affiliated with the IIHF. Apparently Qatar hasn't played in it, but they very well could have been involved in another like-minded tournament.

As most of these countries lack the infrastructure to qualify for the IIHF World Championships (you need a proper rink, a national league, and minimum amounts of registered players) they play these non-IIHF tournaments while at the same time working on growing the sport. Its certainly helped them though, as they are aided by the IIHF in these endeavours, and could join in the near future.

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08-19-2013, 03:05 PM
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They should have an IIHF small nations tournament with Andorra, San Marino, Monaco, Macedonia, Kovoso, Albania, Portugal and Liechtenstein.

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08-19-2013, 03:13 PM
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if there is big interest in ice hockey in Germany why germans can't gather a strong national team? It's very wonderful that such mighty sport nation as germans can't succeed in ice hockey.
Well there are some important factors. First of all: look at the number of ice hockey players and compare it to football, handball or basketball players. It is extremly low. I think there are more baseball or American Football players in Germany than ice hockey players.

Is this because hockey is not popular? No. It's because of the lack of ice rinks and playing opportunities. In all places with ice rinks and the chance to play the game, you see a lot of interest in ice hockey. If you don't have the chance to play hockey as a kid or teenager...

That's why Bavaria and parts of Saxony have such a rich ice hockey tradition. For these people its normal to go to the local ice hockey club just as its normal for other people to support the local football team. For many young kids of traditional German hockey schools (Rosenheim, Kaufbeuren, Bad Tölz, Eisbären Juniors Berlin, Mannheim, Krefeld, Kölner Haie etc) its a normal goal to work to become professional hockey players (in Germany a player gets big money compared to normal jobs). Good German DEL players earn up to 200,000 euro / season. The best foreigners even get up to 350,000 euro / season. This is pretty cool for a non-hockey country, hugh?

DEL is one of the Euro leagues with the best average attendance which is also showing that there is decent interest in the game. I guess a lot of people think Germans don't like hockey because the football numbers are just insane - almolst twice the spectators Spanish La Liga has.

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08-19-2013, 03:34 PM
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Here are some numbers I found about how many people are active in certain team sports in Germany. Would be nice to have sth similar for the "exotic" hockey nations to see if they have any chances at all to develop the sports.

baseball 30,000
ice hockey 27,000
american football: 37,000
handball: 847,000
basketball: 192,000
lacrosse: 1,542
football: 6,800,000
rugby: 13,852
cricket: 5,000
field hockey: 77,000
volleyball: 454,000

As I just wrote. Ice hockey is only 8th team sports in Germany regarding active members but then again it is the 2nd most popular sports by visitor numbers in stadiums. So you might see the big gap between being able to play yourself and just watching.


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08-19-2013, 06:28 PM
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ice-hockey is expensive to play, even in "rich" country. Same happens in Switzerland, many people are watching the games, but more people are playing football, handball and volleyball.

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08-20-2013, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Vicente View Post
Here are some numbers I found about how many people are active in certain team sports in Germany. Would be nice to have sth similar for the "exotic" hockey nations to see if they have any chances at all to develop the sports.

baseball 30,000
ice hockey 27,000
american football: 37,000
handball: 847,000
basketball: 192,000
lacrosse: 1,542
football: 6,800,000
rugby: 13,852
cricket: 5,000
field hockey: 77,000
volleyball: 454,000

As I just wrote. Ice hockey is only 8th team sports in Germany regarding active members but then again it is the 2nd most popular sports by visitor numbers in stadiums. So you might see the big gap between being able to play yourself and just watching.
Wow, I am impressed you got so many active in so many sports. In Sweden I'd be willing to bet only about 0,001% of the population has ever even heard about lacrosse (might even be less). That's pretty cool.

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08-20-2013, 12:05 PM
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Andorra and San Marino isnt big enough to be called a proper country if you ask me. Places like that is just there for rich people to screw the middle and lower classes in real nations. Those places barely manage to scrap togheter a national team in Soccer.

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08-20-2013, 12:13 PM
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Andorra and San Marino isnt big enough to be called a proper country if you ask me. Places like that is just there for rich people to screw the middle and lower classes in real nations. Those places barely manage to scrap togheter a national team in Soccer.
You might be right about these small places. Thinking about Germany having more American Football players than Monaco having inhabitants.. Btw I was there in 2008 and it is barely more than a village from its size.

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08-20-2013, 12:17 PM
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Wow, I am impressed you got so many active in so many sports. In Sweden I'd be willing to bet only about 0,001% of the population has ever even heard about lacrosse (might even be less). That's pretty cool.
Yeah. That's one of the few good things of having so many inhabitants in a relatively small area. I mean there are even cricket clubs in bigger places here.

The only problem: you can forget to become a national team player in an exotic sports like baseball or american football... Even Lacrosse has way too much competition.

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08-20-2013, 04:23 PM
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Btw for a non-hockey country fans in DEL are pretty good, hugh?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNOrsqL8qME

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08-26-2013, 01:57 AM
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In my last 2 hometowns in southern Italy and South Africa, sadly nobody knows about hockey it's all soccer and rugby, iknow Cape Town has a nice ice hockey rink and a league going on there, but nothing near me.

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10-12-2013, 07:32 PM
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MHL B (2nd tier Russian junior league) now has a team in Chisinau, Moldova... in a country with 0 proper hockey rinks.
MHL goes to Hungary, Moldova - IIHF.com

Also more about Moldovian junior hockey: Platina – As good as gold - IIHF.com

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10-14-2013, 01:19 PM
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The game needs a lot of infrastructure, as said. If a country can increase the amount of ice rinks and have programs in place for youth hockey, then the game would grow. On top of that, relatively cheap gear has to be accessible. In Canada, companies like Canadian Tire sell full sets of cheaper gear for youth players, which makes it a bit more affordable. If it's hard to find or needs to be ordered, than most players in exotic hockey locales will only be able to afford to play once they reach adulthood, unless they have well-off parents.

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10-14-2013, 09:50 PM
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The game needs a lot of infrastructure, as said. If a country can increase the amount of ice rinks and have programs in place for youth hockey, then the game would grow. On top of that, relatively cheap gear has to be accessible. In Canada, companies like Canadian Tire sell full sets of cheaper gear for youth players, which makes it a bit more affordable. If it's hard to find or needs to be ordered, than most players in exotic hockey locales will only be able to afford to play once they reach adulthood, unless they have well-off parents.
I agree with you on all points, especially cheap(er) gear is very important. I don't know how much things costs in the rest of the world, but here in Beijing to buy a pair of skates, several season old ones, Reebok or CCM would cost 2000 RMB(€250, US$300).

My guess is that you could probably find a pair of skates, Reebok or CCM that are a few seasons out of date, new on discount, for perhaps €50 or US$75 in Europe and North America.

And also there is a massive second hand market in NA and Europe compared to exotic places, which makes it easier for people that can't afford new gear to play also.

Maybe I should try to import second hand gear from Russia and sell it here? If I can sell second hand skates for 200-500 RMB it's a huge price difference from the Canadian importers here that sells new but older gear for ridiculous prices.

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10-17-2013, 11:15 AM
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It depends if you're talking about skates for kids or for adults. Youth/Junior skates yes, you can get them for really cheap if they're out of date. $30-70, depending on quality.

For adults you'd be hard-pressed to find new skates under $100 after tax I think. Maybe like $80 if they're low-end and on sale?
Quote:
Maybe I should try to import second hand gear from Russia and sell it here? If I can sell second hand skates for 200-500 RMB it's a huge price difference from the Canadian importers here that sells new but older gear for ridiculous prices.
Is there demand in Beijing for cheap hockey gear? It'd kind of suck if you imported a bunch of gear but couldn't sell it!

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10-17-2013, 10:58 PM
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Is there demand in Beijing for cheap hockey gear? It'd kind of suck if you imported a bunch of gear but couldn't sell it!
Not what I know of no.

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