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Thread: Percentage of registered hockey players to population by country

  1. #1
    IHF Member kedr's Avatar
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    IIHF Percentage of registered hockey players to population by country

    Found an interesting table in Wikipedia:

    CountryPlayers% of Population
    Canada543,3901.64%
    United States435,7370.15%
    Czech Republic83,5890.82%
    Russia77,2020.05%
    Sweden67,7470.75%
    Finland62,8861.2%
    Germany30,3440.04%
    Switzerland25,1060.33%
    Japan20,5400.02%
    France15,6210.02%
    Slovakia9,4020.17%
    Austria9,0070.1%
    Italy7,2580.01%
    Norway6,3560.14%
    Latvia4,8360.21%
    Denmark4,2550.08%
    Kazakhstan2,9310.02%
    Belarus2,9300.03%
    Ukraine2,2380.01%
    Slovenia9800.05%

    As expected, Canada is a leader: 164 people of 10000 are registered hockey players. Finland is the next: 120 people of 10000.
    Of 6 leading hockey countries Russia has a minimal percentage: only 5 people of 10000 are hockey players.

    Also interesting to mention that such comparatively strong hockey nations as Kazakhstan, Belarus, Ukraine have just 2000-3000 registered hockey players, far less than weaker France, Japan, Italy, Norway.
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    IHF Member Tokyo Bucks's Avatar
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    Very interesting, and quite impressive number in Finland.

    What is up with the difference between Czech and Slovakia?

    China is an off the scales 0.00004% or so, I guess India would be even less? :P

    Switzerland's got relatively good percentage too, I guess that partially explains their rise in international hockey.
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  3. #3
    IHF Staff Jazz's Avatar
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    Yes, interesting numbers, but you can't compare directly the number of registered players between North American & Western European countries with Eastern & former Soviet countries.

    See post #s 75, 76, and 77 here:

    http://www.forums.internationalhocke...5639#post95639

    Summarized here:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz View Post
    Again, just a minor point to add to this with respect to the reporting of the number of registered players by the different national federations....

    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    Canada is the only country in the world where hockey is truly #1 sport - and that's why we, as hockey fans, should love and praise the country. If only there could be more countries like Canada... ;-) Still, it is very questionable whether Canada is superior in international hockey. I think most members on this board would question that. Given that the pool of hockey players in Canada is almost 10 times as big as in Sweden, Finland or in Russia, I tend to say that the top European countries have been very efficient in developing world class hockey players.
    Efficient perhaps, but we do have to look at the goals of the federation...
    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    .....
    The perspective of the Canadian players is however different. I think that at least two things should be kept in mind. First, the sheer size of pool of Canadian junior players (441,000). That's more than twice the pool of all junior players in the top-7 European hockey nations (Finland, Sweden, Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany and Switzerland) combined! All things equal, this means that there is also more hockey talents at a young age in the Canadian pool. Second, the Canadian hockey culture should be kept in mind. Unlike in the European countries, hockey is the national sport in Canada. When we play football for fun in Europe, the Canadians play hockey. Take the stories of Eric Staal and Wayne Gretzky. As kids, they spend nearly all their sparetime playing hockey in the backyard or the pond......
    I do not think you can't directly compare the number of registered Junior players between Canada (and perhaps the US) with any other country. This reference number might be valid to compare any other countries with each other, but leave Canada and the US out of it.

    My understanding is that the Canadian Federation also stresses simple participation (including recreational) in it's hockey program, while the Europeans countries stress more on elite skill development.

    I have a cousin who is a registered Canadian hockey player, and he has no chance or even hope of getting into the CHL, let alone the NHL. Heck, even a former member of this board (NyQuil) was a registered hockey player (not sure if he still maintains it now). My cousin once told me that the only reason he maintains his registration yearly is to get access to better ice times and equipment, and this is purely for recreational purposes (or something like that, I'll have to confirm this with him again)

    So, you can see that the Canadian number of registered players is vastly inflated with respect to those who are actually in the pipeline to significant junior or NHL careers. Then simply best of the crop make it to the CHL, or go to the NCAA in the US.

    My understanding about Europe and elsewhere (at least from my trip to the Czech Republic a couple of years ago) is that once they see potential in a young teen, they will give him extra resources so that he will develop (from the time he is approx 13 and up) into someone who will eventually be able to play in the domestic league - and that only these players are counted towards their country's registered total. This might be due simply to the cost of playing this expensive sport and the local federation wants to make sure that the resources available are allocated to the appropriate players who may in the future play for their national team.

    I think the Americans have taken the Canadian approach for many years until recently (ie, reporting simple participation numbers as well), and now with the USNTDP are now also following the European model of giving selected players with the most potential extra resources (which we have now seen with the recent success of the American teams at the U18 level. I guess you can say that the Americans are using a hybrid of the Canadian and European models to come up with their overall number of registered players, but only with a small number actually in line to NCAA/CHL/NHL careers. I do stand corrected on this though....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steigs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz View Post
    My understanding is that the Canadian Federation also stresses simple participation (including recreational) in it's hockey program, while the Europeans countries stress more on elite skill development.

    I have a cousin who is a registered Canadian hockey player, and he has no chance or even hope of getting into the CHL, let alone the NHL. Heck, even a former member of this board (NyQuil) was a registered hockey player (not sure if he still maintains it now). My cousin once told me that the only reason he maintains his registration yearly is to get access to better ice times and equipment, and this is purely for recreational purposes (or something like that, I'll have to confirm this with him again)
    You're more or less right on that point Jazz. I'm actually a registered Canadian hockey player, and have been since age 4, despite the fact that I've never played more than at a house league level.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz View Post
    So, you can see that the Canadian number of registered players is vastly inflated with respect to those who are actually in the pipeline to significant junior or NHL careers. Then simply best of the crop make it to the CHL, or go to the NCAA in the US.

    My understanding about Europe and elsewhere (at least from my trip to the Czech Republic a couple of years ago) is that once they see potential in a young teen, they will give him extra resources so that he will develop (from the time he is approx 13 and up) into someone who will eventually be able to play in the domestic league - and that only these players are counted towards their country's registered total. This might be due simply to the cost of playing this expensive sport and the local federation wants to make sure that the resources available are allocated to the appropriate players who may in the future play for their national team.
    What you say is valid for Czech Republic, Slovakia and especially former Soviet Union. That's why you see countries like Latvia or Kazakhstan with so few registered players.

    But in "Western" European countries, it's the same as in Canada - every kid can get a license and play hockey at the level he wants to, if their parents can afford it. And they can, in countries like Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Germany.
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  4. #4
    IHF Member leftofcenter's Avatar
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    I think Canada and Finland would be even higher percentages if it was based on people who play hockey in general (rather than only as a registered player). I know there are a LOT of people who play the game at outdoor rinks as well as in shinny pick up games at indoor arenas/mall arenas every week (you pay your CDN$10-15 for an hour to 1 1/2 hours game).

    EDIT: my post came after I saw Jazz's but I would add that registered player numbers to me is not that meaningful - having people just playing is what I think is important. But then I'm not a dedicated fan of the pro and formal leagues like others are. I jsut think it's a great game worth playing and traching others about the game so they can try it. Obviously it will lead to more registered players in the end.

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    IHF Member kedr's Avatar
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    I also mention that Russian regions under permafrost prefer bandy (russian hockey) over ice hockey.
    I don't know really why, but such big cities as Kranoyarsk, Chita, Arkhangelsk, Kemerovo, Murmansk, Irkutsk have first class bandy teams, while their ice-hockey teams are in a#$.

    PS 60% of Russian territory - permafrost.
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  6. #6
    IHF Member leftofcenter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kedr View Post
    I also mention that Russian regions under permafrost prefer bandy (russian hockey) over ice hockey.
    I don't know really why, but such big cities as Kranoyarsk, Chita, Arkhangelsk, Kemerovo, Murmansk, Irkutsk have first class bandy teams, while their ice-hockey teams are in a#$.

    PS 60% of Russian territory - permafrost.
    In my opinion, we should include bandy and ringette with ice hockey as they're both played on ice and are have similar styles and objectives (admittedly with differences). Amongst girls in western Canada (and Finland I'm told), ringette has a large number of girls in leagues.

    Also, it's a game that I think players could switch between (at least I had no problem in playing ringette with very good ringette players) and makes me think they should be included in the numbers.

  7. #7
    IHF Member kedr's Avatar
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    I don't know about ringette but bandy is an absolutely different kind of sport.
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    IHF Member Shardik's Avatar
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    Here are some numbers I found from a Finnish national sports survey conducted in 2005-06.

    Adults (19-65):
    Total ice hockey players: 90,000 (#16)
    Total ice hockey players in club hockey: 33,000 (#4)

    Juniors (3-18):
    Total ice hockey players: 105,000 (#9)
    Total ice hockey players in club hockey: 47,500 (#3)

    I assume that players in club hockey need to be registered. That would make a total of 80,500 registered ice hockey players in Finland or 1,5% of population. A total of 195,000 people play ice hockey regularly (ie. minimum once a week, three months per year) in some form and this makes 3,7% of population.
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    IHF Member leftofcenter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kedr View Post
    I don't know about ringette but bandy is an absolutely different kind of sport.
    Yes, they're different. I never said they weren't. But they are similar enough that i think the numbers should be included. They're hockey-like and importantly, played on ice using skates and some kind of stick. When growing up in Canada us kids played road hockey (ball hockey on the street) obsessively because it was a temporary replacement for ice hockey.

    Hmm - maybe there should be another list where the numbers should reflect people playing "hockey" of all kinds - ice hockey, bandy/bando, ringette, sledge hockey, in-line hockey, floorball, ball hockey, field hockey, shinty. I'm fine that.

    From Wikipedia:

    Bandy is a winter sport, where a ball is hit with a stick. It shares a common ancestry with ice hockey, in that it likely developed from the informal "ball and stick on ice" games known collectively as shinny. As such, the game is played outdoors on a sheet of ice. It differs from ice hockey in that rather than developing its own unique rules or codes, it has rules that are similar to association football.

    An old name for bandy is hockey on the ice or hockey on ice, due to the sport essentially being "field hockey played on ice", but since the mid-20th Century the term bandy is usually preferred, so as not to confuse the sport with ice hockey.

    In English as in many other languages in most parts of the world, the term bandy is used. Notable exceptions are Russian, where bandy is still called hockey with ball (xоккей с мячом), and ice hockey is called hockey with puck (xоккей с шайбой) and Finnish, where bandy is ice ball (jääpallo) and ice hockey is ice puck (jääkiekko).
    Last edited by leftofcenter; 20-03-2008 at 11:49.

  10. #10
    IHF Member kedr's Avatar
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    Right, bandy is close to football, then to ice hockey.
    Ball, big field, no body-checks, goalkeeper without a stick, rare changing of players on the ice, football-style penalty kicks, etc.
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  11. #11
    IHF Member leftofcenter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kedr View Post
    Right, bandy is close to football, then to ice hockey.
    Ball, big field, no body-checks, goalkeeper without a stick, rare changing of players on the ice, football-style penalty kicks, etc.
    sticks on ice Kedr - that's the key here

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    Hello there! great thread!

    I wonder how many of the canadian registered palyers that's women or apart of the "Adult recreation program" for beginners! Lets do it for all other nations too.
    Just count number of active/compiting players in leagues, from top to bottom.

    No offense on that, its great for hockey! But just to compare it better with greater condition.

    Here in Sweden we dont have those Beginning programs like you, and Hockey for women is't that big either.

    But we have something called "Rink Bandy" it's like ringette, but with a ball, thats the only chance to play "hockey" (not hockey) as an adult beginners.

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    IHF Member kun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hockey_Hearth View Post
    Hello there! great thread!

    I wonder how many of the canadian registered palyers that's women or apart of the "Adult recreation program" for beginners! Lets do it for all other nations too.
    Just count number of active/compiting players in leagues, from top to bottom.

    No offense on that, its great for hockey! But just to compare it better with greater condition.

    Here in Sweden we dont have those Beginning programs like you, and Hockey for women is't that big either.

    But we have something called "Rink Bandy" it's like ringette, but with a ball, thats the only chance to play "hockey" (not hockey) as an adult beginners.
    I think you'll see a push in Women's Ice Hockey with outside influence from Canada now that Rogge made a few threats about it being removed from the games if competition doesn't pick up. The success in Canada is gigantic, that's for sure.

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    IHF Member Hockey_Algeria's Avatar
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    not relevant if we're talking IIHF, but the Algerian association has 66 registered players.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hockey_Algeria View Post
    not relevant if we're talking IIHF, but the Algerian association has 66 registered players.
    Good for the sport! Hockey is growing, but slow.

    The desert is kinda cold at nights! ;)


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