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Feb 18 14 7:34 AM

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A place to discuss Bandy, an English sporting invention that seems to have been largely forgotten about here for the last century or so... but not in Scandinavia and Russia of course.

First point of discussion, why is it not a Winter Olympic sport? I know it bid for inclusion for 2014 (having previously demonstrated in 1952) but it didn't make it through... any particular reasons? I'd have thought there is plenty of room for 2 bandy tournaments at the games... and as the nearest winter sport to football short of 'snow soccer', would surely generate some interest...
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TheRoonBa

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#1 [url]

Feb 18 14 5:04 PM

Possible reasons:

It's too similar to ice hockey
It requires outdoor arenas
Not enough countries play it (only 20 or so men's teams, 6 women's teams).

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#2 [url]

Feb 18 14 10:00 PM

All fair points that would spring to my mind first as well, but some counter-arguments against #1 and #3 could hold up, as for starters there are many Olympic Sports which have 'similar' counterparts (volleyball/beach volleyball, cycling events, speed skating/short track, any ski events replicated on snowboards, etc.).

The 'active nations' thing, meanwhile, could apply to about 80%* of winter sports being featured, and a tournament of say 8 teams would not be much of a stretch for men's bandy, while 6 in a women's tournament (see Football in the Youth Olympics) would be manageable if all of them took part or new participants were found (Olympic incentive?).

As for reason #2, would it really be so hard to construct even a temporary/small bandy stadium in an area dedicated to winter sport and legacy? Russia at least would have been able to pull this off given their love of bandy and the money they spent on this event... while the weather in Sochi right now is generally the other type of 'problematic' for a Winter Games...

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TheRoonBa

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#3 [url]

Feb 19 14 11:50 AM

For #1 - Bandy is a completely different sport (despite similarities to ice hockey) with a different governing body (FIB as opposed to IIHF). The other sports you mention - they are generally governed by the same body.

#2 - I think to get into the Olympics, a sport has to be played in at least 50 countries worldwide. I don't know if this applies to the Winter Games, or if this figure is reduced to 30 or something similar. Ice Hockey passes this test (but of course, it didn't in the past).

Another thing is that only 4 nations are competitive at bandy (Russia/Sweden/Finland/Kazakhstan), and then there is a huge gap. Even within this group, there is a huge gap between the Top 2 (Russia, Sweden) and Finland and Kazakhstan. It needs to develop a bit more as a competitive spectacle.

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#4 [url]

Apr 2 15 5:51 PM

TheRoonBa wrote:
Another thing is that only 4 nations are competitive at bandy (Russia/Sweden/Finland/Kazakhstan), and then there is a huge gap. Even within this group, there is a huge gap between the Top 2 (Russia, Sweden) and Finland and Kazakhstan.
Even with this strong 4 and their internal gap right now (which is not fully conclusive, a quick search shows that Finland topped their group in 2011 and finished 2nd in the tournament, as well as winning in 2004), how did 3rd-seed Kazakhstan go about winning 26-8 against Belarus, only to score none the next day in a 14-0 loss to 2nd-seed Russia (who won their QF 'only' by 1 more goal against 7th-seed USA, 17-2)?

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#5 [url]

Apr 22 15 6:27 PM

A little late, but just wanted to mention a brilliant late turnaround by Russia to win the tournament: 3-1 down to Sweden in the final with 7 minutes remaining, only to win 5-3...


The day before, a match to prove bandy as part of my theory that 3rd-Place Play-Offs are the best competitive attacking spectacles: Kazakhstan 8-6 Finland.

The FIB broadcast every match on YouTube, so the Bronze Match in full for anyone interested:

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TheRoonBa

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#7 [url]

Sep 22 16 3:33 PM

Indeed it is - a team of Afghan immigrants in Karlstad formed a team.

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