Bandy: An unknown sport to discover

In everyday life, we are often exposed to the same sports. We’ve already covered hockey history and ringette history, which are obviously more popular sports. With that being said, there are so many interesting and entertaining sports around the world that we do not know about and that are missing in our lives. One of those sports is bandy, an English sport that combines several elements of ice hockey, field hockey, and soccer. 

You want to find out even more sports you didn’t know about? Here are more sports out of the ordinary!

What is bandy?

Bandy is a very popular sport in Eastern Europe and Russia that is played on ice. This sport, which is played with skates and a short stick with a straight pallet, consists of scoring on the opposing team. Each team has 11 players on the ice at the same time, including a goaltender. The playing surface is very similar to a soccer field, with a length of 110 meters and a width of 65 meters. The relatively large goals are 3.5 meters wide and 2.1 meters high, almost like the field hockey goals.

The games are separated into two halves of 45 minutes or, if the temperature requires it, 3 periods of 30 minutes, at the discretion of the arbitrator. The team that has scored the most goals after 90 minutes of play wins the game. If the game is tied after 90 minutes, two additional 10-minute halves are played and the team that has scored the most goals after that overtime wins the game. If there is still a tie after that, shootouts are required to determine the winning team. Discover more about bandy with help from this video.

Historical bandy moments

Bandy is a sport that was born in 1813 in Huntingdonshire, England. Although the first official match was played in Huntingdonshire, the origin of the sport is still in question. That said, the sport can also be traced back to Russia and Holland.

The first professional bandy league was founded in 1902 in Sweden. Following this inauguration, several other leagues appeared quietly in Sweden, Finland, and Russia. Also, Russia can count the best bandy player of all time in its ranks in Sergei Lomanov Jr. The latter began his professional career in 1997 and still plays with Yenisey in Russia today. He’s also helped Russia’s national team win several World Championships over the years.

The biggest competitions

Primarily, there are two major annual competitions, the Bandy World Championships, and the Bandy World Cup. The World Championships, which were founded in 1957, were held every 2 years starting in 1961, but in 2003 they became an annual event. The World Championships are usually held in Scandinavia (Finland, Sweden, Norway) or Russia. Last year, 20 teams participated. The World Cup, meanwhile, was inaugurated in 1971 and takes place annually exclusively in Sweden, at the beginning of the bandy season in October.

Although bandy is recognized by the International Olympic Committee and a demonstration was made at the 1952 Olympic Games in Oslo, the sport was never officially played at the Olympics. There is hope, however, despite the Committee’s view that sport has a gap in popularity and participation to become an official Olympic sport. Were you familiar with bandy? If so, have you ever tried it? Who knows, you could become the next great bandy star!


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