Field hockey, third most popular sport in the world?

Discussion in '(Archived) Hockey Chit-Chat' started by r_kenshin, Jan 25, 2008.

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    r_kenshin

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    According to WikiAnswers it is, but how they arrived to such conclusion (stadium assistance, TV followers, club partners...)?

    1) Soccer. 3.3-3.5 Billion Fans. (Europe, Africa, Americas,etc)
    2) Cricket 3-3.3 Billion Fans. (India,U.K,Pakistan,Asia,Australia,etc)
    3) Field Hockey. 2-2.2 Bilion Fans. (Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia)
    4) Tennis. Around 1 Billion Fans. (Europe, Americas, Asia)
    5) Volleyball Around 900 Million Fans. (Asia, Erope, Americas, Australia)
    6) Table Tennis Around 900 Million Fans. (Asia, Europe, Africa, Americas)
    7) Baseball Around 500 Million Fans. (U.S,Canada, Japan)
    8) Golf Around 400 Million Fans. (U.S, Canada, Europe)
    9) Football 390-410 Million Fans. (U.S, Canada mainly)
    10) Basketball Not more than 400M Fans. (U.S, Canada mainly)

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_most_popular_sports_in_the_world

    Also, I would like to know what the numbers could turn into without India or Pakistan, I bet 1,9 billions are from there. :p
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    Johnny T FHF Starter

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    I dont believe cricket is that high up... ??? almost as much as football(soccer)? considering europe, america, africa and asia all play football...
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    degsya

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    Thanks for posting this r_kenshin but I am not sure how accurate this is. After all, the page you mention does not site any real statistics and the attached links do not match this either. In fact, if you go to another page it shows Basketball and another shows Volleyball etc. From what I understand, Field Hockey is the second biggest played team sport in the world (behind soccer/football). Those statistics show hockey and are from a US based reference so I believe that they may be talking about our Hockey cousins from the Ice variety (maybe!?!).
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    gk09 FHF Regular Player

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    I was under the impression that hockey was the most played sport in the world? I think I got this from either last year's World Cup programme or some literature from this tournament. It kind of makes sence when you think about it because of the fact that equal ammounts of men and women play it compared to most the other sports and also with it being big in such populated countries as India and USA.
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    okeefe

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    try and get mainstream news on hockey. easier finding news on snooker, or darts even. darts! how’s that a sport?! :baffled:
    at least in snooker you got to bend over the table.
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    ragyrascal FHF Staff

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    Quite simple - turn your figures into dollars and you might get a more realistic view.
    You honestly believe tennis players would earn the salaries they do if we had a more 'popular' sport?

    These figures are hugely mythical - in fact, if it isnt on this forum, there is an online article somewhere that sets the record straight.

    But seriously, when tennis players earn millions, do you think that Teun de Nooijer would play a more popular sport but take less money, just-for-fun...

    ***disclaimer to come***
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    boojaywah FHF Regular Player

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    I guess hockey is considered so popular due to the large number of kids playing it in places such as America (correct me if I'm wrong).

    I'm surprised golf isn't higher up. Especially when you think about how much money is in the sport from sponsors because companies, quite obviously, throw money at popular things/sports.
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    gk09 FHF Regular Player

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    Popular sport doesn't equal money though. The sports that have money in them are the ones that have the media backing and through this create the interest from the masses. Hockey is a prime example that popularity doesn't mean that it will get attention. It is a long running debate on my Uni course as to whether the media creates interest in sport or whether interest in sport creates media interest and I'm a firm believer in the first.
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    Jay Guest

    I don't know about you guys but I am always met with the response of "Hockey?? That's a girls game isn't it??" when I tell anyone i play hockey. Do you think this is why it isn't covered in the mainstream media as much? Out of the ten sports you list soccer, cricket, table tennis, baseball, golf, football and basketball are (in my opinion) mainly stereotypicaly male orientated whilst the only sport I immediately think 'female sport' is volleyball with tennis and hockey being what I would consider being an equal male/female dominated sport. Is it a big surprise that the female teams in the big male dominated sports get little or no coverage in the media? Can you name a women's cricket team? A women's baseball team maybe? I know I can't.
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    degsya

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    I have to tell you that the sport of field hockey here in the US is very small but is on the rise. There's FAR more hockey played in the UK where I am originally from. I am not sure why people have the perception that field hockey is big here. Lets put things into perspective - they do have competitive high school league structures for girls, a great structure for college level but after that things are so limited. The club structure over here struggles year in year out but I do know (because I have had several discussion with people at the USFHA) that their main focus will become club development which, eventually, should see a massive turnaround in the state of play over here.
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    g9 FHF Legend

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    It is really booming here in the mid Atlantic region, but it's always been strong for school-age and collegiate girls. Where the growth is is at grass-roots level. Where it isn't is in boy's hockey. There are a few travel clubs about that are changing that demographic, but very few and far between. I'd hope that USFHA is behind the development of boy's hockey but as it would be outside the school structure, it will be slow going. Ex-pats like yourself are huge influences on boys getting into the sport, as well as the high school boys that are savvy enough to realize that it's a great sport and the male/female ratios here in the US work in their favor!
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    hot shot viks FHF Legend

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    ditto like! but I suppose women play softball rather than baseball, even still though, I couldnt name you a team! Same goes for ice hockey...I know females play it but it isnt in the media! The only womens sport (that I know of) to get media attention is tennis, golf, the womens FA cup, athletics and hockey WC (please correct me if you can think of anything else in the uk plese!!) :yes:

    viks
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    keely FHF Legend

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    Female ice hockey gets a lot of media coverage here in Canada because of the fact that the male version of the sport is #1 here. That is a fairly remarkable exception, as women's athletics are more supported in the "individual" forms - tennis, golf, gymnastics, track. Other than ice hockey, women's team sports are ignored - I believe because the marketing model for women's sport is to focus on her sexuality, which is easier to do for an individual than for a group.
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    nerd_is_the_word FHF Legend

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    degsya i would be surprised if those numbers were from a US based source since they list cricket as number 2 in the world. lets face it how many people in the US even know what cricket is?

    on the topic, does anyone else think that maybe the fact that hockey is a very unisex sport could hinder it slightly in media coverage? like the tv companies dont have the room to broadcast both the top level mens and womens forms of the game, but since it really is marketed as both sexes having top notch competitions (instead of most tv sports where its mainly a single sex getting tv coverage) the FIH (or whoever does the broadcasting rights) doesnt really want one sex being portrayed more in the media than another?

    im not saying that is the only or even main factor, but i reckon is does contribute to the lack of consistant media coverage
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    hot shot viks FHF Legend

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    just have a look at fieldhockey.tv for instance, most of the dutch league games are from the mens league, your lucky if you get one game a week on the site, whereas you get 2-4 mens games a week!

    Also the eurohockey league, they set up the mens eurohockey league first!

    I do agree with you NITW, but it does look like even hockey is becoming a more mens dominated sport, even though it is considered to be a 'unisex' sport!

    viks
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    ragyrascal FHF Staff

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    gk09, I would be really keen to hear further reasoning on your side of that debate.
    Are you effectively saying that people in the UK watch football BECAUSE Sky Sports have a monopoly on coverage?
    It's not the fact that buy having the monopoly can generate a sh*t load of cash for themselves... :baffled:

    Popularity results in a demand to view the sport. Demand to view the sports results in the inevitable exposure of the sport.
    This exposure generates great advertising opportunities, or, in the case of Sky, the chance to own the market for coverage itself.
    Companies are not going to invest big money in a sport where their brand is not getting any decent exposure.

    Hockey is popular but doesn't get TV exposure for other reasons, such as the ball being smaller and harder to follow on TV (especially when dumb people use a coloured ball on a yellow floor as they did at the Indoor WC). It also has rules which are not so generic to the average kid on the street because hockey isn't played in every school like football and because you can't just get a bunch of mates together for a hit around in the sense of the 'jumpers for goal posts' sentiment that football has. We need sticks (expensive), turf (expensive) plus at least three more friends who can play. Let's face it, most of our friends outside hockey circles wouldn't have a hope.

    I would agree that the media are instrumental in controlling and maintaining the numbers of viewers, show me any business where they didn't ensure coninuation of income, but there has to be a demand for it in the first place. No amount of marketing or media creative is going to make chocolate teapots become popular, there needs to be demand in the first instance.

    Regards the gender issue, I think that the men's game is notably faster than the womens, but it doesn't stop it being entertaining. I actually prefer watching womens tennis because the game is based more on ground strokes and less on brute force of serves.
    Plus, with our sport, you have to confess that at the top level, some of the women athletes are absolutely stunning. Not only are they thoroughly marketable, but they are great role models to healthy living. Look, for example, at Luciana Aymar. She is absolutely beautiful, has an amazingly lithe, toned, figure and would probably hold her own in most men's games. It's pretty hard not to admire her.
    Plus other iconic female players such as NZ's Mandy Smith, Australia's Nikki Hudson. These sort of women, if they were members of a manufactured pop group, or were extended Royal Family, would be in the UK tabloids on a daily basis. But they aren't because noone outside of the sport really cares.
    When the England women got the Gold medal match at the Commonweath Games in Manchester in 2002, the sport got some decent media coverage - but it took the possibility of a Gold medal for that to happen. A fifty-foot poster of Kate Walsh had been hanging on the side of a building on road in to Manchester for two weeks and I bet 98% of road users had no clue who she was.
    As for that Gold medal match, as I am sure many of you know, it ended in farce, which would have been utterly detrimental to the game as any non-players who had tuned in to watch would have been thoroughly disillusioned and probably won't bother watching again.
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    gk09 FHF Regular Player

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    Ragyrascal,

    Yes I agree Sky bought into the wealth of football because of the potential to make money however people seem to forget that there was football before sky and it was big then too. Through sky, the game has changed out of all proporations and I would say that is solely through sky. Just look how little football changed between the 60's and early 80's for example. What I do believe is though that there is a certain amount of power the media has in saying what people are interested in and the opinion people have with sport. If football wasn't on the back 10 pages of every newspaper and every game wasn't available on sky or other channels now then it certainly wouldn't be the game it is today or have the following it does. Rugby league is a great example of the power tv has on a sport. Before sky got the rights to cover this sport, less than 20,000 people went to the super league final, after sky had 'glammed' it up over 70,000 went to last years final at Wembley and was little money in this sport when sky went into it.


    Summing up really, no people don't watch football only because of sky, but the number of people who watch football over any other sport I would probably is beacuse of them.
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    okeefe

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    good post, ragy! you too gk09! :yes:
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    Jay Guest

    Is it too much to ask that hockey gets a little slice of that pie? You would think that the rising obesity epidemic amongst children would propel all sports into the media to try and encourage them to take something up. However, that would be the sensible thing and as we all know governments are not capable of 'sensible'.
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    haggis FHF Top Player

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    Yes... excellent posts both gk09 and Ragyrascal.

    Popularity versus TV coverage is never going to be an equal equation, with the costs of showing differing sports varying so greatly. Tennis, for example cam be shown using only one or two fixed cameras, and one (usually lower level) camera for close-ups etc. Tennis, along with Indoor Hockey (I dont know what Sky (or whatever comany covered it for them) had set up for the Finals Day), could feasibly be done on a budget, with only one camera operator, the fixed cameras being unmanned, and so are attractive to production companies where Outdoor the size of the pitch and speed of the game requires at least double the equipment and operators.

    My favourite popularity v. tv coverage example somes fron Scottish Rugby and Cricket. There are more registered Cricketers in Scotland, than Rugby players, yet clearly Rugby gets far more TV coverage. Only once has Cricket been shown on BBCScotland in recent years, where the Six nations has been shown every year as far back as i can remember. However the Scotland v. India Cricket game last year has the highest viewing figures for any BBC Scotland produced programme EVER, ahead of Old Firm matches and the opening of the Scottish Parliament! I agree that the fact that it lasted 6 hours meant nobody in the country had much of a chance to be channel hopping and miss it, but thems the numbers!

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