While visiting the xc skiing WC in Falun I stumbled upon a vast open space covered with ice. It looked like a football stadium but what was with all the ice?! Luckily in just a few seconds out came the boys in skates with some sort of hockey poles and started warming up for some kind of a game.
Soon a man put me out of the misery of total ignorance and explained that the game/sport is called Bandy and is the fastest team sport in the world. It is some kind of cross breed between hockey, football/soccer and field hockey. The size of the field is similar to that of a soccer pitch, the teams must have 11 players, they use some sort of sticks but the ball is round and by the looks of it resembles the ball used for squash. Apparently it has been around for years and it’s origins can be found in Russia, England, France… In 20th century both hockey and Bandy were played throughout Europe, with hockey becoming more popular when it became an Olympic sport.The size of the field played a big role in this transition since it is much easier to maintain a smaller pitch, especially in countries with shorter winters.
Well, I loved the game. Since this was an U-something league I hope I’ll get a chance to see the beleaguers in action soon.
Click here to read more about this exciting sport.