Ice hockey in Sweden

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Ice hockey in Sweden
CountrySweden
Governing bodySwedish Ice Hockey Association
National team(s)Men's national team;
Women's national team
First playedJanuary 1921
National competitions
International competitions

Ice hockey in Sweden has a history going back to at least 1912[1] and is one of the countries most popular sports. The sport was first organized in the country by the Swedish Football Association (SvFF), which was a member of the IIHF in 1912. The ice hockey department of the SvFF eventually split off to become the Swedish Ice Hockey Association (SIHA) which today is still responsible for organizing Sweden's domestic leagues and its participation in tournaments internationally.[2] The highest tier of men's ice hockey in Sweden, the SHL, brought in 1,974,388 spectators in the 2013–14 season,[3] the highest overall attendance in Swedish sports. The SHL's average of 5,983[3] spectators per match is bested only by Allsvenskan, the country's top flight of association football.[4][5][6]

The first recorded official ice hockey game at Swedish soil was played at the Stockholm Stadium on 30 January 1921 when IFK Uppsala defeated Berliner SC, 4–1.[7]

National teams[edit]

Men's[edit]

Often referred to by the nickname "Tre Kronor" (English: Three Crowns), the Swedish men's national ice hockey team is amongst the most successful in the world, being considered part of the Big Six. The team is, as of 2018, ranked first in the IIHF World Ranking.[8]

Sweden has won nine olympic medals, including gold medals in 1994 and 2006. They have also won the IIHF World Championships 11 times, most recently in 2018 in Denmark.[9]

Women's[edit]

Sweden's women's national team, nicknamed Damkronorna (English: Lady Crowns) as a play on the nickname of the men's team,[10] played their first official match in 1989, though they had been playing on an unofficial basis since 1987.[11][12] In the five Olympics that have featured women's ice hockey, the team has finished with a medal twice, bronze in 2002 and silver in 2010. They finished fourth in the 2014 Olympics.

As of the 2018 April IIHF World Ranking, Damkronorna were ranked sixth in the world.[13]

Men's leagues[edit]

Tier Leagues/Divisions
1 SHL
14 teams
2 HockeyAllsvenskan
14 teams
3 Hockeyettan
48 teams total, divided into 4 groups geographically.
Hockeyettan North
12 teams
Hockeyettan East
12 teams
Hockeyettan West
12 teams
Hockeyettan South
12 teams
4+ All divisions after Hockeyettan are organized regionally

SHL[edit]

The SHL (Swedish Hockey League or Svenska hockeyligan), founded in 1975 as Elitserien, is the highest level of men's ice hockey in Sweden, the second-most attended (in average attendance) sports league in Sweden (after Allsvenskan),[4] the third-most attended ice hockey league in Europe,[14] and as of 2006 is the fourth-highest paid hockey league in the world.[15]

HockeyAllsvenskan[edit]

HockeyAllsvenskan is the second tier of men's ice hockey, and has by far the highest average attendance of second-tier ice hockey leagues in Europe.

Hockeyettan[edit]

In Hockeyettan, teams do not compete nationally, but rather break into four divisions/groups organized geographically. These smaller divisions play half a season together, after which the more successful teams in the four divisions join two new groups, organized geographically into "Allettan North" and "Allettan South", and play the rest of the season in the new groups. Meanwhile, the teams in the four beginning groups that did not qualify for Allettan continue playing in the original groups, with the poorest performing teams being forced to defend their spots against the winning teams from Division 2 in the qualification tournament known as Kvalserien. The two Allettan winners go directly to the HockeyAllsvenskan qualifier. The teams ranked 2–5 in each Allettan group, and the top two teams in each continuation group, qualify for a three-round playoff. The two teams that survive the three playoff rounds join the two Allettan winners and the two lowest-ranked teams from HockeyAllsvenskan in the HockeyAllsvenskan qualifier, the double round-robin tournament that determines promotion to HockeyAllsvenskan.

Division 2–5[edit]

All leagues in Swedish ice hockey after Hockeyettan are organized regionally. In most of the regions, there are two further divisions (Division 2 and Division 3), except for the eastern region which also has a Division 4 and Stockholm which also has Division 5.

Women's leagues[edit]

The highest women's ice hockey league is Swedish Women's Hockey League, which has eight teams. It is also the only women's hockey league organized nationally. The second-tier Division 1 is divided into regional groups.

References[edit]

  1. ^ David Landes. "Hockey wasn't always Sweden's pride on ice - The Local". Thelocal.se. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  2. ^ Kenth Hansen. "THE BIRTH OF SWEDISH ICE HOCKEY - ANTWERP 1920" (PDF). Library.la84.org. Retrieved 2016-09-25.
  3. ^ a b "SHL: 2013–14: SHL: Attendance". Swedish Ice Hockey Association.
  4. ^ a b "Stark publiktrend i svensk idrott - Sport". SVT.se. 2012-03-23. Retrieved 2016-09-25.
  5. ^ "SHL: 2013–14: SHL: Team statistics: Attendance". Swedish Ice Hockey Association.
  6. ^ "Kontaktuppgifter och tävlingar 2016 - —". Svenskfotboll.se. 2016-05-25. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  7. ^ Gregor von Konow (22 November 2011). "Le Mat tog ishockeyn till Sverige" (in Swedish). SHL. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  8. ^ "2018 Men's World Ranking". International Ice Hockey Federation.
  9. ^ "Sweden defeats Switzerland, wins 2018 IIHF World Championship". NHL.com.
  10. ^ "Damkronorna". Swedish Ice Hockey Association.
  11. ^ "Team Sweden's unofficial national games since 1987". Swedish Ice Hockey Association.
  12. ^ "Team Sweden's all official games since 1989". Swedish Ice Hockey Association.
  13. ^ "2018 Women's World Ranking (after WW)". International Ice Hockey Federation.
  14. ^ "Attendance 2013-2014". Iihf.com. Retrieved 2016-09-25.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-12. Retrieved 2013-06-29.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)