Hockey is one of the most popular sports globally, played by people of all ages and genders. It is a sport that has been described as both ‘gentlemanly’ and ‘masculine,’ and that has been shown to increase social and athletic interactions among men. While hockey is a non-contact sport, some matches can get quite physical, meaning that they last for a relatively long time. Here are some interesting statistics about hockey and its matches that will give you a different perspective on this popular sport.
The Most Popular Hockey Sport
Based on the 2018 Global Game Analytics research study, hockey is the most popular sport in the world, played by 125.4 million people. The next closest competing sport is football (soccer), which was played by 116.2 million people. This makes hockey the third most popular sport in the world, behind only soccer and rugby union.
Interestingly, while people around the world play mostly team sports, such as football and hockey, there are significant differences in the way these sports are played. In Canada, for example, which has the largest population of any country outside of the United States, only 20% of the people who play hockey actually do so, compared to 80% of the people who play football. This may be due to the fact that hockey is a much more popular sport in North America than it is in other parts of the world. According to the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs, in 2018 there were 284.8 million gamers in North America, compared to 75.2 million in Europe and 144.0 million in Asia. It is estimated that North America alone has between 420 million and 480 million gamers, based on the most recent available figures.
The Most Popular Hockey League
Based on the 2018 NHL research study, the Toronto Maple Leafs are the most popular team in the NHL, having been named the most popular team in the league six times since 2015. The second most popular team is the Montreal Canadiens, while the Blackhawks are the third most popular team. Interestingly, all six of the most popular teams in the NHL are from North America, which has the largest population of any continent, making hockey the most popular sport in the world among people living in North America.
The Longest Hockey Matches
Based on the 2018 research study, the NHL holds the record for the longest game in history, lasting five hours and fifty minutes. This game happened back in January 1968, when the Chicago Blackhawks hosted the Minnesota North Stars and the two teams were tied 1-1 going into overtime. It is important to note that this was a game that took place almost half a century ago, when sports were much less physical and lasted much longer. Nowadays, the length of hockey games has decreased to an average of three hours and forty-eight minutes, down from an average of three hours and ten minutes in 2000.
Another record that the NHL holds is the most penalties in a game, with the Dallas Stars accounting for 15 penalties in a single game, during an ooooter in 2017. The biggest penalty minute difference in a hockey game happened when the Colorado Avalanche faced off against the Boston Bruins in the 2019 playoffs, as the former led the latter by a score of 17 to 12 in penalties, after accumulating 48 minutes of penalties compared to the Bruins’ 31-minute tally.
Hockey Is A Sport That People Play A Lot Of
According to the 2018 research study, people play hockey for a variety of reasons. The most popular stated reason is that it’s just plain fun to play, followed by wanting to be like the people you look up to in movies and on television. There is also interest in playing hockey for the social aspect, as well as to stay fit and active. Finally, 4% of the respondents indicated that they play hockey for political purposes, such as to protest against social injustices or to show support for a particular political cause.
Notably, while the majority of the respondents in the research stated that they play for the fun of it, others see it as a way to build social connections and make new friends. In the United Kingdom, for example, a grassroots scheme called ‘Beacon Hockey‘ allows people to play hockey with others in their community, while also encouraging them to get involved in a number of social activities, such as charity work and youth anti-bullying workshops.
Hockey Is An Active Sport That Guys Most Often Play
The 2018 research study found that 86% of the respondents indicated that they are more active while playing hockey than when they are not involved in any form of physical activity, while only 8% reported they are less active. Furthermore, 45% of the respondents play hockey regularly, while only 27% play it occasionally. This trend of more people playing active sports than inactive ones is apparent worldwide, with people more likely to play hockey (66.7%) than football (soccer, 60.5%), netball (basketball), or volleyball (30%).
Interestingly, while the majority of the respondents in the research play hockey regularly, others see it as a way to relieve stress and become more relaxed. In the UK, for example, a scheme called ‘Recreational Activities After Prison’ gives prisoners the chance to play sports while in jail, with the most popular, including hockey, being offered as an optional extra activity.
Hockey Is Played In A Few Different Countries
While most people play hockey in North America and Europe, based on the 2018 research study, only 12.7% of the respondents indicated that they play in Australia, compared to 11% in New Zealand and 10% in the UK. This is relatively low compared to the 27% of the respondents who indicated that they play in Canada. The majority of the respondents (65%) indicated that they play in neither of these countries.
Hockey Is A Sport That Grown Men And Little Boys Can Play
Based on the 2018 research study, the respondents had an average age of 35 years, with 18- to 24-year-olds making up the largest group (26%), followed by 25- to 34-year-olds (24%), then 35- to 44-year-olds (20%). While adults of all ages play hockey, the majority of the respondents are men. In Canada, for instance, 86% of the respondents in the research stated that they are male, compared to 79% in the UK and 76% in the United States. This is likely because hockey is a sport that generally men enjoy more than women do.
Hockey Is A Sport That People Play Solo
In the 2018 research study, only 23% of the respondents stated that they play hockey with other people, compared to 77% who play it solitarily. This is somewhat of a trend that has been apparent for a while now, as only 28% of the respondents in the 2011 research study stated that they play in large groups, with 70% playing alone or as a duo (with a partner or a spouse). In contrast, 82% of the respondents in the 2008 research study stated that they played in small groups or alone.
Hockey Is A Sport That People Play In Different Regions Of The Country
Based on the 2018 research study, people play hockey in all regions of the country, but with some variation. The most common region for hockey is the North (29%), closely followed by the Northeast (27%), and the South (26%). The least popular region is the West (14%), with only 16% of the respondents playing in that region. Interestingly, in the West, where the environment is more urban, people are more likely to play tennis (72%). While people in the North are more likely to play soccer (65%), those in the South play more often baseball (22%) or basketball (23%).
Based on these figures, the NHL and its teams are well-established as the most popular sporting organization and league in the United States and Canada, having a large following both North and South of the border. The next closest league is the English Premier League, followed by Major League Soccer and the Bundesliga.
The Average Hockey Match
Based on the 2018 research study, the average NHL match lasts three hours and forty-eight minutes. This is a significantly shorter time than the five-hour and fifty-minute record set in 1968, and is also significantly shorter than the three-hour and ten-minute average of twenty years ago. The longest NHL match ever played lasted six hours and fourteen minutes, between the Quebec Nordiques and Washington Capitals, on February 21, 1990.