Bandy is a winter sport, where a ball is hit with a stick. It is an ancestor of ice hockey. It likely descended from shinty and in turn field hockey. Bandy is played outdoors on a sheet of ice, and has rules that are similar to soccer. It is now played in a few nations, including Sweden, Russia, Finland, Norway, Belarus, The Netherlands, Estonia, Hungary, Canada and Kazakhstan.

Bandy was the demonstration sport at the VI Olympic Winter Games in 1952 (Oslo, Norway). World Championships are held every year. There were 11 countries participating in 2004 championships: Finland, Russia, Sweden, Kazakhstan, Norway, Canada, United States, Netherlands, Hungary, Estonia and Belarus. Finland won the 2004 championship. All the previous championships were won either by the Soviet Union/Russia or Sweden.

The size of a bandy field is in the range 4,050 - 7,150 square metres (45-65 by 90-100 metres). The size of the ball is 60-65 mm and is red to orange in colour.

FIB, the Federation for International Bandy, has 15 members (2004).


Bandy in Britain

A game well-known in England from Yorkshire and Lancashire through the Midlands and home counties as far west as Devonshire is that of bandy, a game very similar to hockey and played with sticks bent and round at one end and a small wooden ball. This was known in Wales as bando, a game known throughout the country in varying forms and still to be found in some areas. The earliest example of theTemplate:Ll term bando occurs in a dictionary by John Walters published in 177094. It was particularly popular in the Cynfdg-Margam district of the Vale of Glamorgan where wide stretches of sandy beaches afforded ample room for play.

Bandy in Russia

In Russia bandy is known as hockey with a ball or simply Russian hockey. The game became popular among nobility in early 1700s, with the royal court of Peter I the Great entertaining the crowds playing bandy on Saint Petersburg frozen Neva river. Russians played in bandy with sticks made out of juniper wood later adopting metal skis (imported by Peter I from Holland). By second half of the 19th century the game became also popular among the masses throughout the Russian Empire.

The "Margam Bando Boys", at the turn of the eighteenth-nineteenth centuries, were celebrated in song in both English and Welsh:

Due praises I'll bestow
And all the world shall know
That Margam valour shall keep its colour
While Kenfig's waters flow.
Our master, straight and tall,
Is foremost with the ball;
He is, we know it and must allow it,
The fastest man of all.
Let cricket players blame
And seek to slight our fame,
Their bat and wicket can never lick it,
This ancient manly game.
Our fame shall always stand
Throughout Britannia's land
What man can beat us? Who dare meet us?
Upon old Kenfigs strand

(1 Manchester Guardian, 12.1.1959)

External links

National Bandy Federations

Bandy is also a Scottish word meaning "bow-legged", but is widely used fr:Bandy ja:バンディ no:Bandy fi:Jpallo sv:Bandy


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