Bandy (sports)

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Game scene between Gustavsberg IF and BolticGöta .

Bandy is a ball and team sport played on ice. Bandy is the forerunner of today's ice hockey and is now mainly used in Northern and Eastern Europe as well as in North America. The most successful national team is the men's team from Sweden.

The rules of bandy are more similar to those of football and hockey than to those of ice hockey. The playing field is the size of a soccer field, the Rinkbandy variant is played on smaller playing areas in ice rinks.


Bandy players.jpg
Bandy game in Sweden.
Bandy game in Leipzig 1909

Forerunners of the bandy already existed in the Middle Ages. As early as the 13th century, a ball game known as bandja was covered with bats on ice, in Iceland a similar game called Knattleikr was played in the 9th century . Since the middle of the 18th century, the existence of the bandy game can be proven in almost its present form. A related variant is the Scottish Shinty . Bandy has never been a purely male sport; there have been women's teams since its inception.

The modern bandy originated in the Fens in the east of England in the early 19th century . The first clubs were the Welsh Bury Fen Bandy Club, where bandy games were mentioned as early as 1790, Sheffield United (1855) and Nottingham Forest (1865). Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire in particular developed into bandy strongholds . In 1875 the first regular match was played at Crystal Palace in London . The English national association, the National Bandy Association , was founded in 1891. After that, the game spread rapidly in Europe, not least thanks to the pioneering work of CG Tebbutt from Bury Fen. The first international match was a meeting between Great Britain and the Netherlands in 1891.

In Germany, the first bandy club was founded in 1901, the Charlottenburger Eislaufverein, which played its games on the Spree embankment in winter. Other clubs were the Leipziger-HK , BFC Preussen , Academic-SC and Viktoria from Berlin. Bandy has been played in Switzerland since 1880. From 1894 the duel between St. Moritz and Davos was one of the annual winter sports attractions. The first leagues were in Holland, Switzerland, Germany, Russia (1898), Norway (1903), Sweden (1907) and Finland (1908). Many of the early clubs played field hockey in summer and bandy in the same courts in winter.

The first European championship , which England won, took place in Switzerland (Davos) as early as 1913 .

The development of the bandy sport was initially stopped with the First World War. Since the playing field is the size of a soccer field and therefore has to be played outdoors, bandy could not prevail in countries with moderate winters in the long term and was replaced by ice hockey with the advent of ice rinks . Ice hockey became an Olympic sport in 1920, and most bandy teams switched to ice hockey in the 1920s. Later, however, a variant emerged with Rinkbandy , which is played on smaller areas.

In 1952, bandy was a demonstration sport at the Olympic Winter Games in Oslo , in 1955 the International Bandy Federation was founded by four countries, and since 1957 world championships have been held.

Todays situation

Countries organized in the International Bandy Federation .
Classic bandy and speed skating arena Medeo , on the occasion of the Asiada 2011 (Kazakhstan vs. Mongolia, result 16: 2 for Kazakhstan - gold medal)

The sport is very popular in Sweden and Russia. In Finland and Norway it is a marginal sport. Bandy is also played in the Netherlands, Hungary, Kazakhstan, the USA, Canada, Estonia, Latvia, Mongolia and Belarus. 33 nations are members of the world bandy association, the Federation of International Bandy .

Club sport

The Elitserien in Sweden is a professional league. The most important international tournament for professional teams is the 1974–2008 annual Bandy World Cup in the Swedish city of Ljusdal and since 2009 in Sandviken . Also since 1974 there has been a European competition for national champions , which so far has been won almost exclusively by Swedish and Russian teams. This dominance could only be broken in 1976 by a Finnish team ( Oulun Luistinseura ). Most of the world championships were won by Russia or, earlier, the Soviet Union.

National teams

In 1957 the first World Bandy Championship took place. It has been held every two years since 1961 and annually since 2003. The Soviet Union and Russia succeeded them in winning 22 titles, Sweden was successful eleven times, and only Finland succeeded once in 2004 in breaking through the dominance of these two countries. In addition to these three teams, only Norway and Kazakhstan could win other medals. A B group has been played since 1991.

In 2004, a women's world championship was held for the first time . Sweden is a record holder with six titles. Russia won the first title in 2014. Finland has won four bronze medals and Norway three so far.

The 2016 European Men's Championship is the 2nd edition of this tournament and will take place in Switzerland.

Style of play

Construction of a bandy playing field
Bandy player

Playing field and equipment

A team consists of eleven players, there are two halves of 45 minutes each, big goals, no game behind the goal, offside and corners .

The game time runs continuously and is not stopped if the game is interrupted.

The playing field is 90 to 110 meters long and 45 to 65 meters wide, about the size of a soccer field . It is covered with a layer of ice and is mostly in the open air. The gates are 3.50 meters wide and 2.10 meters high. The semicircular penalty area has a radius of 17 meters. The penalty spot is twelve meters from the goal.

The players use a club that is curved and flattened at the end of the stroke; a mixture of field hockey and ice hockey sticks. The shaft of the racket is 1.20 meters long. The goalkeeper does not have a stick but tries to fend off or catch the ball with his hands or body. The ball with a core made of cork is made of bright red or yellow plastic and is about seven centimeters in diameter.

The equipment includes helmet, knee and arm guards, protection for the genitals and normal ice hockey skates. Until the introduction of mandatory helmets in 1966, players wore a cap that was often padded.


Rinkbandy is the variant of the bandy adapted to ice hockey rinks. The rules are very similar to those of ice hockey, while the equipment is those of the bandy. In addition to the game ball, the 182 cm × 122 cm goal is the biggest difference between the two sports. Rinkbandy also has its umbrella organization in the FIB, the World Bandy Association . The aim of the FIB is to spread rinkbandy in order to enable nations to take part in international tournaments, for whom the original bandy is too expensive on large fields. The German team played rinkbandy tournaments in Nijmegen and Nymburk .


  • M. Rosenstein: Das Ballsportlexikon , pp. 52–58. Berlin, Weinmann 1997.

Web links

Commons : Bandy  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Single receipts

  1. Rosenstein, p. 53.
  2. О Хабаровске, Олимпиаде и США - , translated with google translate, information about EM 2016 in Davos.