Problems faced by Japanese and Asian hockey
Posted by simon c on 2008 April 15日 Tuesday
Just an excerpt from my exchange at International Hockey Forum regarding the development of Japanese and Asian hockey.
Originally Posted by leksandstars
I saw a funny thing about Japanese hockey. they got almost 80% more Senior players then Sweden have almost as much players as Switzerland, Germany and Austria have registered together, and still they are not so good,. It must have to do on the lack of interest from sponsors etc, if u play hockey and wanna be better u need to put away almost 100% focus for only hockey and with no pay checks if they not have in Japanese league that isnt possible, they need to bring home food to their childrens, am i right?? I think its money that is the difference, Asian player got good technique are very sppedy maybe not the roughest and stabile team japenese have a overall lenght in their country that is kindda tall^^
Yup, you’ve hit the nail on the head.
The lack of sponsors means, lack of pro teams, which means lack of players who can continue their career as pros and maybe become late bloomers. Instead many promising players are dropped from the system if they do not blossom early enough in their careers to get noticed by the 4 Japanese pro teams in the AL.
Theoretically AL teams can sign any Japanese, Korean, or Chinese player to their team and not have them count as an import. So, the 7 team AL should offer more opportunities for all players from these countries to continue playing pro, but in practice this option is rarely being used. Not having a second tier pro league beneath the AL doesn’t help either.
So, lots of registered players, but they’re almost all on amateur club teams holding down regular jobs and can’t concentrate on hockey.
The new rules is more advantageous to fast and skilled players, so this helps Asian nations, rather than the trapping styles where physical size and strength is more important. But Asian teams also need better team work and hockey sense, and this can only come with playing more high calibre games, which there aren’t enough opportunities to do so in Asia at the moment (so some Asian players are making their way over to NA and Europe, which helps, but more players need to go play overseas).
Originally Posted by KazakhEagles
And then, as quite a few countries have experienced including Japan, those players aren’t available to the national team as their clubs continue their seasons, compounding the difficulty in promoting and using their elite division status to showcase themselves and the sport to sponsors in the country. The players also miss out on sharing their overseas experience to their teammates to speed the overall program’s learning.
Yeah, good point.
I’m not sure what can be done to rectify that situation, other than a more unified calendar. A totally unified calendar is impossible, but it might be possible to align various national leagues schedules a little more. Then again, I guess the IIHF doesn’t want all levels of IHWC tournaments going on at once (and we wouldn’t either, as keeping up with all the different tournaments going on at the same time now is difficult enough), so we end up with the current situation.