From the international events, it is clear that ice hockey teams from Sweden and Finland are better than teams from Norway (both now and historically).

It is visible for example on this historical list of rankings on wikipedia.

The population of Finland and Norway is similar, the position of all three countries is similar, the weather is similar. I don't understand why this should be different (and it is not just some temporary issue, it has been like this for a long time now).

Is there some objective reason for that?

  • 1
    I don't see this as being objectively answerable, sorry...
    – Joe
    May 14, 2018 at 21:58
  • @Joe That is possible answer as well... (I know, it would be a little bit sad answer)
    – TGar
    May 14, 2018 at 22:43
  • 2
    Don't see why one would think there's no objective answer. Even on more complex subjects like "why England does worse at world soccer than other nations", there's quite objective answers. Just because something could gather more subjective answers doesn't mean it isn't a reasonable objective question. May 14, 2018 at 23:33
  • 1
    I don't think this question is opinion based, but to be more clear I updated the headline (and the question itself a little). Could you please describe why you think it is opinion based? There is a lot of data out there (and the answer by @JeopardyTempest confirms that some of them really can make this issue a bit more clear).
    – TGar
    May 15, 2018 at 14:46

1 Answer 1


Based upon the IIHF's records of registered hockey players by country, Finland and Sweden have nearing 10 times as many people participating in organized hockey leagues compared to Norway.

Additionally the average attendance in the top level hockey leagues are:

  • Sweden: 5,707
  • Finland: 4,326
  • Norway: 1,955

(In fact Sweden's second tier has a higher average attendance than Norway's Get-ligaen!)

So the objective answer appears to lay in the lack of participation (at least at organized levels) in Norway. And that likely also lines up with a lower degree of funding and overall support.

Why lowered interest?

Seems a part of it may lie in increased interest in alternative sports. Norway has a big history in skiing and even speed skating, one that puts them atop the historic worldwide medal count for the winter Olympics (despite no hockey medals). Additionally, there is a large interest in soccer in Norway, which may be well shared by Sweden, but not as much so in Finland.

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