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The reasons why Ice Hockey Isn’t as popular as another sports


For a while now, the most popular sports in the United States have been American Football, Basketball, and Baseball. However, one sport that has a decent following but is largely forgotten about is Ice Hockey. So why is it that Hockey is overlooked, being forgotten compared to the big three?


Hockey became very popular in our upstairs neighbor, Canada. Though it is unclear exactly where Hockey was first seen in history, It is very similar to the Scottish game of Hurling, and an English game called “Shinny” or “Shinty”.It is also true that the game took heavy inspiration from Field Hockey. These sports were played by British troops in Eastern Canada, where it spread to Native Americans and Colonists throughout the region and into the Northern United States. 


Even though the game did get some traction in the Northern United States, it is still not as popular as other sports. The National Hockey League, or NHL reportedly got an average of 2.6 million views, and made an average of 5.92 million dollars during the 2023 season. In comparison, the National Football League, or NFL got an average of 18.6 million views, and made 136 million dollars. While Basketball and Baseball may have gotten less average views, their major sporting events reach a massive amount of viewers, March madness reaching over 8 million and the World series reaching over 12 million. In comparison The Stanley Cup, Hockey’s equivalent to the Superbowl, got an average of 4.59 million views during the 2023 season.


The popularity of Ice Hockey also deals with the geography of the U.S. Hockey is very popular in Canada because of the climate fitting the sport so well. The cold climate of Canada is required for a rink to be formed, especially when the technology for indoor rinks were not available. But the United States has such a diverse climate, so it only works in the Northern States. Places like Texas and Arizona, though they have teams in the NHL, would not gain as much traction because those states are so warm and were not able to have ice rinks until the late 19th century. 


It is also much easier to set up sports like Baseball, Football, and Basketball. These sports can be played all year long, outside and inside, rain or shine, at any time or anyplace. Hockey on the other hand can only be played either in an ice rink, which is very expensive and takes a long time to make, or outside during specific days where it is cold enough for a body of water to freeze. Ice rinks also take up a lot of space, requiring lots of planning. 


Another reason why Hockey is less popular is because it is a hard sport to play. You not only need to learn how to ice skate, you must also learn how to stick handle, shoot, pass, hit, forecheck, backcheck, and the list goes on and on and on. Hockey players must also make split second decisions and multitask with all of these skills and strategies. This is not to say the other sports are worse or are easier to play, but it is true that there are a lot of things to master to become a good hockey player. This makes it harder for people to watch and relate to the sport. It makes the  sport more alien to those who don’t play or actively try to learn. The rules and strategies of hockey are harder to learn than those of baseball or basketball, so most of the people who follow hockey play or have played the sport in the past.


Hockey is also a very expensive sport to get into. Skipping over the price to join a team or to get lessons, the equipment itself is very expensive. To buy all of the equipment you need, it could cost anywhere from $500 to over $1,000, and that’s just for players. For brand new, top of the line goalie equipment it could cost you around $6500 dollars or more. It is important to note that this is a rough estimate, however I know from experience how expensive this stuff is. 


In conclusion , Hockey is not as popular as other sports because of the regional differences in the United States, from the issue of where hockey must be played, how much it costs, and how hard it is to play.

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About the Contributor
Matthew Hazel
Matthew Hazel, RT Reporter
Matthew Hazel is a freshman in Middletown High School. This is his first year in Journalism. Matthew took Journalism to explore and prepare for a potential career in the broadcasting field in the future.  Matthew is on the Middletown Valley Ice Hockey Team, and is on a team based in Hagerstown. Matthew also has a rare eye disease called Stargardt's disease that affects his central vision. Other activities Matthew enjoys doing out of school is playing video games and watching youtube. Matthew used to live in Boyertown Pennsylvania until he moved to Middletown in third grade.

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