Sonderjysk Elitesport, better known as SonderjyskE is the main Danish sport club based in Southern Jutland. It was created in 2004, when all the elite sport teams in the region were merged into one club in order to improve upon sponsors, resources and attention.
I will start on a bit of a confession. I have been ice-skating 3 times in my life, so anything to do with ice is pretty much out of my sphere of consciousness. In fact, before this game I had never seen an ice-hockey game, except maybe a short bit on tv, or during a film.
As the name implies, ice hockey is pretty much hockey on ice (and no – I have no clue about regular hockey either!). It is played on an ice-rink, with 6 players on ice skates, including one goalie guarding a small goal post. The game is played with a hard rubber disc, known as a puck, that each team tries to get into the other team’s goal post with the use of a long stick. Each game is composed of 3 sections of 20 minutes each (though with time stoppage the time easily doubles). And that’s about it.
Ice-hockey is big in Vojens, where the SonderjyskE team is based. Considering that the team has been doing marvellously well the last few years, coming top of the league in 2006, 2010 and 2011, this is understandable. This was also clear on the day; it was a Tuesday evening, with a Denmark-Italy football game on at the same time, so anyone watching was definitely an ice-hockey fan before all else, but still the stadium was more than 50% full.
As with all SonderjyskE games we have been to, there was a SonderjyskE band (mainly drums) enthusing the game along, and being around such hardcore fans I felt obliged to clap along (if only to save being attacked by one of them maybe?). The band playing was interspersed with singing, and also some music blasted over speakers when something besides normal play was happening.
Overall, there were 2 things that stuck in my mind regarding this first handball experience:
- At the start of the game, the teams go onto the rink one by one. The SonderjyskE (home) team did this to a high energy tune to get the blood running. The opposing team? Unfortunately they only got some tinny slapstick music that could only make you laugh. I though it was a bit mean, but hey, I get the point!
- Sponsors. There is one for everything! If someone scores, his name is associated with a sponsor, a penalty? There is a sponsor for that. There is even a sponsor for the different kind of faults!! (slashing, penalty etc). The sponsorship people must be doing a good job as I couldn’t pinpoint one further aspect that could have been sponsored.
I wonder though: is this normal at ice-hockey games, or just limited to Denmark, or maybe just this team?
Oh! And one more question: The SonderjyskE team had goalies, forwards, defence and boblere listed on their team member list. Aalborg, the opposing team, didn’t have any boblere. But what are boblere? Any clues anyone?