Ice hockey is not just a sport in the Czech Republic—it’s a national obsession. Understanding why Czechs are so passionate about hockey requires a look at historical context, cultural significance, and some intriguing statistics that highlight its deep-rooted presence in Czech society.

Historical Roots

The roots of Czech hockey date back to the early 20th century, but it was the post-World War II era that cemented its popularity. During the communist period, hockey became a point of national pride. Czechoslovakia’s triumphs over Soviet teams, especially during international tournaments, were seen not just as sporting victories but as symbolic triumphs over their political overlords. These victories embedded a deep love for the game in the Czech psyche.

Cultural Significance

Hockey is more than just a game in the Czech Republic; it’s a communal activity that brings people together. From young children skating on frozen ponds in small villages to the roaring crowds in the arenas of Prague and Brno, hockey is a staple of Czech life. The sport’s significance is often compared to soccer in Brazil or baseball in the United States.

Statistical Insights

Statistically, the Czech Republic stands out in the world of hockey. According to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), as of 2021, the Czech Republic has one of the highest numbers of registered ice hockey players per capita in the world. There are approximately 77,000 registered players in a country of about 10.7 million people. This intense involvement can be seen in the robust national league system, which nurtures talent from a young age.

Moreover, Czech players are a prominent presence in international leagues. The National Hockey League (NHL) in North America has seen over 200 Czech players, including famous names like Jaromir Jagr, one of the greatest hockey players of all time. This international success fuels interest and pride in the sport back home, encouraging younger generations to take up the sport.

why do czechs like hockey so much?

The Gambling Spirit of the Czech People

Gambling is a popular pastime in the Czech Republic, reflecting a broader cultural acceptance of risk-taking and luck. The Czechs’ enthusiasm for gambling is evident in the widespread presence of casinos and gaming establishments throughout the country. Prague alone boasts a significant number of casinos, which are frequented not only by tourists but also by local residents.

Statistics reveal that the Czechs are among the top gamblers in Europe. According to a 2020 report, a significant portion of the adult population engages in some form of gambling each year, from traditional casino games to sports betting and lotteries. The liberal laws surrounding gambling have allowed a thriving industry to grow, contributing substantially to the economy through taxation and tourism.

This affinity for gambling highlights a facet of the Czech character that embraces chance and sees life itself as a game of odds. Whether for the thrill of the win or as a form of entertainment, gambling continues to hold a firm place in Czech culture.

But it should be noted that Czechs prefer to play in safe and licensed casinos. No less important for them is the list of available payment systems. Czech citizens prefer casinos working with Ecopayz, Paypal, Revolut, etc.

Psychological and Social Factors

Psychologically, the team-oriented nature of hockey may resonate deeply with the Czech communal mentality. The sport requires a high level of cooperation and synchronization, aligning well with the social and cultural values of the Czech people. Additionally, the fast-paced nature of the game matches the dynamic and resilient spirit of the Czech population.

Socially, hockey games are significant events where families and friends gather, creating a sense of community and belonging. The excitement and unity experienced during these games reinforce social bonds and collective Czech identity.

Economic Impact

Economically, hockey also plays a vital role. It boosts local economies by supporting small businesses and creating jobs, from sporting goods stores to local cafes and pubs that fill up on game nights. The success of local and national teams can significantly influence local markets and national pride.


In conclusion, the Czech Republic’s love for hockey is multifaceted, deeply embedded in its history, culture, and social fabric. The sport not only serves as a source of national pride and a favorite pastime but also contributes significantly to the country’s social and economic landscape. As Czechs continue to excel on the ice, their national passion for hockey only seems to grow stronger, underpinning their identity both at home and on the international stage.