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Thread: Why do Czech goalies wear number 2?

  1. #1
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    Why do Czech goalies wear number 2?

    This may be a random question, but I was wondering if anyone knew the answer.

    I was at the Czech's under-20 exhibition game against the U.S. and saw that Filip Novotny, the back-up goalie was wearing No. 2.

    In the 1987 Canada Cup, Dominik Hasek wore No. 2. I know when Jiri Holocek backed up Vladimir Dzurilla in the 1976 Canada Cup he wore No. 2. and I've seen other photos of him wearing it (as well as wearing No. 1), so he may have worn it at world championships and/or the Olympics, but I'm not positive.

    Is there a story behind it?

    I spoke to Czech starter Jakub Sedlacek through a translator and he said he had no idea and I wasn't going to try to find Novotny to ask him, but if anyone knows the answer I'd love to hear it.

    cheers,
    matthew

  2. #2
    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    Regarding the question of why, I"m not sure, but as far as I know it's always been this way for the Czechs: the starting goalie wears 1, the backup wears 2.
    I guess they just wanted to have the goalies wearing the lowest numbers on the team, and everyone else picks from there.

  3. #3
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Back in time jersey numbers were much more ordered in European hockey. For instance, in the 60s, there were 18 players on the national team squads: 2 goaltenders, 5 (or 6) defensemen, 9 forwards + 1 (or 2) reserves. So just like in football (soccer), jersey numbers would basically count from #1 and upwards with the defensemen wearing the lowest numbers.

    In football (11 players), the starting goaltender almost always weared number #1 and the reserve keeper #12. In hockey, each nation used a different system.

    USSR used #1 and #20 (In the 60s, Zinger wore #1 and Konovalenko #20; and in the 70s and 80s, Myshkin wore #1 and Tretiak #20).

    Canada used #1 and #21 (e.g. #1 Seth Martin and #21 Wayne Stephenson).

    DDR used #1-#15 for field players, and #16 and #17 for goaltenders (#18 for the reserve)

    And Czechoslovakia used #1 and #2 for goaltenders.

    Different traditions.

  4. #4
    IHF Member jaaa's Avatar
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    It seems that Slovakia still sticks to that habit at the U20´s as well, although Tomáš hiadlovský had No. 30 in 2007, so they might let the goalies choose an other number if they prefer. However i remember someone on TSN last year claimed that Jaroslav janus was wearing an unusual number for a goalie, No. 2, although I never thought of it, it didn´t seem like a weird number to use. Not sure about the Czechs, but we don´t use this at the senior level anymore, Lasak has been wearing 25, I think it´s because Dzurilla used to wear it. But anyway, I wouldn´t look much into it as Karsten pointed out it´s just different tradition.
    25th of June 2015 - Worst day in the history of modern hockey in Slovakia

    See you in 2019...perhaps...

  5. #5
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    For a goaltender wearing #2 may be unusual for the Canadian observer (as TSN notes), but it was certainly not uncommon in European hockey.

    The period to which I refer was an amateur period where the jersey was just a jersey, much less than a signature (as it was in the professional NA leagues and in hockey today).

    As I mentioned some countries sticked to a convention. (E.g. during the 70s, when a couple of more players were added to the rosters, DDR would use #18 and #19 for goaltenders while USSR and CZE would stick to #1/#20 and #1/#2 - btw. Dominik Hasek also wore #2 in his first IHWC).

    At times, other countries also used the Czechoslovakian convention. E.g. during the 1976 IHWC, Sweden's and Poland's backup goaltenders (Göran Högosta and Henryk Wojtynek) wore #2.

    From the late 70s, it started to become a tradition that the backup goaltender would wear #30, #31 or #25, but CZE kept its tradition with #1 and #2.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    In football (11 players), the starting goaltender almost always weared number #1 and the reserve keeper #12. In hockey, each nation used a different system.
    For me it's arguable that it's more common in hockey than in football.South Americans in football has quite long tradition of first choice goalkeepers ("goaltender" is rather hockey term) playing with number under 11 but higher than 1. The same to lesser extent with Spain or France. The legendary Gilmar played with number 3 when Brazil have won WC in 1958 but they had other reserve goalie (Castilho) with number 1 and 4 years later Gilmar played with #1. During 1978-86 period Argentina had not have goalie with number 1 in WC squad. Ubaldo Fillol played with #5 in 78 and #7 in 82. Some teams in WC history have got goalies marked with numbers 1-3. In our best WC tournament in 1974 first Polish goalie played with no. 2.

    Ironically it was never the case with Czechoslovakia or Czech Republic in football WC as opposite to hockey. But I think there aren't hidden stories related to this Czech numbers especially since in hockey numbers aren't that much linked with position as it is in football with #5 or #10 e.g.

  7. #7
    IHF Staff Piotrek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowie View Post
    For me it's arguable that it's more common in hockey than in football.South Americans in football has quite long tradition of first choice goalkeepers ("goaltender" is rather hockey term) playing with number under 11 but higher than 1. The same to lesser extent with Spain or France. The legendary Gilmar played with number 3 when Brazil have won WC in 1958 but they had other reserve goalie (Castilho) with number 1 and 4 years later Gilmar played with #1. During 1978-86 period Argentina had not have goalie with number 1 in WC squad. Ubaldo Fillol played with #5 in 78 and #7 in 82. Some teams in WC history have got goalies marked with numbers 1-3. In our best WC tournament in 1974 first Polish goalie played with no. 2.

    Ironically it was never the case with Czechoslovakia or Czech Republic in football WC as opposite to hockey. But I think there aren't hidden stories related to this Czech numbers especially since in hockey numbers aren't that much linked with position as it is in football with #5 or #10 e.g.
    Not agree at all. Argentina in these Mundials had numbering in the same sequence as alphabet tells. Polish goalie, Jan Tomaszewski, during Weltmaistershaft 1974 had no. 2 because PZPN sent wrong list to FIFA with numers (Tomaszewski want to have no. 20), I strongly recomemd to read Encyklopedia Piłkarska FUJI, volume 16 (page 63) to take more info about.
    About previous Mundials, The numbers are present since 1950 (only 1-11), and since 1954 there as a solid numbers. In a few first WC's there was any system of award the numbers.
    Bo gdyby, ach gdyby wszystko na tym świecie dało się rostrzygać na lodowiskach, w trzech tercjach, kijem i krążkiem, to nie tylko wszak kanadyjskim zawodowcom z NHL, nie tylko wiarołomnym antysocjalistycznym Czechom, ale całemu światu, ba, nawet duszmanom z Pandższiru, Heratu i Kandaharu spuściłaby tęgi a druzgocący wpierdol hokejowa reprezentacja ZSRR, a w jej składzie Ragulin, Fetisow, Kasatonow oraz, bladź, Kapustin, Golikow i Malcew.

    Andrzej Sapkowski, "Żmija"

  8. #8
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    In the history of international hockey, there is nothing odd about the #2.

    There were basically two conventions:

    1. List players from #1 with goaltenders first (#1 and #2) and then defensemen and forwards
    2. #1 assigned to goaltender (usually starting goaltender) and then field players #2-#14) and second goaltender a jersey number between #15 and #20.

  9. #9
    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karsten View Post
    For a goaltender wearing #2 may be unusual for the Canadian observer (as TSN notes), but it was certainly not uncommon in European hockey.

    The period to which I refer was an amateur period where the jersey was just a jersey, much less than a signature (as it was in the professional NA leagues and in hockey today).

    From the late 70s, it started to become a tradition that the backup goaltender would wear #30, #31 or #25, but CZE kept its tradition with #1 and #2.
    Incredibly, it was my father (a goaltender himself) who explained that to me when we noticed it at the CAN-CZE match last year. He's never paid much attention to international hockey, which is why it surprised me that he would know the numbering traditions of the Czechoslovak and Soviet teams, but he explained it not unlike Karsten's earlier post.

  10. #10
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    For many years. Belarus often did not have a #1 on its roster in the World Championships, Under 20 Championships, or Under 18 Championships. I believe that this may have been out of deference to President Lukashenko, who I think wears jersey #1 in the games in which he participates.

    Goalie Sergei Shabanov often wore jersey #2 when representing Belarus. I believe that some goalies for Belarus have started to wear #1 in recent years.

  11. #11
    IHF Member Geoff's Avatar
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    Yes, some have worn #1 recently. Stanislav Artynski wore it in this year's U20 and Vitali Koval wore it at last year's IHWC. And those are just the two instances I've bothered to look at.

  12. #12
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kharlamov View Post
    For many years. Belarus often did not have a #1 on its roster in the World Championships, Under 20 Championships, or Under 18 Championships. I believe that this may have been out of deference to President Lukashenko, who I think wears jersey #1 in the games in which he participates.

    Goalie Sergei Shabanov often wore jersey #2 when representing Belarus. I believe that some goalies for Belarus have started to wear #1 in recent years.
    Though interesting, I'm not sure the Lukashenko story is watertight.

    In the A-pool, Belarus didn't use #1 jersey until 2008, but in the B-pool, they sometimes did. Shabanov wore #1 in 2002 (Eindhoven, Netherlands).

    In the WJCs, Belarus have often used #1 and #2 for goaltenders.

  13. #13
    IHF Member Karsten's Avatar
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    Just made a checkup on the 2009 IIHF World Championships senior

    • No team used #2 for GK this year

    • In division I, II and III all teams but one used regular jersey numbers for goaltenders:

    - all div II and III used #1 (the other typical jersey number was #25)
    - all divi II also used #20 except Israel (#25)
    - All div I used #1 and/or #29 and/or #30

    Only one team, Turkey used an odd jersey number, namely #3.

    Largely as expected as the teams at these levels are amateurs or semipro the most.

    At the elite level, odd jersey numbers are more common as they are used as signatures by professsional players.

    Here's the list: (jersey number to the left, count to the right):


    1 33
    3 1 (Turkey)
    20 13
    25 5
    26 1 (SUI)
    29 11
    30 16
    31 7
    32 1 (GER)
    33 2
    34 2
    35 3
    37 1 (Canada)
    38 1 (Austria)
    41 1
    42 1 (France)
    44 1 (GER)
    50 2
    51 1
    66 1 (SUI)
    83 1 (RUS)
    92 1 (France)

  14. #14
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    I would also add that the jerseys worn by teams at the elite level are more likely to have numbers greater than #30 because the numbers attached to those jerseys are actually sewn on to the jerseys at the site of the tournament, after the final rosters have been determined. By contrast, the jerseys worn by teams at lower levels have the numbers dye-sublimated to the jerseys and must be ordered well in advance of the tournament, before the final rosters are set.

    Almost without exception, the jerseys worn by teams when participating at lower levels will be numbered 1-30. If you look at the roster for a team like Austria that has played at both the elite level and in division one, you can see that players with jersey numbers greater than 30 when playing at the elite level wore jersey numbers between 1-30 when playing in the division one tournament.

  15. #15
    IHF Member yardbird's Avatar
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    The tradition with Czechoslovak goalies wearing numbers 1 and 2 started in the WC 1969 tournament when Vladimír Dzurilla han number 1 and Miroslav Lacky number 2. In the Olympic games 1968, Dzurilla had number 18 and Vladimír Nadrchal number 1. The defenceman Karel Masopust had jersey number 2 in the 1968 tournament.

    This tradition lasted to 1997 when Martin Prusek had number 1 and Milan Hnilička number 2. In the 1998 Olympic tournament Dominik Hašek had number 39, Roman Čechmanek number 29 and Milan Hnilicka number 3.

    Czech and Czechoslovak teams can be found at: http://avlh.sweb.cz/CZ-sestavy.pdf

    Even Sweden had goalies with number 1 and 2 for some seasons, from 1969 to 1973.
    1969: 1 Leif Holmqvist, 2 Gunnar Bäckman. 1970: 1 Leif Holmqvist, 2 Gunnar Bäckman. 1971: 1 Leif Holmqvist, 2 Christer Abrahamsson, 24 William Löfqvist. 1972 (OG): 1 Leif Holmqvist, 2 Christer Abrahamsson. 1972 (WC): 1 Leif Holmqvist, 2 Christer Abrahamsson, 24 Curt Larsson. 1973: 2 Christer Abrahamsson, 24 William Löfqvist. In 1974 this way of numbering the goalies was changed so that Christer Abrahamsson had number 1 and Curt Larsson number 24.

    When it comes to East Germany, between 1963 and 1967 Peter Kolbe had number 16 and Klaus Hirche number 17. In the 1968 Olympics, Klaus Hirche had number 17 and Dieter Pürschel number 16. I have no information about the goalie numbers for the 1969 tournament when Klaus Hirche and Jochen Koch(?) is reported to have been the East German goalies but in the 1970 tournament Klaus Hirche had number 17, Dieter Pürschel number 16 and third goalie Peter Kolbe number 21.

    After the 1970 tournament, East Germany changed their way of numbering the goalies so the goalies had numbers 19 and 20. Defenceman Dietmar Peters had the number 1 jersey for many years, from 1970 to the beginning of the 80:s when East Germany changed to a more traditional numbering of the players and goalies. Before that, it was defenceman Wilfried Sock who had jersey no 1.

    There have been some odd numbers in other teams as well. In the 1967 tournament, West German goalie Günter Knauss had a jersey with a T instead of a number. In the 1972 tournament, the West German goalies had the following numbers: 1 Toni Kehle, 20 Rainer Makatsch and "T" Franz Funk. In the same tournament, Swiss goalie Gerald Rigolet had jersey number 1 while the other Swiss goalie Alfio Molina had number 0.

  16. #16
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    Thanks to everyone for the responses.

    I noted that the Latvian back-up yesterday at the U20s was wearing No. 2 as well, so clearly it's not as uncommon as I thought.

    cheers,
    matthew

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