If you have never heard of “bandy” then you are in for a surprise. Bandy is a team winter sport played on ice, in which skaters use sticks to direct a ball into the opposing team’s goal. It’s also the second most popular winter sport in the world.
Campbell-Sevey’s John Magnuson has been heavily involved in bandy in Minnesota. “I first heard of bandy in 1982.” John said. “A fraternity brother from the U of M was recruiting guys for a team so I played that season.”
The sport is considered a form of hockey and has a common background with soccer, ice hockey and field hockey. Like soccer, the game is normally played in halves of 45 minutes each, there are eleven players on each team, and the bandy field is about the same size as a football field. It is played on ice like ice hockey, but like field hockey, players use bowed sticks and a small ball.
By 1997 John had a son and daughter who were in youth Bandy so he decided to start coaching, which led to one of his most memorable events – traveling to Sweden and Russia as an assistant coach for his son’s team.
Today John is more involved than ever. “I am currently the treasurer of the American Bandy Association, director of the rec league, play and manage a rec league team, and coach teams in the Elite league, First division, and Summer Rink bandy.” said John.
John is also a coach on the Bandolier Bandy Club which won its 11th U.S. National Championship this year. Read more about the team, their history and the great win by going to www.usabandy.com.