The 3 Types of Hockey You Can Play

The three types of hockey you can play vary in regards to the number of players and the ball (or puck). But, what really sets them apart from one another is where you play them.
The 3 Types of Hockey You Can Play

Last update: 29 April, 2020

1. Field hockey: types of hockey

In this version of hockey, two teams of eleven players each play against one another. Their objective is to maneuver a ball across the field ball using a hockey stick in order to make goals against the other team. 

The game consists of four periods, called “quarters”, that last for 15 minutes each. Between the first and second periods, players get a two-minute break, as well a between the third and fourth. What’s more, there’s a 15-minute break between the second and third quarters.

The first field hockey club was founded in England in 1861, and in 1875 the Hockey Association of England came into existence. The first international games date back to 1890, and the sport became part of the Olympic Games in 1908.

The foundation of the International Hockey Federation took place in 1924. However, the gender unification of the sport didn’t take place until 1982.

A men's field hockey game.

The main champions of field hockey today are from Europe and America. The European powerhouses are England, Germany, and the Netherlands. As for the American continent, Argentina, Canada, the United States, and Chile are the most powerful.

2. Ice hockey

Number two on our list of types of hockey, as the name clearly indicates, takes place on an artificial ice rink. Two teams of six players each play against each other, using their sticks to hit a rubber duck, called a puck. The encounter, which can be indoor or outdoor, consists of three periods that last 20 minutes each.

In ice hockey, players wear bladed skates. What’s more, unlike other types of hockey, every player wears head protection–not just the goalie. In other words, every player has to wear a helmet with full facial protection.

Ice hockey was invented in Canada, more precisely in the city of Montreal, in 1875. The sport developed very quickly in this country, and the first tournament took place in 1883.

Obviously, it later expanded to the United States, where the first team formed in 1902. The International Ice Hockey Federation was created in 1908, and the first world cup took place in 1920. Finally, in 1924, the sport became part of the Olympic Games.

An ice hockey game.

The most important professional league ice hockey league is the National Hockey League, the NHL. Next in line are the European championships. There, Russia, Finland, Czech Republic, and Germany are the most powerful.

3. Roller hockey: types of hockey

Last but not least among the three types of hockey is roller hockey. This version takes place on a rectangular indoor surface and involves competitions between two teams of five players each. Rather than ice skates, these athletes wear roller skates or inline skates. They use their hockey sticks to push around a ball made of rubber from compressed cork.

Game time varies according to the age of players. In the senior category, there are two periods of 15 minutes each. In the minor leagues, each period lasts between 10 and 20 minutes.

England is the country that created hockey on skates near the end of the 19th century. But it was an American who adapted ice hockey in order to play on wood. The Fédération Internationale de Roller Sports was founded in 1924 and included this sport. In 1926, the first world championship took place.

Roller hockey was chosen as a demonstration sport in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. However, it has yet to become an Olympic sport.

The Spanish roller hockey league has won the most championships, both masculine and feminine (17 and six, respectively). In men, Portugal is in second place and Argentina in third. As for women’s roller hockey, Argentina comes in at second place.

Finally, although less known, there are actually two more types of hockey: underwater hockey and indoor hockey. The first, which takes place in a pool with players using a snorkel, came into existence in 1954. The second developed out of indoor field hockey and is similar to futsal (indoor soccer).

It might interest you...
The Most Popular Winter Sports in the Olympics
Fit PeopleRead it in Fit People
The Most Popular Winter Sports in the Olympics

Winter sports require snow or ice for the right playing conditions. Read all about the most popular ones in the Olympics with us today!