The Difference Between Field Hockey and Ice Hockey

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Hockey is an enjoyable game played between two teams using hockey sticks and a ball. There are different variations of this sport, of which Field Hockey and Ice Hockey are the most popular. Ice hockey is predominantly played in Canada and the United States while in warmer climates, Field hockey is more common. Although both games have the main objective of scoring a goal in the opponent’s net, there are differences in the way they are played, the number of players, the location and the gear used.

Here is a quick summary of the main differences between ice hockey and field hockey.

Number of players:  Ice hockey can have twenty players, of which six players are on the ice at a time, provided there are no penalties. Of these, five play on the ice, while one is a goaltender. In field hockey there are sixteen players of which there are eleven players on the field. Field hockey has no specific positions in the team, while ice hockey has rules about the percentage of   goal keepers to on-ice players.4br36ta2

Size of the playing area:  The size of the field in field hockey and the rink in ice hockey are also made to specific measurements. Ice hockey is often played indoors since it is easier to maintain the ice that way.  Field hockey is played outdoors.

Equipment used: Ice hockey uses a lot of protective equipment including shin guards, shoulder and elbow pads, padded pants, helmets and gloves. Field hockey uses less gear and some players optionally wear goggles and shin pads.

The location:As the name suggests, field hockey is played on gravel, grass or artificial turf while ice hockey is obviously played on ice. Field hockey goals are larger than in ice hockey and the field is twice the size of the rink.

The ball:

Field hockey is played with a hard ball, while ice hockey uses a three inch rubber disc or “puck” which is frozen before the game to avoid bouncing and friction.

Hockey stick: Field hockey sticks are shaped like the letter J and made of composite wood, glass fiber or carbon fiber. Ice hockey is played with long sticks shaped like the letter L and made of wood, composites or graphite with a blade at the bottom that lies flat on the ice. The playing ends of these sticks are different from each other.

Game rules: Ice hockey has more stringent rules and more timeouts than field hockey. The actual mechanics of playing the game are also very different.

Field Hockey is especially popular in Europe, Asia, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, field hockey and has a governing body called the International Hockey Federation.

Ice hockey is among the most popular sports in Canada. A 66-member International Hockey Federation governs the game.  North America’s National Hockey League or NHL is the strongest team with the top ice hockey players in the world. The first organized game of ice hockey is said to have been played in Montreal in 1875. Today, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada is home to the legendaryNHL Ice Hockey Team, the EdmontonOilerswho enjoy dynasty status in the Hockey Hall of Fame for winning the Stanley Cup five times.  The Oilers play at Rexall Place in Edmonton from September to April every year to massive cheering crowds.

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