What are the Main Differences Between Ice Hockey and Field Hockey?

Upon mentioning the word “hockey” most people think skates, ice rinks, protection gear and a lot of fighting. But what a lot of them forget a different version of hockey exists played on the ground, without the ice. Field Hockey is the equivalent of Ice Hockey with a lot of differences.

Surprisingly, Field Hockey predates Ice Hockey. Both sports draw origins in Europe 510 BC, but it was Field Hockey that was the first version played. It became an Olympic sport in 1908, while Ice Hockey was introduced in 1920.

Nevertheless, although younger Ice Hockey remains the more popular version of the two.

But which are the main differences between Ice Hockey and Field Hockey?

The Playing Field

You don’t have to be an expert to discern this obviously simple difference. In order to play field hockey, you simply need a field of grass and a ball. On the other end, ice hockey requires an ice rink and some skates.

But playing in these two fields is entirely different. Ice hockey players require the skill to skate and balance at the same time even during physical play. They also need to learn how to maneuver the puck. But field hockey players require added stamina. In order for them to run around the field, they have to be fit and physically strong.

Puck vs Ball

The second biggest difference is the object used for scoring goals. In ice hockey, a flat, disc-shaped puck made from vulcanized rubber is used. The process utilized to make it allows it to be both strong and flexible. Field hockey players use a simple spherical ball made out of hard plastic.

With these differences comes the difference in speed. As the puck skids on the ice, it can develop much greater speeds opposed to a ball. That is why most people call ice hockey the fastest game in existence. But it also makes it a lot more dangerous both for the players and spectators. A ball in field hockey does not move as fast as the puck in ice hockey, but certain players are able to develop great speeds with them as well.

Physical Contact

Both field hockey and ice hockey are games that require a lot of physical contacts. However, ice hockey is much more dangerous and involves a lot of checks during the game. Ice hockey players usually slam against each other, usually to prevent the attacking players from scoring. Therefore they are prone to bruises and injuries much more often than field hockey players are.

Field hockey players do push each other around and injuries do occur. But there is no glass around the field where you can slam your opponent onto.