What Is the Difference Between Floorball and Hockey?

What Is the Difference Between Floorball and Hockey?

Floorball and hockey are sports that bear some similarities, yet a multitude of differences still set them apart. Both sports only ask for a short amount of time, but both require a lot of energy and effort as they are fast-paced, requiring skilled stick handling, and demanding that team members work together in order for success to be achieved. 

Deep Dive into Floorball

Floorball, a dynamic and engaging sport involving a stick and ball, is designed to be inclusive, accommodating players across all ages and abilities. This makes it a perfect platform for promoting teamwork, physical wellbeing, and inclusiveness. Floorball was created as a safer and more accessible counterpart to ice hockey and field hockey. The sport swiftly caught on in Scandinavia before its popularity spread across Europe, with countries like Finland playing a significant role in its widespread adoption.

The basic rules of floorball are straightforward, making it an accessible sport for all. It's a team game, with each side comprising five field players and one goalkeeper. The objective, like hockey, is to score more goals than the opposing team within a stipulated time. However, unlike hockey, body contact is not allowed, making the game less physically aggressive.

Floorball equipment is designed to facilitate the fast and fluid nature of the game. The most essential piece of gear is the floorball stick, which is lighter than a hockey stick and has a shorter shaft. Players also use a lightweight plastic ball with holes. Goalkeepers wear padding but not gloves, which differentiates floorball from many other stick-and-ball sport.

An Exploration of Hockey

Hockey, a sport celebrated worldwide, is a game that combines speed, skill, and strategy. Originating in the 19th century, it has grown into a global phenomenon with various forms including ice hockey, field hockey, and roller hockey.

The fundamental rule of hockey, regardless of its form, is scoring more goals than the opposing team within a specific timeframe. Teams consist of six players each, including a goalkeeper. Physical contact is an integral part of the game, especially in ice hockey, making it a highly intense and competitive sport.

Field hockey equipment is specifically designed to ensure player safety while maximising performance. The primary piece of equipment required is a hockey stick, which is used to control and hit the ball. Players also need a solid plastic ball for the game. Protective gear includes shin guards to protect the lower legs from ball impacts and mouthguards to shield against potential injury. Goalkeepers wear additional protective equipment, such as padded gloves, chest protectors, leg guards, kickers, and a helmet with a full-face cage, to protect them from the high-speed ball. Proper footwear with a good grip is also essential for field conditions.

Comparing Floorball and Hockey

When it comes to the rules of gameplay, both floorball and hockey share the common objective of scoring more goals than the opposing team. However, floorball tends to be less physical, with body checks and stick lifts prohibited, unlike in hockey where physical contact is an integral part of the game.

In terms of equipment, floorball sticks are lighter and shorter than hockey sticks, and the ball used is also lighter and has holes in it, akin to a whiffle ball. Hockey, on the other hand, uses a puck or solid ball depending on the type (ice or field), and players wear more protective gear due to the physical nature of the game.

The playing surface for floorball is usually a gymnasium floor, while hockey is played on ice, field, or roller rinks, which can influence the speed and style of play.

Player positions and strategies also vary between the two sports. Floorball teams typically consist of five field players and a goalie, with positions including defenders, forwards, and centres. The game emphasises quick passes, movement, and tactical plays. Hockey teams, however, comprise six players including a goalie, with positions such as defensemen, wingers, and centres. Strategy in hockey involves more physical contact, blocking, and high-speed manoeuvres. Despite these differences, both sports underscore the importance of teamwork, skill, and strategy.

Similarities Between Floorball and Hockey

Despite their differences, floorball and hockey share several common aspects that make them complementary sports. Both games revolve around the similar objective of scoring goals by manoeuvring a ball or puck into the opposition's net using a stick. The basic structure of the teams is also alike, with both sports involving goalkeepers and field players.

The skills required in both sports are highly transferable. These include stick handling, shooting techniques, positional awareness, speed, agility, and teamwork. Understanding the game's flow, anticipating plays, and making quick, strategic decisions are crucial elements in both floorball and hockey.

Both sports also emphasise fitness elements such as endurance, strength, and coordination. Consequently, players can often switch between the two sports, utilising and enhancing their skills. The less physical nature of floorball makes it an excellent training platform for younger athletes or beginners to develop these skills before transitioning into hockey.


While floorball and hockey have their unique aspects, they also share several commonalities. They both demand agility, speed, teamwork, and strategic thinking, with the primary goal of scoring against the opponent. However, their differences lie in the physicality of the game, the type of equipment used, and the playing surface.

Floorball tends to be less physical, uses lighter equipment, and is played on gym floors, making it a great starting point for novices or young athletes. Hockey, on the other hand, involves more contact, requires heavier gear, and can be played on ice, fields, or roller rinks, offering a more intense experience.

Whether you're a floorball player looking to transition into hockey or a hockey player seeking to enhance your skills through floorball, both sports offer exciting opportunities for growth and enjoyment. Considering trying out floorball or hockey? Shop our floorball equipment and hockey equipment to get started.