Street hockey

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Street Hockey
Organized Dek Hockey League.jpg
People playing street hockey in an outdoor rink.
Highest governing body International Street and Ball Hockey Federation (International)
World Ball Hockey Federation (international)
Canadian Ball Hockey Association (Canada)
NicknamesUSA = ball hockey, dek hockey / Canada, Europe, Asia = ball hockey (some parts of Canada call it "road" hockey)
First playedFitchburg
Characteristics
TypePrimarily outdoor, indoor
EquipmentRequired = A ball or a puck (most players use a ball but a small percentage use a puck), a hockey stick, a net. Optional = shin pads, gloves, helmet.

Street hockey (also known as shinny, dek hockey, ball hockey, road hockey) is a variation of the sport of ice hockey where the game is played outdoors on foot, or with inline or roller skates[ citation needed ] using a ball or puck. Both ball and puck are typically designed to be played on non-ice surfaces. The object of the game is to score more goals than the opposing team by shooting the ball or puck into the opposing team's net. Street hockey in pickup form is generally played under the following guidelines since there are no "official rules" for local pickup hockey:

Contents

In its most pure form, street hockey is always played on an outdoor surface (very often a street, [1] parking lot, tennis court or other asphalt surface), which the genesis of the name street hockey. Teams can be selected by various methods but usually are selected by captains via alternate selection of available players. Alternatively, all the players put their sticks in a pile and the sticks are tossed out of the pile to opposing sides. In more organized forms, it is played in rinks which often were designed for roller hockey and can be indoor or outdoor rinks. There are also rinks built specifically for hockey played on foot, and they are referred to as dek hockey or ball hockey rinks. Such rinks can also be used for roller hockey games.

History

A game of street hockey in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada. Street hockey St Andrews.jpg
A game of street hockey in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada.

Road hockey is believed to have begun when roads started getting paved in wealthier parts of North America, around the turn of the 20th century. The term street hockey was thus started in Canada at some similar time, but a search of records on the internet and in several libraries by fans of hockey, in general, has not turned up an exact year. The sport and thus the term street hockey eventually spread south to the United States. Most people who play the sport generally agree that no single person or entity invented the term "street hockey" but that it simply invented itself, just like the term "ice hockey," since it describes a form of hockey. People would literally play the game out in the street so they had to ask people to play by asking them if wanted to play hockey out in the street.

[2] All around the country you will see many kids of all ages some as young as 6 years old playing this game. As children and teenagers, almost all ice hockey players work on their skills and practice their games by playing street hockey, often alone in driveways or out in the street in front of their houses. [3] Which is common since, you do not need ice to play. These kids can play anywhere with a hard ground surface. Some kids even organize teams to compete against others. There are official games and tournaments these kids can join. Throughout the history of organized hockey, many professional ice players participate in various promotional street hockey games and charity events, often appearing as part of the respective National Hockey League team's youth street hockey programs. Since not every ice hockey player can be on the ice at all times, the vast majority play some form of street hockey either for pure enjoyment, to better their overall hockey skills, or both.

Also, since the cost of smaller-sized home ice rinks was too expensive for professional players, many would often play street hockey throughout the summer months to keep in shape physically. That also offered them a chance to work on various different aspects of the game in a cost-effective manner. Before the era of big salaries, many semi-professional and professional players would play in pickup games with each other when they lived within driving distance of each other. [4] In-line hockey is considered less expensive than ice hockey. Therefore, more likely for kids to play and keep up with, this can include their game and fitness.

It was only in the early 1970s, when Raymond W. Leclerc, the founder of the Mylec Corporation and the creator of the No Bounce orange ball, along with several prominent players in the Northeastern United States and Southeastern Canada, established rules for the more organized forms of the game. These rule were quickly adopted by most leagues in the area and then eventually spread throughout the US and Canada by a printed rulebook, which people could purchase. LeClerc is informally recognized as the "Father of Street Hockey." [5]

After a few years of experimenting with all the dynamics, Leclerc built a model site in 1974 to play and advance the game in Leominster, Massachusetts. The site, Leominster DekHockey Centre, has 3 outdoor rinks all with modular sport court surfaces and is informally known as the "Home of DekHockey." The organized version of street hockey with teams competing in leagues caught on with a large number of players in Toronto, Montreal, Ontario, New York, Long Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Various leagues and tournaments soon were springing up throughout those regions. The game then spread South and West as the Northeast US players relocated to different areas of the United States and Canadian players moved outside of the Ontario and Quebec provinces.

In Canada, the sport was organized for tournament play on a provincial and national level in the late 1970s, with the founding of the Canadian Ball Hockey Association. More formal organization of the sport quickly followed, which led to provincial tournaments and eventually the Canadian National Championships.

Gameplay

A street hockey game in Trafalgar Square in London, England, held in conjunction with Canada Day celebrations A Game of Street Hockey on Trafalgar Square.jpg
A street hockey game in Trafalgar Square in London, England, held in conjunction with Canada Day celebrations

Street hockey is based on ice hockey, and the overall purpose is the same: to score more goals than your opponent by shooting the ball or puck into the opposing team's net using your stick. But, it is less dangerous than ice hockey, and there are fewer incidents in in-line hockey. [6] It is typically played on foot on some outdoor asphalt, cement or modular sport surface. The most popular balls of choice are orange "no bounce" plastic balls that are specifically made for street hockey, as well as tennis balls. Pucks are rarely used due to the playing surface, but, in some instances, a special puck designed with bearings for roller hockey can also be used. If a puck is used, generally the players agree for safety purposes to make every effort to keep the puck on the ground since the players generally don't wear protective headgear and if a puck were to strike a player in the head it could cause serious medical injury and damage. [7] Since, they commonly use a water-filled ball, it is less dangerous than using a rubber puck. It is also safer because there are no skate blades or body checking like there is in ice hockey. Generally, street hockey is played with little to no protective equipment, therefore intense physical contact is usually prohibited, and levels of physical contact are agreed upon beforehand by the participants. The game does permit a level of physical contact similar to that allowed in basketball.

Rules and playing styles can differ from area to area depending upon the traditions a certain group has set aside. In informal play, the game often begins one of two ways: 1) a so-called "NHL face-off", in which the two opposing centers hit their sticks against each other three times saying "N", "H", "L". Immediately following the "L" the two players fight to see who claims possession of the ball or puck 2) One team simply takes the ball or puck out from behind their goalie net, similar to how a basketball game resumes when one team scores a basket.

When street hockey is played in rinks, whether outdoor or indoor, it is often called "dek hockey" or "ball hockey" depending on where in the U.S. and Canada it is being played. An overwhelming majority refer to it as ball hockey, with some parts of America preferring "dek hockey". For clarification purposes, dek and ball hockey are played under organized rules if they are not already being played as part of an organized league which has an official set of rules (see the section Leagues and governing bodies below). In other words, if you say you are playing dek hockey or ball hockey, both have specific meanings as to the type of rules you are playing under, but you are nonetheless playing under rules.

Street hockey can also be played on indoor basketball courts and/or gymnasiums. This type of game is called floor hockey and in organized leagues often has specific rules in place that differ slightly from outdoor street hockey. The walls or fencing of these "rinks" serve to keep the ball (or the less often used puck) in play similarly to the boards of an ice rink. Floor hockey has several variations, two of which resemble street hockey. These two variations are called cosom hockey (named for Cosom, a major supplier of physical education class equipment) and floorball. Cosom hockey, and floorball are considered formal subsets of street hockey since they have such different rules.

Some regions in North America use street hockey in reference to roller hockey, where inline or roller skates are worn to play otherwise the same game. Street hockey is generally played on foot, and when players use inline or roller skates to play, the sport becomes roller hockey or inline hockey. All this terminology can seem confusing to non-players and the general public, but ultimately is a simple case of semantics. General consensus among players of the sport is as follows:

Street Hockey has variations called dek hockey, ball hockey, and roller hockey. Dek hockey got its name from the material of the floor which it is played on. When street hockey leagues began playing on indoor and outdoor rinks, the flooring or playing surface was referred to as "the dek". An example would be two players speaking about a dek hockey game - "John had a great game playing center tonight out there on the dek."

Ball hockey got its name when people started forming street hockey leagues where they played with a ball rather than a puck. In order to recruit players, league leaders and players needed to be specific about what type of street hockey they were asking people to play. An example would be one player speaking to another potential player - Bill - "Hey Joe I think you would be a good player in my street hockey league." Joe "What type of league is it? Ball or puck?" Bill - "It's a ball hockey league."

There are difference between dek hockey and ball hockey in terms of how the games are played, but these differences are strictly a matter of rules and regulations that are invoked during tournament play.

Dek hockey rules stipulate the following:

Ball Hockey rules stipulate the following:

Roller Hockey is divided into two categories which are based on the type of skates used: Quad hockey and Inline Hockey. This image provides a visual explanation for the various forms of hockey that all fall under the umbrella of floor hockey:

Various forms of street hockey Street hockey breakdown.jpg
Various forms of street hockey

A fairly new and popular alternative to playing hockey on the street in Canada is to play in outdoor lacrosse boxes. The lacrosse boxes contain the same asphalt surface as the streets, but offers a more realistic feeling of hockey since the playing area is larger than the average street, in addition to having boards that surround the lacrosse box. Players also do not need to worry about traffic and pedestrians. However, one downside to this is the smaller size of in-place lacrosse nets.

Similarly to lacrosse boxes, outdoor rinks are becoming quite popular in public areas around the United States. These rinks allow for a place to play off of what can often become dangerous streets. Outdoor rinks are usually covered in a sport interlocking plastic tile surface so equipment does not wear down as quickly as on asphalt. Some are concrete which is painted with a special paint designed to provide traction for feet and roller blades. Many rinks are also covered to allow play during wet weather, and lighted for nighttime hockey. There are also a large number of indoor rinks sprinkled throughout the United States and Canada. No official tally has been made as to the number of indoor rinks but the unofficial count is over 500 combining Canada and the United States.

Equipment

Organized ball hockey league in Czech Republic (team Svitkov Stars) Hokejbal 2.jpg
Organized ball hockey league in Czech Republic (team Svítkov Stars)

Overall, equipment for street hockey is based on that of ice hockey, but it is lighter and more flexible and with no checking allowed. All of the ice hockey-style equipment is necessary except for certified helmets body checks. In pickup style games, most "player tend to play with some combination of the following: hockey gloves, shin guards, eye protection, athletic support, and mouth guards. Shin guards are often of the soccer type when the game is played on foot, though several companies now manufacturer and sell shin pads that are lightweight and durable which have been specifically designed for and are marketed for street and roller hockey. Goalies still typically wear equipment similar in appearance to their ice hockey counterparts for safety but partly also to help block more of the goal area. However, such goalie equipment used in street hockey is generally lighter than that used in ice hockey due to the reduced weight and density of the ball (or puck) that is typically used in street hockey as compared to the hard vulcanized rubber puck used in ice hockey.

A street hockey stick is similar to an ice hockey stick in shape and size, but made of materials that will better stand up to use on asphalt or a similar playing surface. It has two main parts, the shaft and the blade. The shaft is often made of aluminum, graphite, or wood. The blade is usually made of some type of plastic, typically a blend of polyurethane, and attaches to the shaft by insertion into the shaft, with the inside of the shaft being coated with a specialized type of glue that requires heating to settle and solidify. Other shafts are designed to have the blade screwed onto the shaft and secured in place with screws. Some street hockey sticks are made in one-piece form and are made out of plastic, polyurethane, graphite, aluminum, wood, or a blend of these and other materials. Ice hockey and inline hockey sticks can also be used. However, street hockey sticks are usually cheaper and more durable for playing on asphalt and concrete, and as such are more common for this reason where the game is played on those surfaces. In organized dek and ball hockey leagues, most players use more expensive sticks as the quality of game play is much higher caliber than pickup street hockey and the Mulit Modular Surfaces see the games played which allow a safer and faster version of Dekhockey and are much safer for running that concrete or blacktop.

With the success of the widely used orange ball for street hockey, many different color varieties have been introduced due to changing balls for weather conditions, such as yellow, red, pink, and even a glow in the dark ball. Several ball manufacturers now market the balls with the temperature range the ball was designed for on the packaging itself. Most hockey ball manufacturers sell their balls according to the following temperature range: red/orange = hot/warm above 60 degrees, pink = cool - between 40-60 degrees, yellow = cold - below 40 degrees. [8] A tennis ball or whiffle ball can also be used as an alternative to the orange ball for street hockey, as it is much softer than the orange ball, therefore reducing the risk of injury.

The International Street and Ball Hockey Federation is the worldwide governing body of official ball hockey tournaments and leagues, and they officially recognize two types of balls for play: a hard, warm climate ball for adult or youth play or a softer version for colder weather. [9]

Governing bodies

International

The International Street and Ball Hockey Federation is officially recognized as the governing body of the sport by the International Ice Hockey Federation. The non-profit was founded in 1993 and has provided international competitions since 1995. [10]

North America

The Canadian Ball Hockey Association [11] is the official governing body of ball hockey in Canada as recognized by the I.S.B.H.F. USA Ball Hockey [12] is the official governing body of street and dek hockey in the United States as recognized by the I.S.B.H.F.

Europe and Asia

Several European and Asian countries have their own governing bodies where the sport has enough players to have a national following and presence. Generally, these countries have rule books based upon either the Canadian, American, or I.S.B.H.F. rule books, or a combination of some type of these.

Tournaments

International

The International Street and Ball Hockey Federation holds several international tournaments with most being broken down by age groups and gender. These tournaments are typically bi-annual, such as the Men's and Women's 20 and over, the Men's and Women's Under 20, the Men's and Women's Under 18 and the Men's and Women's Under 16. There are also a Men's Masters Tournament for players aged 40 and over and a Women's Masters Tournament for players aged 35 and over.

North America

There are dozens of tournaments held throughout North America every year. Typically tournaments start on a Friday and end on Sunday evenings.

Popularity

According to the ISBHF, there are street hockey leagues in over 60 countries worldwide. As mentioned in the history section, one can safely assume that where ever people are playing ice hockey, people are also playing some form of street hockey.

See also

Further reading

Related Research Articles

Hockey is a sport in which two teams play against each other by trying to manoeuvre a ball or a puck into the opponent's goal using a hockey stick. There are many types of hockey such as bandy, field hockey, ice hockey and rink hockey.

Ice hockey team sport played on ice using sticks, skates, and a puck

Ice hockey is a contact team sport played on ice, usually in a rink, in which two teams of skaters use their sticks to shoot a vulcanized rubber puck into their opponent's net to score goals. The sport is known to be fast-paced and physical, with teams usually fielding six players at a time: one goaltender, and five players who skate the span of the ice trying to control the puck and score goals against the opposing team.

Roller hockey is a form of hockey played on a dry surface using wheeled skates. The term "Roller hockey" is often used interchangeably to refer to three variant forms chiefly differentiated by the equipment used: traditional "Roller hockey", played with quad skates and a ball, "Inline hockey", played with inline skates and puck and "Skater hockey", played with quad skates or inline skates and plastic ball. Most professional inline hockey games take place on an indoor or outdoor sport court. Otherwise, any dry surface can be used to host a game, typically a roller rink, macadam (asphalt), or cement. Combined, roller hockey is played in nearly 60 countries worldwide.

Hockey puck

A hockey puck is a disk made of vulcanized rubber that serves the same functions in various games as a ball does in ball games. The best-known use of pucks is in ice hockey, a major international sport. A hockey puck has also been referred to as a "Flat Ball."

A hockey stick is a piece of sport equipment used by the players in all the forms of hockey to move the ball or puck either to push, pull, hit, strike, flick, steer, launch or stop the ball/puck during play with the objective being to move the ball/puck around the playing area using the stick, and then trying to score.

Shinny

Shinny is an informal type of hockey played on ice. It is also used as another term for street hockey. There are no formal rules or specific positions, and often, there are no goaltenders. The goal areas at each end may be marked by nets, or simply by objects, such as stones or blocks of snow. Body checking and lifting or "roofing/reefing/raising the puck" are often forbidden because the players are not wearing protective equipment. Shinny is a game that all levels of hockey enthusiasts can play because it requires no rink, requires no skills except ability to hold a stick and at the very least to try to touch the puck or ball when it goes by. Shinny may be completely non-competitive and recreational.

Broomball

Broomball is a recreational ice game. It is played in a hockey rink, either indoors or outdoors, depending on climate and location.

Floor hockey is a family of indoor hockey games.

Indoor hockey

Indoor hockey, is an indoor variant of outdoor "field" hockey. It is not to be confused with floorball and indoor roller hockey variants such as rink hockey or inline hockey.

Roller in-line hockey

Roller inline hockey, or inline hockey is a variant of hockey played on a hard, smooth surface, with players using inline skates to move and hockey sticks to shoot a hard, plastic puck into their opponent's goal to score points. There are five players including the goalkeeper from each team on the rink at a time, while teams normally consist of 16 players.

Spongee or sponge hockey is a cult sport played almost exclusively in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, by thousands of players in dozens of leagues. It gets its name from the puck that is used: instead of the hard vulcanized rubber puck that is used in regular ice hockey, a soft sponge puck is used.

Roller hockey (quad)

Roller hockey, rink hockey or quad hockey is a team sport played on roller skates. Two five-man teams try to drive the ball with their sticks into the opponents' goal. The ball can only be put in motion by a stick, not the skate, otherwise a foul will be stated. The game has two 25-minute halves, with 15-minute halftime intermission, plus up to two 5-minute golden goal periods to settle ties with the clock stopping when the ball becomes dead. If the tie persists, a penalty shootout will determine the winner.

Foot hockey is a sport related to hockey in which the only equipment is a ball, most commonly a tennis ball, that is kicked about the playing surface by the players in an attempt to score a goal on the opposing goaltender. It has been described as a "combination of hockey, soccer and handball" and "a form of soccer with a tennis ball". Foot hockey is played indoors or outdoors; footwear is optional indoors, but must be worn by either all or none of the players. It may be unisex or coed. Participation in foot hockey produced fewer catastrophic injuries than other winter sports in studies from 1986 to 1995.

Victoria Skating Rink Former indoor ice skating rink in Montreal

The Victoria Skating Rink was an indoor ice skating rink located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Opened in 1862, it was described at the start of the twentieth century to be "one of the finest covered rinks in the world". The building was used during winter seasons for pleasure skating, ice hockey and skating sports on a natural ice rink. In summer months, the building was used for various events, including musical performances and horticultural shows. It was the first building in Canada to be electrified.

Pond hockey

Pond hockey is a form of ice hockey similar in its object and appearance to traditional ice hockey, but simplified and designed to be played on part of a natural frozen body of water. The rink is 50 to 80 percent the size of a standard NHL-specification rink, and has no boards or glass surrounding it; usually only a barrier of snow keeps the puck in play. In addition, because there are no protective barriers behind the goal to contain high errant shots, the top of the goal is lower, in fact only slightly taller than the width of a puck, and the game does not have a formal goalie. Because of these differences, pond hockey places more emphasis on skating and puckhandling ability and less on shooting and checking. Non-competitive pond hockey is played with improvised goals, rinks of a variety of sizes, and no boards or snow barriers. There can only be 4 players playing per team at a time but have many subs to sub in.

Ball hockey

Ball hockey is a team sport and a variation of the sport of ice hockey and a specific variation of the game of street hockey. Ball Hockey is the same sport as Floor Hockey.

World Roller Hockey League (WRHL) was a professional inline hockey league. It lasted only one season.

Major League Roller Hockey

Major League Roller Hockey (MLRH) is a limited liability company which operates multiple inline hockey leagues and tournaments. Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, MLRH is one of the only full-contact inline hockey competitions in the world.

Inline hockey and skater hockey are team sports, similar to ice hockey. In the UK, there are two associations that govern inline hockey. The British Inline Puck Hockey Association (BIPHA) govern the sport with rules using a Puck. The British inline Skater Hockey Association (BiSHA) is different from BIPHA as BiSHA uses a Ball, Inline skates and roller skates and is played to full-contact rules. GBinline, Inline UK and BRHA, are minor association within the country.

First indoor ice hockey game 1875 ice hockey game in Victoria Skating Rink in Montreal

On March 3, 1875, the first recorded indoor ice hockey game took place at the Victoria Skating Rink in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Organized by James Creighton, who captained one of the teams, the game was between two nine-member teams, using a wooden "puck". Members used skates and sticks used for outdoor hockey and shinny games in Nova Scotia, where Creighton was born and raised. It is recognized as the first organized ice hockey game.

References