Ice hockey v field hockey – the core differences
Although ice hockey and field hockey are based on very similar principles, they are very different games and require a different set of skills.
Obviously, the equipment is similar. Having good stick control and hand-eye coordination is vital, as is a certain level of fitness and strength.
One of the more obvious differences is the playing surface. Ice hockey requires either a very cold climate or the ability to maintain an ice rink, whereas field hockey requires an outside pitch and is usually played on grass or turf. Players who take the game seriously tend to only play one or the other. One of the more obvious differences is the playing surface.
Britain has high hopes for this year’s Olympics and field hockey player Alex Danson has recently admitted that being selected for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo would be a dream come true after suffering a brain injury in 2018.
Ice hockey is played in an enclosed space and players can use the boundary to their advantage by intentionally using a dump and puck technique. Field hockey can use the space to make and receive passes and also make use of the large surface area when clearing the ball.
Coaches need to be organised and plan their training sessions to get the best out of their team. A choice of field hockey drills aimed at improving performance and skills, suitable for any level of player, is available from resources such as https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Hockey/.
Unsurprisingly, ice hockey is played more in colder countries or those with extreme winters, such as Canada, Scandinavia and Eastern European countries. Field hockey tends to be more popular in warmer climates, such as South America and Asia.
Physical versus skill
While fitness is obviously important in any sport, it is the skill in hockey that can win the game. This is true in both ice and field hockey.
Goalies in hockey have their work cut out, but it is often the ice hockey goalies who face the toughest challenge. By the very nature of ice hockey, there tend to be more shots during a match and these can come from any direction. In field hockey, goalies know that the goals are most likely to come from the scoring circle and can be better prepared; what’s more, there will traditionally be fewer shots to contend with. One of the more obvious differences is the playing surface. Ice hockey requires either a very cold climate or the ability to maintain an ice rink, whereas field hockey requires an outsides pitch and is usually played on grass or turf. Players who take the game seriously tend to only play one or the other.