The original name of the sport was street hockey, because it was literally played in the street of neighborhoods. Here in the United States, people still refer to the sport as “street hockey” or “Dek hockey”, but the he sport has evolved into international play as ball hockey.
Ball Hockey is patterned after and closely related to ice hockey, except the game is played on foot on a non-ice surface, player equipment is different, and a ball is used instead of a hockey puck. The object of the game is to score more goals than the opposing team by shooting the ball into the opposing team’s net.
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:
- The center line is considered the offsides line
- You are not allowed to raise your stick above the shoulder at any time except when in the act of shooting or moving around another player while running.
- You cannot close your hand around the ball.
- Official rink dimensions are a minimum of 160 feet in length by 80 feet in width.
Ball Hockey rules stipulate the following:
- Offside is determined by a “floating blue line”. The concept can be difficult to understand for non-hockey enthusiasts, but the simplest explanation is as follows: When the ball crosses the blue line, the attacking team is onside. They have the entire zone up to the center line with which to work the ball around and still be considered onside. Once the ball crosses the center red line the attacking team’s players must clear the defending team’s blue line and have the ball enter past the blue line to be considered onside again.
- You can raise your stick above the shoulder to call for a pass.
- You can close your hand around the ball provided that you bring the ball straight down to your feet and do not change the direction you are moving in.
- International rink dimensions are the same as international ice hockey rinks 197 ft × 98.4 ft.
- North American rink dimensions are the same as North American ice hockey rinks 200 ft × 85 ft.