Hockey is a popular sport played throughout the world. The game’s evolution into diverse forms driven by cultures and seasons qualifies it as a family of sports. Fans enjoy watching different variants of the game, such as Field, Sledge, Ice, and Roller Hockey.

In all game variants, the objective is the same; two teams try to play a ball or puck into each other’s goal or net using a hockey stick. The following are the many different variants that you can enjoy and a little about them.

Varieties of Hockey


This is a game played on natural grass, water-based or sand-based grass, or gravel. It is very popular among males and females of all age groups. The game is played using a hard little ball and wooden sticks, demanding much physical exertion.

The absence of protective gloves has resulted in numerous injuries on players’ fingers; however, the game rules have advanced with time, improving the security of the body while playing.

It is played professionally in the U.S., Europe, India, Malaysia, and Australia. Men’s Field hockey has featured in the Summer Olympics since 1908, except for 1912 and 1924, while women’s Field Hockey started featuring in 1980. The Hockey World Cup is another main event played every four years.


Popular in North America and Eastern Europe, modern Ice Hockey combines ice skating skills, speed, and hockey skills. The game works on the same principle of playing the ball into the net, but this time it takes place on a large flat ice ground with a puck instead of a ball.

Whatever you choose, you will definitely enjoy watching or playing this sport, especially if you like combat sports too, because if you watch the NFL it’s almost guaranteed that a fight can break out where players can legally just punch the living daylights out of each other. When the fight is over, players then go to the sin bin to think about their actions. Or depending on the damage done, they may be taken off on a stretcher. It’s a crazy sport.


Referred to as the Paralympic version of Ice Hockey, this variety was designed for players with deformities on the lower part of their body. It includes double-bladed sledges where players sit and two single-bladed sticks. Players use the sticks to push their sledges, pass, shoot and stickhandle the puck. Players with no disabilities also play Sledge hockey while sitting on a board. It has grown in popularity since its inclusion in the Paralympics and continues to see viewing numbers grow around the world.

Canadian player in the middle of a game of Sledge Hockey


Roller Hockey has two sub-categories, namely Quad and In-line. Quad players wear squad skates where they play a different ball from one used in other variants. The goalkeeper also uses different equipment. Quad hockey is popular in many parts of the world, especially in Latin America. In-line players use skates to play the game, and it’s easier than the Quad version. The In-line version is definitely more similar to the traditional Ice version due to the wheels being in a single line just like blades on skates.


Bandy is played on an ice floor the size of a football stadium, with most rules similar to the ones applied in football. It’s a national sport in Russia, where it is played professionally and in other parts of Europe. There is even a European Bandy Federation formed in the mid-20th century that manages the game across Europe and also the Federation of International Bandy.

It is also popular in North America and some parts of Asia, where it is done professionally. The main difference from other versions is that Bandy is played outdoors on a pitch almost equal to the football stadium.


As the name suggests, Street Hockey takes place on hard surfaces in the streets where payers don’t wear protective gear. Minimum contact is allowed in this version to reduce injury incidences. It is also known as Road Hockey. Think of a more grown-up version of what you may have seen kids playing in the street or even in Hollywood movies.


Imagine if we said there are people playing this game under the water. You’d probably think we were lying. However, this variety of the game does exist and occurs under the water in a swimming pool and involves limited contact, and the playing sticks are smaller than the ones used in other variants. Opposing teams compete to push the puck to the opponent’s goal at the bottom of the swimming pool using the stick. We’ve even included a photo below for those of you who still don’t believe us that this is a real thing!

People playing Underwater Hockey in a swimming pool


A spectacular game to watch, Beach Hockey features two teams of four players playing on loose sand. The pitch is inflatable and measures 20×30 meters. The ball is a small leather-made one rather than the normal ball with wider goals than normal. It can be dangerous with sand getting in your eyes, and uncomfortable when it gets in your pants. However, it’s incredibly good fun to both watch and play.


Whilst this may sound like something you would see at the circus, it’s far from it. The game is similar to the In-line or Roller variants except players play while mounting on a unicycle and with both feet on the peddle. A team comprises five players, with some clubs not having a dedicated goalkeeper. It can be played indoors on tennis courts, in a parking lot, or even down the gym. Some people also play this Unicycle version on the streets.


This is a gym-based sport played with a tennis ball and sticks. It really is just as simple as that.

Are You A Fan Of Hockey?

So there we are. A whole host of different variants that are all based around the same sport. Are you a fan of any of these variants in particular? Do you play them in your spare time? We’d love to hear some of your stories about playing or even your favourite memories of games you have watched in the past. You can leave them all in the comments below for us to check out.

For even more content on these sports, check out our Hockey section.