Key differences between indoor and outdoor hockey

Hockey is a sport that has enthralled people around the globe and for good reason. It’s high-action, exciting, and assessable. The game is played in different variations. You can play indoor hockey or outdoor hockey. While the two sports, of course, share some similarities, they also have significant differences. Read on to explore what makes them unique and what the best option might be for you.

Playing Surface

One of the most significant differences between indoor and outdoor hockey is the playing surface. Outdoor hockey is typically played on grass or artificial turf. Indoor hockey is played on a hard, smooth surface. The surface for indoor hockey is likely to be hard plastic or composite material. It allows for a more consistent playing surface which means the puck can move faster.

Outdoor hockey, on the other hand, has a more natural feel. Outdoor hockey can be affected by weather conditions such as rain, snow, or strong winds. These can make the surface slippery, more dangerous, and tricky to maneuver.

These two distinct differences have a large impact on the style of play.


Another significant difference between indoor and outdoor hockey is the type of equipment that’s used. In outdoor hockey, players need to wear cleats that provide traction on the grass or turf.

Indoor hockey players wear special shoes that provide more traction since they play on a hard surface. You’ll find that indoor hockey sticks UK are shorter than those used for outdoor hockey. This allows for more precision and puck control.

In addition to the footwear and hockey sticks, the pucks also differ. Indoor hockey pucks are typically lighter and smaller with a smooth surface which means they can move incredibly fast.

Outdoor hockey players use larger, heavier, and harder pucks with a rough surface. This makes them hard to control. The differences in equipment have a big impact on the playing style.


There are also some key differences in the rules of each sport. Outdoor hockey is played with eleven players on each team, while indoor hockey is played with six players per team. The goals used in outdoor hockey are also much larger than those used in indoor hockey.

However, the most significant difference in the rules is that in outdoor hockey, players can use their bodies to shield the ball from an opposing player. However, in indoor hockey, this isn’t permitted. In an indoor hockey match, players can hit the puck to any height, while in an outdoor hockey match, the puck mustn’t go above shoulder height.

Due to these key differences, the style of play can vary drastically. Indoor hockey tends to be more fast paced, with a focus on quick passes, and precise puck control. Indoor hockey can also be more physically demanding because of its smaller playing area. Players must be able to change direction rapidly and have lightening quick reflexes.

In contrast, outdoor hockey can be more intense and more physical, with players using their bodies to their advantage. Players must also use more force to execute shots due to the rough surface of the puck.

Which would you prefer? The fast-paced action of indoor hockey or the physicality of outdoor hockey? There is no denying that both variations are great fun and an excellent way to stay fit and active.

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