Field hockey is played on gravel, natural grass or sand-based or water-based artificial turf, with a small, hard ball. The game is popular among both males and females in many parts of the world, particularly in Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. In most countries, the game is played between single-sex sides, although they can be mixed-sex.
Modern field hockey sticks are J-shaped and constructed of a composite of wood, glass fibre or carbon fibre and have a curved hook at the playing end, a flat surface on the playing side and curved surface on the rear side.
There are no fixed positions in field hockey but most teams arrange themselves into goal keeper, defence, midfield and forwards. Rules include no foot to ball contact, no obstructing other players, no high back swinging and there may only be two players touching the ball at any one time. The games are officiated by two Umpires and are divided into two equal halves of 35 minutes each with 5 minutes for half time.
Ice hockey is played on a large flat area of ice, using a three-inch-diameter (76.2 mm) vulcanized rubber disc called a puck. This puck is often frozen before high-level games to decrease the amount of bouncing and friction on the ice. The game is contested between two teams of skaters. It is the most popular sport in Canada, Finland, Latvia, the Czech Republic, and in Slovakia.
Ice hockey sticks are long L-shaped sticks made of wood, graphite, or composites with a blade at the bottom that can lie flat on the playing surface when the stick is held upright and can curve either way, legally, as to help a left- or right-handed player gain an advantage.
There are early representations and reports of ice hockey-type games being played on ice in the Netherlands, and reports from Canada from the beginning of the nineteenth century, but the modern game was initially organized by students at McGill University, Montreal in 1875 who, by two years later, codified the first set of ice hockey rules and organized the first teams. Ice hockey is played at a number of levels, by all ages.
Inline hockey is a variation of roller hockey very similar to ice hockey, from which it is derived. Inline hockey is played by two teams, consisting of four skaters and one goalie, on a dry rink divided into two halves by a center line, with one net at each end of the rink. The game is played in three 15-minute periods with a variation of the ice hockey off-side rule.