Hockey and floorball are played with similar team layouts, sticks, and goals. However, the sports have very drastic differences too, one being that you can play floorball with nothing but a t-shirt and ice hockey, not so much. In this article, I will give you a walk-through of the world of hockey and floorball, so you can see how they are so different and why.
Ice hockey differs from floorball by being played on ice with skates, a black hard puck, and more durable sticks. Also, hockey requires much more protective equipment, it’s more physical, popular, and top hockey players earn more than top floorball players. Ice hockey is more expensive as well.
Now, there’s more to know about the differences between hockey and floorball, especially if you want to understand it comprehensively. Keep up with my writing, and I’ll show you, starting from the equipment.
There are many pieces of equipment in both hockey and floorball, yet the stick, playing object, and footwear are needed in both. Let’s review each one individually.
When comparing hockey and floorball sticks, you can instantly see that hockey sticks are more durable and bulky. Floorball sticks are very lightweight for quick ball handling. Let’s take at the specs of both sticks.
- Ice hockey sticks usually weigh 19-22oz (538 g – 623g), are made from composites such as carbon fiber and cured resin, and are approximately 4.9-6.6ft (150–200cm) long.
- Floorball sticks are lighter, weighing 6-8.8oz (170-250g), are made from plastic, fiberglass, composite, or carbon, and are 2.1-3.8ft (65-115cm) long.
The considerable length difference is because hockey players move faster and wear skates, making them taller. Faster speed and longer height require a longer stick. Also, hockey sticks are more durable and bulky because it’s high-contact sports and the pucks weigh more than floorball.
In addition, the blades on hockey sticks are solid and whole, yet the floorball stick’s blade has holes. The blade of hockey sticks is also taped for protection against the ice and traction for the ice puck.
Hockey Puck & Floorball
When comparing hockey pucks and floorball, they are like night and day. Hockey pucks are black, solid, heavy, and rubbery, whereas floorball is white, light, plastic, and has holes.
Let’s look at the specs between hockey pucks and floorball balls.
- Ice hockey pucks are black, weigh 5 ½ – 6oz, are made from vulcanized rubber, and are one inch thick and three inches in diameter.
- Floorball balls are white, weigh 0.81oz (23g), are made from plastic, have a diameter of 2,8″ (7.2cm), and have 26 holes in them.
Hockey pucks are flat, so they can move and be controlled on the ice more optimally than a ball. Also, the black color helps the players and goalies see them against the white ice.
In contrast, floorball is filled with holes, so the air resistance isn’t too big as they are so light. A round ball shape is also more complimentary to floorball than the flat puck used in hockey.
Since hockey is played on ice and floorball on a wooden court, the requirement ts for footwear is from another world. Let’s start with hockey.
Ice hockey is played with ice skates made from a boot where you’ll put your feet. Then, a blade is connected to the boot, which you will be using to move on the ice.
A hockey skate’s boot is hard and made from knit nylon and molded plastic. In turn, the blades are usually made from tempered steel, so they are extremely durable and protective against pucks and other players.
In comparison, floorball shoes aren’t nearly as dangerous looking because they resemble all indoor court shoes used in sports like table tennis, badminton, volleyball, and you name it.
Floorball shoes offer great grip against the wooden courts, are usually equipped with mesh material to provide breathability, and cushioning is often found to maximize comfort.
Putting on your floorball shoes isn’t nearly as time-consuming as putting on hockey skates.
In addition to the stick, playing object, and footwear, you will only need clothing or protective equipment. For floorball players, that’s only some light T-shirts, pants, and sports socks. A helmet, gloves, goalie vest & pants, jockstrap, and knee pads are required for floorball goalies.
Hockey players need much more equipment, including;
- Neck guard
- Shoulder pads
- Elbow pads
- Athletic cup
- Hockey pants
- Shin guards
In addition to the hockey player equipment, goalies will need similar equipment with a few additions and modifications. Here’s a list of hockey goalie equipment;
- Goalie helmet,
- Neck guard
- Chest protector
- Goalie pants
- Athletic cup
Oh, and there’s more. Under the protective equipment, the hockey players need t-shirts. Over the equipment, hockey socks over the shin guards, and a team jersey. That said, the equipment list in hockey is one of the most demanding in all sports.
The areas ice hockey and floorball are played are widely different as well. One is outside or in a cold hall on ice, whereas the other is inside at room temperatures on an indoor court. I’ll review each individually.
So, an Ice hockey rink is an ice rink made to play hockey and other sports, such as ringette. The surface is made from ice, and the sides are made from high-density polyethylene with tempered glass sides to allow viewers to see through them yet enable protection from the ice pucks and tackles.
Hockey rinks also feature a net above the tempered glass walls to protect fans from the pucks.
Hockey rinks are 200ft long and 8ft wide, so they are bigger than floorball courts as the pace of the game is faster.
Floorball courts are smaller than hockey rinks, with 130ft in length and 65ft in width. The surface is generally made from wood because it has minimal wear on the stick blades and minimal friction.
However, other materials such as astroturf, carpet, or rubberized surface courts can be found, yet it won’t be as fast-paced because of the increased friction compared to wood.
Here’s a simple comparison between hockey rinks and floorball courts.
|200ft long, 85ft wide
(60.96m long, 25.9m wide)
|130ft long, 65ft wide
40m long, 20m wide
|Ice, HDPE & tempered glass
Ice hockey and floorball are very different in terms of popularity as well. When it comes to hockey, it’s part of the big five sports: Football, Soccer, Basketball, Baseball, and Ice Hockey. In contrast, floorball is far behind, but let’s see how far behind.
What I did is I looked at the word hockey in Google trends from the past 5 years. Then, I took the top five countries where the word hockey has been searched the most. Below you can find the results.
|3. United States
Don’t let the low numbers fool you when looking at the popularity scores. I’m a Finn myself, and I can validate that even when the popularity score of hockey is 19 in Finland, it’s still extremely popular.
Next, I did the exact Google trends method for the world floorball. Here are the past 5 years countries where floorball is searched the most.
A funny thing of note. According to Google trends, floorball is the fifth most popular in hockey and the most popular in floorball globally. However, that’s because floorball is overall less popular. That said, ice hockey is still far more popular in Finland than floorball, so that tells how far ahead hockey is of floorball in terms of popularity.
As you might guess, ice hockey is far more expensive than floorball. Starting with the massive equipment list of hockey that usually starts from $1000 when bought new, although you can get new items slightly cheaper when looking for deals or cutting on quality.
Then there’s playing cost that can arise through the roof. I remember when I played hockey, the basic monthly fee for my team was €450. Add all the tournament fees, team traveling fees, and much more. Oh, and I played hockey as a kid, so I needed new equipment every other year or less.
In contrast, you can get high-end floorball equipment for less than $200. Example prices are below;
- Stick: $50
- Shoes: $50
- Activewear: $30
- Set of floorballs: $10
That said, $140 isn’t much to pay for a full set of floorball equipment, especially when compared to hockey.
Now, floorball playing fees, such as team fees, are far less. For example, a tournament fee to attend the Helsinki Floorball Cup is €200/team, making the per person price non-existent. Of course, that’s for the team to play, and the team needs to make a bit of profit to be active, but that’s for reference.
Videos of Hockey and Floorball
All in all, I love both ice hockey and floorball, so whichever sport you choose, I’m certain that you will have nothing but a good time.
To finish this article, check out some videos about top hockey and floorball moments!