In this article, you can read about the rules of Rink Hockey and learn how to play. The object of the game is for your team to score more goals than the team you play against.
Rink Hockey, sometimes referred to as Roller Hockey or Quad Hockey, is a variation of the sport of hockey that is played indoors on a dry land surface. This sport is popular in Latin countries particularly those with a lack of ice rinks. This article refers to the sport that is played on Quad Skates, and is not to be confused with Inline Hockey played on inline skates which is almost identical to ice hockey. Rather confusingly, different countries have different names for these two sports, so double-check which sport it is before you start playing.
What is Rink?
In order to make a goal, a player needs to use their stick to shoot the ball into the goal. The stick is a double-sided stick, similar to those used in Bandy and the ball is a hardball similar to that used in Field Hockey. The rink is a maximum of 44m x22m. Goals are 1.7m wide and 1m high and the penalty areas are 9m x 5.4m in front of the goals.
The game is played with two teams of 10 players, with 5 players of each team taking to the rink at any one time. This consists of 4 skaters and a goalkeeper. The game starts with a center pass, with two players of one team passing the ball to each other.
Once a team has possession of the ball, they will try and move the ball towards the opposing goalkeeper and try and score. You can pass the ball directly between teammates, or skate and control the ball with either side of the stick, just like in ice hockey or bandy. The idea is to set up in a good position to be able to shoot the ball towards the goal. The opposing team will try and stop you by tackling it. They are allowed to try and take the ball away from you and move the ball in the opposite direction so that they can score themselves.
If rules are broken
One major rule difference between ice hockey and rink hockey is that: intentional forceful contact between players is not allowed – and there are varying degrees of punishment if you break, this or any of the rules. Breaking the rules may result in a
Verbal Warning – which is a warning given to the offending player by the referee.
Blue Card – which means that the offending player has to serve a 2 minute time penalty.
Red Card, similar to soccer and results in a player being ejected from the game. This also results in the offending team serving a 4 minute time penalty, or until the opposing team scores, whichever comes first.
Another rule difference is that in rink hockey, you are only allowed to move the ball with your stick. You cannot deflect the ball off your skates or body, or kick the ball in any direction. Doing so results in a foul. The only exception to this is the goalkeeper, who whilst in his penalty area can handle and kick the ball as they wish. Should he leave his goal area, he becomes a skater just like the others.
The game is played in two halves of up to 25 minutes each. The highest score at the end of time wins. If there is a tie, up to two 5 minute periods can be played to determine a winner. If the scores are still tied, the game goes to a penalty shootout. That’s the gist of it, but there are a few other things you’ll need to understand before playing or going to a game. For example Substitution. There are unlimited substitutions in rink hockey, and they can be made at any time. All substitutions must be made within the gate that is directly in front of the teams’ benches.
A team is allowed 1 x one minute time out, and 1 x 30 second time out per half. Timeouts are not permitted during extra periods or penalty shootouts.
If an infraction where neither team was at fault, such as the ball is deflected out of bounds or both teams are at fault, the game restarts with a faceoff. Players from opposing teams will put their sticks 20cm from the ball. When the referee blows the whistle, the ball is fair game and either player can take possession of it.
Similar to a shot clock in basketball, you only have 45 seconds to shoot the ball at the opposing goal. The referee will give a passive team a 5-second warning to shoot the ball. Failure to do this results in the ball being awarded to the other team.
If a team is making zero effort to shoot at goal, i.e. holding the ball to make the clock run down – the referee will blow their whistle to stop the game immediately. A faceoff is awarded at the center circle and should they commit the same infraction again. This results in yellow and red cards.
There are many things you cannot do in Rink Hockey, for example … Obstruction – you cannot impede the forward progress of an opposing player. High Stick – you cannot raise your stick above shoulder height. Displacing the goal – you cannot move the goals at any time. Forceful contact – you cannot hit your opponent intentionally. These are some of the most common fouls, and this results in your opponent being awarded a free hit.
A free hit is awarded to the other team if a player breaks one of the rules, usually after a foul. The ball is hit either from the spot of the foul and can be an indirect free hit, where a player must pass the ball, or a direct free hit from the spot where a player is eligible to shoot directly at goal.
Some fouls are awarded a penalty shot. The ball is placed at the penalty spot, and the attacking player has 5 seconds to shoot the ball directly against the opposing goalkeeper. Any goals scored count towards the overall score. Penalty Shootout. If a game is still tied after extra periods have been played, a penalty shootout determines the winner. Each team will take penalty shots in turn, and the best of 5 penalty shots, wins.
Check out my other articles on the other hockey-related sports. And, if you have found this post helpful, please comment and share. It takes ages to make one of these things and good karma is very much appreciated. If you’re also on Reddit, you can also repost this article and discuss it there. But in the meantime, enjoy Rink Hockey.