Roller Hockey vs Ice Hockey [8 Major Differences]


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Are you thinking of playing hockey and being in a dilemma whether Roller Hockey or Ice Hockey to start with? No worries! Your wait is over here!

Although these two hockey games are distinctive by their names, there are some differences between them. Ice Hockey is a winter sport, but you can play roller hockey anytime in the year.

However, roller hockey is synonymous with rink hockey, hardball hockey or quad. There is no other name for Ice Hockey. It is simply known as hockey in some countries like Canada, the United States  and in some other countries like South America, Asia, Africa, Australia and some European countries like the United Kingdom, Ireland and Netherlands where hockey means field Hockey, the term Ice Hockey is used instead of only hockey.

If you want to know more and get the flavors of these two fun sports, go through this in-depth roller hockey vs ice hockey guide below.

Read also: Roller Skating vs Ice Skating [Which One is Good?]

Ice Hockey vs Roller Hockey Explained

Out of 8 major differences stated below, don’t miss out the equipment needed and rules of the two hockey games. If you know this two, you are all set to go and play. However, let’s start with the Rink Type first:

1. Rinks

The main difference between Ice Hockey and roller hockey lies in their rinks. Although the rink sizes are same for both Ice Hockey and roller hockey which is 60 by 40 meters, a layer of ice is used to make the rink prepared for playing ice hockey, and it has three zones offensive, defensive and neutral.

On the other hand, roller hockey rinks use plastic interlocking tiles for the creation of a skating surface, which is  6 by 6 inches and placed over concrete.

2. Characteristics 

Roller Hockey is basically a ball sport but ice hockey is  a stick or puck sport.

Roller Hockey is a slower paced game compared to Ice Hockey.As Ice is much slipperier than plastic it is obvious to have less friction while playing Ice Hockey than roller hockey.

Roller Hockey is a stylish game. It is flashy and more of a body game but Ice hockey is more traditional with some basic styles and simple looks.

3. Equipment Needed 

  • Skates
images of inline and ice skates

Both roller hockey and Ice Hockey need skates to play, but there are some differences with the skates. Roller hockey skates have a boot just like the boot of ice hockey. But there is a metal chassis and Rubber wheels attached to it with metal bearings.

Whereas the boot which is used in Ice hockey has a plastic blade holder (lightweight) and blade. 

Another mentionable difference is that Ice skates carry a little more weight than roller skates. 

Further read: Good Brands of Roller-Skates and Good Brands of Ice-Skates

  • Girdles and Pants 

Roller hockey pants are also called girdles.The pants of Roller hockey have many panels which are contoured and changeable.  It also has some air pockets as it needs some cooling effect to let air move around your body to play comfortably indoors. 

  • Pads

Most of the equipment that are common both in Ice Hockey and roller hockey are leg pads for skin pads, gloves, sticks and elbow pads. 

However, shoulder pads are not required in roller hockey as there is no checking or issues related to comfort. But the players of Ice Hockey must wear shoulder pads to keep them well protected from checking components. 

  • Pucks

You will not notice a massive difference between the parts of Ice Hockey and roller hockey, but some small changes between these two pucks can affect your ability to perform and how you handle your sticks.

The way you are drilling and shooting majorly brings a difference depending on the space a puck holds and weights of it. The puck of Roller hockey and Ice Hockey is like a flat ball.

A black vulcanized rubber is used to make them, which are one inch tall and in diameter, they are 3 inches.

You will find the roller hockey pucks lighter to make it have a reduced friction than on ice.

Unlike the roller hockey pucks, Ice Hockey pucks need to be frozen prior to the game which can prevent bouncing and its weight is about 5 to 6 Oz. 

4. Rules 

Although most of the rules of both Ice Hockey and roller hockey are commonly shared, you will find very few changes in their playing method. 

A major difference that will catch your notice is that there are no blue lines in roller hockey which allow it not to have any offside while in Ice Hockey you’ll find  blue lines which make the ice surface divided into zones and have offside.

The puck is supposed to have its entry first into the other team’s defensive zone before the entry of any offensive players otherwise it will be called offside.

In roller hockey there is nothing called icing, so dumping the  puck is allowed for players from one end to other end of the 

floor. But in Ice Hockey icing exists, and it occurs by the shooting of an offensive player from behind the red line and if it passes over the opponent’s goal line and nobody touches that.

In roller hockey if you are penalized three times you will be ejected from the game and your participation in the play will no longer be required after you are given three penalties. 

Whereas, in Ice Hockey the rules against penalties are not that strict. A game misconduct can be given to you after being majorly penalized for three times in one game. 

5. Cost differences 

In comparison to Ice Hockey roller hockey involves less cost as roller hockey players do not require any shoulder pads or girdles while playing and equipment that are used in roller hockey are very few, so you can enjoy this sport with lower cost involvement.

Another important factor that you can note regarding roller hockey cost is that renting a roller hockey rink is comparatively cheaper to ice hockey since no cooling surface is required to make the rink ready for the playing.  

While you can consider Ice Hockey as a costly sport if you compare the cost of Roller hockey to Ice Hockey.

6. Team Size

Roller hockey team consists of 16 players at highest with minimum four being on each team adding a goaltender.  

On the other hand you can see a little difference in the number of skaters in ice hockey, which is maximum 20 players and minimum of 5 at each team and a gold tender.  

7. Duration of Game

The duration of the game roller Hockey is divided by  four 10 minute quarters with breaks in between. It can also be played with two 20 minutes halves. 

Ice Hockey games have three 20 minutes periods. That means the game is one hour long being intermittent in between.A break of 17 minutes is must between the first two periods. 

8. Differences in Body Contact 

Roller hockey does not allow any kind of body contact that is made intentionally. if anything happens like that high penalization method will be applied along with game misconduct.

But in Ice Hockey, an opponent can be body checked if other rules of the games are not broken like head hitting, boarding etc.Penalty for the players in that case will depend on how severely the contact was made.  

Final Words

Both Ice Hockey and roller hockey have different types of charms and fun to play. In spite of that, one may choose roller hockey which has no offside and has huge opportunities to deal with the puck. Whereas Ice Hockey may be chosen too for it’s faster skating and faster pace. 

Hope you have gone through this roller hockey vs ice hockey guide. And you can now decide which hockey to try out first.

So, just start skating, start hockey and enjoy!

        

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