Hockey vs Soccer – The Differences and Similarities

Differences and Similarities between Hockey and Soccer

The games of soccer and hockey appear to be both outdoor games, mainly played on the field. The two outdoor games may have the same features but can be slightly different from each other. 

These two field games, over the years, have established themselves as one of the most popular outdoor games in the world. 

Here in this post, we shall be considering some of the key differences you may not have known existed between hockey and the soccer game, and also the similarities that both field games share in common. We’ll be considering the topics listed below in this article.

READ: Can Soccer be described as a contact sport?

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  • What is the game of hockey? 
  • What is the game of soccer? 
  • Common similarities between hockey and soccer.
  • Common distinctions between hockey and soccer.

What is the Game of Hockey?

Hockey has undoubtedly become one of the most popular sports in the world. It has been entertaining over the years and has garnered its share of enthusiasts and fans. The game is identified as a field game to differentiate it from the other form, which is usually played on ice. Hence, the game is called a “field game.” 

Hockey as a game has a usual team structure of 10 players and a goalkeeper, so each hockey team is made up of 11 players, for a total of 22 players on the field.

One of the features of hockey as a game quite different from any other sport is that players play using long sticks. Now, these sticks enable players to make passes, dribble, score goals, and defend the ball against the opposing team. 

The sticks are not just long, they are bent towards the tip thereby forming a hook-like shape, which enables the players to keep the ball in a good position whenever and wherever.

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In the game, players put on protective wear like shin guards, hand gloves, and helmets, especially for the goalkeeper, kickers, etc. These act as protective devices to prevent injuries or bruises while in the playing mood.

What is the Game of Soccer?

Who hasn’t heard of soccer? I don’t think there’s anyone like that on the planet. 

The game of soccer, as it’s popularly known in most countries, is inarguably the most supported and popular field game in the world. More people watch soccer games than any other sport in the world. And that’s the truth.

The popularity of soccer players in comparison to the other professionals in other sports can confirm this.

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READ: How many points is a goal worth in Soccer?

The game of soccer is entirely different from any other field game, especially when it comes to complexity. Soccer is a simple sport that anyone and everyone can play because it has fewer techniques, rules, and regulations than any other sports game.

The outdoor game is played by a team of 11 on both sides, with 10 players on each side and 2 goalkeepers on both sides as well. Just like hockey, the outdoor game features the use of defense, dribbling, kicking, passing, heading, and a lot more. 

In soccer, unlike in hockey, the ball is played with the feet and if the ball by mistake touches any other part of the body, especially the hands, in most cases it may result in a foul and the offender will have to be played against by the opposing team. 

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Some Similarities Between Hockey and Soccer

Some of the features that you see exist in both games are what make up the similarities. Here, below, are some of the features that can be seen in both games.

1. THE TEAM OF PLAYERS WHO PARTICIPATE IN BOTH GAMES

This should be an outstanding existing similarity that can be noticed between both field games. In hockey, two teams of 11 players compete in a match. This is also true in the game of soccer around the world.

2. BOTH GAMES ARE FIELD GAMES

Both hockey and soccer are field games, and by field games, I simply mean games played on the field rather than on the ice, glass, or whatever.

 3. BOTH GAMES ARE OUTDOOR GAMES

One of the main features of outdoor games is that they tend to be more popular compared to indoor games. And that is one of the obvious features that co-exist between the hockey game and the soccer game as well.

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READ: Soccer vs Basketball – Major Differences and Similarities

4. THE SAME SPORTS TECHNIQUES ARE USED IN BOTH GAMES

Another similarity to consider is that both outdoor games share some sports techniques, and that is normal between both.

5. THE SAME SPORTS RULES ARE USED IN BOTH GAMES

The game of soccer is similar to hockey in the sense that they share almost the same sports rules and regulations. 

For example, a player in soccer will be given a yellow card if he is guilty of any misdeed on the pitch, and if he is given a yellow card again, it automatically means he has offended twice, so therefore he will be suspended for that match. Sometimes it may last for as long as two more matches, as is applicable in hockey.

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6. UNIFORMS ARE WORN BY PLAYERS IN BOTH GAMES

It appears obvious that uniforms are one of the things that showcase the uniqueness in any sport. Just like in any other sport, players in hockey as well as in soccer have their uniforms and this is one of the identifiable similarities that exist between the two games.

7. BOTH GAMES HAVE THE SAME AIM

The major objective of any sports game is to put up goals, and this is the same in both games. The players both compete hard to score goals against each team.

Hockey vs Soccer – The Differences

Here below are the differences that can be seen between both field games.

1. USE OF SPECIAL EQUIPMENT FOR ACTION ON THE FIELD 

Hockey supports the use of special equipment to play in every match, unlike in soccer, where no special tools are required for playing. 

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In hockey, players play with sticks, thus using the sticks to move the ball. Both goalkeepers from both teams play with helmets on to prevent injuries, which is different from the game of soccer. 

Meanwhile, we’ve seen some goalies in soccer play with some custom-made helmets and this is mostly seen after the player has suffered a head injury. One popular goalie that used a helmet in soccer was Chelsea’s Petr Cech.

READ: How long is a soccer game?

2. PITCH DIFFERENCES

Soccer is played on a synthetic or an artificial field, whereas hockey is played on either a glass field or ice. It is obvious that the two sports games are not played on the same field and this stands as a thin line in their differences.

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3. GAME TYPE

In the game of soccer, players play on a rectangular field called a pitch with a nearly round-shaped ball among a total of 22 players in a match, whereas in hockey, the players play on either a glass field or on ice, using sticks to control the ball, which is also known as a puck, from one player to the other till the major aim of scoring a goal is fulfilled.

4. THE NUMBER OF PLAYERS IN BOTH GAMES

Unlike in the regular field hockey game, ice hockey is normally played by a team of only six players, making a total of 12 players in one match, whereas, in soccer, a team is made up of a total of 11 players, making a total of 22 players in one single match. 

5. SKILLS THAT PREVAIL IN BOTH GAMES

In both games, there’s a level of skill required, just like in soccer, where players are required to be mentally alert, physically fit, well body positioned, and full of awareness amongst others.

Speed and agility are nonetheless the most necessary when it comes to soccer. whereas the reverse is the case in the game of hockey. 

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Hockey in general requires athleticism rather than physical skill. In hockey, the main focus is to be critical in thinking and thus mentally alert to be able to make out clear chances of scoring goals. 

6. HOW LONG BOTH GAMES LAST

The game of soccer is relatively longer than that of hockey. In soccer, the official time duration is about 90 minutes, 45 minutes for each half (Note: Soccer has only two halves, made up of 45-minute durations). 

READ: The 16 best American soccer players in Europe in 2022

Whereas in ice hockey, the official time duration for every match is about 60 minutes, with three halves split into 20 minutes each and, in some cases, an additional 5-10 minutes if the match ends up in a draw.

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Conclusion: Differences Between Hockey and Soccer

So far, so good. A list of the differences as well as the similarities that exist between both outdoor games has complied in this post. Hence, improving the viewpoint of the two sports, which seem to be the two most supported games in the world. 

Therefore, sports lovers who are at a loss over the differences between hockey and soccer would get the required information that makes the two sports stand out from each other in this article.