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Rinkball: Wikis


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Rinkball is a team sport that originated in Sweden in the 1950s and 1960s. Played on an ice hockey rink, the game evolved from a practice drill used by bandy players. Similar to both hockey and bandy, one game lasts 60 minutes, and is composed of either two 30 minute halves or three 20 minute periods. Rinkball uses similar rules to bandy, but simplifies them to increase the pace of the game. Checking is prohibited, making the sport relatively safer than its relatives.

The sport first appeared in Sweden in the 1970s, played in local tournaments by villagers around the country. As its popularity increased, tournaments grew in size. National-level competitions involving 100 teams or more were commonplace towards the end of the decade, and the sport first gained international attention in 1984 when teams from Finland and Sweden hosted one another. The International Rinkball Association was formed soon after, and now includes Russia, Sweden, Kazakhstan, Estonia, Switzerland, Hungary and Finland. The Finnish Rinkball Federation has 1000 teams, including women, men and children. Play is divided into eight male divisions, two female divisions, and children's play is divided by age. The first World Championship Games for men was held in Omsk, Russia.

Rinkball continues to grow, primarily in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Russia, and the United States. The sport is gaining attention in Japan, and leaders within the game hope to someday introduce it to the Olympic Games. The Rinkball League in Finland published a magazine called Liiga Extra, which offers international coverage of rinkball tournaments, equipment, and tips.




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