Street hockey: Wikis


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Street Hockey
Children playing road hockey in Vancouver.jpg
Children playing street hockey in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Highest governing body International Street and Ball Hockey Federation (Canada)
International DekHockey Tournament Association (United States)
Nickname(s) Road hockey, ball hockey
Categorization Primarily outdoor, indoor
Equipment Hockey puck or ball

Street hockey (also known as road hockey, deck hockey, ground hockey, easy hockey, cosom hockey or ball hockey) is a type of hockey played on foot or with skates, usually on an outdoor surface (very often a street, parking lot, or other asphalt surface). It usually involves no contact and fairly small amount of gear to be worn. Depends on a persons preference to use certain gear like shin pads and such.

Street hockey is most popular in Canada and parts of the northern United States. For example, it can be seen at outdoor roller rinks, city parks, and playgrounds of Montreal, New York City, Toronto, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Boston, and Vancouver.

The United States term street hockey is more closely related to that of the Canadian terms dek hockey or ball hockey. In Atlantic Canada, the sport is also often referred to as street hockey. Street hockey can also refer to roller hockey, when inline skates are worn to play otherwise the same game.



A street hockey game in Trafalgar Square in London, England, held in conjunction with Canada Day celebrations

Street hockey is based on ice hockey, but is played on foot, and is usually played with some kind of ball, most often a special hard rubber ball made for street hockey, although a special puck designed for roller hockey can also be used. If a puck is used, for safety the puck usually must not be raised in the air (lifted or roofed).

It is usually played on some outdoor asphalt surface, such as a section of street or part of a parking lot. It can also be played on vacant outdoor basketball or tennis courts (when played on indoor basketball courts and/or gymnasiums, it is usually called floor hockey). The walls or fencing of these "rinks" serve to keep the ball (or the less often used puck) in play similarly to the boards of an ice rink.

Generally, the game is played with little to no protective equipment, therefore intense physical contact is not very common, and as such, there is no body checking. However, the game does permit a level of physical contact similar to that allowed in basketball. Rules and playing styles can differ from area to area depending upon the traditions a certain group has set aside.

Street hockey goalie allowing a bus to pass.

In informal play, the game can often begin with a so called "NHL faceoff", in which the two opposing centers hit their sticks against each other three times saying "N", "H", "L". Immediately following the "L" the two players fight to see who claims possession of the ball or puck. It is common to hear the word "CAR!" on busier streets which generally means 'stop the game and move the goal nets', to allow the safe passing of a vehicle. This is often followed by the phrase "game on" once the car has passed.

Although street hockey is popular throughout Canada and the United States, some residents there have raised concerns about how street hockey disturbs suburban neighbourhoods with the noise that the game creates, balls being accidentally shot into the residents' yards, and the danger of traffic accidents to both players and motorists. This is especially true in big cities, with concerns such as cars and pedestrians. In Toronto, a ban was recently imposed on playing street hockey on city streets, but was turned down due to public outcry against this controversial idea.

A popular alternative to playing hockey on the street in Canada is to play in outdoor lacrosse boxes. The lacrosse boxes contain the same asphalt surface as the streets, but offers a more realistic feeling of hockey since the playing area is larger than the average street, in addition to having boards that surround the lacrosse box. The only downside to this is the smaller size of in-place lacrosse nets.

Similarly to lacrosse boxes, outdoor roller hockey rinks are becoming quite popular in public areas around the United States which allow for a place to play off the sometimes dangerous streets. Outdoor roller hockey rinks are usually covered in a sport court surface so equipment does not wear down as quickly as on asphalt. Many can also be covered to allow play during wet weather, and lighted for nighttime hockey.


Street hockey game in Washington, DC

Overall, equipment for street hockey is based on that of ice hockey, but due to the general prohibition of body checks, most of the pads and other safety equipment used for ice or roller hockey are not worn or required to be worn in street hockey games. Most "skaters" tend to play with a minimum of hockey gloves, and occasionally shin guards. Shin guards are often of the soccer type when the game is played on foot. Goalies still typically wear equipment similar in appearance to their ice hockey counterparts, for safety but partly also to help block more of the goal area. However, such goalie equipment used in street hockey is generally lighter than that used in ice hockey due to the reduced weight and density of the ball that is typically used in street hockey as compared to the rubber puck used in ice hockey.

A street hockey stick is similar to an ice hockey stick in shape and size, but made of materials that will better stand up to use on asphalt or a similar playing surface. It has two main parts, the shaft and the blade. The shaft is often made of aluminum or wood. The blade is usually made of polyurethane and attaches to the shaft by a screw. Some street hockey sticks are made in one-piece form and are made out of plastic. Ice hockey and inline hockey sticks can also be used, however, street hockey sticks are usually cheaper and are more common for this reason.

The goals often are marked by whatever objects are handy (for example, using two pop cans or water bottles as goal posts), although goal nets either designed for street hockey or ice hockey are also used. Trash cans are also commonly used as goals for street hockey games.

In 1970 Raymond W. Leclerc created the No Bounce Orange Ball. With the success of the widely-used orange ball for street hockey, many different color varieties have been introduced, such as yellow, red, pink, and even a glow in the dark ball. A tennis ball can also be used as an alternative to the orange ball for street hockey, as it is much softer than the orange ball, therefore reducing the risk of injury.

Leagues and governing bodies

There are now a number of organized street hockey/deck hockey/ball hockey leagues throughout the United States and the world, in a number of cities, and for a variety of age groups. These leagues are played both indoors and outdoors, usually on rinks used by roller hockey leagues. Street/deck/ball hockey has a national organization and world championships. One non-professional Canadian league is the Canadian Ball Hockey League in which teams from across Canada play in the U.S. under rules variant to standard dek hockey. There are also many regional hockey leagues throughout Canada including the York Central Ball Hockey League, Ball Hockey Ontario, Ball Hockey International, and SWO Ball Hockey.

Raymond W. Leclerc (the creator of the No Bounce ball) established basics for the game: a rink measuring 160 feet long by 80 feet wide, special lightweight protective equipment, a game that features no checking, and that all players ages 4 to over 50 could play. He then established an organization ASHI/IDTA (American Street Hockey Institute/International DekHockey Tournament Association) with a special Street Hockey Rule Book to control the game.[citation needed] Mr. Leclerc built a model site to play and advance the game known as "Home of Street Hockey" in Leominster, Massachusetts, 3 outdoor rinks, with the Headquarters and governing body of Street Hockey/Dekhockey.[citation needed] He is regarded as the founder and father of organized Street Hockey/Dekhockey in the USA and Canada.[citation needed]the size varies.

Origins of the sport

It is believed that ball hockey took off when roads started getting paved in wealthier parts of North America around 1900. Lester Patrick and Art Ross are said to have been some of the earlier practitioners of the sport in Westmount, a part of Montreal.[1]


Championships and Tournaments

The game has advanced with dedicated indoor and outdoor rinks featuring special plastic modular sports surfaces. Tournaments continue all over the world.

Notable tournaments include:

  • The US Nationals are an annual event. The first sanctioned Official US Nationals were played in Leominster Ma in 1974. The first National Champions were Team Roslindale.[1] The Leominster Rams have won 16 National titles, including four of the last five. Most recently in 2006, Disney World, in Orlando, Florida hosted the first USA CUP[citation needed].
  • Street Hockey USA Men's C, D & Novice National Championship (established 1995) - Pittsburgh, PA
  • Maple Leaf Cup North American Youth Championship (established 1980) - Niagara Falls, ON
  • ISBHF World Championship - Various Locations
  • World Outdoor Ball Hockey Championship (established 1995) - Barrie, ON
  • North American Championship (established 2005)
  • Super Bowl Bi-Week Invitational - Harrisburg, PA
  • The first World Outdoor Youth Ball Hockey Championship took place in Brampton, Ontario, Canada in 2009. The Rock Solid Renegades from Barrie, Ontario were the inaugural champions in the Under-12 division, while the Innisfil Wave captured the first Under-15 crown and the St. Catharines Explosion prevailed in the Under-18 age group.

Street hockey in pop culture

Street hockey game in San Francisco, California

In Love with the Proper Stranger (1963), a love story starring Natalie Wood and Steve McQueen set in New York City, there is a city scene of children playing street hockey in a local outdoor fenced basketball court.

In the Disney film D2: The Mighty Ducks, the team learns from a gang of street hockey players. Street sports are often known for their tricks, and this film popularized the knuckle puck shot.

In Wayne's World, the main characters play street hockey, and the custom of yelling "CAR!" and "GAME ON!" was illustrated by them.

In Road Hockey Rumble two hosts spend each episode searching out the best teams they can to compete against each other at street hockey.

In Clerks., the main characters close the store to play street hockey on the roof.

In the Rocket Power cartoon series, street hockey is a frequently participated activity by the main characters, as well as their arch rivals.

Street hockey nomenclature

  • In Central Ontario, long considered a hockey hotbed, the term 'yard sale' refers to the dropping of player equipment and the beginning of a fight.
  • "Goal suck," "loafer", "The Donsky", "Chippy Hanger" or "cherry picker" refers to players who stays in the opponent's end, waiting for an easy chance to score.
  • "Hog" is often used as a term for a game of Street hockey in which two teams shoot on one goalie, analogous to half-court basketball.
  • "Sieve" (usually pronounced "Siv"), is often shouted after a goal is scored as a taunt used to describe a poor goaltender. The inference is that the goaltender is so full of holes that an opponent may score almost at will.

See also


XBHL: Xtreme Ball Hockey League --
SportalOnline: Amateur Hockey Statistic Management --

External links


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