Soccer vs Hockey: Difference and Comparison

Half of the population are die-hard fans of soccer as well as Hockey.

Speaking of soccer, more than 245 million people are actively interested in soccer and consider it the world’s most famous sport.

Meanwhile, Hockey, on the other side, gained its reputable fans all over the world for its incredible history and gameplay. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Soccer is played on grass or artificial turf with a round ball, while hockey is played on ice or a hard surface with a flat, disk-shaped puck.
  2. Soccer players use their feet to control and move the ball, whereas hockey players use sticks to handle and shoot the puck.
  3. Soccer has 11 players per team on the field, ice hockey has six players per team, and field hockey has 11 players on the field.

Soccer vs Hockey

Soccer, also known as football in some countries, is played with a round ball and two teams of eleven players. Hockey is played with a small, hard rubber puck and two teams of six players. Soccer is played on grass or artificial turf, while hockey is played on ice or synthetic surface.

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While the most popular sport, Soccer is a term used in America, Canada, and Australia for the sport, Football.

It is an outdoor game played on a field, passing a spherical ball among 11 team members against 11 opponents.

With the maximum number of goals, a team achieves more chances of winning the match. 

Although hockey is also an outdoor sport, where eleven players pass the puck among their mates by using a hockey stick to hit the opponent’s goal.

In similar ways, to win the match, a team must hit goals more than their opponents. The sport is very popular in countries like Canada, the US, and Russia. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSoccerHockey
MeaningSoccer is a Football game which is played on a spherical ground named pitch, players kick the ball with their legs.Hockey is a sport, where players use a hockey stick to pass the ball /puck into the opponent’s goal. 
EtymologyIt is stated by FIFA, that soccer was invented by England in 1883. In the early 1800s, Hockey was introduced by Nova Scotia and credited to James Crieghton as the Godfather of Hockey
GameplayPlayers use a ball in a closed circumstance, where the ball possession team tries to make a goal. A hockey goal is created by hitting a small, hard ball with a stick curved at the striking end into an opponent’s end. 
TypesAssociation Football, Futsal. Beach Soccer and Street Soccer, Freestyle soccer, and indoor soccer. Bandy, Field Hockey, ice hockey, ice sled hockey, street hockey, and roller hockey. 
Number of playersTwo teams are playing against each other, where each team contains 10 players and 2 hitters in the balloting lineup. There are 10 players in each team and 1 goalkeeper (goalie).

What is Soccer?

Soccer is the most popular sport, but it’s also an umbrella term for the sport of Football in America, Canada, and Australia.

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A rectangular field is used for this outdoor game, in which two teams comprise eleven individuals.

Moreover, each team contains ten on-field players and two hitters in the balloting lineup. 

The setup includes two goalposts being situated on opposite sides of the rectangular field for each team to score. According to FIFA, soccer was invented by England in the year 1883.

However, a few claim it originated in China, around the second and third centuries, during military camping

The ultimate point of the game is to score goals against each of them by kicking the ball towards their opponent’s goalpost. With the maximum number of goals, a team achieves more chances of winning the match.

The gameplay of soccer follows, where players use a spherical ball (Soccer ball) in a closed circumstance, where the holder of the ball team can kick the ball towards the end goal within 90 minutes (that is, towards the other team’s goal post).

If they have secured a goal, then it is considered a point to the team’s scoreboard. 


What is Hockey?

Over and above, hockey is also an outdoor sport in which eleven players utilize a hockey stick to pass the puck amongst each other to hit the opponent’s goal.

Besides, the sport received its popularity mostly in Canada, the US, Russia, and many European countries. 

James Crieghton is credited with introducing hockey to Nova Scotia in the early 1800s and thereby is credited as the Godfather of hockey.

Furthermore, hockey reached its pinnacle in various parts of the world soon after, especially classified into many types such as Bandy, Field Hockey, ice hockey, ice sledge hockey, street hockey, and roller hockey. 

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The hockey game is played on a surface made of artificial turf, with sticks that curve at the striking end, which is used to hit a small, hard ball, referred to as a puck, into the other team’s goal.

Like other outdoor sports, hockey also consists of eleven players in each team, contributing ten players for passing the puck and one as a goalkeeper (goalie) to prevent the other team’s puck from getting into their goalpost.

If the puck gets into the opponent’s goalpost, then the team would be rewarded with one point. Eventually, the team which scores more goals will be declared the winner of the match. 


Main Differences Between Soccer and Hockey

  1. Soccer is played on a rectangular field, where players kick the ball towards the goal net. Hockey is played on an artificial turf ground, where players pass the puck to the opponent’s goal with the help of a hockey stick.
  2. Soccer was invented by England in 1883, on the other hand,  Hockey was introduced by James Crieghton in the early 1800s in Nova Scotia. 
  3. In soccer, the team with the ball should aim towards the goal by kicking it with their legs without passing it to the opponent team. Meanwhile, in hockey, players should pass the puck with the use of a hockey stick towards the goal. 
  4. There are various types of soccer, such as Association Football, Street Soccer, Freestyle soccer Futsal. Beach Soccer and indoor soccer. Nevertheless, Hockey has six types: Bandy, Field Hockey, ice hockey, ice sledge hockey, street hockey, and roller hockey.
  5. There are 11 players in each team plus 2 hitters in soccer. However, in hockey, there is a total of 10 players and 1 for the goalie. 
Difference Between Soccer and Hockey

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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3 thoughts on “Soccer vs Hockey: Difference and Comparison”

  1. I don’t think this article does justice to hockey, the greatness of the game is unmatched and cannot be compared to soccer. Hockey is faster, more intense, and has a higher level of skill.

  2. I always knew soccer and hockey were popular, but after reading this article, I have a newfound appreciation for the intricacies of both sports. The comparison table was particularly helpful.

  3. Wow, that was fascinating! Soccer and Hockey are indeed very popular sports worldwide, and the differences are quite stark. I loved reading about the history, origin, and etymology of both of these sports.


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