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Soccer and Hockey are sports that have gained worldwide popularity. Both sports are characterized by fierce competition between the players and have a fanatic fan base. Although popular, they share some similarities and differences. What are they?
Both sports have two goals, one at each end of the field, and they both aim to outscore their opponent to win the game. The main difference is that soccer is played on a grassy pitch while hockey is played on an ice rink.
I will explore the similarities and differences between the two sports. The fan base of both sports keeps increasing, so you should know the similarities and differences.
Soccer vs hockey: 10 differences
1. Similar History
Although crude forms of these sports have been played worldwide, the notable period when these sports came to the fore was the 19th century. Also, the two sports share fundamental and cultural similarities.
Teams usually play hockey and soccer. The best players in each sport thrive based on the performance of the team. Hence, any laxity from any member of the team could spell dire consequences for them. In some cases, such as penalty kicks (in soccer) and face-offs (in Hockey), the individual brilliance of the players might come to the fore.
3. Use of Uniforms
Soccer and hockey teams both use uniforms. The uniforms are for ease of identification. The team logos are usually displayed in front of the jerseys to show club or national team loyalty. The jerseys feature pullover shirts, shorts, and high socks.
The players are aware that they cannot score from the sides of the goalpost. Hence, a goal only stands when they tuck the ball/puck into the net.
In the game of soccer and Hockey, possession is key to winning a game. Any team that cannot keep the ball/puck for a minimum of ten seconds cannot go on the offensive and might not score.
In both sports, possession is fought over by the players until a scoring opportunity opens up. Most times, the tactical nous of the coach comes to the fore in setting the team’s formation to retain possession and convert it to a goal-scoring opportunity
Soccer and Hockey are controlled by some on-pitch rules enforced by the referees. Thus, some conduct could result in fouls being awarded for or against either team.
A free-kick in soccer can be likened to the power play in Hockey if placed accurately. Usually, referees use yellow or red cards depending on the severity of the foul committed.
Yellow cards are used as a warning, while the red card sends a player off. When a player receives more than one yellow card in a game, it results in a sending off by the referee and could carry additional punishment such as a game suspension or a fine as the case may be.
7. Center man or Midfielder
The role of a centerman in hockey and a midfielder in soccer are similar. They have both defensive and offensive responsibilities as they have to ensure a balance in play.
In both sports, the center man and the Midfielder have to control the tempo of play to ensure that the opposing team does not dominate the game. Once the midfield or center battle is lost, one’s team might most likely lose the game.
Wingers in soccer and Hockey are similar. They have to penetrate the corners and then get the ball or puck towards the net or goal. This is the same with Hockey. However, in Hockey, the singers can go behind the net, while this does not apply to soccer.
Both sports feature lots of skills and games to outsmart opponents. These skills and fakes play a vital role in these sports as it could be the market between teams that will score the winning points and the losers.
Certain players are known to be cast in applying these skills, and defenders in both sports tend to fall for their trickery each time.
10. Choosing the players
The choice of players in both sports rests with the coach. This is why the coach needs to have the tactical nous to field the best players for each position on the pitch/rink.
For instance, if a hockey coach mismatches their 1st liners with the 4th liners, it could have a chaotic effect on their game flow and lead to a loss.
The same applies to a soccer game where the coach has to select skilled players, tactically intelligent, and have the perfect chemistry and team spirit to execute their game plan. Failure to do so leads to a loss or tie.
Soccer vs hockey: 10 similarities
There are two types of Hockey; field hockey and ice hockey. This is where the differences come in.
In soccer, the pitch is usually grassy. The turf pitch could be either natural or artificial. In ice hockey, the pitch is made of a surface made of ice. Professionally it is called an ice rink.
Most countries that have a sufficient supply of ice are known to favor the sport a lot. However, in recent times, artificial ice rinks have been made for indoor games. This could serve an all-year purpose rather than seasonal.
The dimensions of a hockey pitch/rink also differ from that of a football pitch. Typically the dimensions of a hockey pitch are 100 yards (91.4m) long and 60 yards (55m) wide, while the length of a foot football pitch is between 100 yards (90m) and 130 yards(120m), and the width not less than 50 yards (45m) and not more than 100 yards (90m).
The size of the ball in Hockey differs from that of football. Also, in soccer, equipment is not needed while equipment is needed to play Hockey
A typical hockey team features six players per team, while a soccer team features eleven players.
The duration of a football game is ninety minutes, divided into 45-minute halves. Sometimes, in competitive matches, there could be extra time of 30 minutes, 15-minutes per half. If the scores are tied at the end of extra time, they result in penalties
However, in the game of Hockey, the duration is sixty minutes with three-20 minute periods. Hockey allows overtime of five minutes. Therein, each team plays with four skaters instead of five. If the scores are still tied at the end of overtime, they result in penalties.
The technique used to progress the ball/puck in both sports differ. In soccer, the players use their feet to progress the ball up and down the pitch, while the hockey players use their sticks to move the puck on the pitch.
In soccer, a player can show individual technique mastery by dribbling opponents. However, in Hockey, the passing and shooting happen at mercurial speeds. Hence, the keeper has to display lots of awareness to stop the ball.
Both sports aim to outscore their opponents. However, the goalposts of Hockey are smaller than that of a soccer goalpost.
The dimensions of a soccer goalpost go thus; the distance between the posts is 7.320m, and the distance from the lower edge of the crossbar to the ground is 2.44m. The goalpost and the crossbar have the same width and depth of 12cm.
In Hockey, the goalpost is 72 inches (180 cm) wide by 48 inches (120 cm) tall, and the footprint of the goal is 40 inches (100 cm) deep.
7. Referee and Umpire
In soccer, there is usually one referee and two assistant referees. In some highly competitive games, there might be the fourth official. Also, lately, due to the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), there is the VAR official too.
Also, a head referee is usually present to enforce the laws and rules of the game. For hockey, we have two umpires and two linesmen assigned to each game.
8. Rules and laws
In soccer, some laws guide the game and must be adhered to by both players and officials. These laws are not as much as we have in Hockey
In Hockey, there are lots of rules that guide the game. That’s not all; in Hockey, officials are allowed on the playing surface. However, soccer does not allow the officials on the playing surface. At most, they are allowed on the edges or stay in the dugout.
Although discouraged, a lot of diving happens in soccer. This does not occur in Hockey.
10. Commercial breaks
Anyone who has watched a soccer game knows that the games are usually intense, and one would be dismayed in case of a break in-between the game. The only time a break happens in soccer is during half-time or after the game.
The purpose of the smooth flow is to ensure full concentration and intensity among the players. The only case where a break in-between a game is permitted is in cases of weather disruptions.
Although it is pretty much the same with hockey, the game allows some commercial breaks in-between the period.
I have played both sports actively and won competitions through them. Playing the game of soccer and Hockey requires consistent training. Both sports come with their pros and cons. Do you want to know? Join us for subsequent stories.