Rink bandy

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Not to be confused with rink hockey, which is another name for roller hockey on quad skates.
A (rink) bandy stick and ball
The ball

Rink bandy is a variant sport of bandy but played on a significantly smaller ice rink. While a bandy rink is about the same size as a football pitch, rink bandy is played on ice hockey rinks.

Rink bandy originated in Sweden in the 1960s and was originally called hockeybockey,[1] as indoor ice hockey arenas started coming, it was a way for bandy players to practice on ice a longer time of the year; as bandy fields are larger, they were still only made outdoors in the wintertime when artificial freezing was not necessary.

The game use a bandy ball and bandy sticks, the goalkeeper has no stick. Similar to hockey, a game lasts 60 minutes, but is composed of either two 30 minute halves or three 20 minute periods, they use similar rules to normal bandy, but simplifies them to increase the pace of the game. Checking is prohibited, making the sport relatively safer than its relatives. Because of the smaller playing area, fewer players are used. Normally it's six a side; in the USA Rink Bandy League, five players are used because of the smaller ice hockey rinks there.


Balashikha Arena, where the 2017 Russian Rink Bandy Cup took place.[2]

Rink bandy is governed by the Federation of International Bandy. In its quest for entering bandy to the programme of the Winter Olympics, rink bandy is an important way for the Federation of International Bandy to get more member countries, thus also spreading bandy, since some members without a large ice only play rink bandy at home but still participate in the Bandy World Championship.

As artificially frozen and indoor bandy arenas have become more prevalent, the interest for rink bandy has dwindled in the main bandy countries (Russia, Sweden, Finland, Norway); in many countries where bandy is still new and the infrastructure for large ices is not in place, rink bandy is the main form of bandy.

With more and more indoor bandy arenas coming in Sweden, rink bandy subsequently becomes less interesting among Swedish bandy clubs; in Russia there are still several rink bandy tournaments,[3] for example the Patriarch Cup (Турнир на призы Святейшего Патриарха Московского и всея Руси[4]) for children at Moscow's Red Square.[5] In Russian, the sport may be called either rink bandy (ринк-бенди) or mini-hockey with ball (мини-хоккей с мячом).

There used to be a European Championship. Nowadays there is no international rink bandy championship. However, in 2017 Federation of International Bandy decided to make the international tournament for developing bandy countries in Nymburk, Czechia,[6] an official one.[7] A world cup for rink bandy clubs was held every year from 1984-1998 in Hofors, Sweden. Rink bandy was in the programme of the 2012 European Company Sports Games.[8] An international rink bandy club competition called Dniprobandy has been organised by the Ukrainian Bandy and Rink bandy Federation.[9] In Germany, the national bandy championship is played in the form of rink bandy.

Related sports[edit]

Rink bandy is considered a form of bandy, while rinkball, which was developed from rink bandy in the 1970s, is considered a sport of its own.