Floor Hockey Rules and Regulations: A Comprehensive Guide

Floor Hockey Rules and Regulations: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on floor hockey rules and regulations. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, understanding the rules is crucial to enjoying this fast-paced and exciting sport. In this article, we will break down the fundamentals of floor hockey, covering everything from equipment and playing field dimensions to penalties and gameplay strategies. By the end of this guide, you will have a solid understanding of the rules and regulations that govern this popular sport, allowing you to participate with confidence and skill. Let’s dive in and explore the world of floor hockey together!

Basic Rules

In order to fully enjoy and participate in a game of floor hockey, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the basic rules. This section will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental regulations that govern the sport.

Number of Players

Floor hockey can be played with two teams, each consisting of six players on the court at a time. One player from each team is designated as the goalkeeper, while the other five players take on the roles of forwards and defenders. It is important to note that each team may have additional substitute players on the bench, ready to replace any team member during the game.


To play floor hockey, the following equipment is essential:

  1. Sticks: Players use specially designed floor hockey sticks that are typically made of lightweight materials such as plastic or composite. These sticks have a curved blade at one end, allowing players to maneuver the puck effectively.

  2. Pucks: Floor hockey is played with a plastic puck, which is lighter than a traditional ice hockey puck. The puck is designed to glide smoothly on the playing surface, ensuring a fast-paced and exciting game.

  3. Protective Gear: Safety is paramount in floor hockey. Players are required to wear protective gear, including helmets, face shields, shin guards, and gloves. These protective measures minimize the risk of injuries during the game.

  4. Goalkeeper Equipment: The goalkeeper wears additional protective gear, including a helmet with a face cage, padded gloves, leg pads, and a chest protector. This equipment helps safeguard the goalkeeper from high-speed shots and collisions.

Playing Area

Floor hockey is typically played on a flat, smooth surface, such as a gymnasium or a sports hall. The playing area is rectangular in shape, with clearly marked boundaries. The dimensions may vary, but a standard floor hockey court is approximately 20 meters wide and 40 meters long.

The playing area is divided into three zones: the defensive zone, the neutral zone, and the offensive zone. Each team aims to maneuver the puck into the opponent’s offensive zone and score goals by shooting the puck into the opponent’s net.

In addition to the zones, there are also markings for face-off circles, goal lines, and blue lines. These markings help regulate the flow of the game and ensure fair play.

Understanding the basic rules, the number of players, the necessary equipment, and the playing area is crucial to fully engage in floor hockey. By familiarizing yourself with these aspects, you will be well-prepared to enjoy the exhilarating sport of floor hockey.


Starting the Game

Before the game begins, the two teams must gather at center court. The referee drops the ball in the center of the court, and players from each team try to gain possession of it. The game starts with a face-off, where two players from opposing teams stand in front of the ball, and the referee drops it between their sticks. The objective for both teams is to control the ball and move it towards the opponent’s goal while following the floor hockey rules and regulations.


To score a goal in floor hockey, a player must successfully shoot the ball into the opponent’s goal. The goal is typically marked by a designated area or a net at each end of the court. When a goal is scored, the team that successfully shot the ball past the goalkeeper is awarded one point. The opposing team will then restart the game from the center court, and the teams will continue to play until the game’s time limit has been reached or the predetermined number of periods have been completed.


In floor hockey, penalties can be given to players who violate the rules of the game. Common penalties include:

  1. High-Sticking: When a player raises their stick above their waist level, it is considered high-sticking. This can be dangerous and can result in a penalty.
  2. Tripping: If a player intentionally or accidentally trips an opponent, it is considered a penalty. Tripping can lead to injury and is strictly prohibited.
  3. Slashing: Slashing occurs when a player intentionally hits an opponent’s stick with excessive force. This action can be dangerous and is penalized accordingly.
  4. Holding: Holding refers to grabbing or restraining an opponent’s body or stick. This action is not allowed and can result in a penalty.
  5. Boarding: Boarding occurs when a player pushes an opponent into the boards or barriers with excessive force. This action can lead to injuries and is penalized accordingly.

When a player commits a penalty, they are usually sent to the penalty box for a specified amount of time. While a player is serving a penalty, their team must play with one less player on the court, giving the opposing team an advantage.

Remember, penalties are meant to ensure fair gameplay and prioritize the safety of all players. It is crucial for players to understand and abide by the floor hockey rules and regulations to maintain a fair and enjoyable game for everyone involved.

Advanced Rules


In floor hockey, face-offs play a crucial role in restarting the game after certain stoppages. They are used to determine possession, and understanding the rules surrounding face-offs is essential for players and officials alike.

  • Location: Face-offs typically occur at the center of the playing area, known as the center face-off spot. However, they can also happen at other spots on the rink depending on the situation, such as after a goal is scored or if the ball goes out of bounds.
  • Procedure: During a face-off, the referee drops the ball between two opposing players, who then attempt to gain control of it using their sticks. All other players must be at least five feet away from the face-off spot until the ball is in play.
  • Infractions: Players participating in a face-off must abide by specific rules. They must have both feet on the floor and their sticks must be touching the floor as well. Failure to comply with these rules may result in a penalty or disqualification from the face-off.


To maintain fairness and prevent teams from gaining an unfair advantage, floor hockey has rules regarding offsides. Understanding these rules is crucial for players to avoid penalties and keep the game flowing smoothly.

  • Definition: Offsides occurs when an attacking player or the ball crosses the defending team’s blue line before the ball. In other words, if any part of the player or the ball is in the offensive zone ahead of the blue line when the ball crosses it, it is considered offsides.
  • Penalties: If an offsides violation occurs, play is stopped, and a face-off takes place at the nearest face-off spot outside the offensive zone. The offending team loses possession of the ball, giving the defending team an opportunity to regain control.
  • Exceptions: There are some instances where offsides does not apply. For example, if a defensive player intentionally passes the ball into their own offensive zone, an attacking player can enter the zone before the ball without being penalized for offsides.

Goalie Restrictions

Goalies play a vital role in floor hockey, guarding their team’s net and preventing goals. However, there are specific rules and restrictions that apply to goalies to maintain fair play and safety.

  • Equipment: Goalies are allowed to wear additional protective equipment, such as a helmet with a full facemask, chest and arm protectors, leg pads, and a catching glove. However, the goalie’s equipment must meet the league’s regulations regarding size and safety standards.
  • Restrictions: While goalies have more flexibility in certain aspects of the game, there are restrictions to ensure fair play. For instance, goalies cannot leave their designated crease area, except to play the ball behind the net. Moreover, they cannot intentionally cover the ball with their hand or intentionally freeze the play to gain an advantage.
  • Penalties: Violations of goalie restrictions may result in penalties, such as a minor penalty for delaying the game or a penalty shot for more severe infractions. It is essential for goalies to understand and abide by these rules to maintain fair competition.

By familiarizing yourself with the advanced rules of floor hockey, including face-offs, offsides, and goalie restrictions, you can enhance your understanding of the game and ensure a more enjoyable and fair playing experience.


League Regulations

In order to ensure fair play and a smooth running of floor hockey games, there are specific regulations that govern league play. These regulations are designed to promote a safe and competitive environment for all participants. Here are some key league regulations to be aware of:

  1. Team Structure: Each team must consist of a minimum of six players, including a goalie. The maximum number of players allowed on the roster varies depending on the league.

  2. Equipment: All players must wear appropriate protective gear, including helmets, shin guards, and gloves. Additionally, players are required to use approved floor hockey sticks and a specific type of ball.

  3. Game Duration: League games typically consist of two halves, each lasting a specified amount of time. The duration may vary based on the league, but commonly, each half is around 20 minutes with a short break in between.

  4. Substitutions: Substitutions are allowed during stoppages in play and must be done within a designated substitution area. Teams must adhere to the league’s substitution rules, which may restrict the number of substitutions allowed per game.

  5. Scoring: Goals can only be scored by hitting the ball with the stick below the waist level. If the ball is played above the waist, the goal will be disallowed.

Safety Measures

Floor hockey, like any physical sport, carries inherent risks. To prioritize the safety of all participants, certain safety measures must be followed. Here are some important safety guidelines to keep in mind:

  1. Protective Gear: All players are required to wear appropriate protective gear, including helmets, shin guards, and gloves. This equipment helps prevent injuries to the head, legs, and hands during fast-paced gameplay.

  2. Proper Use of Sticks: Players must handle their sticks responsibly and avoid swinging them dangerously close to other players. Stick-checking is allowed, but excessive force or intentional high sticking can lead to penalties or ejections.

  3. Contact Rules: While floor hockey is a non-contact sport, incidental contact may occur during gameplay. However, intentional body-checking, pushing, or tripping is strictly prohibited and can result in penalties.

  4. Playing Surface: It is important to ensure the playing surface is free from any obstructions or hazards that could cause players to trip or fall. Regular inspections should be conducted to identify and remove any potential dangers.

Code of Conduct

To maintain a positive and respectful environment, all players, coaches, and spectators are expected to adhere to a code of conduct. This code promotes fairness, sportsmanship, and respect for fellow participants and officials. Here are some key aspects of the code of conduct:

  1. Respect for Opponents: Treat opponents with respect both on and off the playing field. Avoid any form of taunting, trash-talking, or unsportsmanlike behavior.

  2. Respect for Officials: Show respect towards referees and officials, even if you disagree with their calls. Refrain from arguing or making derogatory remarks towards them.

  3. Fair Play: Play by the rules and respect the spirit of the game. Avoid engaging in any form of cheating, dishonesty, or intentional rule violations.

  4. Sportsmanship: Display good sportsmanship by congratulating opponents on their successes and showing humility in victory. Shake hands with opponents after the game as a sign of respect.

By following these regulations, safety measures, and code of conduct, players can enjoy a competitive and enjoyable floor hockey experience while fostering a positive atmosphere for everyone involved.

In conclusion, understanding the rules and regulations of floor hockey is crucial for players, coaches, and spectators alike. This comprehensive guide has provided an in-depth overview of the game, from equipment requirements to gameplay strategies. By following these rules and regulations, players can ensure fair play and a competitive yet safe environment. Whether you are a seasoned floor hockey enthusiast or a beginner looking to get started, this guide serves as a valuable resource to enhance your knowledge and enjoyment of the sport. So, grab your stick, put on your sneakers, and get ready to hit the floor with confidence and excitement!