Bandy. High-Speed Football (Soccer)
Spectators and audience easily familiarize with bandy. Bandy rules, format, tactics, formation, and the playing field are about the same as football (FIFA). Two 11 skaters-a-side teams play 2 x 45 minutes halves. The large ice sheet facilitates high speed and room for agile players artistry. Fastidious ball sports connoisseurs recognize bandy as the agile players’ sport. The field players swap seamlessly with 5 substitutes without interrupting the match.
Equipment Is Affordable
The speed is fascinating, but require stricter rules than in ice hockey (IIHF). The skate shoe is the same as used in ice hockey. The heel cap is often removed. The demountable skate iron is often replaced with a long iron. The gliding surface and swing radius vary but are commonly longer than used in ice hockey. The players’ sticks are about 125 cm (4 feet) and with a curved angle. Rules require essential protection: helmet, teeth protection and neck-strap. Players also use light knee & leg protection, padded knickers, and jock straps. A bandy goaltender has lighter padding than in ice hockey and has no stick.
Contrary to many Olympic sports, bandy equipment is affordable. Moreover, although skate sharpening is a craftsmanship, skate grinding machines or manual grinding do not decide the outcome of competitions ( as sometimes happen in snow sports).
Light Installations On Existing Venue
Bandy use existing ball-sport venues. The playing field is spooled with ice. Therefore it can easily be included in the Games for little cost. The standard ice surface used is about 100 by 60 meters, but flexible rules allow for sideline length between 110 – 90 meters and deadline width between 45 – 65 meters. The sidelines are hedged by 15 cm high light demountable low-borders. The demountable low-borders and goals are not fixed, but give in at impact, for safety.
The goal-post height is 2,1 meter and crossbar width 3,5 meter. The ball diameter is 63 mm with a weight of 60 g. The large goal compared to the small ball give bandy goaltenders a greater challenge, but also an opportunity for agile artistry. The speed of the ball and the speed of the opposing team’s forwards ( and light protection) makes the goaltender generally respected for his or her courage.
Rules Similar to Football (Soccer)
Penalty rules are also similar. As football has in-throw from sidelines, bandy has in-stroke. Similarly, there are free-stroke inside the playing field and penalty-hit inside the penalty area.
Corner penalty differs a bit. The corner-hit is reminiscent of (field-) hockey’s (FIH) short corner. In-stroke on the corner is from the cross-line as in football. The defensive team must be at or behind goalline or deadline. Therefore they assemble a body wall inside the goal cage at the goal-line. They are not allowed to rush until the offensive teams’ in-striker has started the ball. Although in-stroke is passed along the ice surface to the final striker, the corner resembles elements of baseball. Contrary to (field-) hockey, the offensive team’s striker can hit the ball at any height and speed.