Hockey is a term used for a number of team sports, all of which involve the players using some form of stick to move an object (ball or puck) and attempting to score by putting that object into the opposing team's net. There are two main variants: ice hockey is played on a hockey rink (a suitably marked area of ice) with a puck (a small hard rubber object) by players wearing skates, while field hockey is played on a grass field with a ball. Bandy, played outdoors on a rink, is similar to both of those and also in many respects to association football. Other variants include roller hockey, an indoor sport played on roller skates; floor hockey, typically played on a gymnasium floor using straight sticks and a ring-shaped object; and street hockey, typically played outdoors with (ice) hockey sticks and a tennis ball.
The meaning of the term "hockey", used without a modifier, varies depending on the dialect of English:
- In North America, "hockey" means "ice hockey", while the game played on grass is called "field hockey".
- Elsewhere, "hockey" means the game played on grass and the game played on ice is called "ice hockey".
These games are extremely popular in some countries. Canada and India both consider "hockey" to be one of their national games, though Canadians mean ice hockey and Indians mean field hockey.