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. Other variants include floor hockey, typically played on a gymnasium floor using straight sticks and a ring-shaped object, and street hockey, typically played 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 the game played on ice. The game played on grass is "field hockey". The term "ice hockey" is unknown, and is generally considered an abomination by any hockey fan who does encounter it.
- Elsewhere, "hockey" means the game played on grass. The game played on ice is "ice hockey".
These games are extremely popular in some countries. Canada and India both consider "hockey" their national game, though Canadians mean ice hockey and Indians mean field hockey.