The game is played with five field players and a goalie. A team can quite easily support more players with quick substitutions being made on the fly. This allows for every one to play in short bursts with rests in between shifts.
The official playing area should be an indoor court measuring around 40 x 20 meters and be enclosed by a board, 50 cm high, with rounded corners (in a shape similar to an ice hockey rink). The goals at each end shall be placed a couple of feet out from the back of the rink and play behind either goal shall be allowed.
The game, by design, needs very little equipment to play. Trainers and a t-shirt work fine. The only unusual piece of kit is the stick. This is a light plastic hockey stick, around one meter long with a curved blade. The bend of the blade can be changed to suit both left and right handed players. A small, plastic airflow type ball is used about the size of a cricket ball.
The five field players usually consist of two defenders (to the left and the right of the goal) and three forwards, including one center and a player on the left and right wings. The goalie plays without a stick but is permitted to handle the ball inside a limited area from the goal.
A free hit can be awarded to a team in certain cases. This will involve a player of the non-offending team being given free room to strike the ball towards the goal or to another player. There can be no other players within three meters of the ball. Free hits can be awarded for any of the following infractions:
- Interfering with an opponents stick
- Placing your stick (or foot) between an opponents legs
- Backing into an opponent
- A deliberate kick-pass
- Field player in the goal keepers area
- Moving an opponents goal cage
- Jumping to stop the ball
Once a free hit has been awarded, the decision can the be reversed and a free hit awarded to the opposition if a team delay in taking the free-hit or play the ball incorrectly (the ball must be hit, not pushed or lifted and it must go to another player).
For more serious offences a player can be removed from the game for a fixed period of time (usually two or five minutes). The offending team will play shorthanded, meaning they will not be allowed to substitute for the penailiesed player.
The following offences will result in a two minute penalty:
- Blocking or lifting an opponents stick
- Playing the ball above knee height
- Forcing opponent against the boards
- Tripping an opponent
- Holding onto an opponent
- Obstructing an opponent
- Purposely delaying the game
- Any dangerous play in general
The following offences will result in a five minute penalty:
- Hooking an opponent
- Throwing stick or object at the ball
- Pushing opponent against the boards or goal
- Failing to remove broken stick from rink
In the case of a two minute penalty the player shall remain out of play until either the time has expired or a goal has been scored by the opposition. Five minutes penalties must be served in full regardless of the number of goals scored. If more than one period of play is be held in any one game then penalty time will carry over between periods.
For a more detailed description of the official rules (as set by the IFF) click here.