The object of ball hockey is pretty simple while strategy is not. The main focus is to direct a ball with a hockey stick into the
opposition's hockey net which is generally 6 feet wide by 4 feet high. Typically, a low-bounce type of ball is used. For added
safety, hockey gloves and shin pads are recommended.
Depending on the number of players, a game usually consists of six players, including the goalie, competing against the opposing
team's six players. Extra players are usually kept on the sidelines, outside the playing surface, and interchanged with the six
on the floor either during or at a stoppage of play.
The BBHL has a flexible format that allows for both five on five or four on four play. Before a game or series is started the
format is decided upon that best suits the number of players available.
The following are additional rules:
- Face-offs are held at center ice to start each period. Thereafter, any stoppage in play caused by either a goal being scored,
an injury, a penalty or a ball heading out of bounds will result in the opposing team gaining possession. The player with the
ball will be given at least six feet of space by the opposing team and little time to move the ball.
- After a Goal the team that was scored on gets the ball in their own zone and play resumes. The team that just scored must
retreat past the center of the playing surface in order to allow the other team to start the play. The game resumes when
the team with the ball crosses the center of the playing surface.
- Penalties are called when a player commits a foul. The offending player is then removed from playing for three minutes of
running time. The team continues to play one player short until either a goal is scored or the penalty time has elapsed.
If a player throws their stick in order to stop a breakaway by the opposing team, a penalty shot is automatically awarded
to the opposing team.
- When an offside occurs play is stopped. Before entering an opponent team's zone (the area from behind their net to their
blue line) the ball must cross the blue line first before the player or any of his teammates. Before a game or series begins
it is decided whether or not the offside will be in effect.
- Floating Blue Line: expansion of the offensive zones occurs once a team crosses the opponent's blue line
with the ball. The attacking team will then have half of the entire playing surface to control the ball, from behind the
opponent's goal to the center line of the area. If the defending team sends the ball past center, the zone is reset to the
blue line and their opponent must regain it as explained above. Before a game or series begins it is decided whether or not
the offside will be in effect.
- To score a legal goal, it cannot be kicked in, struck with a stick above the shoulders, pushed in using a hand, or while
offside. It may hit a player and deflect into the net, however, if there is a kicking action with a foot or leg or swatting
action with an arm or hand, the goal will be disallowed.
Games may vary in length, for example three 30 minute periods of running time, but are generally played with three periods of
equal time. Generally running time periods may be used but the clock may be stopped in certain circumstances such as injury or
other long stoppages of play.
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