The origins of the game are unclear; England, Russia and the Netherlands all had pastimes that might have led to the development of Bandy. Over time, the sport has been influenced by Field and Ice Hockey, along with Association Football.
The action takes place on ice surfaces, with players wearing skates, which is also what happens in Ice Hockey. However, instead of a puck, the bowed sticks and small ball of Field Hockey are used. The playing surface is the same size as a Football pitch.
Each game has 2 45-minute halves, and each side has 11 teammates. The objective is to land the ball in the goal that is guarded by the goalkeeper. The ball is moved with the bowed sticks, and teams can try to intercept passes or tackle their opponents to get it under their control.
A second variation, Rink Bandy, developed over time and is also officially recognised. This version follows the same rules, but it is played on a surface the size of a usual Ice Hockey rink, and there are 5 or 6 players per team rather than 11. Playing time is also divided into either 2 halves of 30 minutes or 3 thirds of 20 minutes.