Have you ever been in a situation where you’re wanting to play hockey…
But, it’s too hot for ice hockey?
And, it’s too rainy for roller hockey?
That’s where knee hockey comes in. It’s one of the many variations of hockey.
Knee hockey, otherwise known as mini hockey, is a fun variation of regular hockey that’s played indoors.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about knee hockey including what exactly it is, what the rules are. Plus, we’ll even show you some videos on how it’s played and how you can get started today.
Here’s What Knee Hockey Is:
Knee hockey (otherwise known as “mini hockey”) is a miniature version of ice hockey played indoors at home. Players use small plastic sticks and a small foam ball typically in a room with carpet. During the game, players “run around” on their knees to score the ball into the other team’s goal.
Is Knee Hockey a Sport?
Knee hockey is a sport! It’s a smaller-scale variation of ice hockey played indoors at home or school typically on carpet.
However, there isn’t anything too “official” about the sport. Some ice hockey teams spread the popularity of the game by playing the game in hotels while traveling for “real” hockey tournaments.
While there is no current official professional knee hockey league in the United States—many people post videos of their knee hockey games on YouTube and other social media platforms.
One of the most popular knee hockey YouTube channels is QuinnBoysTV. Here’s one of their knee hockey videos to show you a bit of what the game looks like (on a smaller scale):
Start the video at 2:40 for gameplay.
And, here’s another game of knee hockey being played. This one’s on a bit of a larger scale.
As you can see in this video, the kids are actually playing while standing up. And they’re not playing on carpet like most knee hockey games are played.
These two videos show how knee hockey can be played in various formats and scales—giving you a lot of versatility to get creative at home.
What Is Knee Hockey Called?
Knee hockey is called a wide variation of names.
Obviously, the most common name is “knee hockey”.
However, the second most popular name for the sport is “mini hockey”.
This is because knee hockey is simply a miniature version of the game of hockey.
Knee hockey has also been called other names like shinny, shini, or shin hockey as it’s played on your shins.
What Is Mini Hockey?
Mini hockey is another name for knee hockey. It’s a miniature version of hockey played Typically played indoors on carpet, mini hockey is a fun variation of standard hockey where you use small plastic hockey sticks (15-24 inches long) and a small foam ball to score on the opponent’s net.
What Is a Knee Hockey Stick?
A knee hockey stick—or mini stick—is a miniature version of a standard hockey stick used to play knee hockey (mini hockey). It’s typically made from hard plastic and is anywhere from 15 to 24 inches long.
However, in recent years, hockey brands like CCM and Bauer have started making composite knee hockey sticks that use the construction as full-size hockey sticks. These are much more expensive than standard knee hockey sticks.
How Big Is a Mini Hockey Stick?
So, how tall are mini hockey sticks?
Mini hockey sticks (knee hockey sticks) are typically about 20 inches long.
However, they can vary anywhere from about 15 inches to 24 inches.
How to Play Knee Hockey?
Knee hockey (or mini hockey) is a great game to help you get your hockey fix when it’s too hot for ice hockey and too rainy for roller hockey.
Since you can play indoors at just about any home, it’s easy to play whenever you want (regardless of the weather).
So, what are the rules of knee hockey?
Well, the rules are very similar to standard hockey. But, the few rule changes are due to the game played in close quarters.
Each team typically consists of 1-3 players (with one typically playing as goalie).
The idea of the game is the same as regular hockey: shoot the puck into the opposing player’s net.
As far as rules go, they follow most of the same standard rules of hockey. While most people play with their own variations of rules, there are a few common secondary rules to knee hockey.
There are 3 main variations of the main rule of knee hockey that revolve around the “knee rule”:
Knee hockey can either be played with the “knee” rule or without it.
1. The main knee rule is that you must have at least one knee on the ground at all times.
2. Another knee rule variation is that you can stand up to move around but you must have one knee down to score.
3. The third variation is that you don’t need to have knees on at any times, allowing you to move around freely and score. This style is most similar to regular hockey.
A few other varying rules include the hand rule: players can use their hands to touch the puck (but they can’t throw it).
Games can be played using one 10 to 15 minute period.
And, if you knock the puck out of bounds, the other team gains possession of the puck.
To play knee hockey, you don’t need a ton of equipment.
The bare minimum to play the game is 2 nets, a mini hockey stick for each player, and a soft ball.
However, in knee hockey tournaments, players typically require helmets with a face shield. Some require knee and elbow pads. And some tournaments also require shoes.
Knee hockey rinks vary in size and styles.
Typically, they’re constructed by finding a soft carpet in a room in your house where you can place two mini hockey nets. The nets are typically 4 feet wide and 2.5 feet tall.
Standard rink sizes are 20 feet long by 14 feet wide.
Even though the game is much smaller and not nearly as fast-paced, knee hockey can get physical.
Depending on your variation of the game, there are a few other rules regarding penalties.
Players can’t raise their sticks higher than their waist. They also can’t hit players with their stick.
While most body contact is discouraged, some is allowed. Body checking players is permitted, but pushing or hitting isn’t. Holding rules apply the same—you can’t hold onto a player’s stick or body.
Any of these infractions will result in either loss of possession, a 1-2 minute penalty, or a penalty shot (depending on your style of play).
It’s important to note that most recreational knee hockey games are played with different variations of the game.
However, if you are to play in an official tournament, there will be strict rules that you must follow. They can vary from tournament to tournament.
How to Make a Knee Hockey Rink?
Wanting to make your own knee hockey rink?
You can make a simple temporary rink in a few minutes.
Or, if you’re a DIY kind of person, you can get really creative with making a more permanent set up.
There are no standard knee hockey rinks. However, if you want to create your own permanent rink at home, follow these steps to create a 20 by 12 foot rink:
1. Get 1/4 inch thick laminated fiberboard panels (medium-density).
2. Support them with 2 x 3 inch lumber 2.5 feet high (and 5 feet high behind the nets).
3. Create doors to access the rink or leave an open area in the rink.
4. Place the rink on a carpeted area in the house (or lay down carpet). You can also use exercise mats instead of carpet.
5. Mark rink lines on the carpet with colored duct tape.
If you want to make the rink even more legit, you can add stickers to your boards and add a cardboard box jumbotron on the ceiling.
How to Bend a Knee Hockey Stick?
If there’s one downside to knee hockey sticks, it’s that they have no curve on the blades (or very little curve).
If you want to make a curve on your knee hockey stick, then follow these simple steps:
1. Grab a large pot and fill it with water.
2. Bring the water to a boil.
3. Fill a bowl with cold water.
While you’re bringing your pot of water to a boil, grab a bowl and fill it with cold water and set it aside.
3. Turn the heat down.
Turn it down just a little so it’s just below a boil.
4. Place your mini hockey stick into the water.
Carefully put the blade of your mini hockey stick into the hot water for 10-20 seconds.
5. Place a waterproof oven mitt on your hand.
Next, grab a waterproof oven mitt and place it on your hand. You can also use a thick towel.
6. Bend a curve into your mini hockey stick. If it’s too hard to bend your stick, place it in the hot water for another 5-10 seconds and try again.
7. Place your stick into the bowl of cold water.
This will cool down and harden your stick, allowing your curve to set into your blade.
8. Dry off your blade with a cloth.
Is There a Knee Hockey League?
There isn’t technically an official knee hockey league.
Most people simply play the game at home with their friends and family.
However, some knee hockey tournaments are organized in the United States and Canada.
For more hockey tips for beginners, check out our other popular blogs posts: Is Hockey an Indoor Game, Why Is Ice Hockey More Popular Than Field Hockey, and Can You Throw a Hockey Puck, and Is Ice Hockey Boring? (Plus the #1 Reason Why People Don’t Watch It).