Bandy: A guide to Peterborough’s newest and coolest sport…

It hasn’t been played on the Fens since way back in the 1910’s, however the newly established Peterborough Bandy Club is aiming to reignite bandy in the UK.

The club, which plays out of Planet Ice in Bretton, Peterborough, has been set up under the guidance of the Great Britain Bandy Federation (GBBF), by current president Lyn Gibb De-Swarte, as the founding club for the sport in the United Kingdom.

Not only is it the club’s main aim to bring the sport back in the UK, it is hoped that, over time, it will contribute players to both a Great Britain men’s and women’s team for the purpose of international competition – something which will likely increase the demand for the sport’s inclusion in the Winter Olympics.

The Peterborough club currently has 15 players at its disposal, with 9 male players and 6 female. Some players have made the transition to bandy having played ice hockey for various teams within the city, including the Peterborough Penguins, Peterborough Phantoms and more.

Here is a quick guide to Peterborough’s newest and coolest sport…

What is bandy?
Bandy is a team sport, played on ice. It is similar to hockey, however it shares its most common traits with association football, ice hockey and field hockey. To play the game, skaters use a short, curved stick and direct a ball into the opposing team’s goal.

How long is a game of bandy?
Similar to association football, a game of bandy typically consists of two 45 minutes halves. It is played on an ice pad which is around the same size as a football pitch, with teams of 11 players each. A variation of the sport, rink bandy, can be played on a field the size of an ice rink with goal cages being used. Rink bandy teams comprise of six players, although in the USA Bandy League, teams are made up of just five players. Both forms of the game are recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Is the sport an Olympic sport?
Despite never being officially played at the Winter Olympics, bandy was demonstrated at the 1952 Games in Oslo,  Norway.

What equipment do I need?
A typical bandy kit comprises of a round ball (instead of a puck), a shorter stick, socks, ice hockey skates, helmet and gloves. Knee and elbow pads can be worn if desired.

Is it a contact sport?
Bandy is non-contact, meaning women can train on the same ice as men. This is unlike ice hockey, where men’s and women’s teams have separate rules regarding contact.

What countries are the most successful?
Top bandy countries include Sweden, Russia and Norway. Russia fielded the most successful bandy team in the 1955 World Championships.

When can I train?
Training is every Tuesday night, 8pm-9pm and £10 per session.

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