Hockey is a very popular sport in the United States and as well as other parts of the world. It also has other variations like ice hockey and roller hockey. But did you know that there is also a sport called unicycle hockey? It is also a variant of a regular game of hockey and similar to roller hockey. It is a team sport in which players try to make a goal and earn scores while riding unicycles.
At the present time, there are three national unicycle hockey leagues, which are in Australia, Germany, and Switzerland. Aside from those leagues, there are also clubs and teams for unicycle hockey in other countries, such as France, Singapore, United Kingdom, Denmark, Taiwan, Sweden, and Korea. If you are interested to learn more about this unusual sport, read on as we’re giving you more information about unicycle hockey.
History of Unicycle Hockey
A short part in the 1925 film “Variety” was the first known instance of hockey on unicycles. It featured two performers on stage, one using a field hockey stick to push a ball around.
Unicycle hockey was mentioned in 1960 as one of the activities of the Albuquerque Unicycle Club that was founded in 1957. It is then the only known unicycle club in the United States. When 1971 came, the sport was being played in Japan, as well.
A unicycle hockey club named Wheel People was founded in 1976 in California, and it ran for ten years. In Langenfeld, the first German unicycle hockey club was LaHiMo, which was founded in 1985. The first British Unicycle Hockey team in modern times was created by the apprentices of David Mariner, a manufacturer of DM Unicycles, by the company DM Engineering in the United Kingdom.
In 1987, the LUNIS was formed, which is a north London-based team. With this, competitive unicycle matches could be played in the United Kingdom. The national competition was held in 1988 at Covent Garden in London, and it was won by LUNIS.
In 1990, Jens Stemminger founded the Uniwheelers in Bremen. In 1991, Radlos was the third club in Germany, which was from Frankfurt. Many other clubs soon followed, which lead to the German league, which is still the largest in the world.
Unicycle hockey was introduced to Switzerland by Jojo Muhlmeyer in the early 1990s. He’s a Lahimo/Radlos pioneer. The very first European championship was held in September 1993 at the European Juggling Convention in Birmingham, UK. The following year, the very first unicycle hockey world championships were held at Unicon VII in Minneapolis, USA, and it was won by Germany. Since then, every Unicon has included a unicycle hockey championship.
What is the Objective of Unicycle Hockey?
The aim of each team playing unicycle hockey is to strike the ball using the hockey stick inside the goalmouth of the opposing team. The players are required to ride a unicycle and maintain their balance while playing. The substitutes can also play any time during the match, as they are not limited to indicate their entry by the referees.
Unicycle hockey is a type of non-contact sport. This means that the players need to control their aggression and play the game as smoothly as possible. To be able to win, both teams need to score the least amount of penalty points, and any fouls are highly dejected from attempting the winning title.
What are the Rules in Playing Unicycle Hockey?
The rules of unicycle hockey are very similar to the game of regular hockey. There are just some parts that differ due to the use of a unicycle. Here are some of the important rules in the game of unicycle hockey:
- The unicycle’s wheels can have a maximum diameter of 640mm.
- The unicycle’s paddles should only be made from plastic or rubber.
- Players can use the same sticks used in other hockey games like ice hockey.
- Each team should have 5 players. This includes the substitutes, and at one time, 3, 4, or all 5 players can play.
- The players are permitted to touch the playing ball only once with a flat hand.
- If the stick of any player got into another player’s unicycle spokes and was found guilty, that player will be awarded a penalty by the referee.
- Players are not permitted to score any goal directly through a free shot. And during a free shot, the players from the opposing team need to be 2 meters away from the ball.
- The stick should always be held below the bottom of the players’ hips.
- All players should place their hands on the upper end of the playing hockey stick at all times.
- Goals that are made with hands or arms are not considered valid scores.
- Players are not allowed to force, hit, or push other players to make way.
- If the player has made any foul or violation, the referee can give a 6.5-meter penalty to the attacking team.
- The court should have a length of about 35 to 45 meters and a width of 20 to 25 meters.
- It is not permitted to add any additional parts to the unicycle.
- If the players have intentionally delayed the game, have performed fouls, or did any unfairness and violence in the game, they are sent to the penalty box for about 2 to 5 minutes.
Unicycle hockey is indeed an interesting variant of hockey. The use of unicycles made the game more challenging for players but more fun as well. We hope that this article helped you further understand what unicycle hockey is. If you want to know more about unique sports, check out our list of Unusual Sports You’ve Probably Never Heard Of.