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What is better, hockey or rugby?

Both these sports have crazy training and play schedules. And both are wildly popular in their regions. It is clear that any Canadian will say that there is nothing better than hockey and every American will say the same about rugby. But how do decide which is better?

To figure it out, we took indicators common for both sports, such as starting training age, the number of games in one season, the age of the end of the career, and so on. Despite the fact that learn how to play hockey is harder than rugby, both sports are popular, spectacular, and have a lot of players and fans over the world.

What is better, hockey or rugby?

Highlights of both games

On the internet, you can find hot battles about what similarities and differences are between hockey and rugby. We admit that these games are not similar, and the question of which is better than hockey or rugby can be discussed only with certain restrictions, same as in comparison, who is stronger a tiger or a crocodile. However, I wish to fan-likely fantasize about which of the coolest is cooler:

  • For six months, National Hockey League passes through 82 games, in addition to the daily training and the playoffs. While the National League Rugby consists of 192 games, 24 games to each team.
  • Hockey teams have 15-minute breaks after each of three periods substituting on the playing field constantly. Rugby players spend two of 40 minutes periods on the field and are only replaced in the case of a head injury or bleeding.
  • At the same time, the protective equipment of hockey and rugby is fundamentally different. Rugby players are allowed only soft helmets and protection on the shoulders while hockey players have good protecting gear.
  • Considering the seasonality and the level of equipment, hockey is much more expensive than rugby.
  • The complexity of hockey rules requires much longer training than rugby. Therefore, students start training hockey at a fairly early age, while a lot of athletes enter rugby in high school.

The age of hockey players often exceeds 30-40 years, and for rugby players, it has long been the quit age. For toughness and endurance rugby is harder, the wear and tear on rugby players is much more.

What is better, hockey or rugby.jpg

But despite this, hockey coaches often recommend their students to play rugby for summer training. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the winter training of rugby players. It takes place more often in sparrings than on an ice field.


Rugby and ice hockey imply encounters during the game. And both rugby and hockey, you can use all sorts of cunnings and techniques, or so-called scrap tactics.

–źlthough women’s teams perform well, rugby and ice hockey are traditionally men’s games with hard hits and high endurance requirements.

So we get:

Both sports imply a team plays
Both are hard-hitting, speed, accuracy, and tough
Similar command structure
Score more goals to opponent team, defend your goal
Both were considered noble and played by people from aristocratic families
Hockey Rugby
Hard equipment Soft equipment or none
Ice sliding Field running
Puck Ball
Difficult Intuitive

Thus, we find that rugby is a tougher game than hockey in terms of injury risk and wear and tear among athletes. In turn, hockey is more difficult and requires more serious preparation of both equipment and playing technique.

The popularity of hockey vs rugby

The 2021 IIHF Championship attracted about 100 million viewers from over the world, while the Rugby World Cup in 2019 was watched by about 857 million. It seems natural that rugby is more popular in the world as there are more people living in warm countries than in icy ones. So the primacy of worldwide popularity is given to rugby than difficult and expensive hockey.

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