Spongee is an outdoor winter team sport, played on an ice rink, between two teams with six players on each team. The sport originated from Ice Hockey, the aim to enable players who were not good at skating to play hockey. Later, several modifications were adopted to make spongee a unique sport.
Winnipeg in Canada, where spongee originated, is currently the only place where the sport is played. The city has several spongee leagues with a few thousand players.
The objective of the sport is similar to that of ice hockey, where teams try to score more goals than the opposition within a fixed time duration. But that's where the similarity ends. Some of the major differences between Spongee and ice hockey are:
- Players were rubber-soled shoes and not skates
- A sponge puck is used instead of a hard puck
- Unlike hockey; spongee is a non-contact sport
- A match is played over two 20-minute halves
- Matches are played outdoors
- Players, except goalies, do not wear any protective gear like helmets or pads
Spongee is considered as an underground sport in mainstream society, and was subject to criticism when a documentary, "Spongee: Checks Lies and Videotape", about a controversy was aired.
- Ice Hockey — a contact sport that is played on ice while wearing skates and using a stick to hit a puck into a goal.
- Broomball — a game like ice hockey played with a broom and no skates. Also the similar Moscow Broomball.
- Ball Hockey — very similar to ice hockey, though played on foot and on a non-ice surface.
- Floorball — a type of indoor floor hockey based on ice hockey, popular in Nordic countries.