Very Best Games

Athletic Games Thinking Games

Noodle Hockey

Name of GameNoodle Hockey
Age Range5-adult
Number of Players4-16
Playing Environmentspavement, gym
Shared Equipmenttwo goals, one tennis ball or whiffle ball, four corner markers
Individual Equipmentone four-foot "Fun Noodle" - a flexible foam tube
SummaryThis is a very safe form of hockey. The players use noodles to try to hit the ball into the goal. Any smooth surface will do. We usually play outdoors during the winter, using a well-plowed parking lot, but a gym floor would work well, too. The playing area will vary according to the number and size of the players, but around 140 feet long and 80 feet wide seems about right for a 5-on-5 game.
RulesUse soccer rules throughout, except as follows:
  • Out of bounds balls are hit in (not thrown).
  • The goalie can only use her noodle to block the ball.
  • The goalie is not restricted by a goal area in any way.
  • The ball can only be hit with the noodle. If it is kicked by a member of one team, the other team takes possession with the equivalent of soccer's indirect kick.

The goals should be around 8 feet wide. A shot is good as long as it passes between the markers at a height lower than the top of the goalie's head (when standing erect.)

The game can be timed in quarters of 10-20 minutes, depending on the stamina of the players, but we usually just play until we're tired, typically around 1.25 hours.
CommentsSome players might need to be reminded to keep their noodles near the ground. Getting whacked in the head by a noodle is only dangerous with an unlikely type of hit on the eye, but it can sting enough to make some kids cry. As long as players use mild restraint, the noodles won't hurt anyone at all. Contact should be minimal, especially on pavement. Small children can play safely and effectively with much larger players as long as people are fairly sensible. On pavement, players should wear gloves, as the backs of their fingers will likely scrape the ground when they hold the noodle near its end in trying to get maximum power.