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11 Reasons Why Hockey Is Better Than Basketball

So you want to know which is better when it comes to basketball or hockey? Well in this blog I am going to give a full breakdown of the top 11 reasons why hockey is definitely better.

I’ve been a fan of both for more than 30 years and played both for a while too. But, in my humble opinion (backed up by the opinions of many others that I know), hockey is definitely better!

 Let’s discuss some of the reasons that make ice hockey a better option for sports lovers.

Basketball hoop

1. Hockey Is More Versatile For Body Shape 

If you’ve ever watched a pro basketball game, then you’ve obviously noticed a major similarity between most of the players. Yes, they’re six and a half, and seven feet tall.

Being a pro at basketball is kind of predetermined by how high you will grow in life. If you’re destined to be five foot two, then the odds of a pro career are astronomically small.

Not so with hockey!

Hockey really does take all kinds of body shapes.

It is a game open to pretty much anyone, and you won’t be at a disadvantage if you can train and develop your speed, stamina, and strength.

Want to celebrate the little guy in hockey? Check out this video:

2. Perfect Sport for Character Building

Ice hockey is all about building a team spirit and being able to play like a sports team. 

Players get to exercise team strength and strategy for the winning goal as you know cooperation is fundamental for success. 

This allows players to build team trust, sportsmanship, and responsibility. 

There are always some “stars” in every team with an abundance of medals and awards. However, ice hockey is more of a team sport and players must work together if victory is their goal (source).

3. Fast-Paced Game

Ice hockey is also considered a very fast-paced game. I mean it is quite obvious by the fact that the game is played on an ice rink – a slippery layer of ice. 

In basketball, there are numerous breaks or pauses, while the only time ever ice hockey is supposed to stop the play is when a player commits a penalty or a goal is scored.

Ice hockey is an adrenaline-rushing game, anything can occur during the interval of one event to the next and that generates a level of intensity for the audience. 

The crowd loves the uncertainty of the play, from players scoring in the first ten seconds to tying up in the last 10 seconds of the game.

The game is not finished until the final horn goes off, which is why ice hockey is far more exciting than basketball! 

4. Vast Playing Arena

Unlike a basketball court which is usually a much smaller place than an ice hockey field.

Ice hockey requires more stamina to be playing on the field as compared to basketball. 

Also, of course, you’re playing hockey on a sheet of pure ice! How exhilarating is that!

5. Hockey Play has its Language

Like all the other famous sports, this fun game has its own language.

If you ever come across ‘beauty’ or a ‘duster’ or a ‘bender’ during an Ice hockey game, you might want to pace up on hockey language before the next NHL game. 

6. The Game Also Improves Mental Agility

The game technique and strategy seem to consider details based on fast sport play that is developing in seconds throughout the game and exhibiting instant momentum-shifting.

Every ice hockey player learns to make fast decisions during the game. Players develop a sound concentration, after playing multiple times on-field and training practice. 

The game is entirely based on strategy, every move is connected to another one, one event can lead the entire game into a pattern, therefore, concentration is highly required for success. 

According to a study, players that have been playing ice hockey at a young age are likely to continue it for a long period. Playing from a young age can help players to play it through college which is a great opportunity to surface your skills and become a star player. 

Ice hockey players near the goal

7. In Ice Hockey, Players Control the Game

I know how important referees or umpires are in any game, while they play a huge role in controlling the game narrative, in ice hockey, it’s the players that control the events of the game and control it to a certain extent.

Players can also monitor and maintain the speed or slow it down by engaging in small fights, which is hardly the case in basketball.

8. The Game has an Amazing Playoff Format

Unlike basketball, Ice hockey has an amazing playoff format, it’s not easy for any player to become top rated.

However, if you want to become a champion, you need to successfully win four rounds of tough play and also succeed in seven months of the regular season.

The players are highly dedicated, about 28 games are to be played by any player to prove they can compete for the big cup and become a deserving player.

Other than ice hockey, out of all the sports, not even basketball requires this much work and devotion for winning an award or title.

9. Traditions and Superstitions

Like I mentioned before, Ice hockey is an ancient sport, and the game is associated with plenty of old traditions and superstitions.

Compared to basketball, ice hockey for sure makes an exception when it comes to pre-game rituals and traditions. 

Some of these traditions may sound bizarre but after all, they are traditions, for instance, men grow facial hair for good luck. Some players eat the same meal before each game for the same reason as growing facial hair. 

Dedicated Ice hockey audiences are so invested in these superstitions, they even consider these details when betting on their favorite team.

Another amazing tradition includes spending a day with the Stanley Cup, once a team wins. Tossing the hats off to the ice ground after a player completes a hat trick (three goals in a row) is another surprising tradition among players. 

The Winter Classic is played on New Year’s day which is considered the game of the year. Some players like Sidney Crosby don’t go by the visitors’ locker room on game day. 

While some players may refuse to touch Clarence Campbell or the Prince of Wales trophies especially until the end of the Stanley Cup final. Luc Robitaille, a former NHL contestant, had a superstition about how his sticks were taped.

Unlike in the early 2000s, ice hockey play has become popular and now holds a vast audience.

Do you know some players even tap their sticks numerous times for good luck? I am just as surprised as you are regarding these superstitions involved in playing ice hockey but these superstitions add more interest in the game. 

10. Players Love to Celebrate!

Basketball players love to celebrate their victory, but so do our ice hockey players. Sports games are mostly all about scoring, with it comes the celebration part which is the beauty of any game and it’s worth a watch. 

Although ice hockey players celebrate differently, scoring is considered a “celly” which is more than just a regular celebration. There is an all-out-spin-in-circle-fall-around party to watch, quite an impressive celebration, and brings excitement to the crowd.

Not all goals in the game demand a celly, but you should not miss that opportunity to watch when it does. 

You can’t beat hockey players creativity when it comes to goal celebrations

11. Players are Generally Friendly People

It should go without saying, but as rough and tough as these players act on ice, they are quite warm and welcoming people once off the field.

Ice hockey players are involved in charity work, raising funds, and they even play characters from Disney movies when visiting kids in the hospital.

Other than these important facts, the game has a lot to offer from intensity to entertainment, suspense, and fast-paced play of events. 

Another point that makes ice hockey such an interesting play is the Winter Classic game of the year, which is played every year on New Year’s Day. Players are given special sweaters made for the occasion instead of the regular ones.


With this, I am concluding my discussion on ice hockey being a better sport than basketball.

I hope you enjoyed the variety of information and hopefully it was helpful. I will recommend keeping up with ice hockey plays and updates, after reading this article surely now you can watch the game with an insightful perspective.