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Bandy is a winter sport where a ball is hit with a stick. It shares a common ancestry with ice hockey having been developed from the informal "ball and stick on ice" games known collectively as shinny. Bandy is played on ice. Old names for bandy are hockey on the ice or hockey on ice . Since the mid-20th Century the term bandy is usually preferred to prevent confusion with ice hockey. The sport is known by this name in many countries though there are a few notable exceptions. In Russia bandy is called "Russian hockey" хоккей) or more frequently "hockey with ball" (xоккей с мячом) while ice hockey is called "hockey with puck" (xоккей с шайбой) or Canadian hockey. In Finland bandy is known as "ice ball" (jääpallo) and ice hockey is "ice puck" (jääkiekko). Game Image:Bandy game bandy clubs|Swedish teams Bollnäs GIF and Edsbyns IF in 2004 Bandy is played on ice, using a single round ball. Two teams of eleven players each compete to get the ball into the other team's goal using sticks, thereby scoring a goal. The team that has scored more goals at the end of the game is the winner; if both teams have scored an equal number of goals, then the game is a draw. There are exceptions to this rule, however. The primary rule is that the players (other than the goalkeepers) may not intentionally touch the ball with their heads, hands or arms during play. Although players usually use their sticks to move the ball around, they may use any part of their bodies other than their heads, hands or arms and may use their skates in a limited manner. Heading the ball will result in a five-minute penalty. In typical game play, players attempt to propel the ball toward their opponents' goal through individual control of the ball, such as by dribbling, passing the ball to a team-mate, and by taking shots at the goal, which is guarded by the opposing goalkeeper. Opposing players may try to regain control of the ball by intercepting a pass or through tackling the opponent who controls the ball; however, physical contact between opponents is limited. Bandy is generally a free-flowing game, with play stopping only when the ball has left the field of play, or when play is stopped by the referee. After a stoppage, play can recommence with a free stroke, a penalty shot or a corner stroke. If the ball has left the field along the sidelines, the referee must decide which team touched the ball last, and award a restart stroke to the opposing team, just like football's throw-in. The rules do not specify any player positions other than goalkeeper, but a number of player have evolved. Broadly, these include three main categories: forwards, whose main task is to score goals; defenders, who specialise in preventing their opponents from scoring; and midfielders, who dispossess the opposition and keep possession of the ball in order to pass it to the forwards; players in these positions are referred to as outfield players, in order to discern them from the single goalkeeper. These positions are further differentiated by which side of the field the player spends most time in. For example, there are central defenders, and left and right midfielders. The ten outfield players may be arranged in these positions in any combination (for example, there may be three defenders, five midfielders, and two forwards), and the number of players in each position determines the style of the team's play; more forwards and fewer defenders would create a more aggressive and game, while the reverse would create a slower, more defensive style of play. While players may spend most of the game in a specific position, there are few restrictions on player movement, and players can switch positions at any time. The layout of the players on the pitch is called the team's "formation", and defining the team's formation and tactics is usually the prerogative of the team's manager(s). Rules Overview There are eighteen rules in the official bandy rules. The same rules are designed to apply to all levels of bandy, although certain modifications for groups such as juniors, seniors or women are permitted. The rules are often framed in broad terms, which allow flexibility in their application depending on the nature of the game. The rules can be found on the official website of the Federation of International Bandy website. Players, equipment and officials bandy stick and ball making of a historic bandy ball, from the original cork to the left to the final ball painted red, to the far right is a modern bandy ball Each team consists of a maximum of eleven players (excluding substitutes), one of whom must be the goalkeeper. A team of fewer than eight players may not start a game. Goalkeepers are the only players allowed to play the ball with their hands or arms, but they are only allowed to do so within the penalty area in front of their own goal. Though there are a variety of positions in which the outfield players are strategic.