The sport is considered a form of hockey and has a common background with ice hockey and field hockey. Bandy has also been influenced by the rules of association football (soccer): both games are normally played in halves of 45 minutes, there are 11 players on each team, and the fields in both games are about the same size. Bandy is played, like ice hockey, on ice but players use bowed sticks and a small ball, as in field hockey.
A variant of bandy, rink bandy, is played to the same rules but on a field the size of an ice hockey rink, with ice hockey goal cages and with six players on each team, or five in USA Rink Bandy League. Traditional eleven-a-side bandy and rink bandy are recognized by the International Olympic Committee. More informal varieties also exist, like seven-a-side bandy with normally sized goal cages but without corner strokes. Those rules were applied at Davos Cup in 2016.
Rink bandy has in turn led to the creation of the sport rinkball. Bandy is also the predecessor of floorball, which was invented when people started playing with plastic bandy-shaped sticks and lightweight balls when running on the floors of indoor gym halls.
Based on the number of participating athletes, bandy is the world's second-most participated winter sport after ice hockey. Bandy is also ranked as the number two winter sport in terms of tickets sold per day of competitions at the sport's world championship.
However, compared with the seven Winter Olympic sports, bandy's popularity among other winter sports across the globe is considered by the International Olympic Committee to have a, "gap between popularity and participation and global audiences", which is a roadblock to future Olympic inclusion.
- Edsbyn Sandviken SM – Final in Upssala. YouTube. Retrieved on 7 February 2014.
- Bandy versus the 50 Olympic Winter Games Disciplines (4 December 2015). Archived from the original on 22 December 2015.
- Bandy destined for the Olympic Winter Games!. Federation of International Bandy (21 October 2016).
- Bandyportföljen magazine, no. 4 20017/18, pp. 12-13
- Butler, Nick (4 February 2018). New sports face struggle to be added to Winter Olympic Games programme, IOC warn. Dunsar Media.
- The Earl of Suffolk and Berkshire Hedley Park and Aflalo, F.G. Bandy (includes definition and rules), pp. 71–72, 1897. Published by Lawrence & Bullen, Ltd., 16 Henrietta St., Covent Garden, London.