Poly hockey is adapted from the game of ice hockey and played indoors on a gymnasium floor.
The teams are composed of six players, including a goalie. The athletes use plastic sticks and soft plastic pucks. A poly hockey game consists of three nine-minute periods.
As in all Special Olympics sports, athletes are grouped in competition divisions according to ability level and age (athletes are not grouped by gender as there are typically not any teams comprised strictly of male or female athletes). Poly hockey tournaments are offered at the area level and at Winter Games.