What does Boxing Day have to do with boxing?
1570s, "to strike back and forth," from Middle French bander, from root of band (n.2). The sense apparently evolved from "join together to oppose," to opposition itself, to "exchanging blows," then metaphorically, to volleying in tennis. Bandy (n.) was a 17c. Irish game, precursor of field hockey, played with curved a stick (also called a bandy), hence bandy-legged (1680s).
a game similar to ice hockey. It is played almost exclusively in the Scandinavian countries, the Baltic countries, and Mongolia. A team is composed of from 8 to 11 players who wear skates and use curved sticks to hit a ball. Rink size varies but is characteristically larger than an ice hockey rink (about 100 by 55 m [109 by 60 yards]). The goalie does not use a stick but, alone among the players, can touch the ball with his hands. There are two halves of 45 minutes each, and play commences at the centre circle. Unlike hockey, no play is allowed behind the goals. Play begins with a "stroke off," and each team is confined to its own half of the rink. The use of a ball instead of a flat puck makes bandy faster than hockey. Free strokes are given for penalties, such as for going over the midline. Free substitution is permitted. There are six officials in the game. Bandy originated in England in the late 18th century, and the modern game of ice hockey probably developed from it.