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Hockey Equipment
File photo credit: VOXSPORTS (for SportSG)

By Adila Shahrin

Even if you know the rules of hockey and the different ways you can shoot or dribble the ball, you cannot start playing hockey until you’ve got your hockey equipment! In field hockey, there’s a fair amount of equipment you need to get beforehand such as guards to ensure your safety.

The type of hockey equipment needed differs if you’re playing as a goalie. But if you’ve not decided which positions in field hockey to take up, then you should probably stick to getting the standard equipment.

Personal Equipment needed for hockey players:

1. Hockey Stick

Your hockey stick is like your weapon on the battlefield. After choosing the most suitable hockey stick for yourself, you will learn to use it and after a while, be so comfortable with it that it becomes a part of you.

Choosing the right hockey stick for you is also crucial as you need the right size for your height. See the chart below to determine how long your hockey stick should be.

Player Height

Stick Length

< 120cm

28”

120cm - 130cm

30”

130cm - 137cm

32”

140cm - 153cm

34”

154cm - 160cm

35 - 35.5”

162cm - 175cm

36 - 36.5”

> 175cm

37 - 37.5”

2. Shoes

The type of shoes you should be wearing depends on the type of surface you are going to play on.

If you are playing on a grass field then cleats are the most suitable. The soles usually have large studs hence allowing for better grip, quicker cuts and faster transitions. However, if you are playing on artificial turf, you might want to invest some money into turf shoes which have smaller studs, perfect for gripping on the artificial turf.

But if you are playing in an indoor court, court shoes would be ideal as their soles have maximum grip for smooth surfaces.

3. Mouth Guard

Even though field hockey is considered a non-contact sport, a mouth guard is compulsory to be worn during all matches. The main function of the mouthguard is to protect against concussion when coming into collision with another player or the ball.

4. Shin Guards

Shin Guards in field hockey are not identical to those used in soccer. Shin Guards in field hockey must cover the athlete's entire ankle all the way up to the bottom of their knee caps. When you play field hockey, your shins take the most beating from balls and sticks. Hence, you may consider investing in a quality pair of Shin Guards.

5. Socks and Rash Guards

Socks are pretty common sense. If you refuse to wear socks then, brace yourself for the blisters. Rash guards, on the other hand, are optional. They go under your shin guards and protect your shin from getting constantly rubbed against the shin guards.

6. Stick Bag

A stick bag is optional too but they’re definitely going to be convenient if you’re going to be carrying multiple sticks at one go.

7. Electrical Tape

Electrical tape is really useful and if you tape them to the bottom of your stick, it’d protect your stick from dents, wear and tears! If you’re a beginner, taping the bottom of your stick would also aid in stopping the ball.

8. Grip

If you’re going to be using your hockey stick regularly, then you would realise that the grip at the handle wears off easily. It will be a common sight for you to be purchasing and replacing your hand grips once you get into the sport of field hockey.

9. Ball

Finally, you can’t play field hockey without a ball! But we are putting this under personal equipment too because you should have a personal ball for practice. If you’re a beginner, get a turf ball to practice instead of the regular practice ball. Field hockey balls are rubber-like, hard and dense and they travel quickly.

Extra equipment for the goalie:

Being a goalie is demanding in the sense that you’d have to get a whole lot more equipment for your protection. These can end up costing a bomb when you add them all up but hey, you can’t put a price on passion right?

1. Helmet

The helmet protects your head and face from injury. When buying a helmet, apart from how the helmet should fit your head comfortably, the visibility when putting on the helmet is crucial as a goalie because you need to see the ball easily on the field at all times. You will also want to ensure that the cage on the helmet is fully protective.

2. Throat Protector

According to the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the throat protector is compulsory for goalies of all ages, from junior to advance players. The throat protector or neck guard wraps around your neck and is designed to protect the throat and neck from any high shots.

3. Chest Pad

The chest pad protects the goalie’s torso and is padded in front. Full body chest pads usually come with elbow guards.

4. Arms and Elbow Protector

Your body armor wouldn’t be complete without your arm and elbow protector. They keep your arms and elbows safely padded just in case the ball decides to hit you there. Though you don’t often get hit in those areas, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!

5. Right and Left Hand Protector

The right-hand protector is hard and rounded, designed to fit around the stick. On the other hand, the left-hand protector is flat and stiff to enable the goalie to stop lifted shots. This is vice-versa depending if you’re right or left handed.

6. Goalie Girdles

Protecting your lower body is also important for a goalie. The goalie girdles provide extra protection to the upper legs, hips and groin from shots.

7. Groin/Pelvic Protector

If you’re a goalie, you’re going to appreciate the groin protector.

8. Leg Guards

Although the goalie pants protect your upper legs, it doesn’t do much for your lower legs. This is where the leg guards come in handy. They cover all the way from the top of your feet to the top of your knee.

9. Kickers

Kickers also protect your legs and shin. They usually come with the leg guards as a set.

 

Well now we know the equipment we need, so where do we get them? There are a few places in Singapore that sell all your field hockey needs.

You may wish to check out the newly opened Decathalon Singapore Lab located at 230 Stadium Boulevard. 

Once you’ve got all the equipment that you need, it’s time that you head out to the field and practice! Whether you want to do some shooting drills or dribbling drills, always remember that practice makes perfect!

 

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