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Choosing the right hockey stick for your game

Sports

Choosing the right hockey stick for your game

 GC221 - Hockey Stick
File photo credit: Sport SG

By Adila Shahrin

One of the most fun moments of gearing up for hockey is the point where you pick your very own hockey stick. They come fashioned in so many different colours and designs and you’ll be spoilt for choices! But that’s not the only thing you have to look out for when buying a hockey stick.

You’d also have to consider the weight, material, length and toe of the stick, the position you’re playing and how much experience you have. Unfortunately for all you lefties out there, while left-handed sticks are available, they’re not allowed in tournaments! 

Here are 4 considerations you need to take note of when choosing your hockey stick. 

1. Weight of Stick

In determining which weight to get, you'll want to consider the position you’re playing in.

If you’re going to play as a forward, then you might want to get the light-weight stick which is approximately 0.5kg. It’s light weight will allow you to manoeuvre the ball better and be in control of it so that you can shoot easily. 

If you’re a midfielder, you might want to get the medium-weight stick which is between 0.5 to 0.6kg. The medium-weight stick is also the most common stick that players use, especially if you don’t have a fixed position to play. You get to manoeuvre the ball easily and get a hard hit. 

If you’re a defender, you should get the heavy-weight stick which is between 0.6kg to 0.7kg in weight. This allows you to achieve harder hits in order to clear the ball away from your defensive side.

2. Material of Stick

Field hockey sticks are usually made of wood, either primarily of mulberry or hickory. In addition, there are also sticks made of fiberglass or composite. Sticks that are made of wood are better able to absorb shock whereas those made of composite are more durable and can produce more power on each hit.

If you’re a beginner, you should get a more flexible stick and go for the ones which are made of wood. If you’re a more advanced player, you should look towards investing in a stiffer stick made of composite which also lasts longer. 

3. Length of Stick

If you’re tall, you wouldn’t want to own a short stick and have to bend super far down throughout the whole match. Likewise if you’re a short, you wouldn’t want to own a long stick and not be able to manoeuvre it at all! That is why you should also take your height into consideration when buying a stick. Make sure the length is appropriate for you and you’re comfortable holding it. 

The table below shows you the appropriate length of stick for your height. Be sure to take note of the appropriate length of stick so you’d make a better choice when you’re buying one.

 Height of Player

 Length of Stick

 Up to 1.20 metres

 0.66 metres

 1.21 metres to 1.30 metres

 0.71 metres

 1.31 metres to 1.40 metres

 0.81 metres

 1.41 metres to 1.50 metres

 0.86 metres

 1.51 metres to 1.60 metres

 0. 88 metres

 1.61 metres to 1.70 metres

 0.91 metres

 1.71 metres to 1.80 metres

 0.94 metres

 1.81 metres and above

 0.97 metres


4. Toe Style

The toe refers to the bottom of the stick, the part which strikes the ball. The shape of the toe varies and suits different types of players as well as styles of play. There are four main toe styles and they’re all pictured below. 

Shorti 

If you’re playing in the forward position, the shorti toe style would be the most suitable for you. It is designed such that you can manoeuvre around the ball quickly and is excellent for dribbling.

Midi

If you’re a beginner, a midfielder or simply have no idea what position to play yet, the midi toe style is the most popular choice. The toe is about half an inch bigger than the shorti but it has the combined benefits of both the shorti and hook. 

With a larger surface area as compared to the shorti, it is better able to stop balls and its easy to dribble them as well. It is also more comfortable for players to flick, receive and reverse play. 

Maxi

If you’re a defender, you might want to consider getting the maxi. The maxi has a larger surface area hence greater hitting power. 

Hook

If you’re not keen on getting a maxi, but still want a stick that can complement your position as a defender, then the hook style hockey stick is a stick you can get. It’s toe is shaped like a ‘J’ and it has the largest surface area, perfect for stopping the ball. It is also great on grass.

Choosing the right hockey stick is extremely important and it should never be just about the colours or designs you like best. Choosing one most suitable for you based on the 4 considerations we have highlighted above will definitely complement your playing position and game.

Choosing the right stick may the most fun part while gearing up for hockey, but it is just the beginning. There's a whole set of hockey equipment that you’d need to start playing field hockey.


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