What equipment is needed to play hockey?

Hockey Equipment
File photo credit: VOXSPORTS (for SSC)

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:

1. 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. 

2. Shoes

The type of shoes you should get depends on the type of surface you’re going to play on. 

If you’re playing on grass field then cleats are the most suitable as their soles have large studs hence allowing for better grip, quicker cuts and faster transitions. If you’re 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’re playing indoors, you can just get some running shoes which have grooves on their soles for maximum grip on smooth surfaces. 

3. Mouth Guard

Investing in a mouth guard is a good idea because you wouldn’t want to burn a hole in your wallet, paying for your dental treatment should a ball hit you in the face. 

4. Shin Guards

When you play field hockey, your shins take the most beating from balls and sticks. It is thus important for you to protect your shins from getting bruised.

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 and wear and tear! 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 top wears easily. Buying and replacing grips would be common once you become a hockey player. 

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 you’re buying a helmet, the most important thing you should take note of is that it fits your head comfortably.

2. Throat Protector

The throat protector wraps around your neck and is essential in protecting the goalies throat against fast moving balls.

3. Chest Pad

The chest pad protects the goalie’s torso and is padded in front. 

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 other hand, the left hand protector is flat and stiff to enable the goalie to stop lifted shots. 

6. Goalie Pants

Protecting your lower body is also important for a goalie. The goalie pants 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. 

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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