Field hockey is a member of the hockey family which is popular all over the world. You can play it at your local turf. So field hockey can be the team game for you and your friends. Now here comes the fact. What equipment are you going to need? We will give you a clear idea about field hockey equipment and things you need to be concern about while buying them.
Field Hockey Equipment You Need to Play
We have divided field hockey equipment into 4 categories. They are-
Coaching and officials equipment
Gears & accessories
Let's discuss them separately.
Each field hockey team consists of 11 players. 10 field players along with one goalkeeper play the game. There is a little difference in the equipment used by field players & goalkeepers.
Players use hockey sticks to control and hit the ball. It is a J-shaped stick which has a flat and a round surface along with a round handle. Generally hockey bats are of two types. One is especially for goalies, and the other type is for field players.
The goalies-stick has an extra curve at the bottom of the bat. The length of the stick varies from 85 to 91 cm. The depth of the curved bottom can be up to 25mm. Players can use it according to their height.
Generally, players use a stick that comes up to their hip. It is made of a combination of carbon fibre, wood, and glass fibre. The stick has 2 sides. The flat surface of the stick can be used to hit or control the ball. The use of the round side is considered foul.
There are different kinds of sticks. Defenders use J hook or maxi type sticks, whereas Midfielders use short type sticks. Apart from that, strikers prefer midi or maxi types.
Helmets for hockey is like other game's helmets. It protects the head. Generally, goalkeepers and defenders use helmets.
Goggles & Mask:
These are used for the safety of the face. The mask almost covers the full face and the head. So there is less chance to be hit by the ball from any side. The googles are used as an eye shield. It protects the eye from injuries and is vital for new players.
It has a shape like gum. The mouth guard is placed inside the mouth over the gum. If the players bump into each other, they may hit each other on the face. Or if they may fall to the ground on the face. The mouth guard saves the lip from being creviced.
Throat protector comes with the helmet or with a chest protector in a package. This protector is a pad and covers the neck.
Chest & Shoulder Protector:
A pad is worn as a chest or body protector. Players wear chest protectors under jersey to save the ribs from getting hurt. Besides, some players also use a vest. Shoulder protectors usually come with a chest protector in a package.
Players wear gloves to get a better grip over the sticks. Goalkeepers use keeping gloves. It is used for the protection hand. As they try to prevent the goals which are shot hard, gloves are needed to catch the ball.
Pelvic protector & girdle:
Pelvic protector is made of dual-density composite foam. This is for the pelvic protection of females that provides more comfort than protection, whereas girdle is for men. This fits tightly and protects the kidney and upper thigh area. Hockey pants also do the same thing.
Leg guard protects the shin and lower parts of limbs from getting hit as shins are at high risk of getting hit by the ball. Shinguard is a must for newcomers. It is shaped like a leg and worn over the pant in the front side. It is a hard protective pad. Mostly goalkeeper and defenders use this.
The kicker is a kind of shoe different from regular shoes. The goalkeeper wears it and has a bigger front surface than usual shoes. So goalkeeper can stop the ball by kicking it, and the ball will rebound. This goalkeeper prevents the goal. And the kicker is thick enough so it can protect your toes and feet from any kind of injury by the ball.
The uniforms of players are called jersey. Ago it was called a sweater. It is used to keep players warm.
There is some equipment which is not for the players themselves. The organizers or officials provide these. These materials are also inevitable for arranging a field hockey match.
The spherical ball has two parts: the outer shell and inner part. The outer shell is hard, toughened, and dimpled. Generally, it is made of plastic. But the inner part is either filled with air or foam or cork. The range of the diameter of the ball is 71.3 – 74.8 mm. The mass varies from 156 to 163 gm. It is generally white.
Strikers shoot the balls inside the net and goalkeepers try to prevent it. If the ball goes inside the net, a goal is counted.
Field markers mark the ends of the field.
Coaching & Officials Equipment
Coaches and officials of hockey also use some kits. Some of them are mentioned here.
Cones are used for practising hockey.
The timer is used by umpires to keep tracking of the game.
The scoreboard is to show and count the number of goals. There are two sides of the scoreboard used for two teams. Umpire counts the number of goals.
Ball bag is used to keep the balls together. Linemen or water boys carry balls in this bag.
Hockey officials use whistles to give the signal and to stop or start the game.
Gears & Accessories
Except for the materials mentioned above, some other kits are also used. These are used to make the game more enjoyable and lessen the risks.
The grip is used to wrap the handle of the stick. The grip gives better control over the bat. And the bat also feels like less weighed. The grip is generally made of leather.
Players use bags to carry the stick, ball, guards, helmet, water bottle, etc.
Now you know which equipment you need to play hockey. Let's buy them and go to the field.