What do I need to play hockey?
- hockey stick
- hockey ball
- mouth guard
- shin pads
- hockey pitch
- 2 teams of 11 players
- Goal keeper kit
The pitch is 100 yards by 60 yards (91.4 metres x 55 metres)
There are two main types of hockey pitches; natural grass and synthetic turf. The preferred surface is artificial turf.
The most common types of pitches are:
- Sand-dressed pitch (also known as astro-turf)
- Water-based pitch
The water or sand acts as a wearing factor for the carpet.
The hockey stick is used to dribble or hit the ball. Traditionally hockey sticks were made of a wood called Mulberry, however as the game evolved so did the hockey sticks. Technology advancements of the 1990s gave rise to the use of materials such as carbon fibre, Kevlar and fibreglass in the manufacture of hockey sticks, using composite materials. Today composite sticks are widely used and are the preferred choice over old fashioned wooden sticks.
There is a degree of variation in the size and shape of hockey sticks. Defenders often prefer to have a longer stick than attackers as they can achieve a greater reach when stopping a moving ball. The attackers generally prefer a shorter stick as it permits greater control of the ball.
Defenders may also prefer a heavier stick in order to make powerful hits of heavier tackles, whereas a attacker may prefer a lighter stick for easier ball handling. However a player’s strength may also influence their choice of stick.
The head shape of a stick can also be a factor when choosing a hockey stick. The most common shapes that are found are:
- Shorti head
- Maxi head
- Hook head
The increased surface area and more open recurve of the ‘Maxi’ head has resulted in its usage universally, with about 95% of international players opting for the ‘maxi´.
The main brands of sticks include TK, Grays, Slazenger, Byte, Kookaburra, Malik, Dita, Voodoo, Adidas, Gryphon, UberHockey, Woodworm, Brabo, Mercian and Wasp.
The hockey ball is made of hard, solid plastic and is spherical in shape. A hockey ball’s circumference normally ranges from about 8.8 inches to 9.2 inches and should weigh between 5.5 and 5.75 ounces.
Goal Keeper Kit
A fully equipped goalkeeper must wear a helmet, leg guards and kickers. Usually the hockey goalkeepers wear additional protective equipment including chest guards, padded shorts, padded hand protectors, groin protectors, arm guards, they must also carry a stick.