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What Equipment do Children Need to Play Hockey?

25 July 2023

If you are looking for a sport for your child to get into, hockey, with its focus on teamwork and physical exercise is the perfect game to get a young person into to help them develop confidence, skills, and friendships while having fun. Played in over 100 countries, it is one of the most played team sports in the world.

There are only a few vital items required to play, but as with everything children do, there are the extras – some of them are for safety, others to improve their experience. Goalkeepers need a lot of safety equipment to protect them from flying hockey balls, however this may be provided by your child’s school or club to start with. 

Hockey Stick

Nobody can play a game of hockey without a hockey stick. These come in different heights based on how tall your child is. 

Shoes

Don’t worry, it's only one more pair of shoes…unless your child plays on various types of field. The type of shoes required depends on the type of field. A grass field requires longer studs compared to those used on astroturf. Indoor courts require court trainers. 

Shin Guards

Special shin guards just for hockey cover the whole ankle up to the bottom of the kneecap because this is where little warriors are most likely to be hit by sticks or balls. 

Mouth Guard

Hockey is a non-contact sport, but every child needs a brightly coloured mouth guard to protect their teeth in case of accidents (and intimidate the opposition!) To start with, an inexpensive one you mould yourself should be fine, but if they get serious they may want a specially moulded one.

Socks and Rash Guards

All this protection can create friction against the skin, rash guards help prevent this. Good socks will also help prevent blisters.

Special Goalkeeping Equipment

If your child is the “goalie”, they will also need some extra equipment as their job is to stand in front of the goal and prevent balls from getting inside.

Helmet

Head protection is vital, it needs to be comfortable but give visibility, after all your little warrior has to see the ball coming. 

Throat Protector 

The trachea is a tube in the throat that can be permanently damaged if it is hit by a ball. This is why a throat protector is a compulsory piece of equipment for all hockey goalies. 

Chest Pad

Once again, extra protection is required for your little goalie, chest pads protect the chest, but can also include padding on the arms and elbows.

Arm and Elbow Protectors and Hand Protectors

Extra arm and hand protection. 

Goalie Girdle

Protecting the upper legs, groin and hip, this is a pair of padded shorts

Groin/Pelvis Protector

While they may not remember headbutting you in the groin as a toddler, it can be an abiding memory for the adult involved, which is why this is a vital piece of equipment for a goalie. Maybe it should be considered vital equipment for the parents of toddlers too.

These underwear-shaped devices are different based on what anatomy your child has.

Leg Guards

Some cultures have used shields during wars that are smaller than some good field hockey leg guards, but your kiddo defending the goal net should definitely be kitted with a good pair.

Kickers

Protecting the numerous little bones in the feet, kickers are strange-looking but highly protective shoes. 

Vitals for your sanity

Stick bags are vital if you are carrying multiple sticks on regular occasions.

Electrical Tape around the base of the hockey stick will both help prevent dents and general wear and tear.

Grip tape as the handle on hockey sticks frequently comes loose. Extra will help deal with the handle unravelling.

Photo by Patrick Case

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