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Field Hockey: It’s in the Blood

It was a hundred degrees outside. I know we had chosen Florida as our home precisely because it was warmer than other states, but I sure was surprised when my teen son came home one day and said, “Mom, I want to play field hockey.”

I certainly knew of hockey, but wasn’t that a winter sport? We never had ice here. I quickly came to find out that field hockey is similar to ice hockey but played on a grass field or turf. It can also be played indoors.

Similar to ice hockey, there are two teams. Each team consists of eleven players including a goalie, and they use sticks made of wood or fiberglass to hit a hard, rubber ball.

We decided to take this new sport on, but the first thing I needed to do was read up on the type of gear my son would need for field hockey.   This is the list of gear any mom should consider when their son comes home on a hot summer day and says he wants to play hockey.

Balls

Field hockey requires solid rubber or plastic balls. These range from about 5 ½ to 5 ¾ ounces and are about eight to nine inches in diameter. These balls are typically white but can also come in other colors if the team agrees to use different colored balls. Buy it on Amazon here.

Field Hockey Sticks

Every person playing field hockey needs a hockey stick. These come in different lengths from 36 ½ inches to 37 ½ inches. They are made like regular hockey sticks, with a straight handle and a curved head. The playing side is flat and smooth; and the back is rounded and smooth. Buy it on Amazon here.

The Goalie Equipment

Goalies need more specialized equipment because of the slides, jumps and other movements they make to prevent the ball from entering the goal. They need knee pads, elbow pads and special hockey catch glove.  In this case, the Warrior hockey gloves stand up well. These offer comfort and safety. Buy it on Amazon here.

This player will also require a full helmet with full-face protection. Something like the Franklin NHL Street Hockey SX helmet is the perfect option. It offers full face and head protection from those hard ball hits.

Hockey Shoes

When playing field hockey, the players use a special type of sneaker, instead of the skates used in ice hockey. These shoes offer breathability, but also have great foot support and traction in the field.  This type of shoe needs to offer power, stability, traction, comfort and extra cushioning in the heel and forefoot.

Shorts

Thankfully, in field hockey players can wear shorts, but it’s always best to get a pair made for sports related activities. The new men’s compressed shorts, which are made from a four-way stretch material that helps keep moisture away, is a good option.  Shock Doctor, once a manufacturer of sports mouth guards has perfected the design of this type of sport shorts. Buy it on Amazon here.

Jersey

Of course you’ll also want a highly breathable and light-weight jersey for practice.  A team usually provides the team jersey for game play. Still a light-weight jersey for practice is essential as it will keep sweat and humidity away from your skin. I prefer the Easton brand as this does the trick well, and it’s not so expensive as to make me wince when it gets snagged or ripped in a game.

Goals

Players use special goals for field hockey, and these usually measure seven feet high and twelve feet wide by four feet deep. The game, like soccer, uses two field goals placed at the end of a 100 yard long field. Each goal has a back net as well to prevent the ball from being lost. Buy it on Amazon here.

Final Thoughts

It never crossed my mind that any of my immediate family would want to play hockey. Sure, I’ve got brothers up north who played on ice hockey teams, but I never thought this was a sport that could be played in warm-weather states. Needless to say, my son loves field hockey. It’s a great sport and offers him the exercise he needs. Who knows, maybe hockey is in the blood, do you think?

 

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