Selection of hockey equipment is a key issue for players, parents and coaches. When purchasing and fitting hockey equipment, remember two important factors: 1) make certain the player is adequately protected and 2) be sure the fitting allows freedom of movement so the player can properly perform the necessary skills. By carefully considering these two factors, your child will be more comfortable and will better enjoy their participation.
A complete set of hockey equipment can be purchased for a relatively reasonable cost. Shop around for the best values and remember that you need not buy the most expensive equipment. Inquire about local equipment swaps and team discounts, but keep in mind the equipment must fit properly to provide maximum protection. USA Hockey members receive special discounts on equipment purchased through Play It Again Sports retailers nationwide.
Skates — Purchase skates that will fit your child today, with no more than 1/2" allowed for growth. Seek adequate protection in the ankle, toe and instep areas. Improperly fitted skates will hamper your child's ability to skate. Brand new skates have to be sharpened before use.
Shin Pads — Check for proper length so they protect the knee and shin completely.
Pants — Pants provide protection for the lower spine, hips and thighs.
Helmet — Must be of a design and construction approved by the Hockey Equipment Certification Council (HECC). Must be sized at the time of purchase to fit properly. The chin strap must always be fastened. All helmets are adjustable for a proper fit.
Facemask — Must also be of a design and construction approved by the Hockey Equipment Certification Council (HECC).
Mouthpiece — Required for players in the PeeWee level and above. USA Hockey encourages players of all ages and ability levels to use a mouthpiece.
Neck Guard — Required for all travel hockey players and recommended for all levels.
Gloves — Check for proper fit, with good finger and hand mobility.
Elbow Pads — Properly fitted so they do not slide.
Shoulder Pads — Adjust to fit the individual at the time of purchase. A fiber cap is extremely important in preventing shoulder separations and should extend to the tip of the shoulder.
Supporter and Cup — Essential protective equipment.
Stick — Length should generally extend from the ice to the player's chin (with skates on), or from the floor to the player's nose (with shoes on). Quality and price differ greatly, so the choice is yours. Most players have two sticks in case one breaks during a game or practice.
Practice Jersey — sometimes the whole team buys the same reversible jerseys, but usually each player has his own plain or fancy practice jersey, at times a jersey provided by the operator of a skating clinic.
Game jersey and socks — provided by the team, cost included in the registration fee.
In many areas the equipment overlaps to reduce exposed skin and bones such as: tongue of skate and shin guard, shin guard and pants, glove and elbow pad, elbow pad and shoulder pad. Some shoulder pads extend down as low as the pants.
For goaltenders special equipment is necessary such as: gloves (catching and blocker), goalie stick, chest and arm protector, leg pads, and, as players get older and stronger, special goalie helmets, goalie cup and goalie skates (with a protective shell). The goaltender's equipment is especially important, so seek advice from a knowledgeable source.
SKATES- skating is the most important and difficult skill of hockey, if you can afford a new pair of good quality skates it will make a whole world of difference in your child’s development. If you can’t, purchase the best possible used skates that fit and have good ankle support.
LACING- the criss-cross method is considered the most comfortable
BLADES- the skate blades must be sharp, but not razor sharp, in order for you to stop and start without falling.
SHARPENING- you should not need your skates sharpened every game, but 2 to 4 times a season is average unless you are playing in a “AAA” league that practices and plays 4 to 6 times a week, or get a nick or burr on the blade.
HOCKEY STICKS- after skates, the stick is the most important piece of equipment used for scoring and preventing goals.
UNDERWEAR- light cotton, or a breathable material, long john type, top and bottom underwear should be worn under your equipment.
HOCKEY BAG- a hockey bag large enough to carry all your equipment is suggested.
1. light cotton socks
2. light underwear, top and bottom
3. jock or jill strap
4. garter belt to hold up your hockey socks
5. shin pads
6. hockey socks, tape shin pads in place using Velcro strips or clear shin pad tape
7. hockey pants, use suspenders or a special hockey belt on some models to keep them up
8. skates, tie your skates now and use skate blade protectors if dressing at home
9. shoulder pads
10. elbow pads
11. neck guard
13. helmet with full visor or metal cage
14. mouth guard
15. hockey gloves
16. stick, take 2 sticks to the bench in case 1 breaks
Hopefully these basic tips will help the new players and their parents get some idea of the equipment their child will need to have for an enjoyable, safe and rewarding hockey experience.
The Falcons Hockey Association proudly presents our Learn to Skate & Play Hockey program in partnership with the Lake Forest Parks & Recreation Department (LFPRD) and the Park District of Highland Park (PDHP).
To register online, please visit the following websites: www.pdhp.org. and/or www.cityoflakeforest.com (click on the Parks & Recreation button).
Thank you very much for yourinterest in hockey. If you have any further questions, please contact Falcons Hockey at email@example.com.