If you’re a field hockey player, then you know how important it is to have the right equipment. And perhaps no piece of equipment is more critical than your stick.
Your field hockey stick is an extension of your arms and has a significant impact on your game performance – from controlling the ball to making accurate passes or scoring goals.
That’s why it’s essential to find the perfect stick for your height and skill level. A stick that is too long or too short can result in poor ball control, discomfort, and even injury.
In this post, we’ll provide you with some tips on how to size a field hockey stick so that you can play your best game ever! We’ll also discuss key factors such as material, weight, and head shape that will help you choose a high-quality stick that fits you perfectly.
“The feeling of hitting a shot off the sweet spot of your field hockey stick: nothing beats it.” -Dhyan Singh ‘Chand’
No matter what your experience level is, whether you’re a beginner or professional, this guide offers insights that could save you time, money and improve your overall game.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into our guide to finding the perfect sized field hockey stick!
Understand the Basics of Field Hockey Stick Sizing
If you’re looking to buy a field hockey stick, it’s essential to understand the basics of sizing and what factors you need to consider.
Length and Weight
The length and weight of your hockey stick play a crucial role in how well you can handle and control it. Typically, field hockey sticks come in varying lengths, from 28 inches to 38 inches. As for weight, most players prefer sticks between 18-22 ounces.
To determine which stick length suits you best, measure the distance between the ground and your hip bone. The stick should come up to your waist level or just below it. When selecting a stick weight, choose one that feels comfortable and easy to maneuver on the field.
Another critical factor when choosing a field hockey stick is shaft flexibility. Sticks with higher flexibility are more suitable for beginners or players who rely on their wrist movement for ball control. Conversely, stiffer sticks offer enhanced power but require more technique and physical strength.
Seek out a stick stiffness level that caters to your playing style, experience, and skillset. You could also test several sticks before making your final decision.
Field hockey sticks have different toe shapes. They typically fall into three categories – shorti, midi, and maxi toes. Shorti toes cater to midfielders or forwards who prioritize quick movements and close ball controls. Maxi toes, on the other hand, have larger surface areas and provide better ball control, ideal for defenders who want greater accuracy when passing and trapping the ball. Midi toes strike an excellent balance between these two extremes, and many manufacturers now produce them as part of their standard stock.
The toe also affects how you strike the ball. For example, a hook shape toe can make hitting spinning shots easier than other types of toes. Think about your position on the field and what type of ball control and accuracy you need before selecting a toe shape.
A variety of materials can be used to construct field hockey sticks. Wood is traditional but offers lower-quality performance in comparison to composites or carbon fiber sticks. These modern materials are more expensive but have several advantages such as better power, speed, and durability.
Choosing between wooden and composite sticks will depend on factors like availability, budget, skill level, and priorities. If you’re playing professionally, choosing a high-end stick made from quality materials could improve your game significantly.
“Your first field hockey stick will likely not be the one that suits you best. It’s all trial and error for everyone.” -Alyssa Parker
Sizing a field hockey stick requires assessing various elements such as length, weight, shaft flexibility, toe shape, and material. Every player has their own preferences when it comes to these factors, so experimentation with different varieties over time can help you find the perfect fit for your needs and style.
Determine Your Height and Position
Field hockey is a game of skill, speed, and precision. To succeed in it, having the right equipment is essential, with the field hockey stick being one of the most important. It’s essential to choose a proper size for your position and height.
For forwards, 35-37.5 inches is usually the ideal length range for most players. Shorter players may need sticks closer to 35 inches, while taller ones can opt for 36 or even 37.5 inches. Attackers prefer a lighter weight that allows them more control over their stick and the ball. A lower bow combined with a thinner handle helps forwards get greater leverage on flicks and other advanced stick skills.
“In women’s games, more power is preferred than men because they are designed to play longer distances. Women’s sticks come with different shapes such as maxi shape which offers more power.”
Midfielders require a mix of attacking and defensive abilities. A stick between 36.5 to 38 inches is perfect for midfielders. This length gives extra reach to tackle or hit without making it too heavy or cumbersome. Players who are aggressive towards playing offense prefer an attacking mindset. As a result, they want flatter curves; alternately, those who favor the defense might have deeper curves – this curvature varies by player style. For higher levels of efficacy, some midfielders like heavier sticks that help challenge opponents easier.
“When you’re leading the breakaway, your stick arm should be out front, driving hard and maintaining balance. Keep both hands around midpoint of the stick, stay low, and keep your eyes up!”
The stick length for defenders is around 36.5 to 39 inches; the larger size provides extra reach when tackling or clearing balls out of danger zones. Since defenders often face powerful shots, they may prefer stiffer sticks and deeper bow shapes. Additionally, their sticks are manufactured with strengthened material resulting in being heavy but also strong.
“Your primary goal as a defender should be to win the ball back safely without making any mistakes.”
A goalkeeper’s hockey stick is different than other positions since it has specific regulations about how long – only sized up to 41”; this limitation is roughly two inches more than a regular field hockey stick’s upper limit. Goalkeepers play a unique position where stopping action close to hand needs high-speed coordination and reactions, so these sticks have extra padding on the handle and head which allows them to be heavier than a regular one.
“Getting into Hockey at an early stage allowed me to become familiar with my equipment during training and matches – understanding how your body works while wearing safety gear can prevent injury in GAA-Editorial.”
Consider Your Playing Style
Field hockey sticks come in different sizes that cater to different playing styles. Choosing the right size is crucial for your game performance, and it depends on how you play on the field.
Dribbling and Control
If you focus on dribbling and control, a shorter stick may be suitable for you. A short stick allows closer ball control, making it easier to maneuver through defenders. It also enables more dynamism while dribbling and changing directions quickly.
“One of the most important aspects of dribbling is to have close ball control. You want to keep the ball as close to your foot or body as possible.” – USA Field Hockey
Passing and Shooting
For players who prioritize passing and shooting, a longer stick can provide better reach and accuracy. The extended length helps with sweeping motions when hitting long passes and taking hard shots from far away.
“A player’s physical dynamic will influence their unique style, which often correlates with the type of position they tend to take up on the field.” – Harrow Sports
Tackling and Defending
Defensive players need to tackle effectively without losing sight of the ball. A medium-sized stick can help here because it provides an ideal balance between reach and close control. A medium-sized stick gives enough space to defend yet allows quick interception and tackling.
“When you go into a sliding tackle, make sure your stick covers as much area as possible. If done correctly, the attacker will run into your flat side before he sees any free space.” – Field Hockey Forum
Flicking and Drag-flicking
In modern hockey, many players are mastering drag flicks, aerial pass and flicks. It requires a high level of skill and demands intense practice to master these techniques. Players who idealize such skills should consider choosing the stick length with an extended hitting surface area for more effective power transfer and technical precision.
“The drag flick technique is used primarily from penalty corners or set pieces near the goalpost.” – USA Field Hockey
Therefore, your playing style determines your preferred size range while selecting field hockey sticks. Analyzing what you need can help narrow down options when deciding which size to pick up.
Choose the Right Shape and Curve
Field hockey players know that choosing the right stick can make a big difference to their game. The correct size, shape, and curve of your stick all come together to create optimal performance on the field. Let’s take a closer look at two key elements to consider: bow shape and camber curve.
The bow is the curvature of the stick from the handle to the end. A larger bend will provide more power when hitting and increase ball control for players who like dribbling skills. However, it may slow down response time, so players should choose the depth that aligns best with their playing style. According to Field Hockey Review, there are three types of bow shapes:
- Low Bow: Ideal for drag flicks and aerial tricks because of its greater surface area contact with the ball and higher lift potential.
- Mid Bow: Offering an excellent balance between ball control and power, which makes it suitable option for any position but defenders specifically prefer this for their defensive plays followed by long passes.
- High Bow: More suited for forwards and attacking plays as it has highest uplift angle thus providing maximum speed during drag flicks..
“The bow affects the trajectory, or the way the ball travels in the air,” says Stuart M. Lovejoy, PhD. Sports Science and Research Manager at STX Field Hockey.”
The camber curve refers to the amount of curve you’ll find along the length of the stck – seen from top view, creating a semi-circle profile. It impacts how much and where you touch the ground giving improved handling, maneuverability while moving the ball and reduces ball bouncing An appropriate curve depends on your playing style. Higher curvatures suit forwards that play more aggressively whereas lower camber curves are ideal for defenders since it makes trapping the ball an easier task.
Some common curved patterns include:
- Mallet: Provides good balance between control and power when hitting or flicks
- Knight : Performs well with pulling back passes across length of the pitch.
- Oval/Catamaran: These shapes provide superior dribbling ability and its difficult for opponent defender to check this pattern.
“Stick design is intended for impact on field hockey abilities and creates better overall performance,” says Kevin Walter, manager of product development at Harrow Sports.
One final tip – make sure you actually feel comfortable with the stick before buying it! Try out different sticks and note which one feels most natural in your hand.
By keeping these two aspects in mind, players can find a stick that allows them to truly shine on the field.
Try Different Sticks Before Buying
Choosing the right size of field hockey stick is important for your performance on the pitch. One way to ensure you get the right fit is by testing out different sticks before making a purchase.
Visit a Local Sports Store
A good first step in trying different field hockey sticks is visiting a local sports store that sells them. Most stores will have a range of sizes and brands available, so take the time to test out each one and see how they feel in your hands.
You should hold the stick as if you are about to play and try dribbling, passing, and shooting with it. See how comfortable you feel holding the stick and make note of which ones feel most natural in your hands.
Ask for Recommendations
If you’re new to field hockey or unsure what size stick would be best for you, don’t hesitate to ask the salesperson at the sports store for recommendations. They may also be able to advise which brands run larger or smaller than other models.
If you already have experience playing, ask your coach or experienced teammates for advice on stick size. They can provide valuable insight into what works well for different positions or skill levels.
Test the Sticks on a Pitch
While a sports store is a great place to start, the true test for a field hockey stick is on the pitch itself. If possible, borrow sticks from friends or teammates and test them out during practice or a game.
This will give you a better idea of how each stick handles in an actual game setting and which one feels most comfortable for your style of play. You may find that the stick you thought was perfect in the store doesn’t perform as well under real game conditions.
Consider Renting a Stick
If you’re not currently ready to invest in your own field hockey stick, consider renting one first. Many sports stores offer rental options for less than $10 per day.
This can be a great way to test out different sizes and brands without committing to buying anything upfront. It’s also a good option if you plan on playing infrequently or are new to the sport and unsure if it will become a long-term hobby.
No matter which method you choose, taking the time to try different sticks before making a purchase can go a long way towards ensuring you have the best fit for your style of play.
Don’t Forget About Grip and Weight
Choosing the right size field hockey stick is essential for success on the field, but there are a few other factors to consider as well. Two key components to keep in mind are grip type and thickness, as well as stick weight.
The grip of your field hockey stick affects how comfortable it feels in your hands and also impacts your ball control. There are two main types of grips: smooth and dimpled. Smooth grips provide more contact with the stick, allowing for greater control. Dimpled grips increase airflow, which reduces sweat accumulation and can lead to improved grip.
“The choice between a smooth or taped grip should be based upon personal preference for feel.” -USA Field Hockey
To determine which grip type you prefer, try using both styles during practice and games. You may find that one option allows for easier maneuverability or gives you a better feel when dribbling or passing.
In addition to choosing between a smooth or dimpled grip, players must also decide on grip thickness. Thin grips offer greater contact with the stick, providing better transfer of energy from your hand to the ball. Thick grips can reduce player fatigue and make it easier to maintain a level grip throughout a game or practice.
“When choosing a grip thickness, consider hand size and position on the stick. Thicker grips are recommended for players with larger hands or those who hold their stick higher up towards the head.” -Harrows Sports
A general rule of thumb is to choose a grip thickness that allows for comfort and easy maneuverability while still providing solid ball control. This can vary depending on individual preferences and playing style.
Field hockey sticks come in a range of weights, typically ranging from 18 to 25 ounces. Lighter sticks are easier to handle and maneuver, making them ideal for players who prioritize speed and agility. Heavier sticks can provide more power when striking or hitting the ball, but may also cause player fatigue over time.
“The weight of your stick is crucial because it affects your hand balance, swing dynamics and control.” -STX Field Hockey
When choosing a stick weight, consider your playing style and personal preferences. If you focus on quick movements and need to change direction frequently, a lighter stick may be best. For those looking for increased power when taking shots or passes, a heavier stick could be advantageous.
When selecting a field hockey stick, remember to take into account grip type and thickness, as well as stick weight. Each factor plays an important role in determining how comfortable you feel with your stick and how effectively you can execute key skills during gameplay.
Frequently Asked Questions
What factors should be considered when choosing the correct size field hockey stick?
When choosing a field hockey stick, consider your height, position, and skill level. A defender may prefer a longer stick while a forward may prefer a shorter stick. Also, consider the weight and flexibility of the stick, which can affect your control and power on the field.
How do you measure the proper length of a field hockey stick?
To measure the proper length of a field hockey stick, stand the stick upright with the toe on the ground. The top of the stick should reach slightly above your hipbone. If you’re unsure, err on the shorter side as a longer stick can hinder your control and maneuverability on the field.
What is the recommended weight range for a field hockey stick?
The recommended weight range for a field hockey stick is between 18-21 ounces. A lighter stick allows for quicker movements and better control, while a heavier stick provides more power and stability. Choose a weight that complements your playing style and position.
What are the benefits of using a shorter or longer field hockey stick?
A shorter field hockey stick allows for better control and maneuverability, making it preferred by forwards and midfielders. A longer stick provides greater reach and power, making it preferred by defenders. Ultimately, the choice between a shorter or longer stick depends on your playing style and position.
What is the difference between a junior and senior field hockey stick size?
A junior field hockey stick is typically shorter and lighter than a senior stick, designed for players under 14 years old. Senior sticks are longer and heavier, designed for players over 14 years old. However, players of any age or skill level can use a junior or senior stick based on their individual preferences.
How do you adjust the grip size of a field hockey stick?
To adjust the grip size of a field hockey stick, add or remove grip tape as needed. Start by wrapping a layer of tape around the stick’s handle, then add additional layers until the grip feels comfortable in your hand. Be sure to smooth out any wrinkles or bumps in the tape for a secure grip.