Choosing the right field hockey stick size can greatly impact your game. A stick too long might make it difficult to control, while a stick too short might hinder your reach and ability to hit the ball. Finding the perfect fit is crucial whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player looking to step up your game.
Luckily, determining the right size for you isn’t as complicated as it sounds – it just requires some basic understanding of what suits your height, position and play style. Whether you’re an attacker who likes to move fast on the pitch, or a defender that focuses more on stopping opponents in their tracks, there’s a size that will suit your needs best.
In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know to find your ideal field hockey stick size. We’ll cover how to measure yourself, which factors to consider when selecting a stick based on your position, and top tips from pros on picking the right length and weight for optimal performance.
“The right hockey stick improves not only your skills but also your love for the sport – the way you feel each time you practice hitting or dribbling becomes something special.” -Anonymous
No matter if you’re a student athlete, seasoned amateur or simply curious about taking up field hockey, knowing what size stick fits your playing style is essential for enjoying the game and performing well. Let’s dive into it.
Understanding Field Hockey Stick Sizing
Why Choosing the Right Field Hockey Stick Size is Important
When it comes to field hockey, choosing the right stick size can make a huge difference in your performance. Not having the correct size can reduce the power and accuracy of your shots as well as affect your control of the ball. A stick that is too long or too short can also lead to injuries and discomfort while playing.
It’s essential to find a stick that suits your body type, handle preference, and skill level. Beginner players might prefer shorter sticks for better control, while more experienced players might want longer sticks to improve their reach and pass distance. Whatever your preferences are, finding the perfect size will help you play at your best.
The Anatomy of a Field Hockey Stick
Before we dive into sizing, let’s take a quick look at the different parts of a field hockey stick:
- Head: The flat end of the stick used to hit the ball.
- Toes: Usually made up of two raised ribs on either side of the head, these give a bit of lift to the ball when struck properly.
- Backhand Edge: The back of the stick which can be used to hit the ball for reverse shots instead of using the front (forehand).
- Grip: Located at the bottom of the stick, where the player holds onto it. This can be wrapped with tape if the player wants extra grip.
- Bow: Refers to the curve along the length of the stick. Different bow types suit different playing styles.
Now that we’re familiar with the parts of a field hockey stick, let’s focus on sizing. Manufacturers typically measure stick sizes in inches from the ground to the top of the grip while the stick is upright.
Determining Your Field Hockey Stick Size
The first step in determining your ideal size is to stand straight up and extend your right arm to your side so it’s perpendicular to your body. Then, have someone measure the distance from the ground to your wrist. This measurement will help you determine the correct length for your stick.
There are other factors to consider besides just height. As mentioned earlier, personal preference plays a role as well. The following is a general guide to selecting an appropriate size based on both height and skill level:
- Under 4’6″ (137cm): Approximate stick size – 28″
- 4’6” – 5’: (137-152 cm) Approximate stick size -31-32”
- 5’1” – 5’3” (155-160 cm): Approximate stick ranges from 32”-34”
- 5’4″-5’7″(162-170cm): Approximate stick range: 35″-36.5″
- Over 5’8” (172cm): Approximate stick size – 37+ inches
Remember, these measurements can be adjusted according to playing style and position. Defensive players may prefer longer sticks because they need more reach, while midfielders and forwards might want shorter sticks for better ball control. Experimentation and trial-and-error can help you find the perfect size that works best for you.
“The biggest mistake I see young players make is playing with a stick that is too long. They lose control over the ball and it affects their decision making as well.” -Fergus Kavanagh, former Australian field hockey player
It’s essential to choose the right size stick based on your height and ability level since it will affect your performance and comfort levels while playing. By determining your ideal stick length and experimenting with different bow types, you’ll be able to improve your skills and stand out on the field!
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Field Hockey Stick Size
Your Playing Position
The first factor to consider when choosing a field hockey stick size is the position you play. Different positions require different types of sticks. For example, forwards typically use shorter sticks for more control and quicker movements, while defenders use longer sticks for greater reach and power.
Midfielders tend to use medium-length sticks that allow both speed and reach, but ultimately it comes down to personal preference and playing style.
“When selecting a stick, choose one based on your position on the field and what aspects of your game are most important.” -USA Field Hockey
Your Height and Weight
In addition to your playing position, your height and weight also play a role in determining the right size field hockey stick for you. A taller player may benefit from a longer stick with a larger head, while a smaller player may prefer a shorter stick with better maneuverability.
Your weight can also affect how well you handle a heavier or lighter stick. Ideally, you want to be able to comfortably hold and control your stick during gameplay without sacrificing strength or precision.
“The length of stick should depend on the height of the player; taller players generally use longer sticks than shorter players…A heavier stick tends to provide more force behind a hit and can increase shot speed – if you’re strong enough to handle the additional weight.” -Field Hockey Review
It’s important to remember that finding the perfect sized stick may take some experimentation. You may need to try a few different options before you find the one that feels best for you.
- Some additional factors to keep in mind include:
- The level of competition you play at: higher levels often require more specialized sticks
- Your dominant hand: if you’re left-handed, consider a stick with an angled head for easier manipulation.
- The type of pitch: indoor and outdoor pitches may prioritize control versus power.
By taking these factors into consideration when selecting your field hockey stick size, you can improve your gameplay and overall experience on the field. Remember, it’s not about finding the “perfect” size – it’s about finding the one that works best for you and your individual style of play.
Measuring Your Body for the Right Field Hockey Stick Size
Measuring Your Height
Height is an important factor to consider when choosing the right field hockey stick size. To determine your height, stand straight against a wall and mark the top of your head with a pencil. Then use a measuring tape to measure from the floor to the marked spot on the wall. This measurement is your height.
A general guide for field hockey sticks lengths based on player heights:
- 4’0”-4’3”: 28” stick length
- 4’3”-4’6”: 30” stick length
- 4’6”-4’9”: 32” stick length
- 4’9”-5’0”: 33” stick length
- 5’0”-5’3”: 34” stick length
- 5’3”-5’7”: 35” stick length
- 5’7”-5’10”: 36” stick length
- 5’10”-6’1”: 37” stick length
- 6’1” or taller: 38” stick length
Measuring Your Arm Length
Your arm length can also help determine the appropriate size for your field hockey stick. To measure your arm length, spread your arms out to the side and measure from fingertip to fingertip. This measurement is your arm span. Divide this number by two to get your wingspan length, which is a good starting point for choosing the right stick size.
A general guide for field hockey sticks lengths based on arm-span:
- Less than 51 inches: 28”-30” stick length
- 51-54 inches: 32” stick length
- 55-57 inches: 33” stick length
- 58-60 inches: 34” stick length
- 61-63 inches: 35” stick length
- 64 inches or taller: 36”-38” stick length
Measuring Your Hand Size
Your hand size can also affect the grip of your field hockey stick. To measure your hand size, place your dominant hand flat on a piece of paper with your fingers spread apart. Use a pen to mark the tip of your middle finger and the base of your palm. Measure the distance between these two marks. This measurement is the length of your hand.
A general guide for determining grip size based on hand length:
- Less than 6.5 inches: extra-small (XS) grip size
- 6.5-7 inches: small (S) grip size
- 7-8 inches: medium (M) grip size
- 8-9 inches: large (L) grip size
- More than 9 inches: extra-large (XL) grip size
The grip size of the stick can also be adjusted by adding a grip tape layer to prevent slipping and improve control.
“The right-sized hockey stick is essential for any player to perform at their best. A stick that’s too long or short will make it difficult to hit the ball and maneuver on the field.” -Source
Consider trying out different lengths and grips before choosing your perfect fit. Keep in mind that personal preferences may vary depending on playing style, position, and skill level. Finding the right fitting stick can offer greater comfort, control, and accuracy during gameplay. By measuring your height, arm span, and hand size, you can confidently select the appropriate field hockey stick size to help elevate your performance on the field.
Common Mistakes When Choosing a Field Hockey Stick Size
Choosing a Stick that is Too Long or Too Short
One of the most common mistakes players make when choosing a field hockey stick size is selecting one that is either too long or too short. A stick that is too long can lead to difficulties with control and dribbling, while a stick that is too short can limit your reach and power.
According to USA Field Hockey, the ideal length for a field hockey stick should be based on your height. For example, if you are between 4′ and 4’5″ tall, a 28-inch stick would be appropriate for you. If you are between 5’8″ and 6’1″ tall, a stick between 36.5 and 38 inches would be more suitable.
Remember that these recommendations are just guidelines and it’s important to try out different lengths before committing to one particular stick size. Always keep in mind what feels comfortable and natural for your playing style!
Not Considering Your Playing Position
Your position on the field can also influence the type of field hockey stick size you select.
If you play defense, you may want to choose a longer stick to help increase your reach when blocking incoming passes and shots. On the other hand, forwards may prefer a shorter stick to enhance their maneuverability and speed.
In addition to considering your playing position, think about your dominant hand as well. Left-handed players may feel more comfortable using a stick that has a slightly curved toe to accommodate for their opposite-handedness.
“The sticks we use have a big impact on our performance on the field,” says Olympic gold medalist Maddie Hinch. “Take time to find the right size and shape to give you the edge you need.”
Choosing the right field hockey stick size comes down to personal preference. Take into account your height, position on the field, dominant hand, and playing style to find a stick that feels comfortable and supportive.
How to Test if You Have the Right Field Hockey Stick Size
If you are an aspiring or professional field hockey player, one of the most important decisions you will make is choosing the right size of your stick. The correct size means greater maneuverability, improved control, and better overall performance during games. Here are four tests that can help you determine whether you have the right field hockey stick size.
The Knee Test
This test is simple and requires you to stand upright with your field hockey stick positioned vertically along the side of your leg. The head of the stick should be resting on the ground while the shaft should be touching your knee. If the top of your stick reaches just below your hipbone, then it is the right size for you.
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” -Albert Schweitzer
The Reach Test
To perform this test, hold onto the stick like you would when playing field hockey. Then place the flat end of the stick on the ground next to you, allowing the top to rise up to approximately waist height. Next, extend your arm at full length without bending elbow or wrist. If you can easily reach the top of the stick, you have the correct size.
“When you’re testing yourself, failure is not the enemy; it’s a teacher. And mistakes are not sins or shortcomings; they are the stuff learning is made of.” -Shane Parrish
The Dribble Test
With your field hockey stick on hand, begin dribbling the ball as you often do, going through normal gameplay motions. If the stick’s size is right, it will feel easy to hold and control with minimal strain on your hands or arms. On the other hand, if you experience any discomfort after a few minutes of dribbling, then you need to consider switching to an appropriate size.
“It is not enough to be successful in itself; one must also have deserved success.” -Heinrich Böll
The Swing Test
Grab your field hockey stick and swing it forward just like you would when taking a shot or passing. The correct-sized bat should allow for smooth movement from shoulder to ball with less energy wasted resulting to lesser fatigue throughout the game. Moreover, having more strength behind the swing can help increase shots power significantly.
These tests are helpful guidelines that can aid you in choosing the right size field hockey stick before hitting the pitch. With the ideal size, you won’t only be comfortable during gameplay, but also perform better and maximize your potential as a player.
Frequently Asked Questions
What size field hockey stick do I need as a beginner?
As a beginner, it’s best to start with a shorter stick that allows you to have more control and maneuverability. A stick that is between 28-32 inches in length is recommended for beginners. It’s important to choose a stick that feels comfortable in your hands and allows you to have a good grip. This will help you develop good stick skills and improve your overall game.
What size field hockey stick is best for a midfielder?
Midfielders need a stick that allows them to have good control and maneuverability, while also providing enough power for shooting and passing. A stick that is between 34-36 inches in length is recommended for midfielders. This length provides a good balance between control and power, allowing midfielders to excel in both offensive and defensive play.
What size field hockey stick is recommended for a defender?
Defenders need a stick that is longer and provides more power for clearing the ball out of the defensive zone. A stick that is between 36-38 inches in length is recommended for defenders. This length allows defenders to have a longer reach and more power for clearing the ball, while still maintaining good control and maneuverability.
What size field hockey stick is ideal for a forward player?
Forwards need a stick that provides good control and maneuverability, while also allowing for powerful shots and quick passes. A stick that is between 32-34 inches in length is recommended for forwards. This length allows for good control and maneuverability, while still providing enough power for shooting and passing in the offensive zone.
What factors should I consider when choosing the size of my field hockey stick?
When choosing the size of your field hockey stick, it’s important to consider your position, height, and personal preferences. Your position will determine the length and type of stick that is best suited for your playing style. Your height will also play a role in determining the length of your stick. Finally, it’s important to choose a stick that feels comfortable in your hands and allows you to have good grip and control.
How do I measure the correct size for my field hockey stick?
To measure the correct size for your field hockey stick, stand upright with your arms by your side. Place the end of the stick on the ground and hold the top of the stick with one hand. The stick should reach the top of your hip bone. If the stick is too long or too short, adjust accordingly. It’s important to choose a stick that feels comfortable and allows you to have good grip and control.