Hockey Equipment

Hockey is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, and can be played in the gym, on the street, on a pond or rink, or even on a special type of table.
 
Field Hockey and Ice Hockey are also dangerous sports.  While one can play with nothing more than a stick and skates or shoes, competitive hockey requires good quality protective gear.  
 
Equipment requirements depend on the specific type of hockey played.  For example, bodychecking is not permitted in women's hockey, so protective clothing is less important. Skates are required for ice hockey, but not for field hockey.
 
Goalie masks are helmets made of hard plastic or composite materials containing Kevlar or fibreglass.  They typically feature a replaceable stainless steel, chrome or composite wire cage over the face. The mask must allow the goalie to see the puck.  Some models have adjustable padding inside the helmet to absorb impact. Some come with extended throat protectors. Masks cost between $100 and $1000 dollars.  Although expensive, quality goalie masks are essential.  Players facing shots up to 100 miles per hour need sound protection!
 
Goalies also need padding around the thigh, knee, toes, and wrist, and various styles of strap-on padded guards or padded gloves are available. 
 
Players can be protected from head to toe with mouthguards, throat protectors, ankle guards, and protective vests. Modern protective guards are made from materials like kevlar and graphite for greater strength, and are deeply padded.
 
A hockey stick is essential, and players should choose carefully to ensure their stick is suited in height and weight and has a blade with a comfortable curve. Sticks are made from wood, aluminium, carbon, kevlar, titanium, or graphite and some are rubber coated. One and two-piece sticks are available, and some have replaceable blades. Prices vary from $10 to $300+. 
 
Hockey pucks are made of vulcanised rubber.  Official pucks weigh around six ounces.  Lightweight pucks are available for younger players, and 10 ounce pucks are sometimes used for training. Pucks are usually an inch thick and three inches in diameter.  Pucks are inexpensive, costing between $1 and $5.
 
For variations of hockey played with balls, balls are available made from plastic or rubber. These vary in hardness and bounce.  Some are injected with liquid to reduce bounce.  Balls cost between 
$3 and $5.
 
For ice hockey, skates are the most vital item of equipment.  Skates need to protect your feet as well as propelling you around the ice. They consist of three parts: the interior boot, the exterior holder and the attachable blade.  Most are made from a combination of leather and synthetic materials, and you should select carefully to ensure your skates fit well, are durable, light weight, and comfortable. Size is vitally important, especially for young players, as the wrong size will hamper skating ability and can cause injury.
 
Skate blades are made from stainless steel in a concave, curved shape.
 
Skates are available in all sizes and a range of qualities, priced from about $50 to $600.
 
Optional items of equipment for hockey players include bags, team jerseys, gloves, hockey socks, and shin pads.
 
For air hockey, special tables are required that can be quite expensive. You also need a special puck and a mallet.  Protective clothing is not required for air hockey. Nor are skates or a stick needed.