Ice Hockey Equipment

By: Kent Pinkerton

Ice hockey requires special equipment. The basics being the stick and the puck.

The ice hockey stick is slightly less curved than the routine hockey stick and may be made of wood or a high-tech composite material. The composite stick is sturdier, but also more expensive. Instead of a ball, there is a hard, vulcanized rubber disc called as the puck, which is supposed to be hit with the stick towards the goal net. Ice hockey players use special skates, which have blade grips to facilitate contact with the ice. The goal net, which is made of steel frames and synthetic nylon net, can be dismantled for storage.

When the hockey stick is swung strong enough, he puck moves at about 120-160 km/h, increasing chances of accidental injury. Wearing safety gear is the law. A helmet with a mouth guard is mandatory and must meet safety standards to protect eyes, nose and teeth. Professional players may be excused from wearing mouth guards, but young players and collegiate-level players are obliged by law to wear them.

Ice hockey players should wear shoulder pads, shin and elbow guards and knee guards. Ice hockey gloves are more thickly padded than regular hockey gloves. And jockstraps are mandatory. Both men and women must wear padded undergarments to protect the upper torso and calves.

Goalies require much more protection since they must physically stop the puck from entering the goal-net. They are fortified with chest protectors, back protectors, neck guards and leg pads, as well as the standard equipment.

Ice hockey is a very demanding contact sport and the gear is designed with safety and comfort in mind.

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