Ice hockey requires a lot of player equipment to protect players from injury. It also requires a playing surface made of ice, which may be hard to find depending on where you live. In this tutorial, we will learn about the equipment required to play the sport of ice hockey.
Ice hockey is a major professional sport. The most famous league is the NHL (National Hockey League), which is centered in the U.S.A. and Canada. Hockey is played on a sheet of ice between two teams, which each have six players on the ice. A point is scored by shooting a puck in a goal, which is defended by a goalie. Since the goalie has the job of stopping hard-hit shots, he wears special equipment for safety and protection.
Ice hockey accessories include the following: jock strap, mouthguard, garter belt, tape, skate laces, a water bottle, and a bag. A jock strap holds a cup and protects your groin, a mouthguard protects your teeth, a garter belt (also known as suspenders) holds your pants up, tape is used for your stick blade or hockey socks, laces are used to tie your skates, a water bottle is used to hydrate during your game/practice, and a bag is used to carry your equipment.
A hockey bag is used for a player to carry and store their equipment. There are many different kinds and brands of hockey bags that come in different sizes. A younger player may want to use a hockey bag with wheels because the bag can get heavy, however, an older player may want to use a bag like the one in the image above that has handles and that can be carried over their shoulder. If you're a goalie, you may want a bigger bag because your equipment requires more space. Most bags cost anywhere from reputable brands like Bauer and Warrior cost anywhere between $50 and $150.
Garter belts are basically suspenders. Garter belts are not worn very often in hockey, however, the garter belt is used to make sure a player's hockey pants do not fall and slide down their waist. The bottom of the garter belt clips onto the side of the pants, and the top straps are looped around the player's shoulders (at the top of their shoulder pads). A player only wears a garter belt if their pants are loose. Garter belts are about $10 each.
Jockstraps are used in hockey to hold a cup. As explained before, a cup is important because it protects the player from damaging serious organs. Often jockstraps will have velcro attached to the bottom of them depending on the type purchased. This can be beneficial because the socks can then attach and hold onto the velcro. Jocks are usually in the price range of anywhere from $25 to $100 depending on if the player wants velcro and on if they want the jock to be more like shorts or pants.
Cups are placed inside one's jockstrap and protect a player from injuring their private parts. A cup is a necessity because it is dangerous to play a physical sport like ice hockey with no protection over those areas. There is a lot of hitting and movement around the surface. Furthermore, if a player needs to block a shot with the puck coming at them quickly, if the puck hits the wrong spot, it could cause permanent damage.
Many different types of laces exist for ice hockey skates, and players have their personal preferences. Cloth laces are generally soft and easy to pull and tie, but they break more often and can loosen up easily. On the other hand, wax laces are rougher on the hands and harder to tie and untie, but they break less often and stay put together in a knot. Laces cost about $5 to $10 a pair.
Mouth guards are an underrated piece of equipment in ice hockey. Many different competitive youth hockey leagues require their players to wear a mouth guard, and the majority of NHL players wear one as well. Mouth guards make it so your teeth are better protected. Furthermore, if one is hit hard into the boards, the mouth guard can absorb a lot of the impact if one closes their mouth and bites down. This can prevent serious concussions and mouth injuries. Mouth guards vary in price depending on if they are custom fit to a player's mouth.
Ice hockey socks cover the shin pad. To ensure they stay up and do not fall down, they are often velcroed to the jockstrap or wrapped around with clear tape. Each team has their own pair of home and away socks (often a pair of white socks and a pair of colored socks). Socks cost around $25 a pair.
Ice hockey shin tape can also be referred to as clear tape. Clear tape usually costs about $3 to $4 per roll, and is used directly on the shin guard itself, or on top of the hockey sock covering the pad. Tape is wrapped around to make sure the shin pad will stay in place and not move around throughout the course of a game where a player's legs are moving a lot.
The top of a stick and blade of a stick must always be taped. Many players prefer to use grip tape at the top because that is where their hands are. As far as the blade, stick tape comes in different patterns and colors. However, most players use white (to blend in with the ice) or black (to blend in with the puck). Like shin tape, stick tape is also $3 to $4 a roll.
Ice hockey water bottles are like any typical water bottle for a soccer or football player. A team brings a case of 6-12 bottles on their bench, and a player squirts water from the straw or opening into their mouths from a few inches away. A Gatorade bottle is a perfect example.
Goalie equipment includes helmets, chest protectors, neck guards, gloves, skates, sticks, blockers, and pads. A helmet protects the head, a chest protector protects the chest and torso, a neck guard protects the neck and throat area, and a glove protects hands and is used to catch pucks. Skates are used to move along the ice, sticks are used to control the puck and to pass and shoot, and a blocker is used to deflect and save pucks. Pads are used to protect the legs, to slide from side to side across the net, and to block pucks sliding on the ground.
An ice hockey goalie blocker is worn on a goalie's dominant hand. A blocker is made up of a lot of cushion and padding to protect the goalie's hand. It goes in the hand that holds the goalie stick and is used to deflect pucks away from the net and to save anything that comes a goalie's way. Blockers vary in price but are often expensive (between $100 and $200).
An ice hockey goalie catch glove is worn like a baseball glove. The glove is worn in a goalie's non-dominant hand and is responsible for catching any pucks that come toward the net. A goalie is often known for either having a "better glove or blocker side." That means, a goalie is better at saving pucks with one piece of equipment than another. Prices range anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to a thousand dollars.
A goalie chest protector is probably the most vital piece of equipment for a goalie to wear. Their chest protectors must have lots of padding and protection. When a puck flies at their chest at full speed, the goalie must make the save, but more importantly, not break a rib or hurt any part of their chest while doing so because of the impact of the puck.
Goalie helmets are similar to player helmets as the main job is to protect the goalie's head and block pucks off of their helmet if need be. However, a goalie helmet only consists of one strap under their chin with no side straps. As a result, the goalie is able to turn their head and move easier inside the helmet. They are also more prone to their helmet falling off during the action, which can be dangerous. Many goalies customize their helmets based on whatever team they are playing for.
A goalie cannot wear a shield like players can. An ice hockey goalie mask is standard, and although there are several different types, shapes, and sizes of cages, all of them are very similar. A goalie uses their mask to protect their face. The metal cage offers proper spacing so that a goalie can judge the distance and speed on an oncoming puck. Also, a goalie may need to make an occasional save off their mask, so it is not only a protective device, but also a way for a goalie to deflect the puck and to prevent a goal. The masks often come with the helmet, but a goalie is able to change their mask if it fits the helmet.
An ice hockey goalie neck guard is larger than a typical player neck guard. It is made with better padding and more cushions. A goalie's neck guard is placed around the goalie's neck and also covers their throat and collar bone. As a result, goalies have better protection from rising pucks or sticks that may hit them or interfere with them throughout the game. Neck guards cost approximately $40 to $50.
An ice hockey goalie pad is strapped onto a goalie's legs and allows the goalie to slide back and forth on the ice and to block and kick away pucks that come their way. Pads are used to stop pucks that are coming on the ice, rather than in the air. Pads are usually upwards of $1,000 and are the piece of equipment that goaltenders need the most.
Ice hockey goalie pants are very similar to those of player pants. Garter belts can be used to hold the pants up if need be, but for the most part they are unnecessary. Pants are won over the jock and protect a goalie's lower back, butt, and thighs from becoming injured. Pants are made with several layers of padding. Goalie pants typically cost between $100 and $200.
Ice hockey goalie skates are used for the goalie to skate and glide around the ice. Goalie skates differ from player skates in the sense that they are composed of much thicker steel. Blades on a goalie skate are longer than blades on a player skate. Lastly, since goalies are stationary for most of a game, the rocker of the skates are much flatter. The rocker of the skate is the white plastic piece of material, which attaches the bottom of the skate to the blade. Because a goalie must often move side-to-side, a wider rocker provides the balance and stability necessary to do this.
Goalie sticks are held in the same hand in which a blocker is held in. Like players, a goalie can use a stick to stickhandle, pass, and shoot the puck. However, more often, a goalie uses their stick to move the puck away from the mouth of the goal or to slap the puck away from the crease into the corner. The top part of the stick is made the same as a player stick. It is slightly different because the blade of a goalie stick is much wider, and the bottom half of the shaft is much wider than a player stick as well. Like a player stick, goalie sticks differ in price because of the sizes, the manufacturers, and the various brands. Low end sticks run at about $50, while high end sticks run close to $300.
An ice hockey goal is the 4 foot by 6 foot target where players attempt to shoot the puck. Whenever the puck crosses the goal line (the red line on the ice that is between both front posts), it's a goal. The top part of the goal is called the crossbar, and the two gray parts on the side as seen above in the image are called posts. A player must shoot the puck into the 4 by 6 frame between the posts and under the crossbar. An ice hockey goal typically costs anywhere between $100 and $250. If a player wants a cheap goal for their backyard, a $100 net does the trick. However, if the owner of a rink wants a new goal for the ice rink, a $250 net is the way to go.
Ice hockey gloves are used by players to increase the grip strength on their sticks. In addition to increasing grip strength, gloves provide extra padding and protection against hand-related injuries on the ice. Some examples of potential hand injuries include falling your hands, getting slashed by another player's stick, or getting hit by the puck. There are many types of gloves to pick from. Bauer and Warrior brands are often the most popular.
Ice hockey gloves are like a typical winter glove worn on your hands, however, a player wears these gloves in order to have a good grip and solid control while holding their sticks. Furthermore, if a player is slashed during the course of a game, the gloves have padding and cushions that provide protection by absorbing the impact caused by the slash of a stick, or if for some odd reason, skate. Gloves range from $50 to $175.
An ice hockey helmet is a vital piece of equipment. A helmet protects a player from getting hit in the head by a puck or by the shock of the boards, ice, or another player after a big hit or collision. A helmet protects a player from sustaining a concussion and can range in the price range of anywhere from $50 to $400. This is not a piece of equipment where saving the extra money is worth it.
An ice hockey helmet cage is used during youth and collegiate hockey. Most professionals in the NHL wear a half-visor shield or nothing at all to protect their face. A helmet cage is worn for protection purposes and is composed of metal and has multiple screws around the face of the cage that will attach to helmets. Certain types of cages are constructed to fit specific types of helmets. A helmet cage or shield is approximately $50.
Chin straps ensure that a helmet is secure and in the correct position to protect a player's chin and the area surrounding it. There are 2 straps on the side of a helmet that must be clipped on as well. If a chin strap is not buckled or not tight enough, the helmet will rock back and forth and not provide enough protection for a player to wear and be safe in.
Helmet visors are often used by professionals and some competitive youth and collegiate players. Visors are an alternative to cages. While visors can sometimes fog up, there are products made to prevent this from happening. A visor is like a fishbowl and allows a player to see the ice with more ease. Many NHL players may decide to wear a half visor because it is safer.
An ice hockey jersey is worn over a player's shoulder pads/chest protector and elbow pads. A jersey often has the name of the team on the front, with the name of the individual player and their number on the back. A team often has a home and away jersey (a light and a dark colored jersey to wear when at their home rink or an opponent's rink). Jerseys signify the team a player associates themself with.
Skates are integral to the sport of hockey. The blades allow a player to have the ability to skate on ice. Skates vary in their comfort and protection and range anywhere from $100 to $1,000. High-level players usually buy skates north of $500 and have them baked or molded to their feet.
Skate guards are placed on the blade of the skate whenever the skate is not in use. This is so the blade remains in its best possible condition and does not rust. There are many different types of skate guards; hard and soft ones. Hard skate guards allow a player to walk around and over surfaces that may be detrimental to the blade. Soft skate guards do not allow that. Soft skate guards cost approximately $10, while hard skate guards are closer to $20.
An ice hockey skate wrap may be placed on the ankle part of the skate itself before taking the ice. This provides the back of the foot and ankle with an extra layer of protection if a shot must be blocked with their foot or if a skate blade hits their ankle. Lots of players who have suffered broken bones in their feet or ankle injuries wear these after being hurt. Skate wraps can weigh a player down while skating. They are very uncommon to see these days.
Similar to an ice hockey skate wrap which is placed on the ankle part of a skate, the ice hockey skate fender serves a similar purpose and may be placed on the front part of the skate itself before taking to the ice. This provides the toes and front of the foot with an extra layer of protection if a shot must be blocked with their foot. Just like a player who has suffered an ankle or bone injury wears a skate wrap, players who have suffered broken bones in their toes or instep wear these after being hurt.
Ice hockey sticks are composite and wooden. Professionals and competitive youth hockey players use composite sticks, while young amateurs and street hockey players may use wooden sticks. Sticks are produced by several different brands in several different sizes and flexes. They range in prices from $30 to $350.
Stick butts are placed on the top of the stick. They are often unseen because a player normally tapes over it with grip tape or whatever tape they see fit. Stick butts are easy to replace and the cork in the top of a stick is just like a cork in a bottle of wine.
Stick protectors protect a stick blade from cracking. A player will often use a stick protector when they are travelling to an away game in a packed car or on a plane. This way, they make sure their stick does not get hit or moved the wrong way and break. Stick protectors cost around $20 to $30.
Ice hockey pants are similar to goalie pants. Ice hockey pants protect a player's lower back, butt, and thighs. Pants also have straps and laces that can be tightened to be held in place. They are also composed of excess layers of padding and cushion to ensure a player will not get hurt from a fall, hit, or puck. Pants run from $50 to $200.
Elbow pads are an essential piece of equipment from a safety standpoint. Whenever a player gets hit into the boards and falls hard to the ice, their elbows are protected from the impact of the ice or glass. There are various different brands and types of elbow pads that can be worn. Some common brands are Bauer or Warrior. Elbow pads vary in price depending on how much padding or cushion is present. The price range is anywhere from $40 to $150.
Ice hockey neck guards are also an underrated piece of equipment. Neck guards protect several different arteries in the neck. There have been many stories of how a player got hit in the neck with a stick or accidentally slashed in the neck by a skate which led to permanent damage. Although it takes some time to get used to, a neck guard makes players safer and is now being required to wear in more and more youth hockey leagues.
Ice Hockey Shin Pads protect the player's leg and knees from injury. Shin Pads (also referred to as knee pads because they cover the kneecap in full and then go down the leg and tuck into the skate) are necessary because the plastic shell of protection and cushion of the pad is the only way a player can feel safe and secure enough to block a shot, take a hit, or fall to the ice. Shin pads stay in position on the leg when a player moves around the ice by using velcro straps and sometimes by wrapping clear tape around the pad (if necessary). Shin pads can cost anywhere from $75 to $200.
Shoulder pads protect a player's shoulder and torso. Whether it be a hit, shot block, or hard fall, the shoulder pad absorbs most of the shock from the impact. Straps are present on the arm sleeves and on the torso which attach to a small piece of velcro. Shoulder pads usually range anywhere from $150 to $300.
Slash guards are worn on a player's wrist right below the glove. They are worn to provide protection to a player if their opponent slashes them in the wrist. Most players find them to be unnecessary and only find them suitable if they have injured their wrist in the past. They are cheap and cost under $10.
An ice hockey puck is the standard rubber black disc that is used to play the game. The rubber puck slides quickly on the ice, whether it be a pass or shot. Being hit by a puck can sting and hurt a lot because a puck can travel up to 100 miles per hour.
Hockey rinks are often referred to as whiteboards for coaches and players. These mini versions of rinks are used to draw up plays and drills with dry-erase markers. Coaches will often use these to illustrate to a team how they want the breakout, powerplay, or penalty kill to look. Furthermore at a practice, these are used to display how the drill will go.
There are multiple training equipment products that aid in improving a hockey player's shooting skills. These products include:
Hockey players can advance their passing skills with the use of training equipment. This equipment includes:
Training equipment for stick skills will help hockey players enhance their efficiency when carrying the puck. These products include:
Ice hockey practice jerseys are usually simple. Unlike game jerseys that have a player's team name on the front, individual name on the back, and number on the back, practice jerseys normally just have a simple logo of a team on the front and are made in a variety of colors. Players on the same forward or defensive (meaning these players are on the ice at the same time) are given the same color jersey, so when a team plays against each other in drills in practice, players know who is on their team and who is against them. Practice jerseys are usually given out to a player on a team for free.
Slide boards are used in off-ice training sessions. Slide boards are a slippery synthetic ice like material, which allows a player to improve their stickhandling. Players often use these before games and in their free time to get better at moving the puck back and forth at a quicker pace. Slide boards can run anywhere from $50 to $500 depending on the size and complexity of it.
Stickhandling balls are used for off-ice training (often referred to as dryland activities). Players use stickhandling balls to practice moving the puck back and forth and to improve their dangle technique and deking abilities. Stickhandling balls normally cost south of $10.
Ice hockey uniforms include pants, a jersey, a helmet, a mouth guard, socks, gloves, and skates. All of these individual pieces of equipment help produce the full product and make a hockey player who they are.
According to the NHL Rulebook, all players must be equipped with the following:
Hockey is a special sport because players come into contact with the puck often, and the puck will do a lot of damage if your equipment isn't durable, high quality, or worn correctly. Depending on your player position, you may also need a different set of equipment. For example, hockey goalies need different pads, gloves, and protectors. We will cover the differences between equipment for skaters and goalies below.
The most important equipment you'll need are ice skates, gloves, a hockey stick, and pucks. At the bare minimum, you'll want a helmet to protect yourself from serious head injuries. Depending on the kind of hockey you are playing and the level of competition, you may be required to purchase more protective equipment based on the league. As a hockey goalie you'll need a helmet with a mask, neck protector, and more padding as safety is the utmost concern.
Hockey equipment costs vary based on which pieces you purchase On the cheaper side, if you buy only used youth equipment, you could get all the equipment needed for around $100 to $200. However, this price will usually rise if you buy higher-end equipment. If you are buying senior-level equipment from a store, you should expect to spend several thousands of dollars total on all the equipment.