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Hockey Equipment (Protection)

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From head to toe, the hockey player wears:

  • Hockey helmet. Look for one certified for safety by the CSA, the Canadian Standards Association. Some models cover the ears, added protection that is not mandatory in all amateur leagues, but worthwhile.
  • Hockey face shield or cage. Full face protection is required in most youth and amateur play. The main choice is between a wire cage and a plastic shield. The cage allows full air circulation around the face, but looking through the wire mesh can be distracting. Shields can fog up during play and they are prone to scuffing and scratching.
  • Hockey shoulder pads. Some models also have full chest and back protection attached. The more competitive and physical the play, the more protection you need. Special models geared to female players are available.
  • Hockey elbow pads. These pads cover the elbow, the forearm and the upper arm. As with shoulder pads, the more competitive and physical the play, the more protection is needed.
  • Hockey gloves. They are armored and padded on the back of the hand and around the wrist to protect from being hit by sticks or pucks. Select gloves, elbow pads and shoulder pads so that the length of the arm is completely protected.
  • Hockey pants. Good hockey pants are heavily padded around the kidneys and lower back. They also have a flap to protect the tailbone from severe bruising or injury during a hard fall. The thighs are protected with hard plastic inserts. The weakest protection in many models is around the hips and buttocks, which can be seriously bruised with a hard fall or collision (either with a player or the boards). Pay close attention to what the pants offers here. Choose between a belt (modern) and suspenders (traditional) to hold the pants up.
  • Cup. A must for the male player, needless to say. Special pelvic protection is available or female players.
  • Hockey shin guards. Even for laid-back recreational play, get a good model that is sturdy and protects

    the side of the legs. However and wherever you play, you'll be hit in the shins a lot, but should feel nothing. The back of the legs is typically exposed. Defensemen in competitive leagues will wear bulkier, more heavily padded shin guards than forwards.

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