|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,
- 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
- 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.