The equipment guidelines are not only for the comfort but the SAFETY of all children participating in the sport of hockey.
Some key points to remember when buying hockey equipment are as follows:
- Does the equipment completely cover the area it is meant to protect?
- Does the helmet fit properly? (too loose may shift and too tight may cause discomfort).
- Facemask should be snug and properly secured. Only CSA certified helmets and facemasks may be worn.
- Does the hockey pant padding properly protect the kidneys, hips, front thighs, and tail bone?
Jock (athletic support):
- Fitted according to waist size. It should fit snugly but not so tight as to cause discomfort. The protective cups come in men’s and boy’s sizes.
- Fitted according to waist size
- Shin pads that are too big can slide out of position and reduce protection. They may also interfere with proper ankle and knee flexion.
- Shin pads that are too small can leave the lower shin area exposed and they do not provide sufficient protection on the sides of the knee.
- Pants must protect the front and the side of the thigh, tail bone, hip and kidney area. Unless they are properly fitted, they will not provide this protection.
- Designed to fit snugly to the body.
- Padding must protect all areas noted above (pants).
- Girdle should not shift around when the player walks.
- Bottom of girdle legs should touch top of knee cap when standing straight.
- Must protect many areas (shoulder joint, collar bone, upper chest and back and upper arms).
- For female players, a combination shoulder and chest protector combines shoulder pads with extra protection in the breast area.
- Should protect the entire elbow joint as well as parts of the upper arm and forearm.
- A properly fitted elbow pad has the elbow joint resting firmly in the cup.
- The donut shaped pad should suspend and protect the point of the elbow. The elastic should be snug but comfortable.
- Only helmets bearing a CSA label may be used in CAHA competition.
- A correctly fitted hockey helmet protects the entire skull, but specifically the forehead, temples, ear area, and the base of the skull.
- Never paint a helmet as the chemical reaction can change the molecular structure and weaken the helmet. When painted, a helmet loses CSA certification.
- Many dental associations recommend that players wear an internal mouth guard in addition to the protection offered by a face mask. Use of an internal mouth guard reduces the risk of brain concussion (from a blow to the jaw) and minimizes chances of chipping teeth should the lower jaw be struck.
- The internal mouth guard is molded right to the individual’s teeth and gum line.
- Superior protection is offered by those mouth guards fitted by a dental practitioner.
- In minor and female hockey and for all goal tenders, CSA certified face masks are required by the CAHA. Not all face guards will fit every helmet. Be careful to ensure a proper mask when fitting for the specific helmet.
- Never cut out wire (to improve field of vision), as the entire structure is dangerously weakened and the mask subsequently loses its CSA certification.
- Regular inspection of the face mask is essential. Is the wire structure solid? Are there scratches or cracks in the plastic?
- Properly fitted gloves must be snug, but not tight.
- Palms should be soft and pliable so that the player can grip the stick easily and be sensitive to the feel of the puck on the blade.
- Padding on the back of the glove, and in the thumb area should absorb shock. Compression should not be felt inside the glove, when the back of the glove is pushed with the fingers.
- All players must wear CSA approved throat protection. (collar)
- Ensure there are no breaks or cracks in the shaft or blade.
- The shaft and blade should be smooth, with no splinters.
- As well as being a necessity of the game, skates also provide protection for the foot and the Achilles tendon. Improperly fitted skates make it impossible for a player to develop effective skating skills.
Skate boots are manufactured in 3 basic styles:
- Plastic (moulded)
The following steps are recommended in selecting the proper skate size:
- A sewn boot (leather or nylon).
- Try on the skates wearing socks similar to those worn when you play.
- Put foot in and bang heel down to make sure it is positioned correctly in the boot.
- Keep trying smaller sizes until toes press up against the protective toe cap. Then, go back up one-half or one full size.
- A player skate size is usually smaller than one’s shoe size.
- With a plastic (moulded boot), toe should fit end of liner.
- Never buy skates too big with the idea of growing into them. When skates are laced up, the eyelets should be about one and a half to two inches apart. If they come closer, the boot is too large. If they are wider, a bigger boot, or at least a wider one is needed.
- Some skates come in different combinations of foot width. These skate boots are recommended for players who have difficulty obtaining a good fit.
- Do not wrap laces around the ankle as this could inhibit blood circulation and irritate the Achilles tendon.