Field hockey stick

Each player carries a “stick” that normally measures between 80–95 cm (31–38″) long; shorter or longer sticks are available. Sticks were traditionally made of wood, but are now often made also with fibreglass,kevlar or carbon fibre composites. Metal is forbidden from use in field hockey sticks, due to the risk of injury from sharp edges if the stick were to break. The stick has a rounded handle, has a J-shaped hook at the bottom, and is flattened on the left side (when looking down the handle with the hook facing upwards). All sticks are right handed. Left handed sticks are not permitted.

downloadThere was traditionally a slight curve (called the bow, or rake) from the top to bottom of the face side of the stick and another on the ‘heel’ edge to the top of the handle (usually made according to the angle at which the handle part was inserted into the splice of the head part of the stick), which assisted in the positioning of the stick head in relation to the ball and made striking the ball easier and more accurate.

The hook at the bottom of the stick was only recently the tight curve (Indian style) that we have nowadays. The older ‘English’ sticks had a longer bend, making it very hard to use the stick on the reverse. For this reason players now use the tight curved sticks.

The handle makes up the about the top third of the stick. It is wrapped in a grip similar to that used on tennis racket. The grip may be made of a variety of materials, including chamois leather, which many players think improves grip in the wet.

It was recently discovered that increasing the depth of the face bow made it easier to get high speeds from the dragflick and made the stroke easier to execute. At first, after this feature was introduced, the Hockey Rules Board placed a limit of 50 mm on the maximum depth of bow over the length of the stick but experience quickly demonstrated this to be excessive. New rules now limit this curve to under 25 mm so as to limit the power with which the ball can be flicked.

Field hockey ball

images (1)Standard field hockey balls are hard spherical balls, made of plastic (sometimes over a cork core), and are usually white, although they can be any colour as long as they contrast with the playing surface. The balls have a circumference of 224–235 mm (8.8–9.3 in) and a mass of 156–163 g (5.5–5.7 oz). The ball is often covered with indentations to reduceaquaplaning that can cause an inconsistent ball speed on wet surfaces.