Field hockey sticks come in a variety of lengths, shapes, and materials. Familiarize yourself with the different options you have in stick choice, and your game will benefit from it. If you're just starting out in the game, there are some key characteristics of field hockey sticks that you should pay attention to. And if you're looking for a left-handed stick, you can stop now. Field hockey sticks are only right-handed.
A good place to start is with trying out a few sticks from a teammate or coach. Find out what they like and dislike, and get a feel for what type of stick is comfortable for you. There are a number of options to choose from.
Parts of the Stick
There are three key components of the stick: The handle, bow, and head. The handle, also called the grip or shaft, is the part that is held. It is covered with a grip or tape that helps you to keep control of it while using the stick. The bow refers to the curve of the stick. By regulations, this bend cannot be more than 25 millimeters. Finally, the head can be divided into three parts. These are the heel, toe, and scoop. The heel is the bottom part of the stick, which connects to the toe, or the striking surface of the stick. The scoop is opposite the heel, and has a small groove that is used to help handle the ball.
The toe of the stick has four different options for you to choose: Hook, Maxi, Midi, or Shorti. The majority of players will choose the midi style because it has the greatest versatility. It's also best for beginning players because of this. In general, defensive players choose a hook or maxi-style toe, while those on offense go for a shorti.
As mentioned before, the maximum bow of a stick is 25 mm, but this bend can be at different places in the stick. The regular bow is an even, centered curvature that is best for beginning and intermediate players, because its balance allows for better overall play. For advanced players, the control bow moves the bend in the stick closer to the toe. This increases power and allows for greater control, but requires more skill. At the elite levels of the sport, late and extreme late bows allow for even greater power and control. These field hockey sticks take even more skill to control.
Most beginner sticks are made of wood. These sticks help beginner and intermediate players to develop their skills with a more flexible, lightweight and comfortable feel. Composite sticks cover a whole range of skill levels and materials. In fact, many wooden sticks are even composite, give that they are covered in fiberglass to improve durability.
Fiberglass sticks help to keep that light, balanced feel of the wooden stick while offering many of the advantages of an elite stick, with a lower price tag. At the highest end of the materials range, carbon fiber sticks offer greater power and control, but are harder to control. They tend to be used by elite players.
Sticks can be up to 40 inches long, but most sticks used are going to be in a range between 32"-38". The following sizing chart gives a good starting guide to finding the right stick: