Choosing a Field Hockey Stick

Choosing a Field Hockey Stick

Finding the perfect field hockey stick ultimately depends on preference. Try out a friend’s stick or get a feel for the ones in a sporting goods store. If you’re still unsure which stick is right for you, follow these guidelines to find one that suits your size, position, and experience.

Stick Basics

The bottom of the stick, called the toe, has a rounded edge facing the right and a flat surface facing the left. The flat surface is used to hit the ball. The stick is controlled by the right hand, which should be placed at the base of the grip. The left hand is positioned at the top of the stick and is used to turn the stick.

(Sorry, lefties — there is no such thing as a left-handed field hockey stick.)

Stick Weight & Positioning

Most players prefer to use the medium-weight sticks. Forwards, however, generally use the lighter sticks for increased manoeuvrability and control. Defenders often favour heavier sticks that produce harder hits. Midfielders prefer the medium-weight sticks so they have both manoeuvrability and hard hits.

Beginners who haven’t decided on a position will be best served by choosing a medium-weight stick. This weight works well for any position. Here is the weight breakdown for sticks (in ounces):

Stick Weight (oz)   Weight (grams)
Extra Light < 18 oz < 500 grams
Light 18 oz to 19 oz 500-550 grams 
Medium 19 oz to 22 oz 550-625 grams 
Heavy 22 oz to 25.9 oz >625 grams 

Materials & Stiffness

Wood field hockey sticks are made primarily of mulberry or hickory. Composite and Fiberglas sticks are also legal and are predominantly used at the high school, collegiate, and Olympic and World Championship levels. The materials used in composite sticks help generate more power for hits and are used to increase durability and enhance flexibility.

Beginners tend to go for more flexible sticks (wood sticks) to help absorb shock. Advanced players usually prefer stiffer sticks (composite sticks) for increased power. Those who plan on continuing with the sport should buy composites; they are lighter, produce more power on every hit, and last longer.

The development and cost of composite sticks has come a long way and advice would be to head to a composite stick as soon as possible.

Stick Length

A players height dictates the length of the player’s stick.  Players look for the longest stick that they can comfortable handle; the longer the stick, the longer the reach and the greater the advantage. Stick sizes range from 26-inch junior sticks and go up to 38-inch sticks for tall, experienced (generally youth and adult) players.

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