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Hockey - sports information

Equipment required to play hockey: mouth guard, hockey stick, gloves, shin pads, shinliners (inner socks) and gloves.

Wear Shinnerz for Hockey.

Field hockey is an exciting and fast moving team sport that was originally played on grass but is now more commonly played on sand-based or water-based artificial turf (Astroturf as it's better known).

Hockey is team game that is popular among both male and females in numerous parts of the world, particularly Europe, South Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. It is believed that field hockey first appeared in England in the mid 18th Century but it wasn't until the 19th Century that it became well established, primarily in schools. The governing body of this exciting sport is the International Hockey Federation.

Men's field hockey has been played at the Olympic Games since 1908 but yet it took until 1980 for women's participation. Hockey has several regular international tournaments for both men and women - apart from the Olympic and Commonwealth Games there is the Hockey World Cups that take place every four years. Many countries have numerous club competitions for junior and senior players. After football and cricket, hockey is believed have the third largest number of participants worldwide.

Normally the game is played between single sex sides (although sometimes mixed sides play together) - between two teams of up to sixteen players, with only eleven of whom allowed to play on the pitch at any one time. The remaining five substitute players may swap on during the match.

The hockey players attempt to score goals by hitting, pushing or flicking a ball into an opposing team's goal using their stick. The players use J-shaped hockey sticks that are made of composite of wood, glass fibre or carbon fibre and play with a small, hard ball.

The game is split into two equal halves for 35 minutes play each half with normally a 5 minute break at half time. There are no fixed positions in a hockey team in fact even a goalkeeper is not required according to the rules! Most teams arrange themselves into fullbacks (defence), mid-fielders (halfback) and forwards (front line) and many teams include a single sweeper.

Hockey can be played all year round with those in colder climates moving to indoor facilities during the winter months. Indoor field hockey is slightly different as teams play 6-a-side rather than 11 and the field is reduced in size as a consequence. Also, sidelines are replaced with barriers to rebound the ball. There are many hockey camps year round in UK and abroad.

perfect fit Shin liner close to shin
shin pads on
hockey socks on top

What is the essential kit required to play hockey?

To play hockey at any level - you must be protected and wear:

  • Field, astro, indoors
  • Team hockey players
  • Hockey stick and ball
  • Shin pads
  • Shinnerz Inner socks
  • Mouth guard and hockey gloves

Dangers from flying sticks and balls in hockey.

Like any sport is important to have the right kit. Players wear mouth guards to protect their teeth and gums from the impact of the ball or sticks - in most places these are compulsory. Players also wear shin guards to protect their shins from the sticks and flying balls. Shin pads or shin guards are worn under the outer sock and again are often required equipment in many countries. They are designed to fit around the shin with special ankle / instep protection. There are numerous producers of hockey shin pads but some of the better known manufacturers are Grays, Adidas and Kookaburra.

International hockey player

Shin pads and hockey - protective equipment.

Hockey is a game that offers plenty of opportunity for injury with its fast paced action - even more so through use of a long, hard stick and an equally hard ball!

A high proportion of these leg injuries can be prevented by ensuring the correct protective equipment is worn, in particular shin pads, as a ball can be missed and an opponent's shin struck by accident with the hockey stick, if not by the ball itself.

Again, Shinnerz offer that extra level of comfort, allowing player to concentrate on their game rather than on the discomfort of shin pads rubbing against their skin. This can also apply in ice hockey.

FAQ's about protective hockey kit:

What protective equipment do hockey players wear?

Mouth guards are essential to protect teeth and gums from the impact of a hockey ball or stick. Shin pads are worn to protect shins from sticks and balls. Shin pads are worn to protect the shin. Shinliners (shinnerz) are worn beneath the shin pads, and hockey socks are worn on top of the shin pads. The goalie wears additional specially designed body pads, gloves and helmet for goal keepers.

Are Shinnerz worn for football and hockey?

Yes shinnerz are suitable for wearing under football shin pads and hockey shin guards. Shinnerz are the innersock or shinliner of choice for many football and hockey players as they form a barrier between the leg and the shin guard / shin pad. This is wear moisture and bacteria can get trapped and cause shin rash and irritation.

Are hockey and football shin pads the same?

No - hockey shin pads and football shin guards are different.
Field Hockey Shin guards are thicker with more padding and come higher up the calf. A hockey ball is very hard and your shins must be protected.
Soccer or football shin guards are much smaller and lighter than hockey shin pads, and are made of thinner outer material.

Is a shin pad different to a shin guard?

Shin guard and shin pad are both used to describe calf protection that is used in many sports, Football, hockey, lacrosse, cricket, baseball, ice hockey, field hockey, soccer, mountain bike trials, some martial arts are the most common.

Do all players have to wear shin pads for field hockey?

Yes shin pads are highly recommended sports kit for hockey, they are compulsory for hockey games of all levels of players, junior through to professional adult teams and at hockey camps. Hockey shin pads are made to offer maximum protection and mobility from a range of new technologies. Some shin pads also protect ankles with a sleeve that goes under the foot, also holding the shin pad in place.


Customised sports wear

The latest piece of kit is the Shinnerz or undersock that is worn as an underlayer beneath the shin pad to protect the shin. They are light weight fast drying sports innersocks that do not change your shoe size.

Until now players have often resorted to wear double socks - i.e. one sock under the shin pad and then a further pair of hockey socks on top - this however creates not only a larger footsize but also increases the chance of blisters. The inner tube created by Shinnerz forms a base layer beneath the shinguard, it is not a compression sock, it helps prevent chaffing and rubbing and is available in fun funky patterns or customized club, school and team colours.

shin guard inner sock
County hockey player

Many players wear specific hockey gloves whilst playing. There are padded gloves which have been designed to protect hands from abrasion caused by contact with the ground (especially that of sand-based astro pitches) and are also padded (sometimes with gel) to provide protection against the impact of a ball or a stick. All this protective gear for hockey makes it sounds like a dangerous sport but its not really, it justs fast moving and exciting to both play and watch!

Customised sports wear