PHOENIX HOCKEY STICK BUYING GENERAL GUIDE
When athletes first start out playing field hockey, they normally will borrow a stick, or purchase the least expensive stick, whether new, or used, until they have decided to continue in the sport.
Field hockey sticks will range in price from about $50 to over $500. Many players will purchase a stick because of the price, “expensive will make me play better”, or because of the colors on the stick. The reasons above will not actually make a player better, or play more skillfully. Colors and graphics are advertising, it’s what’s inside that counts! The high priced sticks are made for the biggest, strongest and most advanced skill level players. They are typically the stiffest sticks.
You will play much better with a stick that is the correct length, weight, head design, and flexibility for the surface you play on, your height, strength, and skill level of hitting and receiving.
The surface you play on will be impacted by the shape of the head and weight of the stick. Different head shapes aide in different dribbling and flicking skills. Different weights aide in driving, dribbling, and throwing of the ball. The length of the stick will impact your ability to get low and both the dribbling skills successfully utilized and club head speed when driving.
The weights of most sticks are between 18 and 23 ounces.
The stiffer the stick, the faster the ball will come off the head, but if proper technique is not used, it will go off faster in the wrong direction. A stick with a little flex will stay in contact with the ball longer and the player’s aim will become more accurate as the body movement progresses through the skill.
The same results happen when receiving the ball. A very stiff stick will cause the ball to bounce off the stick much more than a stick with a small amount of flex.
The advantage of a stiff stick is with players of exceptional strength and skill. They can get the stiff sticks to bend and their hits are accurate and fast. The responsiveness when dribbling will also be higher and they receive the ball tight to the stick. These possess the skills and strength that make the most expensive (stiffer) sticks more worthwhile.
The length of the stick is determined by many factors, such as arm length, leg length, playing surface and the player’s ability to stay low when performing skills.
A general guide we use is listed below is for a stick with a full sized head and you can see there is no exact length, or weight based on a player’s height. You will change lengths and weights as your body changes with strength and age.
Being comfortable with the stick you buy will be the biggest advantage you can provide yourself. No one brand, model, color or level of stiffness is right for everyone.
Most sticks are also sold in half inch increments, with the end cap providing the extra half inch in length. These are approximate height/length combinations.
Player Height Stick Length
4’4” – 4’7” 33”
4’8” – 5’0” 34”
5’1” – 5’4” 35”
5’5” – 5’9” 36”
5’10” – 6’2” 37”