When you play field hockey, your stick is one of the essential parts of your equipment. After you know establish your level of play and position in the team, you should choose a stick based on its characteristics. These characteristics are size, bow, material, and head design.
The Scientific Approach
Field hockey sticks come in various sizes, so it's essential to determine which one is right for you. Players can use either the U.S. or Dutch measurement method.
- Using the U.S. method, you measure beginning at your side and reaching where the stick touches your waist. The top must be two inches below your waistline.
- If using the Dutch method, you hold the head of the stick under your armpit and let it fall until it reaches your kneecap. These lengths vary from between 28” to 38 “/
The More Popular Approach
Many of us don't have the luxury of being able to compare all the different lengths of sticks to establish the right one for the method above. Instead, you can refer to the table below as a general rule of thumb when choosing the right sized stick.
|Player Height||Stick Length|
|4ft and under||28 Inch Sticks|
|4ft 1" to 4ft 3"||30 Inch Sticks|
|4ft 4" to 4ft 6"||32 Inch Sticks|
|4ft 7" to 5ft||34 Inch Sticks|
|5ft 1" to 5ft 3"||35 to 35.5 Inch Sticks|
|5ft 4" to 5ft 9"||36 to 36.5 Inch Sticks|
|5ft 10" and over||37 to 37.5 Inch Sticks|
The Personal Approach
Despite the methods above, players may have personal preferences on stick length for different styles of play. Attacking or forward players may enjoy short sticks because they allow more control when dribbling. In contrast, defensive or midfield players may prefer longer sticks to give them an advantage when tackling or clearing the ball from the defence.
In short, it all comes down to what feels comfortable for you as a player!
Field hockey sticks were once made only of wood, but now they are made predominantly of two materials—carbon fibre and fibreglass. When choosing your field hockey stick, it is essential to understand what each material offers.
- Carbon fibre is powerful and robust, so a high carbon percentage is recommended for advanced and professional players.
- Fibreglass adds durability, power and touch, and it is also lighter and cheaper than carbon fibre. Its design caters specifically to young, new or developing players.
- Aramid/Kevlar absorbs vibrations when striking or receiving a ball. This is why if you use a 95% carbon fibre stick, you might feel less vibrations than a 100% carbon stick.
- While modern wooden sticks still exist, the wood is wrapped in fibreglass to add strength and power. Wooden sticks are inexpensive and are excellent for beginner players, not looking to spend much money.
Does Price Matter?
Many players often wonder if the more expensive sticks from the big brands are actually worth it or not. The most important thing to watch out for is carbon fibre content. For example, a 95% carbon stick from one brand is going to be almost exactly the same as a 95% carbon stick from another.
In short, there's really not much different between a £300+ stick compared to one of the more affordable premium brands that charge £150-200 for a stick.
Choosing the right field hockey stick length, is a personal choice which may differ between many players. Ultimately, you need to be using a stick that allows you to feel comfortable during your game. If you are experiencing back pain for example, you may want to get a longer stick to stop you hunching over as much.
Struggling to choose which hockey stick is right for you? Take our short quiz here.
Get the right kind of field hockey stick and other equipment from Rival Hockey! We are a UK based brand of premium carbon fibre field hockey sticks designed by players for players. Check out our online store now!