The equipment for ice hockey is designed in such a way that the players are well protected during the game. This article talks about the equipment involved in this game, besides giving some useful drills.
In ice hockey, specialized equipment is used to protect players. Initially, the skates that were used included simple metal blades connected to regular shoes. Till the 1930s, the sticks used were thin pieces of wood. All players used simple leather gloves. In 1948, a Detroit goalkeeper started the use of a trapper and blocker. This was of rectangular leather and a baseball catcher’s glove. A goalkeeper’s mask was first used by Jacques Plante. In 1928, Clint Benedict used a crude leather version of a mask. The hockey puck and sweater are the non-protective equipment used for this game.
The equipment used by regular players include the hockey stick, ice skates, mouth guard, shin guards, jock/cup, helmet combo, shoulder pads, elbow pads, hockey gloves, and hockey pants. The hockey sticks have a long and slender shaft, and a flat extension at one end. They are about 150 – 200 cm long. The blade is the area on the stick that is used to contact the puck, and is 10 to 15 cm long. Ice skates are boots which have blades that are connected to the bottom. The first versions were made of the leg bones of horses, ox, or deer, and were fastened to the feet by leather straps. Nowadays, they are made of molded plastic, ballistic nylon, and leather. The design is such that the opponent is not harmed during the course of play.
A shinguard is used to prevent the knees from slipping. This is properly ventilated, and provides for airflow through the plastic shell. It is available in sizes of 12 inches or 16 inches. Shoulder pads are used to deflect the impact from the joints to the muscles. Some of these are lightweight, an adjustable fit for the chest and arms, and are manufactured using compression block technology.
The helmet and mask combo have a single-density VN foam liner, single-tool adjustment system, and removable polyethylene ear cover. It also has a protective dual ridge crown, a straight bar face mask, and a floating chin cup. The goalkeeper’s equipment includes the stick, skates, goalie mask, chest and arm protector, blocker, catch glove, goal jock or jill, pants, pads, and socks.
There are a very wide variety of skates available, each having varying characteristics. There are different brands in the market at very competitive prices. Some of these are associated with the following features. The liner is made of hydrophobic synthetic leather. There is an ultralight tech mesh quarter package along with a thermoformed X-rib pattern. The out-sole is perforated and of complete carbon composite or texellium. There exists a dry-grip moisture management foot-bed. A solid stainless steel runner can be seen. A molded, anatomical forward flex tongue has a high-density metatarsel guard. Foam ankle pads are used. The lining may be a quick dry grip liner.
Some Useful Drills
Skill drills include pylon mania, wild zone, house rules, high tempo pivot #1 and #2, high speed shooting, give and go, follow the biscuit, drive the net, figure 8, torture drill, passing, weave and smally hard drive. Offensive tactic drills are B3 breakout, eddy special, attack triangle, cycling, rintin breakout, ice melts, bow knows, triangle regroup #1 and #2, identify and read #1 and #2, pappas swing, 4 on 3 breakout and lessard stretch breakout. Defensive tactic drills comprise roadrunner, cass innova (backcheck), 1 on 1, quick up, D to D outlet, 1-2-1 forecheck and D2 coverage. Easter parade, marko polo, carousel, ropchan collision, depth charge, chiner 2 on 1, leggs regroup, transition passing, N2 transition and snowbird #1 and #2 form transition drills. Goal-tending drills are made up of the kenny trot, sully slide, gallace pass, coyote and shootout. Fun drills include the tight turn, 3 player competition, foot race, shooting drill, 2 puck scrimmage, and showdown.