An extremely popular form of sports in countries like Canada, northern USA and other Nordic countries, ice hockey has been becoming popular elsewhere also with invention of artificial ice rinks.
Ice hockey is absolutely unimaginable without specific ice hockey equipment. The bulk of ice hockey equipment can be classified as:
1. Helmet: For protecting the players against injury from other players and by falling on a hard ice surface. 2. Neck guard: For preventing injury from skates, sticks etc. 3. Shoulder guard: For protecting injury to torso or spine. 4. Elbow guard: Protecting forearm and triceps. 5. Ice hockey gloves: Essentially designed to protect the player’s palms from insult and injury. It is also equipped with extra padding to ensure more grips on the stick inside and protecting the outer palm. 6. Garter belt: Used to hold the pads or pants in place. Hockey players often use Garter belts to hold up hockey socks. 7. Shin guards: Another injury preventing equipment, consisting of a knee-pad and a shin guard to protect against pucks. However, it offers only little or no protection on the calf. 8. Mouth guard: To protect jaws and teeth. 9. Ice skates: The skates re such equipments without which ice hockey is quite unimaginable for obvious reasons. The skates are very rigid and usually made of moulded plastic, leather and ballistic nylon. A goal tender’s skate is cut lower in the ankle than a normal skate which makes the boot sit closer to the ice for a lower centre of gravity. The boots are ‘cowled’ or encased in hardened plastic for protecting the toe, ankle and heel. The blade is designed in a way that gives maximum movement flexibility to the goalie. 10. Ice hockey stick: The length, type and dimension of the hockey sticks vary from player to player. The sticks are usually made of wood and the best ones are made of graphite. There can be a combination of materials used for making a hockey stick like Aluminium, Titanium, Kevlar, Fibreglass. The sticks are approximately 150–200 cm long. There are several properties of a hockey stick: a. Flexibility: The hockey sticks are usually very flexible and more the flexibility the better is its performance. b. Pattern: the pattern of the blade, i.e. curvature determines the performance of the stick. The three primary variables in blade design are curve, face angle and toe. Based on the preferences of a player blades also differ in length and thickness. c. Illegal curves: Though the blade curvature is limited at ¾ of an inch, inaccurate measurements might often violate the rule. The curvature thus formed may affect the performance of the stick. d. Tape: The cloth covering the top shaft of the stick to enable a better grp to the player. The tape used is often called a ‘friction tape’ to improve performance. This power game has unique demands in form of strength and stamina and also specific equipments required in the game.""