Selecting equipment that fits properly and properly protects the player is extremely important. Here are some guidelines to insure proper fitting equipment for maximum protection and comfort.
Helmet and Face Mask: Obtain a helmet and mask that provides full facial protection which fits snugly on the head. All helmets and masks must be HECC certified.
Shoulder Pads: The cap of the pad should cover the shoulder. Straps under the arms should attach securely. The front flap should come down far enough to cover the collarbone. For female players, a combination shoulder and chest protector combines shoulder pads with extra protection in the breast area.
Elbow Pads: The straps should remain tight, providing a snug fit over the elbow. Some pads have adjustable straps, some have only elastic straps. When straps become loose, the pad may slip off of the elbow, leaving it unprotected. There should be no space between shoulder pads, elbow pads, and the hockey gloves.
Shin Pads: The knee is a primary area of concern for protection. The pad should cover the knee when the leg is straight and when it is bent. Pads should bend just below the knee in order to conform to the bent leg.
Gloves: Gloves range in price from inexpensive to very expensive. They should have ample room for the fingers and thumb and must not be too snug in the wrist area. Be sure the cuff comes up far enough to adequately cover the wrist.
Sticks: Stick length can be determined by placing the front, bottom edge of the stick on the ground between the skates. The top of the shaft should touch just below the tip of the player's nose.
Pants: Pants are usually six sizes larger than the normal waist size. The top padded portion of the pants should cover the hips, lower ribs, and kidneys. The legs should be an inch or two above the knees, overlapping with the top of the knee pads. The area above the knees is often hit by the puck, therefore, make sure there is no gap between the pants and knee pads. If a gap exists, loosen the suspenders and lower the pants or obtain others that fit appropriately.
Skates: Skates are the hockey player's most important piece of equipment. Without properly fitted skates, the young hockey player is at a tremendous disadvantage. Skates should not be bought several sizes too large so a player may "grow into them." Oversize skates will retard the skating development of the youngster. Skates should be slightly smaller (approximately one-half size) than the normal shoe size. They should fit snugly with just one pair of socks. Push the toes all the way to the front of the boot. At the heel area there should only be enough room for an adult index finger to fit between the heel and the back of the boot. When properly laced, players should not be able to lift their heels and their toes should be able to move. Rapidly growing youngsters may outgrow more than one pair of skates in a season. Look for good buys on used skates, but make sure they fit properly.
Jock: High quality nylon mesh and features large attachment tabs to securely hold socks in place. It also comes with an inner deluxe protective cup. The jock is lightweight and comfortable and is machine washable and highly durable.
Socks: Used to cover the shin pads and the exposed leg.