In selecting the perfect field hockey stick, it is necessary to choose the proper length. Choosing the correct length will enable a field hockey player to become a champion. Because a player with the right length stick is more comfortable, he plays better. However, the perfect length stick varies among players. This article describes two methods of choosing the best length stick.
The first method is called the Dutch Sizing Method. The player holds the stick with its head in the air, upside down. The head of the stick is inserted in the arm pit, and the stick ends somewhere near the knee. The key to proper fit depends on where the end of the handle is in relation to the knee. It should be between the middle of the knee cap to no more than one inch below the knee cap. The field hockey player selects a field hockey stick of that length, from the arm pit to the middle of the knee cap. Amazingly, ball control improves with fewer unwanted lifted balls and fewer broken stick heads.
In the second method, field hockey stick length is related to the height of the field hockey player. In choosing a stick, a player should select the longest stick that he can control comfortably. A more skilled player can handle a longer stick. Goalies prefer a shorter and lighter stick. Two problems will become immediately noticeable if the stick is too long. Too long a stick may cause undercutting of the ball with frequent raised balls. Another problem is excessive hard contact with the playing surface which causes fracture of the head of the stick.
Players may be guided by the following list of heights and corresponding stick lengths: 4’3” and under, 31 inches; 4’3” – 4’6”, 32 inches; 4’6” – 4’9”, 33 inches; 4’9” – 5’0”, 34 inches; 5’0 – 5’3”, 35 inches; 5’3” – 5’7”, 36 inches; 5’7” – 5’10”, 37 inches; 5’10” and up, 38 inches.
Both of the above methods are great in selecting the proper length field hockey stick. Selecting the right length has advantages. Field hockey players have better control of the ball and they play better.