Hockey Sticks Guide: Length
Traditionally senior hockey sticks have been 36 inches or 1 yard long, but over the last 15 years the standard length has increased to 36.5 inches. At this point in time there is no set restriction governing the maximum length of a hockey stick but manufacturers tend not to produce many sticks of more than 38.5 inches. However some manufacturers can take special orders for lengths up to 42 inches.
Choosing the correct stick length
In many respects the overriding factor that should influence the length of stick you choose it your height, although by no means is this the only consideration. In junior players choosing a stick of a suitable length is paramount in the development of skills and control. Please see the graph below for a rough guide to the appropriate stick lengths based on a player's height.
Note: The rough guide above fails to take into account strength. There is a strong argument that you should choose the longest stick you can comfortably control. A stronger and more skilful player may well want to take advantage of the longer reach or increased vision (due to more upright posture) that a longer stick might offer.
With junior sticks choosing the correct length of stick has slightly different implications. Due to the fact that junior sticks are carefully designed to maintain a good balance between shaft and head weight. The correct stick length should therefore also result in a suitable weighting.
Key Questions to Ask Yourself
- Does the stick feel comfortable?
- Is my body interfering with my control of the stick i.e. it is touching your stomach and therefore too long?
- Do I have to bend to low to hold the stick reducing my vision and possibly causing long term damage to my back i.e. the stick is too short?
- Can my hands control the stick's head throughout the swing when attempting to hit a ball or does the stick control my hands (YES - Good, NO - The stick is probably too long and therefore too heavy)?
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