Hockey Sticks Guide: Specifications

In this section we set out to provide a brief induction into the terminology associated with hockey sticks and outline the official FIH's (International Hockey Federation) specifications for hockey sticks.

Ever since the beginnings of the sport, hockey sticks have maintained a traditional shape. Over the years the shape has been continuously refined but essentially consists of three identifiable elements, the handle, shaft and head, a curved protrusion at one end. Please see diagram below.

Elements of a Hockey Stick

The Handle: All senior sticks will have a handle of a similar diameter, this is approximately 25-30mm before a grip is applied. The diameter will be proportionally reduced for junior hockey sticks.

The Head: A number of different options are available with regard to the head of a hockey stick including the amount of curvature as well as some newer innovations which see special rubberised inserts and indented concave faces for improved feel and control. For more information on this topic please see our Head Shape section.

The Shaft: The variations seen in hockey stick's shafts are somewhat limited. Some ranges from individual manufacturers do offer features which attempt to increase stiffness or aid control but in the vast majority of sticks on the market the cross section tends to be fairly consistent. The only exception to this being the amount of curvature or bow. Several manufacturers do offer models or ranges with differing amounts of bow, to read more on this please see our section on hockey stick bows.

FIH Hockey Stick Specification (2007/08 Rules)

The FIH Rules of Hockey 2006 state the following standard for hockey sticks in the Field and Equipment Specifications.

2.1 The Stick: The stick has had a traditional shape which will be retained b no particular handle or head shape or design has been approved, but the introduction of extreme shapes or designs outside the specified parameters will not be permitted.

FIH Hockey Stick Specifications

2.2 Diagrams of the stick:

  1. Descriptions and specifications in this Rule relate to figures 5 and 6.
  2. The stick comprises two identifiable parts, the handle and the head.
  3. The stick is shown in both figures with the handle in a vertical position, in the main perpendicular to a level horizon surface (the X-axis).
  4. The curved base of the head is shown placed on the X-axis, which is the start of its vertical length (the Y-axis).
  5. The head terminates at a line C-C drawn parallel to the X-axis, 100mm along the Y-axis, in a positive direction (towards Y+).
  6. The Y-axis is perpendicular to the X-axis; for measurement purposes the stick is aligned so that the Y-axis passes through the centre of the top of the handle.
  7. The handle starts at the line C-C and continues in the direction Y+.

2.3 Shape and dimensions of the stick:

  1. The entire stick must be smooth and must not have any rough or sharp parts.
  2. The hand and head must be of one smooth continuous cross-section along the line C-C.
  3. The head must be a 'J' or 'U' shape the upturned or open end of which is limited by the line C-C.
  4. The head is not is not limited along the X-axis.
  5. The head must be flat on the left hand side only (the side which is to the player's left when the stick is held with the open end of the head pointing directly away from the player’s front, i.e. the side shown in the diagrams).
  6. The flat playing side of the head of the stick and any continuation of it along the handle must be smooth and in a single plane with any convex or concave deviation across that plane being no more than 4mm in any direction.
  7. Inclusive of any additional coverings used, the stick must be able to pass through a ring with an interior diameter of 51mm.
  8. The lines A-A and A1-A1 in the diagrams are 51mm apart parallel and equidistant for the Y-axis.
  9. The lines B-B and B1-B1 are 20mm from A-A and A1-A1 respectively.
  10. It is permitted for the handle to be bent or curved to protrude beyond the line A-A once only along the length of the Y-axis, to the limiting of B-B at maximum. The shape and dimensions of the stick are tested using a flat surface marked with the lines shown in figure 5. The stick is laid playing side down on the surface.
  11. Any curvature along the length of the stick (the rake or bow) must have a continuous smooth profile along the whole length, must occur along the face side or the back of the stick but not both and is limited to a depth of 25mm.

2.4 Playing side of the stick:

  1. The playing side of the stick is the entire side shown in the diagrams and the edges of that side.
  2. The edges and the non-playing side must be rounded and must have a continuous smooth profile.

2.5 The total weight of the stick must not exceed 737 grams.

2.6 Ball speed must not be greater than 98% of the stick head speed under test conditions.

2.7 Materials:

  1. The stick and possible additions may be made of or contain any material other than metal or metallic components, provided it is fit for the purpose of playing hockey and it is not hazardous.
  2. The application of tapes and resins is permitted provided that the stick surface remains smooth and that it conforms to the stick specifications.

2.8 The FIH reserves the right to prohibit any stick which, in the opinion of the Hockey Rules Board, is unsafe or likely to have a detrimental impact on playing the game.

To read the full FIH Rules of Hockey 2007/08 (PDF Format), please click here...

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