At the highest levels of field hockey, players can shoot the ball at nearly 100 mph. Even when it's not moving that fast, a field hockey ball is very hard. Besides courage, goalies need:
- Head protection. Helmets are required for all goalies and should have a cage or mask that fully covers the face.
- Mouthguards and throat protectors usually are required too.
- Leg and foot protection. Goalies should wear padded goalie pants, pelvic protectors, leg guards that fully cover the lower legs and allow freedom of movement, and the correct size kickers (foam guards that go over the cleats).
- Upper body and arm protection. Goalies should wear chest pads, arm guards, and elbow protectors, which usually are connected. They should be the correct sizes to prevent them from slipping or not offering enough protection.
- Hand protection. Right- and left-hand protectors should be the correct size and offer plenty of padding to stop hard shots.
The right protective gear is important for field hockey, including:
- Turf shoes/Court Shoes. Choose a pair of shoes with the appropriate bottom, depending on what type of surface you are on.
- Shin guards. Field hockey shin guards, which are made of plastic and foam, wrap farther around the lower leg and offer more ankle protection than soccer shin guards. Some players like to wear thin socks under their shin guards to make them more comfortable.
- Mouthguards. Mouthguards are a good way to protect your teeth, lips, cheeks, and tongue. Many leagues require players to wear them.
- Gloves. Field hockey gloves can reduce the risk of broken fingers and help keep hands warm in cold weather.
- Masks. During short corner plays, defenders may choose to wear protective masks to reduce their risk of facial injuries.