A Sport is an important part of each and every individual’s life. It helps keep the body fit and in shape. It also develops different skills of an individual such as agility, speed, concentration, strength and concentration. Different sports and games are played nowadays all over the world. While some are played indoors, others are played outdoors. Cricket, football, badminton, tennis, snooker and hockey are some of the games played on a very large scale all over the world. Sports serve as an important source of recreation as well. As such, it keeps the mind fresh and fit. Being a competitive physical activity, several individuals watch it with great intent and concentration. The gambling and betting industry has flourished due to sports. Betters bet on different games and earn decent amount of money if they win.
With the development of technology and video games, the younger generation is found mainly with electronic devices, playing games on them other than going out in the open. This phenomenon is, however, changing gradually and more people have become aware about the importance of health. More individuals are found playing outside in the open and exercising nowadays.
Hockey, a well renowned sport
Hockey is well known or famous outdoor team game. It is played between two teams, who try to move the hockey ball with the help of a stick and hit it into the opponent’s goal. The team with the most number of goals towards the end of the fixed time is declared as the winning team. The sport is played on a ground that contains eleven players from each team playing at one time. Out of these eleven players, one is the goal keeper that guards the goal and prevents the opponent from scoring. Hockey can be classified into two types. One, which is played on ground or a concrete court while the other, which is played on ice. In case of ice hockey, ice skating skills are of utmost importance.
Important sub types of hockey
Apart from ice hockey, some of the important sub types of the sports, which are well known all over the world is as follows:
- Air hockey is a type of sport that can be played indoors as well. An air cushion table is required over which this game is played. The two players need not use their legs a lot. The players can stand where they are and play with their hands alone.
- Beach hockey is a type of hockey that is played on the beach in coastal regions. It is very exhaustive and good source of exercise as running on sand is way more difficult than running on hard ground or skating on ice.
- Broom ball is an interesting form of hockey. In this case, a broom stick is used instead of a hockey stick. The ball used too is not as hard as usual. A softer ball is used in order to protect the broom and prevent it from breaking.
- In case of ice hockey, the ice is obtained by artificial freezing. Pond hockey is a form of hockey in which the water from a pond is naturally frozen. Hockey is then played on this ice floor.
- Skater hockey is also quite popular in many parts of the world. In this case, the player’s roller skate from one place to another while playing instead of practically running here and there.
While shooting in hockey, the players usually use a lot of muscle power and energy. As such, if the ball hits the goal keeper while saving the goal, they can get critically injured. Hence, for protection purposes, special hockey goalie gear is worn.
Composition of the hockey goalie gear:
The hockey goalie gear, meant mainly for protection when a particular shot at the goal is taken comprises of the following equipment:
- The blocker is worn by the goal keeper or the goalie like a glove. This glove has a hard board attached to it with the help of which, the goalie can block the ball and hit it outside without feeling much impact. A right handed goalie wears the blocker on the right hand while the left handed goalie wears it on the right hand.
- The catcher is a glove worn on the hand other than the one which contains the blocker. This is similar to a baseball or softball glove which is used to catch the particular ball. The catcher provides a better grip of the ball as compared to the blocker. While the blocker is used to block, the catcher is used to catch. This can be deciphered from the name of the equipment itself.
- Sometimes, the goal keeper may not be quick enough to block the ball and hit it away with the blocker at the right time. In such cases, the ball hits the chest directly. This can lead to cracking or fracturing of the rib cage as well. This is why chest guards and special guards for the fore arms are available. These have extra padding which absorb all the momentum of the ball and the goal keeper does not feel much pain.
- The jockstrap protects the pelvic region of the goal keeper. This part, is quite sensitive and the jockstrap id an extremely important equipment.
- Leg pads are also worn which are similar to the chest and arm guards. These perform similar functions and are too very important to protect the legs.
- The goal keeper ought to wear a mask in order to protect the face. A powerful shot at the eye or mouth region can lead to serious injuries and hence, a mask is very important.
Certain goal keepers also wear skates in case of roller hockey. Goalkeepers also have hockey sticks, which are smaller in size and are light weight so that the goal keeper can hit the ball away easily.
Several tournaments are organised all over the world today for the progress and popularisation of the sport. These tournaments can be participated in by men as well as women. Some tournaments also have age limit set for participation. Although only eleven players play at a time, the entire squad comprises of much more members, including the coach, support staff, substitutes and the physiotherapists or medical staff.
In order to excel in a particular sport, a great deal of regular practice and discipline is required as the competition level is very high. Some people also attend hockey classes at very young ages with a goal of becoming successful in the field of sports as well. Information about the sport and related coaching or training programs and tournament related information can easily be obtained on the internet. If any person is interested, they can check it out right away!