Equipment selection equipment is a key issue for players, parents and coaches. When purchasing and fitting hockey equipment, remember two important factors: 1) make certain the player is adequately protected and 2) be sure the fitting allows freedom of movement so the player can properly perform the necessary skills. By carefully considering these two factors, your child will be more comfortable and will better enjoy their participation.
A complete set of hockey equipment can be purchased for a relatively reasonable cost – you do not need to buy the most expensive equipment at young age groups. It is critical the equipment fit properly. Buying skates or other equipment two sizes too large so that the child can get "a few years out of them" is a prescription for frustration for the child.
Skates — Purchase skates that will fit your child today, with no more than 1/2” allowed for growth. Seek adequate protection in the ankle, toe and instep areas. Improperly fitted skates will hamper your child’s ability to skate.
Helmet — Must be of a design and construction approved by the Hockey Equipment Certification Council (HECC). Must be sized at the time of purchase to fit properly. The chin strap must always be fastened. Facemask — Must be of a design and construction approved by the Hockey Equipment Certification Council (HECC).
Mouthpiece — Required for players.
Stick — Length should generally extend from the ice to the player’s chin (with skates on). Quality and price differ greatly, so the choice is yours.
Shin Pads — Check for proper length so they protect the knee and shin completely.
Gloves — Check for proper fit with good finger and hand mobility.
Shoulder Pads — Adjust to fit the individual at the time of purchase. A fiber cap is extremely important in preventing shoulder separations and should extend to the tip of the shoulder.
Pants — Provide protection for the lower back, hips, and thighs. Pants should reach the top of the player’s knee and extend to cover the kidney and lower ribs.
Elbow Pads — Properly fitted so they do not slide.
Hockey Jock/Jill — The come in a variety of styles (shorts, long form fitting pants, etc) and are designed with Velcro tabs to hold up your child’s hockey socks.
For goaltenders, special equipment is necessary, such as: gloves (catching and stick), chest and stomach protector, goalie skates (with a protective shell), leg pads, and shoulder and arm protectors. The goaltender’s equipment is especially important, so seek advice from a knowledgeable source
NoVA Ice Dogs have temporarily suspended our practice of loaning equipment to new players.
The Ice Dogs DO have goalie equipment to lend players who want to test themselves in the net!
Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston, the Reston SkateQuest in Reston, Capitol Clubhouse in Waldorf, MD, Prince William Ice Center in Dale City, Fairfax Ice Arena in Fairfax, and Pure Hockey in Sterling are all good local shops with knowledgeable sales people.
Hockey equipment can be expensive, but when considering whether to purchase new equipment consider two issues: 1) the right fit and 2) sanitation.
Hockey protective equipment needs to fit properly in order to protect the player. Helmets need to especially fit just right, so we recommend purchase of a new helmet for each player. Also, given the potentiality of staph and other type skin infections, new equipment has a very low risk of infection. However, used equipment should be acceptable if the equipment is cleaned well and sanitized. On the first day of initiation sessions, we will check all equipment on all our players for fit and function.