Hockey BagHockey is a very fun sport, but can be dangerous without the proper equipment. Some equipment is more mandatory than other pieces but I will go over the mandatory equipment and the equipment that is optional, but may be mandatory depending on your league.

Mandatory Equipment
  • Jock and Jockstrap - This one is pretty obvious, it protects the region between your legs. If you are a woman you will get a Jill Strap.
  • Garter Belt - The garter belt is used to hold up your socks so they don't fall down while skating around. A lot of people these days have switched to a pair of shorts that contains their jock as well as the garter belt all in one. It is much more convenient.
  • Shin Pads - Shin pads protect your shins and knees from pucks, slashes and wipeouts.
  • Socks/Leggings - Socks are not the kind you put on your feet, but the big ones that cover your shin pads. Most people apply some sock tape to these to keep the socks and the shin guards snug to your legs
  • Hockey Skates - If you are playing ice hockey, you will definitely need a pair of ice skates. You should have them sharpened prior to using them as well.
  • Ice Hockey Shorts - Not to be confused with the shorts that you would wear under your gear, ice hockey shorts go over top of your jock and garter belt and have padding to protect you from shots, slashes and other hits.
  • Shoulder Pads - Shoulder pads are similar to shoulder pads worn in football however they are much smaller. They protect the majority of your upper body including your shoulders, upper back and chest. You will want to pick a set that has good coverage but allows maximum mobility.
  • Elbow Pads - Elbow pads are simple pads that slip over your elbow. A lot of elbow pads come with slash guards to protect your forearms and your elbows.
  • Gloves - Gloves protect your hands from skates, pucks, slashes and other injuries. Make sure the gloves fit snug and allow good mobility as you will probably drop your stick and be forced to pick it up on a regular basis.
  • Jersey - Your jersey goes over your shoulder pads and elbow pads and prevents your gear from falling off mid game.
  • Helmet - A helmet is a definite necessity in hockey, if you fall, you are going to want to have something to protect your head from concussion.
  • Hockey Stick - Hockey sticks come in many different forms. Wood, fiberglass, composite, two piece, one piece amongst others. Prices can range from as low as $10 to a couple hundred dollars. If you are playing forward, you will want your stick to be between your chin and your nose with skates on while slightly longer if you are a defenseman.
  • Hockey Bag - A hockey bag is basically a large bag that you put all your equipment in. You pretty much have no choice in the matter unless you happen to be an octopus and have eight arms to carry all your gear.

Optional Equipment

  • Visor/Cage - Visors and cages are optional in most leagues; however they are usually mandatory in minor hockey and in college leagues. Visors and cages attach to your helmet and help protect your eyes and face from high sticks and flying pucks.
  • Mouth Guard - A mouth guard is seldom ever mandatory however teeth are not cheap and taking a puck to the teeth can very easily know your teeth out. The $10 investment is definitely something to consider.
  • Neck Guard - The final piece of optional equipment is the neck guard. The neck guard is designed to protect your neck from flying skates or even a misguided puck. After minor hockey, very few players continue to wear a neck guard.

Second Hand Equipment

If you are just starting off in the world of ice hockey, your best bet is to try and pick up a good portion of your equipment second hand. Buying everything brand new will easily cost you up over $1000. You can usually find either a second hand sports store or somebody who no longer wants to play anymore to purchase the majority of your gear off of at a much better deal.