Staying Safe in a Field Hockey Game

Field hockey can be a great sport for people of all ages to play.  Hockey is considered a contact sport, so there is always risk for injury.  Taking a few precautions can help to greatly reduce this risk!

Because of the amount of running on grass fields, ankle sprains are a very common injury during field hockey.  Similar injuries like knee sprains and muscle tears are also prevalent.  

If a field hockey stick makes incidental contact, it can result in a broken bone, like fingers, wrists or ankles.  If any ball or stick comes into contact with someone’s face, it could potentially break their teeth, or nose.

Protective gear can go a long way in keeping a field hockey player safe on the field.  Ensuring that all this gear is in good condition and working order is imperative to remaining safe. 

Cleats are extremely important to remaining safe while playing field hockey.  The cleats provide players with extra traction which is especially important when the field is wet or slippery.  Cleats will help you to get better grip as you are running, making it less likely that you would slip and potentially injure yourself. 

Goggles are a staple in field hockey to protect players' eyes. The ball, stick, and errant hands are all a threat to players’ eyes.  Wearing goggles is an extremely effective protection from eye injuries.

A mouthguard is essential to protect your teeth from being broken or damaged from contact.  Not all leagues require them, but it is a good practice to use one regardless to protect yourself.

Goalies have specialized gear to protect themselves, since there is an increased risk due to the nature of their position. A full helmet is required for a field hockey goalie.  It usually has a cage or mask that covers the face.  

In addition to head and face protection, goalies also use extra padding and protectors for their legs and body.  The ball is being directly aimed in the direction of the goalie, so it makes sense that this increased exposure requires additional protective gear. 

In addition to protective gear, you can ensure that your field and body are in good condition before you play.  Attention to both of these can help to keep you safe while playing field hockey. 

Proper stretching and warming up can help protect against some types of injuries. Most schools require a sports physical to ensure that your body is capable of withstanding the activities required.  

Any field that you are playing field hockey on should be properly maintained.  The field should have no holes that a player might trip on or fall into.  There should be no equipment or debris that might impede a player on the field. .  

It is a great idea to have some type of first aid kit or medical professional available during field hockey games in the event of an injury.  This will help a player to get immediate treatment in the event that they sustain an injury.  Giving extra thought to staying safe during a field hockey game will certainly minimize the occurrence of injuries.