The history of field hockey sticks is full of anecdotes. Field hockey sticks are one of the most valuable pieces of field hockey equipment, since without them, there would be no playing at all. Hockey sticks have evolved throughout the years, and here's how.
Origin. Field Hockey is said to have originated over 4,000 years ago. There are drawings of people playing the game that were discovered in an Ancient Egyptian Cave. So, the field hockey stick could be one of the oldest pieces of sports equipment. Throughout the centuries, field hockey has been played in several nations and cultures. Despite the rules being different nowadays, the sticks have been used from early in its beginnings.
Construction. The first sticks were made out of bamboo, but hockey players from England changed the material by using local wood sources, like willow bark. The field hockey stick has two parts: the handle (where the person holds it) and the head (the curved section of the stick used to hit the ball). The handle and head of the stick were two separate parts that were joined together. Nowadays, it is mostly made from one single piece of wood.
Changes. Since field hockey got standardized, the stick has experienced some changes. Starting in 1860, the stick became flat on the playing side (which is the left position where the “toe” of the head of the stick is facing away by the player). The stick was not rough and was made out of ash or cedar. In 1960 and 1970, composite materials were permitted in the manufacture of field hockey sticks. In 1980, the design of the stick changed the size of the head by making it smaller, and in 1990 field hockey sticks were made with metal handles, but were prohibited by hockey federations in several countries.
Fame. Field hockey became a well known sport throughout the years, and many countries started setting up clubs in order for people to compete. With the creation of clubs and organizations around the world, hockey became the sport with the third largest number of active players worldwide. Competitive players nowadays try to practice with the best sticks available in order to have more control over the game. Cran Barry, who is the America’s largest manufacturer of field hockey sticks, makes use of ceramic, Kevlar, fiberglass and carbon fiber composites to combine with wood. All of these materials add more resistance and power to the game. Cran Barry also produces sticks as small as 31 inches and up to 38 inches, depending on the players’ tastes.