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Fit and Maintenance

A correct fit is of the utmost importance. Ill-fitting equipment may hinder a player’s ability to function at their fullest. More importantly, equipment that doesn’t fit can be dangerous for all players on the ice.

Almost as important as correct fit is proper maintenance. This will ensure your gear is in top shape, hygienic, and free from bacteria or foul-smelling odours. All equipment should be air-dried in a well-ventilated area after every use. In addition, regularly wash fabric components (athletic supporter, hockey socks, throat protectors, jerseys) using cold water to avoid shrinkage.

Helmet and Facemask
Fit: Helmets and facemasks are mandatory in minor hockey. To ensure proper fit, open the helmet to the largest setting, and then place it on the head so that the rim is one finger-width above the eyebrow. Gradually begin to close the helmet until a comfortable, yet snug fit is achieved. Tighten and secure the helmet adjustment. Itech facemasks are both CSA approved and built to fit all brands of helmets.
Maintenance: Regularly check that all screws are in place and securely tightened, and to ensure there are no cracks in the helmet. Never paint or affix stickers to hockey helmets as this may weaken the structure. It will also void the CSA certification, as will drilling extra holes, or removing side straps, clamps or chin cups. Periodically tighten the adjusting screws that attach the face shield to your helmet. Clear visors should be stored in the shield bag that traditionally accompanies the product. Replace your helmet when the foam liner becomes dry and brittle or loose. To ensure protection, replace it every 2 to 3 years.

BNQ Approved
Throat Protector
Fit: The throat protector should completely cover the throat. A bib-style throat protector should cover the upper chest area as well. These are adjustable and fit based on collar size. For instance, if you wear a size 15 shirt collar, choose a throat protector that fits 14" to 18" (35-45cm).
Maintenance: Wash regularly in cold water to avoid shrinkage and hang to dry away from heat sources.

Shoulder Pads
Fit: Shoulder Pads should fit snug, with the tip of the shoulder placed securely under the shoulder cap. The bicep pads should not interfere with the player’s elbow pads.
Maintenance: Ensure there are no cracks or rips anywhere on the pads and repair or replace as necessary. Replace any missing fasteners or rivets promptly.

Elbow Pads
Fit: Elbow pads should begin at the bottom of the shoulder pads on the player’s arm and extend to the top of the gloves. When fastened securely, no gap should exist between the pad and the biceps extension of the shoulder pad or the cuff of the player’s glove.

Elbow pads and glove size go hand in hand and must be fitted together. To determine elbow and glove size, measure from the tip of the middle finger to the mid-point of the elbow and add 1" to allow for the padding. The elbow pad/glove you choose should match this measurement. For example, if the physical meaure is 14", the total length of the selected glove/elbow pad combo should be 15".

Maintenance: Wash in the same manner as shin pads, with a mix of warm water and laundry detergent. Check the straps periodically to ensure they fit comfortably to the arms. Do not use hockey tape as a substitute for the straps, as this can cause a loss of circulation, comfort, proper fit and manoeuvrability.

Fit: If a glove is too large, it will inhibit the ability to feel the stick; too small, the fingertips will jam against the end of the gloves. Hockey gloves should fit like loose winter gloves over the fingers. They should also extend all the way up to the elbow pad; shorter gloves leave the wrist susceptible to injury.
Maintenance: Do not ever use a heat source to dry gloves. Repair all lost finger or roll pads immediately or discard the glove completely. Avoid getting the palms wet as this can cause them to become brittle. Worn-out palms can be repaired at most shoe repair shops.

Hockey Pants
Fit: Properly fitted hockey pants should not affect the player’s mobility on the ice. Pants should extend to the top of the knee, as well as cover the kidney and the lower ribs. Hip, kidney and tailbone pads should cover all critical areas.
Maintenance: Several times during the season, all removable padding should be washed with a mild detergent and air dried.

Shin Pads
Fit: The shin pad should protect both the shin and the knee area. It should extend from the bottom of the hockey pants to the top of the skate boot. While seated, and wearing skates, measure the leg from the middle of the kneecap to the top eyelet of the skate. Subtract 1 /2 to 1" from the measurement and match this to the length of the shin pad.
Maintenance: To clean, mix a little bit of laundry soap with warm water and use a soft scrub brush on the padding.

Hockey Sticks
Fit: Sticks for younger players are made with narrower shafts; therefore adult sticks should not be shortened for junior players. Sticks should be measured and cut to a length between the chin and nose of the player. Wood, aluminum and composite sticks are flex-rated and should be chosen according to the player’s weight. The larger or heavier the player, the stiffer the flex-rating should be.
Maintenance: Wood sticks should not be stored near heat sources as they will dry out quicker, which can cause breakage. One-piece composite sticks are significantly more expensive, but this does not ensure a longer life. Composite sticks provide greater power and accuracy, whereas wood sticks are more durable and affordable.

Fit: A common misconception is that it’s a good idea to purchase skates a size or two bigger than necessary, so a child will grow into them. An ill-fitting skate leads to poorer performance on the ice, as well as many foot-related injuries.

Skate-size should be one full size less than shoe size. For instance, if you normally take a size 8 shoe, wear a size 7 skate. To ensure a correct fit, sit down and put the skate on with the heel as far back in the boot as possible. Toes should be extended flat and barely touch the toecap. After completely and tightly lacing the boot, the wearer should walk around. The foot should feel comfortable with the heel snug to the back.

Women wishing to purchase men's hockey skates must first convert their size to a men's size by subtracting 1˝ sizes from their shoe size. For example, a women's size 9 equals a men's size 7˝. Then subtract one size to determine skate size. It may be necessary to purchase a Junior-size skate in some cases.

Maintenance: Dry skates by opening them wide and removing liners. It’s also important to routinely check skate blades for common wear and tear issues, such as: blade sharpness, bending of the blade (which can be corrected), loose rivets or cracked blade holders or blades.
If your skates are being used more than three times per week, they should be sharpened once a week, or whenever there is a noticeable reduction in a player’s ability to stop or turn. Also check the skate boots, laces and eyelets, and replace or repair as necessary. Skate blades should be wiped dry after each use and skate guards should be placed on the blades in non-ice surfaces to avoid nicks or scratches that will require frequent sharpening.

Athletic Cup
& Supporter
Fit: Jock (male) and Jill (female) straps (which are also known as athletic supporters or protective cups) should be fit based on waist size and should feel comfortable for the player – not too tight and not too loose . Correct size is important to ensure effective shock absorption.
Maintenance: Be sure to remove the plastic cup when washing. If the cup cracks or breaks, replace it immediately.

Fit: Jerseys must fit loosely in order to cover all protective equipment and also to let the upper body breathe. Hockey jerseys should be sized the same way you size everyday clothes. For instance, a player who wears a small t-shirt would also wear a small jersey.
Maintenance: Wash regularly in cold water to avoid shrinkage and hang to dry away from heat sources.

Hockey Socks
Fit: Measure from the top of the ankle to three-quarters up the thigh. Youth players’ socks should be 20” in length; junior players 23” and senior players 27”.
Maintenance: Wash regularly in cold water to avoid shrinkage and hang to dry away from heat sources.