Field Hockey Costs
The influence and popularity of field hockey stretches all around the globe. There are hundreds of clubs that come together at the national and international levels to compete in matches and tournaments. As the sport has grown in popularity, it has increased in cost as well, but is field hockey expensive?
Field hockey can be considered an expensive sport, with parents spending an average of over $2,000 annually on field hockey, related to equipment as well as travel and tournament fees. While the goalie’s equipment is the most expensive, the most significant expenses are not directly tied to the position played.
This article will explore the types of equipment needed for field hockey teams and the expected costs. It will then delve into the benefits provided by the necessary purchases to give the reader a full picture of field hockey’s financial component.
Field hockey can be expensive for many families, depending on the level of play, equipment needed, and how much the club is able to provide. Along with equipment, players might seek out private lessons, extra training camps, or additional teams to join, which can come with high price tags.
In a study conducted by the Aspen Institute in conjunction with Utah State University, researchers found that parents spend around $2,125 each year for field hockey (source). This number can increase depending on the tournament and travelling fees. However, these incurred costs can come with many benefits as well.
The equipment needed by field hockey players can differ from person to person. There are plenty of optional accessories that can be purchased, but there are a number of items that are essential for playing the game.
A field hockey stick is the most essential item a player can own. Field hockey sticks can be constructed using wood, carbon fiber, aramid, or fiberglass, ensuring there is a wide selection of sticks from which to choose.
Even though sticks can be expensive, they will last a long time and not need to be frequently replaced. The least expensive sticks are made for beginners and younger players. They are composed of wood, while all-carbon, advanced level sticks are the most expensive.
If purchasing a stick for the first time, players should take into account several important factors. Height and strength levels can help determine the best field hockey stick to fit one’s size. Just as importantly, the stick should be suited for the current level of play and allow the player to enhance his or her skill set.
After addressing all of these components, athletes need to make sure the stick is both comfortable to hold and use on the field (source).
For more information on field hockey sticks, consult our article, “How Long Do Field Hockey Sticks Last?“
The cost of a field hockey stick greatly varies because it is dependent on the size of the player, level of play, and skillset. Going into a field hockey or sports store is highly recommended because players can receive advice and be pointed in the right direction for their needs.
Beginner packages are also available as starter sets for new players. They usually cost less than $100 and come with sticks, bags, shin guards, and various other protective gear.
Although sometimes uncomfortable, plastic mouthguards will protect one’s teeth from collisions with sticks or balls. These types of injuries can have serious repercussions, including concussions. Mouthguards can also be custom-fitted so that they fit better in the mouth but also protect better too.
Regular mouthguards are available at sports stores and can be purchased for less than $5. If a player chooses to get a custom-fitted mouthguard, he or she can expect the cost to be substantially higher.
Shinguards are used in a variety of sports to protect players’ legs and ankles from injuries. They can be made of foam and are easy to pull on and off, or they have a hard plastic shell that protects better for harder hits.
It is crucial to find shin guards rated for field hockey because they have more padding and cover more of the leg than other types. Additionally, rash guards can be purchased to wear under the shin guards to keep the skin safe and extend the life of the guards.
The price of shin guards changes with the materials used to make them, but the most critical factor is that they offer full protection. They usually cost somewhere between $20 and $30.
Since field hockey can be played on a variety of surfaces, using the right kind of shoes will make it much easier to play the sport. Cleats are most often used for outdoor grass, while turf shoes can be purchased for indoor play.
Cleats have rubber studs on the bottom that make it easier to run and grip the ground. Soccer cleats are usable instead of field hockey-specific cleats, but any shoe with metal cleats is strictly forbidden.
Turf shoes have rubber treads that make it easier to run on the surface without slipping. If players wear cleats on turf, the rubber studs can stick into the ground, making it harder to run and maneuver.
Players also need footwear. Both cleats and turf shoes are only necessary if one is playing both indoor and outdoor field hockey. Turf shoes most commonly cost less than cleats and are usually under $100. Cleats can be pricey and can cost upwards of $200.
Gloves are not traditional gear for field hockey but are being used more and more by players on the field. With the addition of new construction materials for sticks and athletic abilities, it is increasingly important to protect oneself from hard hits. However, gloves are optional unless it comes to goalie equipment.
Clubs and teams most likely will provide a uniform to players, but practice clothes will need to be purchased for non-game days. Loose clothing that allows for a wide range of movement works best.
Traditionally, girls wear kilts for play, and boys wear pants/shorts, but it is really up to the club rules.
Field hockey goalies need additional gear to protect them from hard shots. Helmets should be worn to protect the face and head. The best helmets will fit snugly but also allow the goalie to have a full line of vision.
Full-body protection is also necessary. Pads and protectors are used to cover the goalie’s body. Throat protection, arm pads, and leg guards will need to be purchased. These ensure the goalie is kept safe while still being able to move and protect the goal.
Additional equipment for goalies will need to be purchased. Gloves, added body protection, and helmets are all necessary pieces. One can purchase equipment separately, or there are packages available as well. Expect to spend around $500 on either option.
Field hockey balls are not a necessary purchase but can come in handy for players who wish to practice at home. Single and double packs most often cost less than $10, and packs of six balls come in at less than $30.
Field hockey players are responsible for personal equipment, but the individual teams and clubs provide gear that can be used by everyone. Sometimes a fee is attached to provide these materials.
Nets and cones are used for practicing both game techniques and skill development. If there is a permanent practice facility, nets are generally installed right on the field. Pop-up nets can also be used, but are best utilized if they are regulation size. Cones can be set up to run drills and practice tight movements.
Players can buy balls to practice with at home, but coaches will have plenty of field hockey balls at practice so everyone can participate.
Uniforms are worn for games and will all be the same colour to distinguish one team from another. Some clubs will only provide a jersey, while other teams can do a full set-up with socks, shorts, and jackets.
Most clubs will also have training equipment available for strength and intensity training. Even if a club cannot provide much equipment, coaches can give players extra gear to help players have everything they need for practices and games.
The amount of supplies an organization can provide is based on funding and the level of play. Semi-professional and pro field hockey teams will usually have more equipment provided than amateur and recreational level clubs.
There are other costs associated with playing field hockey. Some of these expenses are optional, while others are required with certain levels of play.
Clubs will often have added expenses on top of their basic fees. Uniforms might need to be purchased directly from the club at an additional charge. Make sure to research the club before committing to membership.
If playing on a travel team, there are the associated travel costs of transportation, accommodations, food, and tournament fees. These can vary based on the club’s funding and distance of the games but should be factored into the total cost.
Memberships are another purchase option. There are international, national, and state organizations of which players can become members. Most offer a monthly or yearly membership that includes various perks and even access to special events.
These memberships are offered at most levels of play for individual athletes. Options for coaches, umpires, and entire clubs are also available. For an overview of one type of national organization and its memberships, please visit the Team USA Field Hockey page (source).
Coaches will be able to supply their players with necessary equipment with the assistance of the club. However, coaches might need to pay for things out of pocket too. Coaches need to be CPR certified, complete a background check, and have the willingness to continue their coaching education.
The club might cover some of these items, but coaches should be prepared to take on these costs. After completing the necessary initial requirements, coaches can further their skills by working toward accreditation.
There are a number of costs that fall directly on the clubs and owners. Clubs will collect fees directly from the players and determines how to spend the money.
Practice facilities, whether rented or owned, will have a fee attached. The amount will depend on the size, location, and amenities offered at the location.
Clubs will also need to make sure their teams are set up for success. They will need to buy essential equipment such as first aid kits, field hockey balls, cones, and goals. If the club has the revenue, they may provide transportation for coaches and players to attend tournaments (source).
While field hockey can be an expensive sport for players, many positives come with the expenses associated with it. Club and regional memberships are one of the best ways to take advantage of the opportunities available for field hockey athletes.
Becoming a club or organization member comes with a variety of benefits for players of all ages. One perk is the chance to play with different teams, travel to new locations, take place in bigger tournaments, and attend members-only camps and clinics.
Clinics usually last no more than a day and allow athletes to focus on specific skills for improvement. There are many experts available to help improve talents.
Camps are quite similar to clinics but will last around a week. If playing at a higher level, players might attend a college camp to have the chance to work with program coaches.
There are organizations specifically for college athletes to help connect them with other schools and teams. The National Field Hockey League was created for college club players to form a network of teams to play in games and tournaments. Groups like this allow players to meet new athletes and learn from different teams (source).
For athletes looking to play at the college level, club and regional memberships are a great way to increase exposure for recruiting and scholarships. These organizations will work with players to create athlete videos, send them to field hockey showcases, and give them opportunities to visit college campuses.
Groups can also put athletes in touch with coaches to help strengthen the chances of being recruited or earning a scholarship. The more organizations an athlete can join, the more opportunities they will have.
Field hockey continues to attract more athletes as it increases in popularity. The combination of equipment, playing fees, and memberships can make the sport quite expensive. However, many cost-effective routes can be taken for equipment and player fees. At the same time, club and organization memberships can open up many field hockey opportunities.