Sizing Hockey Jerseys
Hockey jerseys are the most significant and recognizable part of a hockey player’s attire. Anyone participating in the sport in any formal capacity will be required by the rules to wear a jersey, including youth players. Selecting a jersey can be challenging; however, if you are new to it, so how do we size youth hockey jerseys for the best fit?
To size youth hockey jerseys for the best fit, you must measure the arm length from wrist to the center of the back, the circumference of the wide-most area of the chest, and the length of the torso from the top of the hip to the top of the shoulder. These are the most important measurements.
In this article, we will be going over, in detail, the different factors that must be taken into account when fitting a youth hockey jersey. We will also cover the different types of hockey jerseys, and the practical purposes they serve, and where they can be purchased. Finally, we will provide our readers with some tips about proper sanitary practices to help keep your jerseys clean and bacteria-free.
Fitting a youth hockey jersey may seem like a no-brainer at first, but don’t be deceived. Many factors go into finding a properly fitting jersey.
An incorrectly fitted jersey can cause many problems, inhibited performance being the least of them.
Hockey jerseys must be loose enough not to restrict movement and mobility, but they can not be so baggy and droopy as to get tangled up or snagged and cause a safety risk either. Finding the right balance between the former and the latter is the goal.
Fitting a youth hockey jersey is not difficult and only takes a few minutes, but accurate measurements are essential. Therefore the person being fitted should have some help from a second person to ensure the measurements are being taken correctly.
The most crucial factor to consider when sizing a youth hockey jersey is that you will be wearing it over top of shoulder pads during games and practices. This will significantly alter the way that your jersey will fit. The additional size will be needed to fit the bulky upper-body padding that hockey players are required to wear.
Also, if you want to make sure your shoulder pads are fitting correctly, take a read through our more detailed article on the subject.
If possible, players should try on jerseys while wearing their pads. This will give you the most accurate judgment on whether a jersey is adequate to fit your frame.
Because every individual is built anatomically unique, unfortunately, there is no one size fits all when it comes to hockey jerseys. Every different part of the jersey will have to be measured and sized to fit your specific body structure, so you will likely require a tape measure.
Always try to get as close as you can to the best size. A jersey should be slightly oversized more than it has to be undersized.
The length of the torso or body section of the jersey is essential because you don’t want it riding up your back when you bend down to say, take a faceoff. You also don’t want it so long that it risks impeding your hips and legs’ movement and hence your skating ability.
The easiest way to find out the torso length that is most appropriate for you is to follow these two steps:
- Stand up straight and tall with your chest up and avoid slouching.
- Next, simply have somebody stand in front and measure from the top of your hip crease to the top of your shoulder, in a straight vertical line.
There is some leniency that is permitted here. Some may prefer a little more or less, and we leave that up to discretion, but it is always best to go with the most appropriate size according to your body.
Another measurement that will need to be taken to fit a youth hockey jersey is the chest.
To correctly measure the chest area for fitting a jersey, stand with your arms raised and have someone else assist you in measuring the entire circumference of your torso at the wide-most part of your chest.
Accurately sized chest measurement of your jersey will allow it to better support during the play and not sag off your body loosely.
The length of the sleeves on your hockey jersey is very important for performance. If the sleeves are too short, they may pull up, leaving your bare skin exposed and susceptible to cuts and scrapes. If they are overly long, however, there is the possibility the sleeves can fold down over your gloves and get tangled in your stick.
To find the proper sleeve length, the following steps must be performed:
- Stand up tall with good posture.
- Outstretch your arms to the sides, keeping them parallel to the floor.
- With a measuring tape, measure from the center of the collar at the back of the jersey to where your wrist begins.
This is the most accurate way to measure your wingspan for sizing a custom youth hockey jersey.
Hockey gloves are large and bulky and will usually prevent your jersey’s sleeves from falling down to cover your hands, but that does not mean to say that there is no chance of this happening.
The collar of a jersey does not need to be measured, but it is still an important consideration in sizing.
Individuals vary quite a bit in the thickness and circumference of their neck, and you want a jersey that will not make you feel like it is choking or constricting you in any way.
There are also different types of collars on hockey jerseys. Some have a more traditional round neck style opening, some are V-necked, and some feature a drawstring that allows them to be loosened or tightened to your need.
Whatever the case is, just make sure that you have some slack around the neck, and it is not too tight.
The collars of a jersey are also generally stretchy and dexterous. This is so that if another player decides to grab and pull on it, it will not rip.
The last thing that it is necessary to touch on in this section is the armholes of a jersey.
Although you will not need to take any formal measurements of the armholes, they should be intuitively assessed for how well they fit.
Every player will have different sized wrists and forearms, so again, there is no such thing as one size fits all.
The goal is to have some slack in the sleeve, but you will not want the sleeve to be so open at the end that it ends up sliding down over and covering your glove.
It must also be noted that with hockey jerseys, there are two different types of sleeves, which differ by their length. ¾ sleeves do not go the entire way down the arm, but only 75% of the way, whereas full-length sleeves extend to the wrist.
There is no universal standard one way or the other. Some leagues may prefer or require one or the other or maybe wholly indifferent to the matter. It is, however, something that a youth player should look into when fitting their jersey.
We also have an article dedicated to properly fitting all hockey gear that is worth a read.
Although the aforementioned measurement requirements and procedures will remain the same regardless of the type or style of jersey you buy, it is crucial to go over these different types of jerseys, their intended purposes, and how exactly they vary from one another.
Hockey jerseys can be worn for performance and athletic purposes, they can be worn by fans to signify loyalty and preference for a specific team or player, or they can simply be worn for everyday use by individuals who just happen to enjoy the colour and design of a particular jersey for fashion purposes.
The two primary ways that the following jerseys are set apart are their stylistic appearance and the materials used to fabricate them.
Whenever you hear somebody use the term “vintage” or “retro” about a hockey jersey, what they mean to say is that the jersey is a commemoration of older, antiquated eras of the sport.
Retro jerseys are either replicas or originals and typically feature famous, historic, or otherwise significant players and teams. An Edmonton Oilers jersey from the 1983-84 NHL season featuring the name of Wayne Gretzky is an example of a vintage retro hockey jersey.
Some retro jerseys can be very valuable, expensive, and collectible based on their rarity and desirability.
The original hockey jerseys were crafted from thick wool, which is very different from the new polyester jerseys that we see today.
Professional teams may even wear retro jerseys during official games to pay homage to the legends of their franchise’s history on special occasions.
The next type of jersey to be examined here is the practice jersey.
Practice jerseys are easy to spot due to their general blandness and lack of uniformity, but practice jerseys serve a distinct purpose.
Often, coaches will assign colour-specific practice jerseys to individual team members for convenience when performing drills and scrimmages. Certain positions may fashion a particular colour to be easily recognizable to their teammates.
A player wearing a red jersey in practice is commonly understood to mean that they are returning from an injury and are not ready for excessive physical contact. This lets their fellow teammates know to be cautious and considerate when engaging them.
Training jerseys are either one solid colour or have some very basic design pattern or logo on them. Often, a training jersey will simply feature the brand’s logo that it was made by, for example, “CCM.”
If you are looking to purchase a high-quality youth hockey training jersey at a reasonable price, consider the CCM 5000 Series Training Jersey, which is crafted from 100% polyester material and available in a dozen different colours.
The third and most common type of jersey is the in-game jersey.
These are the jerseys that the team wearing them is known to their fans by—the up-to-date team jersey.
The official game jersey will always feature the official colours and current logo and franchise colours.
These are also the jerseys where accurate sizing will be of most importance, as these are the jerseys that will be worn when games are won or lost.
Official game jerseys are the most functional and essential jerseys, and for this reason, great care should be taken when handling or storing them.
Within the context of official game jerseys, there are two typical variants: home and the other being away.
The term home team refers to the team that is hosting the game on their particular home ice or in their home arena (where the team is based). The away team means the opposite; you are a guest at the opponent team’s home arena for the game.
A team will usually wear a different jersey at home than they do while away.
The jerseys will be relatively the same, except the colour layout will be inverted. So if a team’s home jersey happens to be white with blue stripes, their away jersey will in all likelihood be blue with white stripes.
This is mostly just for visual appeal and viewership ease. One team will wear dark, and the other light because if both teams had on majority white jerseys, it could cause unnecessary confusion and annoyance on the part of everyone watching and participating.
Hockey jerseys are not just a mere formality. They are very much worn for practical purposes that may not be immediately obvious.
When explaining why hockey jerseys must be worn during games and practices, it can help break the necessities for them down into three categories: the safety function, the performance factor, and for identifiability purposes.
Here we will go over each one of these purposes and provide the logic behind each one. This will give the reader a clear idea of why hockey jerseys have come to be designed the way they are and why it is fundamental to their performance.
Hockey is a very rough sport, from the youth level up to the professional league. It is fast-paced, unpredictable, and for that reason, safety precautions are taken very seriously.
We can easily recognize that helmets, pads, mouth guards, and gloves are worn to enhance player safety and lessen the chance of injury. Still, many overlook that a player’s jersey is also intended to serve much the same function.
Regulation hockey jerseys are made from very heavy duty and durable materials that offer cut resistance and skin protection.
During intense game action, a player may be slashed with a stick or a skate blade. This is why no skin can be visible on a hockey player’s body.
Jerseys play a vital role in player safety.
Hockey jerseys are ergonomically designed for comfort and peak athletic performance.
Jerseys are vented with small holes like a mesh that allows them to breathe and prevents overheating. They are also modestly stretchy and very lightweight.
Of all the purposes that a hockey jersey serves, the most prominent is its use for player identification.
The distinct colours of a hockey jersey make it possible to recognize teammates and rival players through peripheral vision quickly. This makes it much easier to make passes, orchestrate plays and strategies, and avoid being hit or blindsided.
Hockey players can sometimes skate so fast that you may only have a chance to make out their jersey colour and the number on it. Hockey players also tend to form crowds and clusters on the ice at times, making it difficult to find players on the ice visually. Jerseys help pick out individual players amidst the chaos that is so common in the sport.
Hockey game jerseys are also decorated with different patches that make further recognition—beyond the simple teammate/opponent distinction—possible, which we will get into in the next section.
Every hockey player’s jersey is uniquely their own.
Beyond the custom size and measurements, hockey jerseys are fitted with badges and tags for categorical purposes.
Every game jersey in hockey will have a name patch sewn across the upper back portion of the jersey displaying the player’s last name only.
This is great for fans and announcers trying to keep track of who’s who during the game and for the players themselves insofar as they can identify a specific player even when their back is turned to them.
This makes it much easier for the players to remain adherent to the coach’s assigned play or strategy.
Those unfamiliar with the game of hockey may have noticed that some player’s jerseys feature a capital letter “C” or “A” on the front left shoulder and wondered what it means.
The letter C on a hockey jersey is reserved strictly for the team captain, and the alternate captain’s letter is A.
The team captain’s job is to relay messages between the referees, the coaches, and the rest of their team. They are uniquely qualified to do this where no other player is permitted.
The alternate captain fills this role when the primary captain is not on the ice.
Every player in a league is assigned a player number, even the goaltenders.
The numbers are available for assignment ranged from 1 to 98. No two players on the same team will ever have the same number.
The numbers are sewn on the player’s jersey in large easy to read font on the back of the jersey and both upper arms.
This is another way announcers and spectators track players during the game.
Because hockey is such a physically demanding sport, players sweat a lot during games and practice. Their helmets, pads, gloves, and jerseys will, sooner or later, all start to collect sweat.
Sweat overabundance can lead to the cultivation of harmful bacteria that can cause minor to severe infections in whomever it contacts.
Hockey jerseys must be taken, especially good care of hygienically, to prevent this from happening.
The following recommendations must always be followed to keep your jersey sanitized and safe for use:
- Never leave your jersey wet or in a ball after games or practice. Always open it up and hang it somewhere that the open-air can begin drying it immediately.
- Wash and dry your jersey following every game. Never keep reusing a jersey that has not been washed.
- Never under any circumstance lend or share your jersey with other players. This can lead to the transmission of harmful bacteria.
Bacteria likes moisture and dampness, so keeping your jersey and other equipment as dry as possible will pay dividends to prevent germs.
When you wash your hockey jersey, do so in cold water. Also, turn your jersey inside out before washing it to prevent the logos and patches’ wear and degradation.
Once you have finished washing your jersey in cold water with soap, hang it up to air dry naturally. This will prevent it from shrinking or becoming misshapen.
Youth hockey jerseys can be purchased from many different outfitters for reasonably affordable prices. Where you buy from will ultimately be determined by how much need for specificity you require.
More often than not, your team’s coach or equipment manager will take your size down and equip you with a team jersey, the cost of which is typically included in your registration fee. If you’d like to understand more about what the team managers do, be sure to take a read through our article on “What Does a Minor Hockey Team Manager Do“.
If you are interested in creating and designing your completely custom jersey entirely from scratch, MonkeySports Jersey Builder allows you to do precisely that, right down to the finest detail.
Youth jerseys can also be purchased from local sporting goods stores as well as specialized hockey equipment outfitters. This may be a better option than buying online for the simple reason that you can go in person and try on the jersey to ensure it fits properly before committing to it financially.
In the world of jerseys, there are two types. There are authentic high quality, authentic jerseys like what the players officially wear, and then there are the imitation knock-off versions, which are significantly lower in quality and price.
One of the most obvious ways to tell them from one another is to look at how the numbers, logos, and letters are sewn on.
Authentic jerseys will be hand-stitched with strong, expensive materials. In contrast, the embroideries on replica jerseys are either sewn from a noticeably more inferior quality material or screen printed.
The fabric used to make replica jerseys will also pale in comparison to authentic ones. It is much more light and flimsy and less ideal for actual use during a game.
Replica jerseys can be an excellent option for those who are just looking to save some money while still showing their support for the team they are loyal to. As long as you are not planning to do any serious competition in a fake jersey, it may be a sensible option for some.
Authentic jerseys are designed to last for a very long time. This is why many surviving jerseys can be found from many decades ago still in pristine condition.
Youth hockey is an experience that can instill discipline, hard work, and social skills in a young player. This can positively impact all aspects of their life, and for this reason, there is almost no downside to becoming involved in youth hockey.
The only potential drawback is the cost of continuously replacing equipment as the youth player grows and develops.
Jerseys, sticks, skates, and just about every other piece of equipment will need to be replaced on a semi-frequent basis, sometimes every season, depending on their physical development.
Youth jerseys will inevitably become obsolete and need replacing.
When you find that a youth jersey has been outgrown, it will be necessary to remeasure and resize the player according to their new anatomical requirement.
In any regard, replacing jerseys here and there is a small price to pay for the experiences that will surely last a lifetime.
In this article, we sought to explain to our readers the best way to size youth hockey jerseys for an ideal fit.
The way to size youth hockey jerseys is based on three measurements, which must be taken manually.
The first measurement is the arm length and is taken from the wrist to the center of the collar’s back. The next is the torso length, measured from the top of the shoulder to the top of the hip crease vertically. The last measurement to be taken is chest circumference around the widest part.
- PureHockey: How to buy a Hockey Jersey
- Wikipedia: Wayne Gretzky
- Amazon: CCM 5000 Training Jersey Youth
- eBay: Youth Hockey Jerseys
- Amazon: Youth Hockey Jerseys
- MonkeySport: Jersey Builder