The bug has bitten you. The hockey bug, that is. You have been watching hockey and following the game on television and you have a true passion for it. Your friends want to play and you want to join them. You played goalie at one point in your life but you no longer have any of the equipment. You’ve decided you are going to make do with other sports equipment you have around the house because you want to play.
1. Wear catcher’s shin guards if you don’t have goalie pads when you are going to play hockey. When you have an urge to play hockey, you can do it on a whim without much protective gear if you are playing forward or even playing defense and you are not going to block shots. However, if you are playing goalie, you are in the line of fire of a hard puck made out of vulcanized rubber. Even if the other players are “taking it easy,” you can be sure that somebody is going to wind up and take a hard slap shot. You need to wear protective shin guards–at the very least–when you are going to play hockey.
2. Put on a baseball catcher’s chest protector. It’s not as a big or protective as the chest protector that a goalie would wear, but it will provide some padding. You will probably get a bruise or two, but you will get saved from serious injury.
3. Put on an athletic supporter and a protective cup. This is a given and cannot be overlooked. The impact of a shot to the groin area could be debilitating for a player not wearing a protective cup.
4. Find an old catcher’s mask. While a catcher’s mask does not guarantee you will not get hit by the puck in the face, it will provide at least some protection. In fact, many catchers in baseball have gone to a hockey-style mask because it offers greater protection. Don’t go out with at least some kind of protection because every area of your head and face is vulnerable without it.
5. Use a baseball first baseman’s glove as your catching glove. A first baseman‘s glove is longer and has a deeper pocket than most other types of baseball gloves. It is quite similar to the catching glove in hockey except that the baseball glove does not offer as much protection for your lower arm. It just goes over your hand. If you don’t have a first baseman’s glove, wear a catcher’s mitt or a standard baseball glove.