Field hockey is an outdoor sport that’s played on grass, synthetic field, or artificial turf. Played by two opposing teams, it involves striking a small, hard ball with a curved stick. The goal? To hit it into the opponent’s goal. If anything, it’s quite similar to ice hockey; the only difference is that it’s not played on ice. Here’s an interesting fact—it’s actually one of the oldest team sports in the world! Allegedly, it dates back nearly 3,000 years back to the Classical Greek era.
Aside from the Olympics, there are tournaments such as the Hockey World Cup, which is held every four years. Despite its popularity, however, it almost never gets any coverage. For one thing, premiership games are almost never published or televised!
Benefits of Playing Field Hockey
Field hockey, like most team sports, comes with a variety of health benefits. After all, it’s a cardio workout. Not only will it help you burn fat, but it’ll also strengthen your heart and lungs. In doing so, you’ll be at a lower risk of diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease, and other conditions.
Other benefits of playing field hockey:
- It will improve your coordination and balance—this is not surprising given how the game is played (trying to hit a ball while travelling quickly across a field)
- It will strengthen your muscle strength, especially in the core and legs
- It will strengthen your cardiovascular system so that your breathing will improve
- It will reduce stress, anxiety and boost your mood (through the release of feel-good hormones)
- It promotes communication skills as you’ll be playing with other team members
- It allows you to foster a sense of community and pride
- It teaches you how to manage your time effectively
Given all that, it’s not surprising to know that so many people are into the sport!
What Kind of Gear is Needed for Field Hockey?
Gear is important when it comes to field hockey. Because let’s face it—you can’t play it without the proper equipment! First things first, you’ll need a stick. Not only that, but you’ll need a jersey and a pair of hockey pants (the ones that come with padding). On top of that, you’ll want a pair of cleats, shin guards, and gloves. Don’t forget, you’ll need a helmet as well. Why? Because you never know when an injury might occur. Remember, safety always comes first!
Keeping Your Field Hockey Gear Clean
Field hockey involves a lot of running around. In other words, you’ll probably be sweating—a lot. This is especially true if you’re playing during the warmer months.
Why’s that important? You see, the sweat will absorb into your clothes, which will leave a pungent odor. This is due to bacteria on the surface of the fabric. That’s why you want to wash your gear as soon as possible after a game, ideally once you get home. The worse thing that you can do is leave it in your hockey bag. The dark, moist environment will cause the bacteria to multiply! Before you know it, you’ll end up having to wash your bag too. And another thing—dirt. Chances are, some will make it onto your shoes, socks, and pants. That’s another reason why you want to put them in the laundry.
What’s the best way to wash field hockey gear? Need some help? We’ll be sharing some tips below!
How to Wash Field Hockey Jerseys
Field hockey jerseys, like most jerseys, are made of synthetic materials (e.g. polyester, nylon, etc). There are several reasons why this is—first and foremost, they’re durable. That is, they’re able to hold up against vigorous use. On top of that, they have sweat-wicking properties. What this means is that the fabric is able to pull moisture away from the skin so that it’s able to evaporate. The result? You won’t be left feeling clammy!
Here are a couple of ways that you can wash your jerseys.
Putting Your Field Hockey Jersey in the Washing Machine
It’s perfectly safe to put your hockey jerseys in the washing machine. If anything, that’s how you’re supposed to wash them! To be on the safe side, though, make sure that you read the care tag label before starting. That will have all the information that you need to know!
Ready to begin? Flip the jersey inside out. That will protect the outer layer aka the side with the designs from friction damage. You’d be surprised just what can happen in a single wash cycle! Not only that, but it’ll also let the detergent reach the gunky stuff easier. In other words, it’ll clean it better.
Note: You can wash your jerseys by themselves if you want to but it’s also perfectly fine to wash them with other clothes. That is, assuming that you’ve separated them based on color. Never mix darks with lights (e.g. whites and blacks) as the colors will run. Another thing—don’t mix them with hoodies or items with hardware. The fabric can easily snag.
Place the jersey in the washer. We highly recommend using a laundry bag if you want to extend its longevity. If you don’t have one, you can improvise by putting it in a pillow case and sealing the opening. Next, add the detergent. Generally speaking, one scoop of ACTIVE detergent will do the job. From there, set the washer so that it’s on a gentle setting. Never use “normal” as that’ll be too much for your jersey. Do not use fabric softener or bleach—both will cause damage to the fabric.
Take the jersey out once the wash is complete. Avoid leaving them in the machine for long periods of time as that’ll cause them to develop an odor. Remove them as soon as you can and hang them up so that they can air dry. Do not tumble dry; the hot temperature will do your jersey no favors.
Washing Your Field Hockey Jersey by Hand
Don’t have anything else to wash besides your jersey? If so, it might be easier for you to just handwash it. It’s simple—get a basin or bucket and fill it with warm water. You can also use the sink if that’s easier. Add a scoop of ACTIVE detergent (adjust the amount if needed) and swish the water until the powder is fully dissolved. Put the jersey into the solution, making sure that the fabric is fully submerged. Leave it to soak for at least 20-30 minutes.
Massage the fabric with your hands gently afterward. The goal is to get rid of all the sweat, oil, dirt, and grit from the item. Pay attention to the underarm and neck areas as those tends to be the dirtiest. When you’re finished, rinse the detergent off with clean water. It’s easiest to do so with the tap but you can also refill the container with water.
Gently squeeze the jersey once you’ve made sure that there are no more soap suds—that will get rid of the excess water. Resist the urge to twist the fabric. Place the item on a clean table and blot further with a towel before allowing it to air dry on a drying rack. Remember not to use the dryer.
Note: You can wash field hockey, shorts, skirts, and socks the same way
Washing Instructions for Field Hockey Gloves
Field hockey gloves can get icky with sweat. Don’t worry, though, they’re easy to clean!
Putting Field Hockey Gloves in the Washer
Hockey gloves can be put directly into the washing machine. If necessary, soak them first in a detergent solution—that will help to get rid of the sweaty smell. Not only that, but it’ll help them sink to the bottom of the washer (they tend to float in top-loading machines).
If you want, you can wash them with other garments. To prevent them from being snagged, use laundry bags. Once everything is in, add the soap. Unless you’re washing a huge amount of stuff, one scoop’s worth of ACTIVE detergent will do the trick. Do not use fabric softener; it’s not compatible with synthetic fabrics. If necessary, use vinegar instead. It will soften up the gloves and it’ll help to remove any unwanted smells.
Close the lid and run a regular wash cycle using cold water. The machine will agitate the gloves so that any sweat and debris will be washed away. Take the hockey gloves out afterward and hang them dry for several hours. Do not use the dryer—the heat can cause the gloves to crack or split.
Washing Field Hockey Gloves in the Sink
Mix warm water with a scoop of ACTIVE detergent in the sink. You can also do it in the sink. Run enough water so that it’s approx. half full. You don’t want it to be too full, otherwise, it might spill out once you put the items in.
Once the detergent is completely dissolved, put the gloves in. Saturate them in the sudsy solution by pressing them down into the sink. It’s important that they’re soaked so that they won’t be floating on top of the water. From there, gently agitate the gloves. That will help to loosen the dirt. Next, let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
After that, rinse them in clean water. You want to remove all visible dirt and grime—not to mention the soap. Continue until the water runs clean and there are no more suds. Lay it on a towel and use it to soak up some of the water. You can also squeeze out some of the moisture with your hand. Finally, let them air dry.
Note: You can wash hockey shinguards in a similar fashion
Best Way to Clean Field Hockey Cleats
Your cleats can get dirty after a few games. Here’s how you can make it look new again.
Combine cool water with a bit of ACTIVE detergent in a container. Dip a soft-bristled brush into the solution and use it to scrub the cleats. It’s important that you do not submerge them in water as that can cause the materials to crack. This is especially true if they’re made from leather.
When finished, wipe them dry with a cloth. Make sure there’s no residual soap leftover. If the cleats are wet on the inside, you can speed up the drying process by stuffing them with newspaper. Do not place them under direct sunlight or apply direct heat. They can weaken the glue on the shoes.