Due to the great improvement in the plastics industry, metal working, and technology in general, field hockey equipment makers have been attempting to keep up with the new alterations to the new sticks that give players greater chance to do us more damage! Similar to ice hockey masks, hockey specific masks are fully enclosed helmets, with a back strap holding the mask in place on the head. Rather than using any special materials for increased protection, they are made of high impact plastic, injection moulded for head sizes. The cages are generally made of carbon steel.
These masks make great protection for young goalkeepers’ headgear, and are at affordable prices, making them affordable and reasonable alternatives to a helmet/cage combo, if you prefer protection over vision. The masks generally come in two sizes: junior or senior (I would recommend that an older intermediate teenager would manage to fit into a senior helmet – check the given sizes first i.e. 16/17 +). They are suitable for lower to mid-club level standard (up to about regional level standard) for senior players; cages can be switched for a cat eye (for greater vision for those who dislike having to see through a grill) at an additional cost.
Common makers include Slazenger who produce club, county and international versions with obviously matching levels of protection.
Provide better protection than helmet/cage combos; added chin protection and
Moderate costs makes the helmet an affordable option
Cage compatibility – able to switch cages produced by the same company easily
Reduced peripheral vision – harder to see overall side to side game
Harder to shout out team instructions, with the mouth area covered by the design