Camo Hi Control Gear

Here is a cheeky shot of Animal showcasing the Hi Control Camo range.

animal camo

(Please note you do not require a beard of this nature to wear this kit, although it is a nice touch!)

This kit is currently only available in Australia, and it has been well received here. What are your thoughts on the kit?


You can get the Camo Hi Control gear including a free Camo smock as shown above from Hockey World, Australia website link here.

Ps: Good to see you have an Adult helmet now Animal!

Going ‘Dutch’

These days you will see a fair amount of goalkeepers in different leagues going without full arm protection. ‘Padding down’ with a goalkeeper removing their arm guards completely to gain extra movement (without the added weight or restriction of bulky arm padding) and speed in glove saves, is often referred to as ‘going Dutch’ because of the history of their goalkeepers going ‘armless’. In Holland, hockey coaches teach their goalkeepers a method of goalkeeping that encourages an active style of play; proactively reacting to every shot, rather than simply focusing on blocking the ball.

When goalkeepers started out in hockey, there was very little kit available. Even when ice hockey protection was introduced into the game, arm guards weren’t available or produced, leaving goalkeepers to stop shots unguarded. The ball still travelled at great speed, with shots travelling at speeds of 85kph. Back in the ’80s when Ian Taylor was playing and further back than that, keepers fearlessly logged against hits and charged down short corners wearing effectively basic and poor padding. Now that’s crazy!!



There are specific reasons for doing this; it isn’t just something taken lightly. With arm pads, goalkeepers find them bulky and restrictive. This both weighs down the goalkeeper’s arms and reduces the ability to fully move the arms, resulting in slower, restrained movements. Elbow pads can also be too tight, stopping that reflex save with the timing of reacting to an instant save on a drag flick or hard strike. With the elbow joint muscles limited by the tightness of the strapping, you cannot fully move into the save on instinct, stopped by the applied pressure.

At the higher levels of play, goalkeepers and players will make informed risks (knowing the benefits and fully aware of the potential consequences of their decision) in order to get an advantage, however great, against the opposition to get that edge in defending the goal. Assessing the risk, the chances of getting hit on the elbow are rare, but are still possible (especially when leaving it vulnerable going down on the play to block) – it is up to you to make a personal decision whether to take the risks or not.


The benefits of losing arm protection are significant in a modern game dominated by drag flicks and speedy hits and reverse shots, where you can really make use of increased reaction times. With your arms free and unrestricted, you gain full movement to stop shots. You can now react fully to the shot, getting yourself behind the save and pushing into block and power away the ball, with the ability to move into the save with all your effort; making sure you have full concentration.

Your body also has an integral fear of being hit by anything at speed. This automatic reflex allows you to speed up your reaction to an incoming shot, literally zipping out to stop the ball. With increased speeds and flexibility to move for the save, you can react ever quicker to the ball.

Style changes

Reducing your available protection will obviously have a direct impact on the way you play, given self preservation and the option of saves open to you. The Dutch style itself is a more upright, patient style of play, staying up to challenge the shooter and cover space. Without the arms padded, it is easier to concentrate on splitting the two different levels of hit: shots below your hips and shots above them. With your leg pads dealing with low shots, it is the arms that are more active against raised shots.

You will have to be more careful being aggressive; charging out to cut down the shooter’s angle. In-close action is especially dangerous with the shot so near you and little time to react; extremely vulnerable against a mid-height shot (if you have dropped your arms to reinforce coverage around the pads). It is also important to note the related psychology. If you fear the shot, then you shouldn’t attempt blocking, as you are more likely to flinch, with your muscles tightening up and making any impact worse.

If you like to log on short corners, then you should have a spare arm pad (placed behind your goal during play), which you can put on in the interlude before the corner. This way, your extended arm is fully protected against a shot off the arm when extending out to your right. Your left arm is ok and can be brought into your body or behind the body and pads, with the glove facing out, to protect you from a direct hit.

Adapted stance

Adapting your stance allows you to take care of protecting yourself from being hit. If a shot was to undercut you and hit you square on a bare elbow there’s not much you can do for damage control!

To protect your elbows, you need to bring your gloves out in front of you to cover your elbows; have your palms facing out, blocking your elbow and arm, covering if a shot was headed there. This feels weird at first, but you will get used to it, and it’s for the best. From your stance, you can then move into the save, reacting with the shot.



You will also find that goalkeepers ‘padding down’ keep their arms tighter into the body; drawing their elbows in close to their chest/stomach. This allows them to protect the elbow by keeping it out of harm’s way – not exposed on the play to be hit.

Save making

Making saves without, you have to focus on making every save as it comes, and getting behind it to protect from being hit. You can no longer play a blocking style, since your arms are now exposed to the play: unlike before, you can’t use your arms for save or go out standing in front of a shot to block.

You should be more active with your saves, getting a glove on every raised shot and actively pushing away the rebound, driving the ball to safety on the save.

Going down against the play needs to be reconsidered as you are leaving your arms open to being hit, as is slide tackling or blocking, where you. When diving, you are just as vulnerable.


At training, keepers will go back to protecting their arms: wearing their arm pads during drills to protect themselves from the odd knock. The shots you will face in a game are isolated and separated, so it is easier to protect yourself, prepared against each single shot, whereas in training balls are pelted at you non-stop, without pause.

Outfielders aren’t so nice and will often treat the goalkeeper like a human pin cushion – trying to take off your head, or carelessly smashing it at you. It is therefore an obvious decision to pad ‘back up’ again to look after yourself. Even Guus Vogels (recently retired internationally, but the established Dutch no 1 keeper for a long time until recently, and considered the world’s best) wears elbow pads at training to protect his bones.


If you are in serious pain, and cannot move your arm at all, then you should get about consulting medical advice. A shot straight off the bare arm has obvious dangers; a crack off the elbow is especially bad. Severe bruising is the result in most cases, but a bullet of a shot could break it, leaving with a hair line fracture or full on break (putting you out for six weeks). Soft tissue damaging can result from getting hit; nerve damage can lead to eventual numbness. You can also get the equivalent of tennis elbow by landing regularly on your elbow after diving saves. Serious injuries can even require surgery.


Getting hit on the elbow is the biggest as it is the worst place to get hit (and difficult to heal). Learning to get your glove across and out in front to cover is essential. If you do go down against shots, you can bring your glove in front of the right elbow and forearm to protect against the straight strike aimed at your stick side.

Protecting skin

With sliding on bare arms for tackles or diving on the pitch surface, you can get some really nice burns. A lot of goalkeepers wear their ‘skins’ (water absorbent tops) under their chest pad to cover their elbows from shedding flesh. Some goalkeepers even wear inline/roller skating elbow pads simply to look out after their skin.

Disclaimer’s note: Going Dutch is a personal choice and is up to you to decide whether or not you want to take the risk; don’t be influenced by other keepers and the professionals or feel the need to conform if it’s not your ‘thing’ and doesn’t suit your style. It is best to give it a go once you have enough experience behind your belt and are old enough as a senior keeper to decided; too many junior keepers have been ‘welcomed’ into the bigger leagues with merciless shooters looking to hurt them so they can’t stop further shots.

Remember that you are responsible for your actions; it wasn’t the shooter’s fault they hit you (unless it was maliciously intended), you are just as much to blame. A break could put you out of the game, and you may not have a reserve keeper – costing your team the game.

OBO WebSite Developers Win Award

Fracture’s new website features managing director James McKee (left) and Nick Shaw.

Auckland website design company Fracture has always aimed to be
different and last month its unique approach was recognised by a
significant international accolade. Its web design work for local
architects Jasmax won the business category of the South by Southwest
Interactive Awards, held in Texas. Co-founder and creative director
Nick Shaw spoke to Simon Hendery about building a business that stands
out in a crowded market.

Click here to read more on this article

Via NZ Herald

Check out Fractures award winning “virtual building” Jasmax website.

Stay Up To Date With Keepers Resources 2.0

Good day sports fans,

Here is a great way to stay up to date with Keeper Resource updates; sign up for an RSS feed. RSS stands for; Rich Site Summary – and will basically deliver new content that is submitted to this OBO Keepers Resources site directly to you.

There are two options available:rss

Subscribe via feeds – this will bring the information to your requested RSS reader. (Watch the youtube video below for more info).


Subscribe via email – this will deliver an e-mail to your inbox every time there is a new article on Keepers Resources 2.0.

Here is a good video that will help you understand if you require more information on RSS.

OBO Shirts

Verbunt Hockey, Netherlands have recently launched 2 new OBO shirts that are exclusive to Verbunt.

Check out the Orange shirt: link





The new OBO shirt, now in orange/blue. Nice to play in or wear after the game.
Backside: ‘Goalkeepers are amazing people’ logo + number 1.
Left sleeve: ‘OBO Good shit that really works’ logo.
Front: OBO logo oval.

Also a new OBO Polo: link


Here is a cheeky shot of one shirt being worn out in the “field”.

obo shirt out in the field

The Worlds Smallest Keeper Uses OGO Custom Kit

Here is a nice little OBO story for you;

An OBO dad bought the smallest OBO kit possible (OBO OGO XXS) for his Son age 7. However at this age the  legguards were still too big.

At OBO HQ we got a request from dad for some foam and a few tips on how he could make smaller legguards for his son.

Check out the outcome of the custom kit below:

ogo xss

Custom XXXS legguard / OGO XXS legguad

ogo xxs custom
Custom XXXS right / OGO XXS Left

custom xxxs ogoCustom XXXS OGO

xxxs custom ogo2Custom XXXS OGO Kicker Tongue Grove

Here are dad’s comments:

“I did it! I created the smallest OGO legguards in the world, a 95%
copy of the original. Have a look on the pics I promised you (the original
is the bigger one on the right side, OGO-XXS size, also the kickers…).
The foam you sent me is fantastic. Bonding was no problem, I found a
fantastic glue. But shaping was a challenge…
My son is happy to have this equipment ready now!”

OBO Unlicensed Develop Department, GERMANY

Here are a few shots of the kit in action.

custom ogo xxxs 3

custom ogo kit xxxs
The Worlds Smallest Keeper

xxxs ogo custom kit

ogo custom xxxs

ogo custom kit xxxs

Our goalie started his hockey career age 4 (2006) and plays for TSV Riederich, a small village near Stuttgart.His favourite movie is the DVD from the German Hockey Team while the WCC 2006, Honamas.

obo xxxs keeper ogo

Quite possibly the worlds happiest keeper – good work Dad!

Short Corners: Getting Caught Out On The Drag Flick

When facing a drag flick from the top of the D on a short corner the biggest problem for the goalkeeper is to know how long to stand up (or remain standing) to deal with the incoming shot. If the destination is not given away, with the ability of the shooter to disguise it, you can only react to it. The timing affects your chance to save – you have to match exactly the ball’s arrival time to be successful.

This is a problem that even the world’s best suffer from, as they face the top drag flickers who like to have a few tricks up their sleeve to disguise their intentions and more importantly the destination of the ball. Just like on a penalty flick the shooter can ‘throw the shoulder’ with the keeper expecting a shot up and over them (or a low shot) exposing the open space to the side and slotting the ball away.

At the Olympics, this technique was shown at its best (unfortunately for the goalkeepers there). Germany’s gold winning goal was down to a successful high and looping drag flick on a short corner opportunity, where Fransisco Cortes left his feet early, whilst Vogels was beaten in the bronze medal game by a flick that similarly went up and over him.


When a lot of keepers make the transition to higher levels of play, they can often struggle to combat it, getting beaten by a well executed drag flick. I can personally admit to this in my younger days and other than the humiliation, it’s something you’ll want to eliminate from your game. But obviously the only way you can get better is to make mistakes and learn from them: in a lot of cases, like mine, you may be playing a lower standard but be facing a ringer.

There are not many county (lower division) teams where players can flick that well, but regional and onwards they are part of the game and it is therefore essential that, if that is a considered potential target, it needs to be learnt. You need to be aware that if you are ‘climbing up the ladder’, it is something you will meet and need to work on to beat.

Committing wrongly

The problem with going against the flick is knowing when to time the jump or dive; go down too early and you’ll have the ball roofed over you, but stay up too long and you will lack extension to reach the shot (in this case you will have to jump into the save). Similarly, making the wrong choice of save will hamper your efforts.

It is also difficult to read the direction of the ball: normally the ball will go to the corners or straight; in the path of the stick’s position, but low balls wide of the pad, which are difficult to reach standing up, can also be played by the striker.

Leaving your feet too early

With a drag flick, the goalkeeper in question can easily be caught out (by misjudgement and second guessing on their part) by a high ball that loops upwards onto goal, looking to beat the standing goalkeeper by getting it to a height and position that is impossible to stop. Unlike a strike, which is easier to read, the drag flick can be faster and curves with the flight of the stick; it can sweep into the corner or around you.

A lot of goalkeepers are taken back by the type of shot; confused about how to react and therefore act indecisively and misjudge it, or are tricked by the stick positioning; going down incredibly easy (and fast), leaving a whole area of net above them for the ball to go into. In this situation, the goalkeeper is effectively lobbed, with the ball going straight up over them without the ability to even get a touch on it, since they are too far gone (with downward momentum) to reach into any potential save.


Learning to stay on your feet

In order to prevent the ball zooming past you by aggressively committing too quickly against the flick for the attempted save, you need to work on timing your response to meet the ball. Timing the saving move with the actual shot, rather than going before the ball is released, gives you a better chance of reaction, instead of being beaten so easily.

The trick to saving the drag flick is to react with it: don’t be too early, or too late, as you won’t be able to stop it. React as the ball comes in – ready to stop it on its release, given the speed of the flick. Stay up as long as you need to and outwait the urge to move into a save immediately; be patient and react to the shot as it comes at you.

  • Stay up for the stop by the waiting ‘stopper’ (with their stick down to halt the ball to ensure the best shot on release); the ball will often be stopped dead before the flick to make it easier to drag flick (rather than having to drag a moving ball!)
  • Stay aware of potential corner routines involving players, but do NOT get caught up in their efforts to disguise the shot
  • Keep your concentration – react to it as the flick is released – only moving on the flick itself
  • Watch the ball all the way into the save to make sure you get as much behind it as possible

Making the wrong choice

Another point to take note of is the bad choice of save – going down with a long barrier, when the only means of a save is to stay up. There are still a lot of keepers, despite the rule changes and responding changes in the format and style of the game, that seem to log no matter what (as a first choice move rather than playing the ‘read and react style’), despite the threat of a well executed flick. These are the most vulnerable to a flick given the obvious height and speed of the ball: being lobbed by the ball as they obviously ‘down and out’ on the play.

This is an easy mistake to make that will have disastrous results – giving away a goal for free. Even internationals have managed it; Argentina’s keepers inabilities at short corners were exposed in recent world cups. Indecision will lead to problems as you cannot react with the shot, wasting time and not being fully prepared for a save. Work out how to make the save properly and stick to it: don’t mess around and have a clear plan.

Try to go down only when necessary. Or prepare to get embarassed!
Try to go down only when necessary. Or prepare to get embarassed!

Rule of thumb

The easiest thing is to learn how to read a straight strike versus a flick: working out the shooter’s intentions by their stick positioning. Reading their body language, posture, and looking at their eyes, will help you work out where they are looking to shoot.

A shooter going for a straight strike will grip the stick at the top to gain power and hold the stick nearer their body to control the shot

A shooter drag flicking the ball will have their hands further down the stick to get more control over the flick and hold the stick further back from their body; gaining more upward movement on the flick

The 100kmph Creme Egg!


Here at OBO were all about making the best products that are specific to Hockey ie: the impact of a hockey ball. Before now, we really had to test the equipment using an ‘Ouch!’ factor… Now we have quite possibly the most advanced lab in the Southern Hemisphere for testing the impact of hockey balls on different materials, helmets, kickers…and now a Creme Egg!

We will be showing some of our test results from our helmets soon on this KR2.0 site very soon so keep your eyes pealed.

In the mean time we caught a bit of the Easter spirit and thought it would be fun to see what happens when our crash test dummy Noddy tried to eat a Creme Egg.

the 100k creme egg

Check out the video below to find out what happened …

There’s another thing to tick of your list of things to do…

Happy Easter!

Champions Youth Cup


SportsLink Australia has sent us the following information…

My name is Alexis and i work for Ivan Boulton FIH grade one coach and director of SportsLink Australia. I”ve been asked to let you know about an exciting new hockey tournament which is set to get underway in July and November of this year, ‘The Champions Youth Cup 2009’.

The Champions Youth Cup tournaments are endorsed by Hockey Australia, Hockey New South Wales and Hockey Victoria, the organising bodies for the Champions Trophy tournaments to be played in Sydney and Melbourne 2009.

The Champions Youth Cup tournaments coincide with the Champion Trophies in Sydney and Melbourne, and will offer talented young hockey players not only the opportunity to partake in this exciting event and play against Australian and international teams, but they will also be able attend the Champions Trophy, and meet some of their international hockey heroes!

We are pleased to be associated with these events and supporting our future stars, which is why we would very much like to see if any of your teams would be interested in registering a team in the event.

Since the days are counting down to the tournaments debut, and participating in this fantastic opportunity is something your team might be interested in, I would be more than happy to provide you with more of the relevant information on the event and optional extra’s, as well as discuss the matter further so we can secure your team a place.

I have attached a copy of our promotional flyer which explains the event in more detail, and i’m happy to answer any questions you may have.

Moreover, If you happen to know of another team that would also benefit from, or be interested in partaking in Champions Youth Cup, it would be much appreciated if you could kindly forward this email to them.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this, and i hope to hear from you shortly.

Sincerely, Alexis.

Alexis Laird
Mobile +61 415 497 692

View promotional flyer.
You will need the free Adobe Reader to open the PDF.

OBO Elbow Guard Product Tour

Our ROBO Elbow guard is in the final stages of our βeta testing programme and we are just making the final tweaks before we launch the product. This product will in your local OBO supplier soon.


Here is a quick video displaying how the elbow guard is reversible so you can adjust the product to suit your style of play…. Some keepers prefer to have more protection on their forearm and others on their biceps.

I have also taken a few photos to demonstrate how the guard will work with full or half protection with Hi Control and Hi Rebound RHP’s. To view the presentation click below.


Keep an eye out in our βeta testing section to get more views on this and other new OBO products.

Here is a link to NicfromSweeden’s review