Scottish Hockey recently signed an agreement with TK Hockey to be the official face mask suppliers for senior national teams, helping to keep the game safe.

“Face masks have become the norm at international level over the past five years, particularly in regards to defending top quality drag flicks where deflections are an added aspect,” explained Scottish Hockey Coach and Education Manager Colleen Reid.

The average player can strike the ball at speeds between 70-100 kph. Some elite players can drag flick, a specialist scoring shot, around 120 kph.  Hence why face masks are worn when defending a penalty corner or penalty stroke in the semicircular area around the goal, known as “the D”.

Colin Burnell, of TK Hockey, said:  “Prior to the development of player face masks outfield players defending at penalty corners were exposed, especially when put into the context of standing next to a fully protected goalkeeper, so face masks were a natural progression of the game.

“We have spent a good deal of time developing our masks and now have three in our range.  We aim to provide a progression not only in the levels of protection and coverage, but also in the experience of wearing a mask.  All of our masks are clear, rather than painted or coloured, to provide an all-round field of vision at all times. 

“Our masks are made of polycarbonate which, over other types of plastic, has immense strength combined with light weight.  They are also lined with high density EVA foam padding for comfort and extra protection, have adjustable straps and are CE marked- certifying the product has met EU consumer safety requirements. TK masks are widely used at all levels of hockey around the world which serves as a great endorsement.”

Scotland defender Chris Grassick said: “TK masks fit really well-they are very comfortable and have good visibility which is paramount as it's obviously most important to see the ball.  I feel well protected and safe using the masks and they definitely give me extra confidence when defending.”

Facial injuries in hockey are relatively low, as Scottish Hockey’s members’ insurance have hosted an average of only 3 claims a year in this category since 2005, with outdoor or indoor hockey being played most weekends during this time throughout the country across all age levels.  Despite this record, Scottish Hockey always emphasizes the need to ensure the safety of players and is pleased to secure this relationship with TK to cover face mask requirements for all national squads.

Find more information on TK’s website by clicking here

Source: Scottish Hockey