If you are one of the millions of left-handed people in the UK – or even if you are not – you probably know just how difficult everyday tasks can be when pretty much everything in life is designed for right-handers. While being left-handed does not prove to be a disadvantage in most occupations or sports, and many pieces of equipment can be adapted for use by left-handed people, did you know that left-handed hockey sticks are illegal in field hockey?
Field hockey dates all the way back to the Middle Ages; in those days, being left-handed was seen as a sign of evil. Whilst such beliefs have long been abandoned, the reason there are no left-handed hockey sticks today is a more practical one: safety.
Why there are no left-handed hockey sticks
Many sports and pastimes have adaptations to place right- and left-handed competitors on a level playing field. As Livestrong points out, there is no shortage of left-handed sticks for ice hockey players, but left-handed field hockey players must make do with right-hand versions. What is the reasoning behind this?
If a player tackles an opponent with an opposite-handed stick, it is likely that one of the players will be hit by a follow-through swing, potentially causing serious injury; therefore, all hockey sticks must be the same. While it is possible to find and purchase left-handed sticks for practice or casual play, they are banned from competitive tournaments; in fact, you could even be sued if you use one in competitive play.
Left-handed hockey tips
Many left-handers become great hockey players, of course, and it is impossible to tell them apart from right-handed players at the top levels of the sport. They will always have to play with right-handed sticks, however, so this may take a little getting used to when they first start. Using field hockey drills from online providers such as https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Hockey/ is a great way to improve your skills in the game.
If a child who is left-handed starts playing hockey from an early age, they will be so used to using a right-handed stick that it won’t be an issue by the time they reach competitive level. As with most sports, starting young is the best recipe for success, whether you are right- or left-handed.