Goalkeeper equipment has greatly evolved over the years. Nowadays there is plenty of good equipment available that protects, does not limit movement, and is comfortable and breathable. Goalkeeper gears consist of a face mask, footwear, knee protection, jersey and trousers, jock strap, eventually a vest, gloves or neck protector.

The face mask is the most important piece of goalkeeper equipment and is also one of the most expensive parts. It protects a head from shots and hits by sticks, other players or the goal cage. It must fit the goalkeeper completely and provide a clear vision and comfortable feel. Only face masks manufactured specifically for floorball can be used. They are made of plastic or other lightweight material. Compared to ice hockey masks floorball masks are made of thinner material therefore much lighter. Hence they don’t stress the head and neck muscles more than necessary. Face mask can be made of acrylate or laminate in different shapes, sizes and with various cages or even visors.

Knee protectors (also called knee guars or shin pads) are designed to protect the most stressed part of goalkeeper’s body, is knees. It is absolutely necessary to buy knee protectors specially made for floorball as for example volleyball or handball protectors are designed to reduce damage during falls rather than all time kneeing or the basic movement of floorball goalkeepers, the knee slide. It is a matter of personal choice whether goalkeeper chooses the short protectors (knee length) or long ones (cover knee and shinbone).

Among other protection we can name elbow protectors, neck protectors and for male goalkeepers the jockstrap is also recommended.

Goalkeepers’ shoes are different from the court players’ shoes. Nonslip sole doesn’t give much of a benefit to the goalkeeper as the goalies need shoes allowing them a free ankle movement and is equip with a slippery material on the instep part for the purpose of sliding. More recently a special goalkeeper shoes are commonly available.

Pants are another important part of the goalkeeper’s equipment. The main requirement there is a good protection and smooth movement on the floor. Primarily they protect the goalkeeper around thighs, hips and also enhance protection of knees. The trousers need to fit goalkeeper at the waist. Demand on material is that it needs to provide smooth movement together with a wearing comfort and ability to evaporate an excess heat away from the skin. It is important for the pants to have a low friction when goalkeeper moves on knees so the thickened knee parts are slippery at the front and stretchy and comfortable at the back part.

Jerseys are made of light and breathable material but they are durable enough to protect against shots and falls. Usually they are worn together with a vest. Advanced jerseys have also padding around elbow and shoulder area.

The last piece of goalkeeper’s equipment are gloves. Using of gloves is a question of personal preference or a mental strength. It is a much easier to catch a ball and/or throw it out without them as the goalkeeper have better feel in his/her hands. On the contrary shots or an eventual contact with a stick is more painful. Hence goalkeeper can feel safer wearing gloves but the disadvantage is a worse feeling of the ball. There are many types of special floorball gloves by now, so there is no need to experiment with gloves from other sports.

Images: Salming

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