Hockey is a sport that is enjoyed by young and old alike. Young people tend to enjoy the game as it involves a lot of enthusiasm and physical movement. The equipment prepared for them is also designed to their taste. Junior and Youth hockey sticks are specifically designed for young players. However, despite catering to nearly the same age of young players, Junior and Youth hockey sticks are designed quite differently. These acute variations are dependent on the brand of the equipment and the region. Here is a general overview of these two types of hockey sticks:
Youth Hockey Stick
Youth hockey sticks are typically designed for players who usually weigh under 32 kilograms or 70 pounds. When considered in terms of age, this usually consists of children between 4 and 8 years who constitute the youngest players.
As they are meant for younger players, youth hockey sticks are shorter in length. When compared with junior sticks, youth hockey sticks amount to 38 to 44 inches. They are designed to be more manageable for the younger players as they are shorter. Youth hockey sticks might vary in length but it is generally shorter than junior hockey sticks.
Flex is the amount of pressure one needs to bend the stick by a single inch. The flex of the hockey stick should be half of the player’s body weight. Therefore, the flex rating of youth hockey sticks is lower as they are meant for younger people. They usually have a flex rating of 30 to 50. A lower flex rating is meant for easier bend. This can help young players generate shots with comparatively less strength.
Youth hockey sticks have a smaller diameter. This is so because the stick can fit comfortably in the hands of younger players.
The blade size on a youth hockey stick is smaller and lighter to not lend it much weight. This makes it easier for young people to control and maneuver the puck on the ice.
Junior Hockey Stick
Compared to youth hockey sticks, junior hockey sticks are made for older youth players. These youths typically fall in the age group of 9 to 16 years old.
Junior hockey sticks are considerably longer than youth hockey sticks but shorter than the hockey sticks made for adults. The size of the junior sticks is designed to accommodate the growing stature that older youth players have.
These sticks have a comparatively higher flex than youth sticks. This ultimately means that players require more strength to flex the stick properly for the slot and need to wield more pressure. The flex ratings usually differ- typically falling in the range of 50 to 70.
The shaft diameter of junior sticks is slightly larger than that of youth sticks. It is very close to the size of adult sticks. This increased shaft diameter allows for a better grip as players grow and become capable of handling bigger hockey sticks.
Junior sticks have blade sizes that are larger than youth hockey sticks. As the blade is larger, the player gets more control over the puck to move it around. The increased blade size also results in better shooting capabilities because as the players mature in age, their shooting capabilities also develop.
With an increase in age and maturity in the game, the requirements of the players keep on changing. Players should use the right size of a hockey stick that suits their age, size, and skill level. This will help them improve their development, comfort, and overall performance on the ice. As players grow and develop their skills, they may transition from youth to junior sticks before eventually using adult-sized sticks as they reach maturity and higher levels of play.