There are many components of fitness that are important for success for hockey players. One of these would be body size and composition - anthropometry.
The athleticism in international hockey players has improved greatly over the past 10 – 20 years following the increase in physiological demands of the game and improvements in training (Lythe and Kilding, 2011). The higher levels of athleticism have implications for physique requirements for successful players. However, data that has been published show a large diversity in the physique of athletes who play field hockey (Podgorski and Pawlak, 2011).
Morphoanthropometric analysis of athletes differs according to playing position (Calo et al. 2009, Scott, 1991). Male players appear to be ecto-mesomorphic in comparison with females' more endo-mesomorphic physique (Scott 1991), with goalkeepers and backs (defensive players) having the highest endomorphic ratings (Reilly & Borrie 1992). A negative correlation has been seen between ectomorphy and sustained hockey skill accuracy, showing a disadvantage to a linear physique (Reilly and Bretherton 1986). (see about measuring somatotype)
- Height — being taller and with a larger arm reach would be considered advantageous, giving the players a longer reach in tackles and reaching the ball. Taller longer legged players may correlate with greater running speed, while smaller players, with a lower center of gravity may be more agile.
- Arm span - a longer arm reach would be an advantage for players, giving them greater reach in tackles and for reaching for the loose ball, and even more advantageous for goal-keepers.
- Body weight - measuring body mass is a simple measure that can monitor changes in body fat, though any potential changes in muscle mass need to be accounted for.
- Skinfolds - Excess body fat would affect the hockey player's ability to move freely around the field, and the extra weight will increase fatigue. Body fat is often measured using the skinfold method, using either the sum of a certain number of sites, or using equations to convert the skinfold measures to a percentage body fat level. There are also other methods to more directly measure body fat levels.
- Girths — the measurement of girth can be used to supplement the weight and skinfold measures, to monitor changes in body shape.
- Lythe, J., and Kilding, A. E. (2011). Physical demands and physiological responses during elite field hockey. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 32(7), 523-528.
- Podgorski, T., and Pawlak, M. (2011). A half century of scientific research in field hockey. Human Movement, 12(2), 108– 123.
- Calo, C.M., Sanna, S., Piras I.S., Pavan, P., and Vona, G. (2009). Body composition of Italian female hockey players. Biology of Sport. Jul 26 (1), 23-31.
- Scott P.A. (1991) Morphological characteristics of elite male field hockey players. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 31 (1), 57–61.
- Reilly, T. and Borrie, A. (1992) Physiology Applied to Field Hockey. Sports Medicine, 14 (1), 10-26.
- eilly, T., and Bretherton, S. (1986). Multivariate analysis of fitness of female field hockey players. In Perspectives in Kinanthropometry. J.A.P. Day, ed. Champaign, IL Human Kinetics, pp. 135–142.
- Body Composition of Field Hockey Players
- Height and Weight of Hockey Players
- Fitness Components for Field Hockey
- Fitness testing for hockey
- Olympic Games Anthropometry for other sports in 2012
- All about fitness testing, including anthropometry testing
- Also see the field hockey Fitness Rating Page
- Poll about the fitness components for field hockey