There are now so many ladies' hockey clubs that introduction for membership is a matter of no great difficulty, but before discussing the game, and how it is played, it is well to consider the requisites for playing. A suitable stick is of great importance. Between the stick in use when the game was introduced and that of to-day there is a world of difference. One matter must be guarded against - the purchasing of a stick of inconvenient length and weight. Except these be suitable one's play will inevitably suffer.
Each stick must be no thicker than will enable it to pass through a two-inch ring, and its weight must not. exceed twenty-eight ounces. Except a player be of more than average physical strength, a lighter stick than the permitted maximum is advisable. In the matter of price one can pay anything up to 15s. or 21s., but half-a-guinea will buy a stick of quite as good quality as any player needs to have. Sticks - the blades at least - will wear out, and though a leather boot or shoe may be used, no one will be content
Recreations to use only a single stick during her hockey career, and the high-priced article plays no better than one of the price mentioned.
Shin-guards are seldom worn by good players, except such as act as goalkeepers, and then not so much for the sake of protection of the limbs from blows as that the wearing of them enables the custo-d i an more efficiently to defend her goal from vigorous shots.
In the matter of footgear some have a preference for shoes, alleging that greater speed in running is possible. This may be so, but boots are recommended. Hockey is a game requiring an immense amount of running about, sudden checks in running, and the quick turning at awkward angles. By the wearing of boots the ankle is strengthened and safeguarded against a disagreeable twist or sprain that may result in an unpleasantly prolonged, rest. Boots must not be spiked.
A blouse, or shirt, and a skirt of not too great weight and fulness around the hem is the correct costume. The skirt must be at least eight inches from the ground, and even if shortened a little more there will be lessened impediment to running. Serge is a good material, if it be not too heavy.
The different associations have their own colours, which all players are required to wear. Those of All-england are white blouse, scarlet skirt and belt, and a badge of three roses. The Northern ladies favour white shirt and tie, navy skirt and cross belt. The Midland Association colours are grey skirt, white shirt, scarlet tie and hat-band; the shirt and hat-band bear a scarlet and white badge. In the west the uniform is white blouse, blue skirt, scarlet brassard, with badge on right arm, scarlet waistband and long scarlet tie. The badge is cross-hockey sticks with letter W. The Southern Association requires green skirt and tie and white shirt; while that of East Anglia has fixed upon brown shirt and skirt, white collars and cuffs, and brown and white tie.
Most players prefer to be bareheaded, but in any case, sailor or other hard-brimmed hats are not permissible, nor may hatpins be worn.
Breaking through the defence Sport and General