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02-19-2013, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnZ622 View Post
I've played at a beginner's clinic games before and I found that I didn't fall at all and only took one weak wrist shot on the shin pad. Do you think it is necessary to wear full equipment for this situation?
Keep in mind that those are beginner's clinic games.

The more you play and the more competitively you play, the greater the risk of injury.

Originally Posted by JohnZ622 View Post
Also at a shinny hockey game, I wore nothing except for gloves and helmets and had no problem. Although my knees hurt a little bit from falling twice (I'm 28 btw).
Sure.....for shinny.

Presumably you're going to play hockey long enough that you end up playing against someone who has a decent enough slapshot.

And even if you don't, there's always a handful of lumberjacks in whatever league or pickup game you end up playing in who's going to slash and hack at your legs.

Originally Posted by JohnZ622 View Post
So when is it safe to play without shoulder pad & hockey pants? Those two pieces of equipment force me to use a large hockey bag as opposed to my normal gym bag.
I would never go without the hockey pants. Even forgetting about the thigh protection offered against slapshots and slashers.....they're worth it just for the hip and tailbone protection alone.

It's great that you only fell a handful of times in shinny. It's also meaningless. Have you ever actually watched a hockey game? You do realize there's a penalty for "Tripping" which gets regularly called, right? Ergo, if you're going to play hockey, it's not always going to be up to you or within your control when you fall down and how. You only need to land on your tailbone once after getting slew-footed (intentionally or unintentionally) to never want to experience that unprotected ever again.

As others have said, shoulder pads are optional in many leagues. That said, it only takes one errant slapshot, one redirected puck, one errant stick, one violent cross-check, one player falling and landing on top of you. It's not worth it, IMO. No, you won't get hurt in every game without one.....but it only takes one slapshot straight into your unprotected rib cage covering your heart or lungs.

Originally Posted by JohnZ622 View Post
I also found elbow pads to be pretty useless so far.
My cup has been pretty useless over the last year or so. Haven't taken even one wayward puck or stick in the groin recently.

But it only takes one. And uncomfortable as it can be at times, wearing the extra one pound of plastic and jock every game for an entire year is less uncomfortable than the one game where I rupture a testicle.

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