Equipment for amateurs and professionals is essentially the same. Made of rubber, the puck is 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick and 3 inches (7.6 cm) in diameter and weighs 5.5 to 6 ounces (156 to 170 grams). Hockey sticks, which were once made from wood, are now formed from a variety of materials. There are rules limiting the size of the stick and the curvature of its blade.
Forwards and defensemen wear the same type of skates, but goaltenders have flatter blades because they need more balance and are still for longer periods. The shoes of goaltenders’ skates have rubber protection for the toes. Players wear padding under their uniforms to protect their legs, shoulders, and arms. Since the 1979–80 season, all players entering the NHL must wear helmets.
The goalie wears a specially designed mask, often molded specifically to fit his face. Over his uniform he wears extra equipment. Pads up to 11 inches (25.4 cm) wide protect him from the tips of his skates to above his knees. These pads also aid in blocking shots. On his free hand the goalie wears a glove similar to a first baseman’s baseball mitt, with a wide webbing that enables the goalie to catch the puck. His stick hand is covered in a glove with a wide backing that protects his arm. The goalie’s stick has a wider shaft and blade than those of the other players. Fully dressed, goaltenders carry up to 40 pounds (18 kg) of equipment.