Shinguards: Each and every girl needs to wear shinguards while playing field hockey not only to protect their shins but to also protect their ankle bones. Field hockey shinguards can be a little different than soccer shinguards because they have two plastic plates on each side to help protect your ankle bones. A field hockey ball is one of the hardest balls in any sport and can cause deep bruises and bone chips if the proper equipment is not worn.
Mouth guard: Most people believe the only reason you need to wear a mouth guard is to protect your teeth from being knocked out by a stick or ball. While this is very important the main reason for wearing a mouth guard is to help prevent concussions. When getting hit in the head it causes you to clinch down with your teeth causing the concussion. The mouth guard is there to help protect you from clinching your jaw.
Goggles: This a very debated topic in the field hockey industry. While high schools around the country require girls to wear goggles when playing, the USA Field Hockey Association does not require goggles in any of its tournaments. The field hockey ball and stick are supposed to stay below the waist while playing but this does not always happen and many girls have taken a ball or stick to the face, including myself. Goggles are great to help protect you from getting a black eye but they do not help prevent a broken nose. The goggles also cause you not to be able to use your full peripheral vision which can cause collisions between players. I leave it up to my players/parents to decide if they would like to wear goggles while playing USA Field Hockey tournaments.
Every coach wants their players to be as safe as possible and this is why many coaches will not allow girls on the field with out shinguards and a mouthguard.