Aug 24

How to Buy the Right Hockey Shoes Online

Even though many of the artificial surfaces you’ll play on will have shock pads built into them, the constant strain you put your body under will take its toll. That’s why getting shoes with the right shock absorption is essential. Because you’ll constantly be stopping and starting and moving from side to side in a game of hockey, you’ll also need shoes that help provide stability throughout your matches and training.

Ultimately, the shoes you select will affect your game and your health. Choose correctly and you’ll find yourself comfortable, stable and less prone to injuries. Here are just some of the things you should be considering when buying hockey shoes online.

Your Foot Type

The best way to find out what your foot type is is to look at your current shoes to see where they’re wearing. If the wear is on the inside of the shoe, then it’s likely that you have a low arch, which is incredibly common. You should, therefore, be wearing a shoe that has a straight shape and has motion control. This will help to stop your feet from rolling too far.

If you have wear to the outside of your shoe, this means you have a high arch, which is the second most common type of foot shape. You’ll require shoes with a curved shape to support this arch, as well as ones that offer additional cushioning.

Only 10% of people (approximately) have a normal arch to their foot, and these will find that the shoe has worn evenly on both sides. If this is the case, a semi-curved shoe will be required and one that offers additional stability.

The Right Grip

You’ll also need to find a shoe that offers the right amount of grip. If it has too much, you won’t be able to move as easily, as you’ll stick to the surface. But if there isn’t enough, you may find yourself slipping over, particularly when you change direction suddenly.

For grass, opt for shoes with blades or rubber moulded studs; and for synthetic surfaces, choose a multiple-studded rubber sole that’s firm.

Aug 17

Pakistan in England ODI Series, 2016

We’re still in the midst of the test series, and England have built a substantial lead over Pakistan, pulling ahead 2-1 from the first three of four bouts. With an overall lead of 396 runs, England are going into the ODIs with a well-earned amount of confidence, and a victory in the fourth and final test could put them at the top of the Test rankings. England are definitely on form, with legend in the making Joe Root picking up his sixth Test ‘man of the match’ award in the second test against Pakistan. Pakistan have no doubt been studying, though, and they know what to expect now. With each match played, things get a little harder. Yasir Shah caused a sufficient amount of trouble in the first test. It seems the England team have adapted to the troublesome leg spinner, but we’re sure he has a few more tricks or spins up his sleeve.

Tests vs ODIs

Test cricket is essentially a completely different game from the ODI, and it’s uncertain who the faster pace will favour; both teams have had a chance to feel each other out a fair bit, and it will be extremely interesting watching them collide after a brief respite. If England can keep up their current form, it’s sure to be something of a spectacle, but we’re sure Pakistan will make a few plays of there own. There’s always something appealing about underdog victories. England’s own win in the third test was all the more impressive due to the fact that they were trailing by 103 after the first innings. It’s only the sixth time in history they’ve picked up victory after a deficit of 100 or more.

Ups and Downs 

The calibre of play at the moment is a beauty to behold, and the ups and downs have been a joy to watch. There’s never been a better time to take up a bat, so grab your cricket helmets online, pick up your wickets and get excited. We still have one more match to go in the test series starting Thursday before we dive head first into the ODIs on the 24th of August at The Rose Bowl in Southampton.

Aug 10

British Women’s Rugby Sevens Finish With Their Heads Held High

Inaugural Medals

Rio 2016 was the first time that women’s rugby 7s has been included as an Olympic sport. The Great Britain team has created its own little slice of Olympic history, regardless of the result, and has built on what was already a very close-knit squad. Many of the squad’s members have been playing and training together for two years now as the Rugby Football Union made the faster 7s version its priority over the 15-player game.

Price Paid For Poor Discipline

It might have been a very different story had New Zealand not been able to capitalise on some poor discipline from the GB team in the semis. At one point, the team was reduced to just five players, and a class act like the Black Ferns would not let that sort of opportunity pass, taking the match 25-7.

The time between the semi and the play-off did not seem to help with discipline, with GB picking up another yellow card against Canada in the match to decide which team takes home the final medal.

The girls won’t be advertising rugby boots for sale just yet, but they did come with the goal of taking gold, so they will be hugely disappointed to have come so close to a podium finish and the all-important medal.

Despite having beaten Canada just the day before, Great Britain was not able to rise to the occasion, and the players were just not ruthless enough, letting chance after chance slip away.

Experience to Build On

In the end, they were outpaced by some powerful teams in the final stages, and they now have some good pointers to progress after watching the world-class finalists and top two seeds from Australia and New Zealand.

The level of skill on show in this competition was phenomenal, and the Great Britain team can certainly be proud of how they worked together and showed off their own skills.

Great Britain’s ladies’ team was seeded fourth, and after some very encouraging results in the pool games, that is exactly where they finished. They will now pick themselves up and move on to the next competition after working even harder on making improvements.

Jul 29

Pakistan in England Test Series, 2016

The Pakistan cricket tour of England 2016 is now well under way. With a couple of friendly games under our belts, the highly anticipated test series part of the tour is approaching.

The tour began on 3rd July and will continue until early September. It includes a number of friendly matches against counties such as Sussex, Somerset and Worcester. The four test matches are the first serious games, and they will be followed by a number of ODI games in Ireland and England during August and September.

The Test Matches

The first Investec Test match between England and Pakistan will take place from the 14th to the 18th July at the Oval. Four days later, the second four-day test begins on 22nd July, this time taking place at Old Trafford in Manchester. The third Investec Test will take place at Edgbaston, Birmingham, from the 3rd to the 7th August, and the fourth and final test match of the tour will be played out back at the Oval from the 11th to the 15th August.

The Teams

Key Players for England include Stuart Broad, who will have to play without his long-term partner James Anderson, who has suffered a shoulder injury. In Anderson’s absence, much of the England team is made up of younger, less experienced players.

In addition to worrying about losing his partner, Broad has also expressed concern over the hard and unforgiving surface found at Lords. The Pakistan team is being plagued by similar worries. Only two of their batsmen, Younis Khan and Azhar, have played a test series in England before. In fact, Pakistan hasn’t played any test innings in England since 2010 and has been largely Asia-based since then.

As cricket fever hits the UK this summer while we all take a break from football, grassroots cricket is continuing to gain in popularity. Now that you can buy equipment such as cricket balls online, it’s easier than ever to get a taste of the game yourself.

The first test at the Oval is just days away and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports 2.

Jul 25

bledisloe cup 2016 Australia v New Zealand, Sydney

Rugby fans worldwide are gearing up for the annual clash between New Zealand and Australia as the two teams battle it out for the Bledisloe cup. Since the 1930s, the two nations have held regular contests, with New Zealand coming out on top in more than seventy five percent of them.

Form

Australia goes into the games on the back of a series defeat against England, which will have certainly inspired many English youngsters to go out and buy a rugby ball in hopes of becoming the next star to represent their country. For Australia, there were plenty of positives in their performances that they can draw confidence from going forward. The Wallabies will need their key players, such as Israel Folau and captain Stephen Moore, to be in top form if they are to overcome the All Blacks.

New Zealand is on an impressive run of form. While confidence is always extremely high in the All Blacks’ camp, it will be soaring following their recent 46-6 demolition of Wales, which came in the third test of their summer tour.

Since Steve Hansen took over as coach of New Zealand six years ago, the All Blacks have suffered only three defeats and two draws, while the other 50 games were victories. The team has constantly improved along the way, so it’s no surprise that they’re being referred to as “the powerhouse of Rugby Union”.

With that in mind, Australia heads into the game as underdogs, although they are used to that status. There will be degree of caution, however, given that the All Blacks’ last defeat came at the hands of Australia. Underdogs they may be, but you can guarantee that nobody in the New Zealand camp is writing them off.

Key Dates

The first of the three tests takes place in Sydney on the 20th of August before the two teams meet again in Wellington on the 27th. After that, there is a considerable wait until the final game, which will take place on the 22nd of October in Auckland.

With New Zealand winning the last 13 matches in a row, their chances look very good.

Jul 21

2016 World Cup of Hockey schedule announced

The World Cup of Hockey 2016 is an international ice hockey tournament due to take place in Toronto, Canada, later this year. The schedule has been announced, with competing nations now aware of their competitors during the first stage of the games.

The Teams

Eight teams are due to take part; Team Canada, Team United States, Team Finland, Team Russia, Team Europe, Team Czech Republic, Team Sweden and Team North America. Team North America is made up of both Canadian and US players, aged under-23, whilst Team Europe is made up of players from Europe who were born outside of Finland, Russia, Sweden and Czech Republic. The eight teams are placed into Groups A and B for the preliminary games that take place on the 17th to the 22nd September. Of these matches, the mostly hotly anticipated both take place on the 20th September, when rivals US and Canada play as well as rivals Finland and Sweden. The two top finishers from each group will meet in the semi-finals which take place on the 24th and 25th September. The final is a best of three series taking place on the 27th and 29th September and if needed also on the 1st October.

All games will take place at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. This is the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs, arguably giving both Team Canada and Team North America an advantage as both teams feature Maple players.

The World Cup of Hockey

The tournament first took place in 1996, as the successor to the original Canada Cup, and saw the US as victors. There wasn’t another tournament until 2004 when Team Canada was victorious. The 2016 edition is just the third time the World Cup of Hockey will take place.

In the UK, field hockey is far more popular than ice hockey. In the UK, promotions such as hockey goalkeeping kit sale and other equipment discounts can regularly be found online, boosting the sport’s popularity.

Viewers from Canada will be able to watch the tournament on Sportsnet and TVA Sports, whilst those in the US will be able to watch on ESPN.

Jul 18

India in West Indies Test Series, 2016

As last season’s bats and pads are exhumed and dusted off, players everywhere are preparing to renew their tattered cricket clothing online or at the sports store ready to take to the crease for the new season. Even if you prefer your cricket from the comfort of your armchair, there are some exciting tests coming up this summer, including India’s mouth-watering tour of the West Indies.

Schedule

The four-test tour kicks off in Antigua at the Sir Vivian Richards stadium from the 21st to the 25th of July. The second test, from July 30th to August 4th, moves on to Jamaica at the Sabina Park stadium in Kingston. The third test, from August 9th to August 13th, plays out at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in St Lucia. The final test moves to the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain Trinidad on the 18th to the 22nd of August.

An interesting fact about cricket schedules in the West Indies that might upset purists is that the traditional Thursday to Monday match isn’t necessarily adhered to. The second test, for instance, runs from Saturday to Wednesday and the third from Tuesday to Saturday.

Rankings

Currently, India are only second to Australia in the test rankings, whereas the West Indies languish in eighth place, marginally outclassing Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. As we know, rankings don’t always predict the outcome of test tours, and plenty of times the underdogs have been victorious. To underline this, historically, India don’t have a great record against the West Indies with only a 17.77% win percentage over 90 tests since 1948. These facts only serve to offer up what many see as an open and unpredictable contest.

Spin Versus Pace

Whilst both sides have over the years produced fantastic batsmen, it’s the difference in the bowling traditions that make these matches stand out. India have always been the masters of spin, whereas the Windies are famous for their pace. Will these variations make all the difference again?

So, all things considered, the prospect of a tight contest between two proud teams is on the cards in the Caribbean this summer.

Jul 14

New Zealand in Zimbabwe Test Series, 2016

The New Zealand cricket team will be playing two Test matches in Zimbabwe, in late July and early August 2016. Both matches will be played at Bulawayo’s Queens Sports Club.

There is currently civil unrest in Zimbabwe, with nationwide protests and strikes taking place. New Zealand Cricket (NZC) is monitoring the situation, but has no plans to delay or cancel the team’s departure for the series later this month.

The New Zealand team are currently at home, and will prepare themselves for the Tests against Zimbabwe at a team camp in Pretoria, South Africa. They have no plans to delay their arrival at the South African camp where they are scheduled to arrive on July 11th. The team will keep a close eye on the social unrest in Zimbabwe from there.

Match dates

NZC are scheduled to arrive in Zimbabwe in time to compete in a three-day warm-up game, commencing July 22nd in Harare, before the two Test matches are played between July 28th and August 10th.

Boost in popularity

Sales of cricket bats online always soar during Test matches, as interest increases worldwide. No matter which teams are playing, International Test matches draw spectators from all across the world and the desire for amateurs to go out and play cricket peaks during these matches.

Zimbabwe strikes

The Zimbabwean nationwide strike to protest about unpaid wages and lack of jobs took place on July 6th, leaving many city streets deserted. Security forces and taxi drivers clashed over issues of extortion in Harare, leading to numerous arrests. Many other strikes featuring teachers, doctors and civil servants have also taken place. The deteriorating economic situation in Zimbabwe has led to riots, with reports of protesters throwing stones at police and police responding with tear gas.

While the NZC team have been advised to be cautious while visiting Zimbabwe, they do not have any plans to delay their arrival there. NZC toured Zimbabwe in August 2015 for a short limited-overs series and experienced no trouble. India also recently toured Zimbabwe for three Twenty20 Internationals and three One-Day Internationals, all of which went smoothly.

Jun 28

Wales Change Five For First All Black Test

Following their 27-13 defeat at the hands of old rivals England a fortnight ago, Wales has changed a third of its team for the next test, the first against New Zealand on the summer tour.

Five Changes

The changes come in an attempt to raise the Welsh game against the world’s number one team. One continuation was that of second-rower Alun Wyn Jones, who is set to run out for his 100th test appearance in the red shirt of Wales when they take on New Zealand in Auckland on Saturday 11th June.

Another change in the tight five is the inclusion of Bradley Davies in place of Lock Jake Ball, although Ball is being given a place on the bench.

Samson Lee retains his place in the front row. However, against the All Blacks on Saturday, he will pack down with Ken Owens at hooker and Gethin Jenkins at prop. Scott Baldwin and Rob Evans are ready to provide cover if necessary.

Gatland is able to name Sam Warburton in his starting line-up following his comeback from injury, and Dan Lydiate will pay the price. Despite leading the team against England just a fortnight ago, Lydiate misses out on a place in Saturday’s match day squad altogether.

Scott Williams drops from the backline to the bench, with Jonathan Davies given the nod ahead of Williams.

Experience Prevails

Leaving the midfield alone, Gatland has left his team with an experienced partnership to support the experience that returns to the pack. Gatland’s team combines experience with opportunity for younger players.

There are few rugby nations that take more pride in pulling on the national rugby shirts, so fans can expect a hotly contested match from fiercely competitive individuals.

Gatland is under no illusion about the challenges facing the Wales team against the back-to-back World Champions, but he is confident that the changes he has made will allow the opportunity for lasting impressions that will go beyond the few weeks in New Zealand. If things go his way, this is one Welsh team that will be worthy of headlines this summer!

Jun 24

Batting Gloves Aren’t Just About Fashion: They’re About Safety

The death of Phil Hughes in 2014 was a shock to the cricketing world and a wake-up call to players across the globe, who realised the important role that kit can have in keeping you safe. A good-quality pair of cricket gloves should not only look good and feel great, but they should improve your game and keep you safe from harm too.

Above all, whatever level of the game you play at, you should never skimp on the quality of the protective equipment that you use. A quality pair of batting gloves is as important for keeping you safe while you’re playing as a helmet, pads or an abdominal guard.

Things to Look Out For

First of all, don’t buy blind. Seek some recommendations from fellow players who you respect, read a few reviews and – if it’s at all possible – go to a respected retailer and try on some alternatives to get a feel for what suits you. Gloves come in a variety of styles and fits, and it’s important that yours are comfortable and fit well.

Different features to look out for include: the material that the cushioning is made from, usually cotton or foam; the type of leather used on the palm; sweat absorption and breathability; the level of grip and quality of the finger casings (especially important for preventing broken fingers); whether they are lightweight; and whether the gloves have protective sidebars which help to prevent broken bones in the hand.

You Don’t Need to Break the Bank

Getting good-quality cricket gloves doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank. Yes, it’s true that you do get what you pay for, and good-quality gloves are going to cost you a little bit more. However, once you’ve done your shopping around and decided which gloves are for you, there are plenty of online and other discount retailers where you can order your new gloves. They often come at a huge discount compared to what you would pay on the high street or in specialist sports shops.

Older posts «