### Hockey Stick Curvature and it's effect on shot accuracy

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Has anyone come across any research that correllates the accuracy of a shot to the curvature of a stick?

-- Mike Richardson (richardson14@attbi.com), February 25, 2002

There are a few websites that talk about this, but a some things can be inferred from common-sense physics. First, the curve acts to centre the puck on the stick during the opening phase of a wrist shot, making for a more predictable, hence more *learnable*, shooting process. Second, the curve means that the puck is in contact with the blade longer, making for a greater transfer of force to the puck, and for greater control. And third, the curve imparts rotation to the puck. For anyone who's ever thrown a frisbee or seen the rifling in a gun barrel, the idea that rotation increases the stability and mean velocity of a flying object is familiar. So: harder, more precise, and more regular shots are possible with a curved stick. (This all applies to wrist shots, primarily.)

What's not clear, however, is where the maximum (or maxima; there might be more than one) advantage for curvature is found. Also unclear is how to weigh shooting accuracy against things like backhand shots or passing dynamics that might be affected by a big curve.

Finally, though, I would mention my unscientific anecdotal experience to the effect that the degree of curvature is almost irrelevant in comparison to the shooter's familiarity with the stick. I'm pretty accurate with my slightly curved stick; my friend is hyper-accurate with his extremely curved stick. But then, he's a better hockey player all-round, and when we swap sticks, he can't hit the top corners and I'm throwing the puck at the score clock. So my mostly unscientific suspicion is that as long as there's *some* curve on the blade, the details of it are insignificant in comparison to the time you spend practicing your shot.

-- Clutch Munny (clutch_m@hotmail.com), March 18, 2002.

i don't have an answer but i am doing a project on the effect of a curve on a hockey stick blade. ie. what size curve would give you the best shot. i am having trouble finding info. Do you have any good sites. Thank you

-- patrick o'keefe (pokeefe@roadrunner.nf.net), October 28, 2002.

Speakin of puck

watch out for redlof

-- imme (¿¿¿??@greenspun.com), January 21, 2003.

Hi Mike: Ran across your question today, almost a year after it had been posed on this website. I was pleasantly surprised at your questions/interest as I am one of a few people who conducted research on the subject of shooting velocity and accuracy with the curved blade hockey stick (as compared to the straight blade hockey stick). University of Minnesota, published Masters' Plan A Thesis 1971, and you should be able to access it through the U of Minnesota library website (or they can supply you further information on this)

My subjects were the University of Minnesota Gophers varsity hockey team with Glen Sonmor as coach (Herb Brooks was the junior varsity coach at the time). As a Canadian foreign student I was very fortunate to have these men with whom to consult while conducting my research and writing the thesis. I also corresponded with Mr. Clare Drake, who was the head coach of the University of Alberta Golden Bears during this period, and went on to coach the Winnipeg Jets. Interestingly enough, he wrote his Masters' thesis on the same subject while at the University of Montana (if my memory serves me correctly). Coincidentally we had the same adviser, Dr. John Alexander, who had moved to the Univ. of Minnesota prior to my arrival in 1969.

Anyway, my thesis is approximately 155 pages with plenty of emperical data. I looked at other correlations such as height & weight factors, stick preference (curved/straight), grip strength vs hand dominance (ie: left or right handed shot vs left or right handed dominance). Interesting? I don't know how I ever finished it!

If you have any questions I look forward to chatting with you further.

Bob Nazar

-- Bob Nazar (bobnazar@hotmail.com), February 24, 2003.

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