Analysis of the focus group

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By redesigning the field hockey stick into a circular design, field hockey playing Dutchmen is my target group. As said before this group consists of almost 250.000 players. This group can be divided into two groups juniors (165.000) and seniors (85.000). This devision is important to make, as the juniors and seniors have different needs and different usage lives.

 

The most important reason for juniors to want a new stick is because a new colour is wanted. Wether the stick is to its technical end-of-life is not important. Also if the stick is technically really good, or brand new from 2015 doesn’t matter. The stick has to be pretty. Another reason for kids to need a new stick is growth. Length of the stick and the kid are dependent of each other, and when a kids grows also a bigger stick is necessary.

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Stick sizes compared to length of a kid

Kids use their stick on average for one to two seasons when playing two times a week. Reasons to choose a new one is because the new colour is wanted, wear age or a stick is necessary because of the size.

Seniors buy their stick on a feeling that they have, the new hockey stick ‘feels’ best. There is a high chance that the stick is not the best one, but because the buyer doesn’t know better. Usage life is less long, when a person plays five times a week the stick will last at least one season. This depends per person, as another person will last five years with one stick. For seniors reasons to so good-bye to their stick is because they stop playing field hockey, because of wearage or because a new one is wanted. A new one could be wanted because the other one is ‘old’, but in this case the stick often is still good to play field hockey with.

Conclusions can be drawn for the juniors and the seniors. Juniors want to have a pretty stick, quick change of colours is wanted. Seniors on the other hand have limited knowledge, and would like to know more.

 

Product description

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The hockey stick

The hockey stick is a long pole with a hook on the end.  That’s also immediately where the name came from. Originated in England did the game where you play with a hooked pole turn into hockey. The photo beneath shows a hockey stick. Originally the stick is made out of wood, with a grip where to hold it made from STOF?. Beginning in the 90’s sticks made from carbon were introduced, and now almost all of the sticks are made from a carbon composite.

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A hockey stick

History

A first sign of hockey is found back on ruins dated 500 before Christus. Beneath the ruin is shown. The sport got lost over time, but in 1891 was introduced again to the Netherlands. The game in the Netherlands had it’s own rules compared to other countries. The stick contained of two flat sides instead of one flat and one round as we know it now, and the white ball we know was an orange robe ball. When the olympics arrived in 1926 some changes had to be made. To be able to join the olympics the rules of the game had to be the same in all the countries, so therefor the international rules came. Hockey and it’s technique changed over time, where first people played on grass, in 1970 an artificial grass pitch was introduced. Also the hockeystick changed from wood to a mixture of wood and carbon, to fully made out of carbon.

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Ruin with hockey art dated 500 BC

Facts

  • 309 hockey clubs
  • 248.859 players
  • 84.919 senior
  • 163.940 junior

Product material

  • Wood: comfort & control
  • Fiberglass: flexible but heavier
  • Carbon fiber: stiff & ball velocity
  • Kevlar: extra stiff & vibration damping

Production process

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Different carbon fibers are made. White is fiberglass, yellow kevlar and black carbon.
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Sheets are made of the materials and layered in a certain composition necessary for the stick. This flat object will be put into a vacuum mall and the shape of a hockeystick is made.
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When the hockey stick shape comes out of the vacuum mall, it is time to paint the stick. This will be done with three layers. After painting the stick only two additional components have to be added, the cap and the grip.

Product life-cycle

How long a hockeystick lasts differs per person and in the way somebody uses a hockey stick. A normal usage period is two seasons, this is one year. People that play five times per week will use one stick per season, but there are other people who can use one stick for over eight years.

Product buying

When people buy a stick there are five components people look at; the stiffness, curvature, hook, length and weight of the stick. With a higher stiffness sticks have more power but less control. Curvature gives more power with goal pushes but less with other techniques. There are four different kind of hooks; short, midi and maxi. Short is the most often used hook, this is a good combination between control over the ball and touch surface with the ball. Then there is the length of a stick, this is measured in inches and should be the length of your foot to your navel. Then as last we have the weight of a stick. There are regulations to the maximum and minimum weight, but it is personal what people like the best.

Regulations

As stated before there are international rules regarding every aspect of the game hockey. This is a booklet of 76 pages. A summery of the regulations regarding the hockey stick is given beneath. The stick has a traditional shape with a handle and a curved hook, which is flat on the left:

  • The stick must be smooth, without rough and sharp projections.
  • Included arranged wraps the stick must pass through a ring with an inner diameter of 51 mm can.
  • Each curved or angled deviation over the length of the stick needs to have a continuous smooth profile over its entire length and may be different on either the flat side or on the back side to a maximum of 25 mm, but not on both sides of the stick.
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Example of a figure in the regulation book.

End of life

Users bring their hockey stick often with them to the store when they buy a new one. The sticks will be broken to foresee that somebody steals it at the dump area. People who stole a stick at the dump area often claim guarantee at the stick seller while it is not their stick that broke. Therefore sellers break sticks fully before they get thrown away. No recycling is done so far. Beneath are shown photos of hockey sticks that were brought back to the store broken.

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Three main breaking points of the hockeystick are drawn on the hockey stick with a red dot. The middle one is the only point were stick fabricants can’t prepare for. This is due to wrong usage of the hockey stick.

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Second hand hockeystick

People sell hockey sticks when they are not used anymore. Mostly this is done with junior hockey sticks when the kid grew and a bigger one was needed. Also repairing services are offered, but this is done in small trade business, not with companies.

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People

Hockey is based on a play between two teams of 11 players. Next to this the teams have a trainer and a coach. Parents and friends often are supporting next to the field, where also the club representatives are taking care of business of the hockey club. There are sellers of equipment, where players buy their sticks. And the KNHB and FIH wo regulate the field hockey world. These people are the main stakeholders when looking at hockey on amateur level. Beneath are several photos of these people.

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