Regardless of your level of play, there are a few essential pieces of lacrosse equipment that every athlete will need in order to be successful. While ordering new equipment is always an option, one way to get better equipment for less is by purchasing used gear. As with any sport, higher quality equipment can often carry a significantly higher price, used gear that has been well-cared for allows athletes of all skill levels the ability to use great equipment without breaking the bank.
This article outlines the six essential pieces of lacrosse equipment every player needs before stepping on the field.
Lacrosse helmets have traditionally only been worn in the men’s game, but women recently introduced a soft version to make the game safer. The best helmets are made by Cascade, STX, and Warrior. The most popular models are the Cascade S, Cascade R, STX Stallion, and Warrior TII.
When searching for a helmet be sure to select one that is NOCSE certified (National Operating Committee on Standards of Athletic Equipment). Make sure your helmet fits correctly so that you’re well protected and you clear line of sight on the field.
Looking for a little extra “swag”? Grab some custom decals for your helmet or buy one from your favorite college team.
There’s only one piece of equipment that will touch the ball, and that’s your stick. Sticks vary in length based on position. The NCAA requires midfielders and attackmen sticks, “short sticks”, to be 40”-42” including the head. Goalies sticks can range in length from 40”-72”. Defenseman sticks can be 52”-72”. You’ll also need to purchase a head strung with mesh. If you have a lacrosse store nearby or a friend who knows how to string a stick you can order your mesh separately, but usually you’ll want to start out with a “factory strung” complete stick (shaft and head together) so that it’s ready to go the second you buy it.
It’s no secret that lacrosse is a contact sport so you should invest in a good set of equipment. Players will need shoulder pads to protect them from checks and balls. Defenseman often wear smaller pads than attackmen, but make sure to select equipment fits snugly against your body, covers your entire sternum and collarbone. Many players also choose to wear rib pads, but they’re not required.
The fastest game on two feet requires players to cut quickly, so cleats are required if you plan to play on grass or turf. Many players go with mid-level cleats, similar to the models worn in football.
Shoppers will also need to choose between plastic molded cleats, and detachable cleats. Molded cleats are better for dry turf, whereas detachable cleats can be used in a wider array of scenarios because different cleats can be attached to the bottom of the shoe.
All players wear gloves to protect their hands, fingers, and wrists on the field. Choose gloves in which your hands are less than a half inch from the tip of the fingers. Some gloves offer larger cuffs to protect your wrists, and goalie gloves offer extra thumb protection. The quality of the glove is generally determined by the palm material. Axe Suede is the most premium material on the market and it will provide the most natural feel over the stick. There are other materials such as Nash and Mesh that provide good durability as well, but are not as comfortable.
Mouth guards are required to be worn at all times when you’re on the field and help to prevent concussions. Mouthpieces can be molded to fit your mouth snugly so that it stays in place while running up and down the field. Choose a mouthpiece that not only protects you from head and mouth injuries, but also fits well enough so you can breathe well and communicate with your teammates.
In order to begin a successful lacrosse career, or trying out for varsity, having the right equipment will play an important role in your success.