Lacrosse is an exciting, fast-paced sport that requires both dexterity and a mind for strategy. However, it’s not necessarily the most well-known sport, so you may be wondering where to begin when it comes to investing in the right equipment when your child’s interest is piqued. Be assured that getting a beginner ready to play lacrosse is not as intimidating as it may seem. There are certain basic pieces of lacrosse equipment they’ll need along with a few additional items depending on whether you are outfitting a girl or a boy.
Lacrosse Equipment for Young People
The best way to discuss the lacrosse equipment your youngster needs is to base it on whether your player is a boy or a girl. The basic lacrosse equipment requirements are different for boys and girls, primarily because most girls play it as a non-contact sport whereas boys do not. When played as a contact sport, lacrosse players will need more protective equipment, including items such as helmets and mouthguards.
Girls’ Lacrosse Equipment
The basic equipment for girls consists of a pair of safety goggles, a lacrosse stick (also referred to as a crosse), and some quality cleats. The goggles can be made either of metal or plastic, and they should fit snugly while covering a significant portion of the face.
Girls will also need a complete lacrosse stick (combined head and shaft), which can be purchased from brands such as STX. Complete sticks come in one standard size, so you will need to cut the handle to an appropriate length. A good rule of thumb for accomplishing this is to place the head at your daughter’s feet and measure where her navel is; this will indicate the correct length for the shaft. This shorter length will make it easier for your daughter to play while she is learning. The shaft of a complete stick will have a diameter that is either 7/8” or 1”; for girls, the 7/8” diameter is recommended. For beginning players, a head with a wide face shape is recommended because it is easier to both catch and scoop the ball with it.
If your daughter is playing as a goalie, she will also need a helmet, a throat guard, a chest protector, and gloves. Very few lacrosse equipment manufacturers make goalie equipment specifically for young female players, so boys’ equipment is often substituted. However, your daughter will likely need something besides the complete stick if she is going to be a goalie. It would be wise to purchase the shaft and head because the goalie stick’s head is much wider and has no depth restrictions. A strung head and an entry-level shaft are also recommended for your young goalie.
Boys’ Lacrosse Equipment
When boys play lacrosse, it’s considered a contact sport. In addition to a lacrosse stick and cleats, boys will also need a helmet, gloves, shoulder pads, arm pads, and a mouth guard. There are helmets made specifically for youth (e.g., Cascade CPV-R and Cascade CS-R). The larger models have a more advanced fitting system, while the smaller models are typically equipped with Velcro so that they can “grow” with your son.
The general protective equipment includes the shoulder pads, arm pads, and gloves. For younger players, all positions except goalie require the same type of protective equipment, which makes outfitting your youngster a bit easier. You can purchase the necessary protective equipment in a set, rather than item by item, from manufacturers like Maverick and STX.
Next on the list is the lacrosse stick and, as was recommended for young female players, your best choice is a complete stick. Not only does this make the purchasing process easier (because there are so many different combinations of shafts and heads) but it saves some money as well. The process for adjusting the shaft length to your child’s height is the same for boys and for girls (with the head at your child’s feet, the shaft should reach their navel).
If your son is going to be a goalie, he’s going to need some extra equipment similar to what is required for girls: a throat guard, a chest protector, and protective cup. Note that early on in their lacrosse career, the goalie can use standard lacrosse gloves (special gloves designed for goalies are not necessary). As for girls, your son will also need a special catcher’s head and shaft as opposed to purchasing a complete standard lacrosse stick.
The equipment your child needs when starting off playing lacrosse depends primarily on whether it’s going to be a girl playing lacrosse as a non-contact sport or a boy playing it as a contact sport. Also, your child may need some additional equipment and a different type of lacrosse stick head if they’re going to be a goalie. And keep in mind their level of interest in the sport: if you suspect this is just a passing interest, you would probably be wise to invest in the more budget friendly options. On the other hand, if this is a serious passion for your child, then you might want to pay a bit more for quality equipment that will last.
Wayne Sporting Goods Has it All for Lacrosse!
If you are outfitting your child to play lacrosse for the first time or upgrading their existing equipment, Wayne Sporting Goods is your one-stop shop for gear! We carry everything they could need, from gloves and lacrosse sticks to helmets and throat protectors. Whether you need a complete lacrosse stick for a young girl or a goalie head for your teenage boy, Wayne Sporting Goods has what you need from the brands that lacrosse players have grown to trust.