If you’re new to lacrosse, or a parent looking to outfit your child for their first season, you’re probably wondering what equipment you need. Although lacrosse equipment may vary slightly by position (i.e. goalies need more protection than field players), all boys lacrosse players generally need the same items of gear in order to step on the field.
Here’s a list of gear you need to play lacrosse:
- Lacrosse stick
- Lacrosse helmet
- Lacrosse gloves
- Lacrosse shoulder pads
- Lacrosse elbow pads
- Athletic protective cup
- Lacrosse chest protector (for goalies only)
- Lacrosse throat protector (for goalies only)
The first item you need to play lacrosse is a lacrosse stick - an essential tool to passing, catching, cradling, and scoring in the game of lacrosse. A lacrosse stick has three main components: the head, shaft, and pocket. The head is the top of the crosse, the shaft is the long, cylindrical stick the player holds, and the pocket is the mesh stringing within the head which carries the ball. For starters, it is best practice to purchase a complete lacrosse stick that comes with all three of these components ready to go out of the box.
Depending on your position and skill level, the type of lacrosse you need may vary:
- Attack/Middie lacrosse sticks are for offensive players.
- Defense lacrosse sticks (long poles) are for defensive players.
- Goalie lacrosse sticks are for goalies.
- Youth lacrosse sticks are for young beginners.
Feel free to chat with our support team in the chat box for assistance in finding the best type of lacrosse stick that suits you.
The next item you need to play lacrosse is a lacrosse helmet. This protective equipment is designed to keep your noggin safe from lacrosse balls, checks, and concussion-related injuries. Most lacrosse helmets are comfortable, ventilated, and easy to strap on. Lacrosse helmets are available at a variety of price points with a number of customizable color options to match your team’s colors.
When it comes to sizing a lacrosse helmet, be sure to read the sizing information provided in the product description. There you can get an idea of what size helmet suits you. Once the helmet arrives in the mail, you can tailor the fitting and tilt of the helmet by adjusting the helmet straps.
Lacrosse gloves provide necessary protection to a player’s fingers, hands, and wrists. Because it is legal to check an opponent's hands, it is essential that you purchase a protective, comfortable pair of lacrosse gloves. The best lacrosse gloves are ventilated, flexible, contoured, and lightweight - while providing elite protection on the outer shell. Glove prices can vary widely depending on how much comfort and flexibility you prefer.
Although many checks like hitting from behind and hitting high are illegal, lacrosse is still a contact sport. Shoulder pads are necessary for chest protection and collar bone protection. As of 2022, all boys field lacrosse players, high school players, and NCAA players are required to wear shoulder pads that meet the NOCSAE performance standard ND200 to help address commotio cordis, a rare but serious medical condition that is caused by low-impact trauma to the chest. When choosing lacrosse shoulder pads, be sure to purchase a pair that meet this standard, otherwise you will not be allowed onto the field.
Lacrosse Elbow Pads
Lacrosse elbow pads are designed to provide adequate protection to the elbow area without constricting too much arm movement. Protective elbow pads are crucial for offensive players like attackmen who take a brunt of their checks on the elbow/forearm area. As a result, elbow pads tend to come in a variety of shapes and sizes: bigger elbow pads for attackmen, mid-sized elbow pads for midfielders, and smaller elbow pads for defenders and goalies.
Keep in mind, the bigger the elbow pad, the more constrictive it may feel on your arm movement. It’s a tradeoff players need to make depending on their position. As a beginner, it’s best practice to go with a more protective elbow pad as you learn the game.
Lacrosse cleats are different from football cleats in that they are more breathable and designed with mid to low ankle cuts. Lacrosse cleats are necessary for a quick change of direction and long-lasting durability on the field Depending on your style, lacrosse cleats come in low-ankle cuts (lighter weight) and mid-ankle cut (enhanced ankle stability) with the top brands being New Balance and Nike.
Athletic Protective Cup
Since lacrosse is a contact support, athletic cups are a must. Today, athletic cups come in a variety of styles: compression shorts, briefs, or jockstraps.
Lacrosse Chest Protector (Goalies Only)
When stepping between the pipes as a goalie, it is required that you wear a NOCSAE approved lacrosse chest protector. Similar to shoulder pads for fields, goalie chest protectors must meet the NOCSAE safety standards to better protect goalies from commotio cordis. When purchasing a lacrosse chest protector, look at the product description to see if it is a NOCSAE approved piece of equipment.
The top lacrosse chest protectors provide protection in key areas of the chest and stomach, while also allowing enough mobility to swiftly react to shots in net. Many chest protectors come with removable belly pads for added protection in the stomach area.
Lacrosse Throat Protector (Goalies Only)
Lacrosse throat guard protectors are a required add-on for lacrosse goalies. They do a fantastic job at providing coverage to the throat and neck region without restricting goalie movement. Most throat protectors can be mounted onto a regular field lacrosse helmet by screw mount or tie on.
Now that you are aware of all the required boys lacrosse equipment, here are a couple of key bonus items to add to your radar:
- Rib pads - a great piece of equipment for anyone battling a rib injury or simply prefer the extra protection
- Turf shoes - a must-have for anyone playing indoor lacrosse in the off-season.
- Goalie shin guards - a major confidence booster for youth goalies stepping between the pipes for the first time.
For more in-depth lacrosse gear reviews and general lax info, check out our friends over at Lax Farmer.