There’s a reason lacrosse has been called the fastest-growing sport in America. It’s fast-moving and fun to play and watch. But when everyone’s moving so fast and using sticks to sling a solid rubber ball around, it’s important to make sure you have the correct equipment and protective gear. Here is a list of the stuff you are going to want to have starting out.
The stick is one of the most important lacrosse equipment choices you’ll make for your beginner player. You’ll want to go for lacrosse sticks that make it as easy to catch the ball as possible. This means choosing a stick with a wider throat area in the head as well as soft mesh instead of stiffer meshing. Dick’s sells complete sticks for beginners as well as online places like lacrossemonkey.com . These are a good idea for those starting out. Prices are all over the map, I try to choose kits for $150 or less. You may see longer poles as you start to shop; we only use the shorter sticks at this age group.
Lacrosse pads protect you from hard shots, checks, pokes, and other contact on the field. They are lightweight, low-profile, and built for speed and agility as well as safety and protection. You need two pads, a shoulder/chest piece and elbow/arm set. Hockey players can use their existing pads but players may prefer to use the made-for-purpose lacrosse pads that offer additional mobility.
Lacrosse gloves are designed to protect your fingers, hands, and wrists from checks and impacts from other shafts. Hockey players can start out using their existing gloves for indoor but will likely want to move to lacrosse gloves later in the season as the hockey gloves are too padded/stiff and limit flexibility and ‘feel’ of the stick.
Lacrosse helmets are designed to protect the head and face from impacts, body checks, and stick checks. We order special green helmets from Dick’s at below retail prices. Email me to size and order one. Green helmets are not required, just another option for you to consider. Hockey players can get away with wearing their helmet for the indoor sessions but will need to get an official lacrosse helmet for outdoor use and game play.
Shoes / Cleats
Lacrosse shoes or lacrosse cleats give you the traction you need to fly up and down the field. Designed for different types of field surfaces, lacrosse cleats come in a variety of styles, tractions, and builds. In indoor all you need is tennis shoes but as we move outdoors you will want to have shoes with plastic cleats. Players with football cleats may use them, especially mid and low cut styles, but here are some things to think about. Soccer shoes can be worn with little issue other than the lack of ankle support. Baseball shoes, like lacrosse shoes, have toe cleats and can crossover okay as long as they are not metal (mid-level cuts work best). Dicks will have a limited lacrosse shoe selection available starting around March.
Boys need to wear protective cups. Personal preference plays large role, but with so much running, many kids seem to gravitate to the compression style. Kids with existing shorts from baseball, football, hockey, or other youth sport are all set.
Mouth guards are a good way to protect the teeth, lips, cheeks, and tongue. Mouth guards are required for all lacrosse players. Refs will actively pull kids for not having, or not correctly wearing mouth guards (e.g. fish hooking)
Consider picking up a few rubber lacrosse balls for outdoor practice and a tennis ball for indoor cradling exercises.