Norski Lax Mission Enable Growth:Serve as an advocate to promote the growth of Boys & Girls scholastic and youth lacrosse programs in the DeForest/Windsor community Support Coaches & Players:Provide support to coaches and players in all lacrosse program

Sponsored By:   United Paving Co.

Lacrosse Equipment Tips

What You Need...All Boys lacrosse players need the following equipment:

Mouth Guard- Cannot be clear, with or without a strap to attach to your helmet.

Helmet- USL requires the use of an approved lacrosse helmet.

Elbow and Shoulder Pads-Lacrosse shoulder and elbow pads are better than hockey pads because they are not as bulky and cover more of your shoulder and elbow.

Gloves- Lacrosse gloves are better than hockey gloves because the thumb is more flexible.

Stick- White head and any color shaft or throwing strings.(See "How to buy a stick" below)

Jock or compression shorts with a built in pouch for a protective cup which is requiredCompression shorts must be Black, White or Team color. Shock Dr makes the best compression shorts with built in pouch on the market.

Dry-Wick Undershirt Any moisture wicking t-shirt is a good thing under pads and these shirts do keep you drier.

Rib Guard Pads If you play offense, especially attack you will want to have the extra protection rib guards provide.

Slash Guard Wrist Pads- If you play offense, especially attack you will want to have the extra protection wrist guards provide.

 USED...There is an alternative to new equipment. Play it Again Sports carries used hockey and lacrosse equipment and usually has some good deals for new players not looking to spend a lot to get started.

Where to Purchase It...There are several local lacrosse retailers in Madison: Dicks Sporting Goods carries a limited supply of mostly beginner packages and sticks. Middleton Sports and Fitness has a larger selection and an experienced lacrosse staff. has a great clearance section.

How To Buy A Lacrosse Stick

The lacrosse stick is an essential piece of equipment for the lacrosse player, and the type of stick you buy depends on a number of factors, including your position, skill level and whether you are a man or a woman.


Types of sticks

Lacrosse sticks come in a variety of lengths and styles according to position and type of game played, with cost and durability a factor as well.



  • Men's sticks generally have an aluminum or mixed alloy handle/shaft
  • All manufacturers now make more technically advanced sticks made of aluminum, graphite or even titanium
  • These styles are generally more lightweight and durable than wood sticks, but more expensive
  • The head has an overall length of 10-12 inches and width of 6 ½ for all sticks except the goalie’s
  • Men’s stick pockets are deeper than women’s. To determine a legal pocket depth, hold the stick head at eye level. If you can see the top of the ball below the bottom sidewall it’s illegal. If you can’t see the top of the ball the pocket is legal.
  • Men use either a traditional or mesh pocket depending on their position and playing style




  • Women's sticks have either a wood, aluminum or mixed alloy handle/shaft
  • Wood sticks, like wooden baseball bats, are prone to damage and breaking
  • Women’s sticks only use a traditional pocket
  • The head on a women's stick is 1 inch above the center stop
  • The head has an overall length of 10-12 inches
  • Women's stick pockets are shallower than men's. To determine a legal pocket depth, hold the stick head at eye level. If you can see the top of the ball above the top of the sidewall it’s legal. If you can’t see the top of the ball the pocket is to deep and illegal.
  • The pockets must have 4 or 5 leather thongs and no more than 2 shooting strings.




  • Plastic sticks are primarily used by younger players just learning the sport
  • These are lighter, easier to break in and more durable than the models for more advanced players
  • They usually utilize a mesh netting
  • The plastic stick's pointed mouth makes it easier for younger players to pick up the ball and throw it accurately




  • The type of handle you buy is very much a matter of preference
  • Some players like lighter, stronger alloy handles for defensive purposes
  • Attacking players generally prefer lighter alloy handles for better faking and maneuverability. Some players prefer DeBeer rounder shaped handle for a better feel on which way the head is facing

Pocket types
Lacrosse sticks come with either a traditional woven pocket for more experienced players or a mesh pocket for wet areas of the county and novices. The head of a stick can also be bought strung or unstrung.



  • Traditional pockets
    • These consist of nylon laces woven around 4 adjustable strips of leather
    • The leather strips can be adjusted to fit any type of shot. They do need to be replaced after repeated use.
    • A stiffer pocket is more accurate but gives less control while running and moving
  • Mesh pockets “Soft & Hard”
    • They are made of a nylon webbing woven into the side of the pocket, require little or no adjustment  and hold up to wet weather much better than traditional leather pockets
    • Soft Mesh pockets are looser and give less accuracy on passes and shots, but make it easier for the novice player to control the ball when cradling and running
    • These require less maintenance than traditional pockets
    • The Hard mesh netting with a V shooting string does control the ball as well as leather netting
    • Goal keepers tend to prefer mesh netting because it reduces rebounds
  • Pocket depth
    • Pocket depth is mostly a matter of preference and playing style
    • Generally, a deeper pocket provides more feel and ball control, while a shallower pocket gives you a quicker release but sacrifices ball control
    • Ball-control players(attack and goalies) who do a lot of passing and cradling should use a fairly deep pocket at the bottom of the stick head
    • Defensive players and midfielders who tend to scoop-up the ball and pass the ball over longer distances should use a deeper pocket in the middle of the stick head
    • Sidearm and underhand shooters who prefer a whip in their shot and like to do a lot of stick fakes should have a deep pocket at the top of their stick head
    • Crease attack players who need a quick realease should have small depth pocket in the middle of the stick head
  • Shooting strings
    • Shooting strings, positioned horizontally near the top of the stick's head, affect the ball's balance and direction
    • Overhand passers usually put in 3 or 4 shooting strings to make a smooth path for the ball to run out of the pocket. Heavy skate laces are best used for this.
    • The shooting strings determine whether your shot will have "whip,"which occurs when the ball is released smoothly and gradually. Experienced players prefer a whippy release.

Proper handle/shaft length according to position

The length of your handle/shaft depends almost entirely on the position you play.



  • Attackers  should buy a handle/shaft that is close to the minimum length of 30 inches to allow for more control and maneuverability. The legal length for an attackers stick (shaft and head) is between 40”- 42” long.
  • Midfielders  should buy a slightly longer and stronger handle/shaft to allow them to play both offense and defense. The legal length for a midfielders stick (shaft and head) is between 40”- 42” long.
  • Defenders  should use the longest, strongest and lightest handle/shaft they are comfortable with, usually around 52-60 inches, for greater reach. Titanium and mixed lightweight alloy sticks are all the rage. They are expensive and lighter and do last longer then aluminum. The legal length for a defenders stick (shaft and head) is between 52”-72” long.
  • Goaltendersticks are generally 42 inches long. The legal length for a goalie stick (shaft and head) is between 40”- 72” long.
  • Younger players should make sure they choose a stick that fits them comfortably, regardless of position. It is more important to be able to handle the stick and ball comfortably. Most youth leagues allow the players to alter the length of the handle/shaft below the legal standard lengths used for high school and college.
  • Women's sticks range only from 36 to 44 inches. The exact length depends on the position and the length of the player’s arms. The general rule is you want a longer (43-44 inches) shaft for defenders, shorter (36 inches) for attackers.