The Top Gear Every Lacrosse Player Needs

by Source For Sports Lacrosse “Practice makes perfect” is easier to achieve if you have the lacrosse gear that will help you advance your development by improving your performance and confidence.

Lacrosse Gear Explained 

Learning the tactics for successful play and skill development will take time and persistence to develop. “Practice makes perfect” is easier to achieve when you're in the lacrosse gear that will help you advance your development by improving your performance and confidence with sport-specific equipment.

Often parents and players new to lacrosse will ask if hockey protective equipment can be worn. There are several important differences between hockey and lacrosse gear, and having the right equipment will not only enhance your technique and performance but also your level of enjoyment while playing.

The main differences between lacrosse (lax) and hockey equipment are:

  • Weight of the gear
  • Amount of protection
  • Gear’s heat reduction capabilities
  • Freedom of movement

young child playing lacrosse

Helmet

A lacrosse helmet features a single curved bar down the middle of the cage with additional bars wrapped horizontally across the middle bar. There are less cage bars than a hockey mask, to allow for more visibility. The helmet serves to protect you from in-coming shots from all sides, but at the same time allows for head rotation by being light in weight. As with all head protection, the helmet needs to be fitted properly so that it can protect the way it was designed to - never purchase a helmet to “grow into”. Remember, if it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t protect.

Gloves

The gloves used in lax differ greatly from those used in the game of hockey. Lacrosse gloves come with a free moving thumb for easier movement and control to grip a stick. They feature less padding around the wrist area with an opening and strap for improved ventilation and natural movement. Lacrosse gloves normally extend 2 to 3 inches above the wrist, allowing for crucial mobility for stick handling, while maintaining protection. A hockey glove comes with extra padding and wrist coverage which makes it more difficult for you to curl and rotate your wrist.

Shoulder-Pads

Although they look similar, shoulder pads for hockey and lacrosse have distinct design characteristics.

Hockey is played with the shoulders and hands in a ‘below the waist’ position, keeping the stick on the ice to control the puck., therefore the shoulder caps are set into the chest protector to allow for coverage in this downward arm position. The movements in lacrosse are exactly the opposite, with throwing and catching motions taking place ‘above the waist’ as the ball is passed in the air, off the surface of the ground.

Lax pads have been designed with floating shoulder caps that allow you to raise your arms and hands above your waist without restriction. Although lax gear is light weight to allow for running and mobility, and have generous ventilation to keep the player from overheating, there is more protection across the chest to deflect wild balls that are in the air at the waist and head level.

Rib Protector

Especially helpful for a player starting in lacrosse, a rib pad offers extra protection for the rib cage and kidney areas, a product like the Warrior Fatboy Rib Guard is designed for the developing player. While midfielders and attackers usually only get hit with stray sticks, defensemen also have to worry about the hard rubber ball coming at them at great speed. Rib protectors come in several styles and price points. For a beginner, choose a rib protector that has strap adjustments or wider mesh straps over the shoulders. The higher-end (and more expensive) options include shirts with patented “gel-to-shell” technology that harden immediately upon impact, and then return to a jelly-like consistency until the next hit.

Elbow-Pads and Arm Guards

Lax elbow pads have additional coverage and protection compared to a hockey elbow pad. Lax pads can extend from the mid-wrist to mid-bicep area, with a large padded area on the elbow cup. Arm pads offer extended protection above and below the elbow, whereas most hockey elbow pads are designed specifically focus to protect the elbow cup and not the entire arm. Adjustable straps allow for a perfect fit so that the pads don’t slide down the arms. Check out what Warrior's got to offer when it comes to Elbow Guards

Mouthguards, Jocks or Jills

As you learn to play lacrosse, there is the likelihood that there are going to be some stray throws that might hit sensitive body parts. Even as your ball control and skill increases, those random wild throws are going to be coming in a lot faster. Protect future generations of your family DNA with a jock (for boys) or jill (for girls).

Mouthguards are the same for hockey or lacrosse; just make sure you have the right size to properly protect your teeth. Under Armour has some great colours in a Armourfit Strapless Mouthguard so protecting your teeth becomes part of the uniform!

Footwear

It is likely that you will be playing Box lacrosse here in Canada, which normally takes place in a hockey arena that has had the ice removed for the season. A good pair of supportive and well-fitting running shoes is all you need when you're starting out in lacrosse. Fit is definitely important as you will be running hard, stopping quickly, and manoeuvring and turning, so the shoe and foot need to be one integrated unit.

TIP: Playing on the concrete floor can sometimes be slippery. Veteran lacrosse players carry hairspray in their gear bag to spray on the soles of the running shoes to decrease slipping!

From beginner to pro we'll have the right gear for your game at the right price. Next time you visit your local Source For Sports, ask them about the Pro-Formance Advantage Custom Fitting System®. This fitting system ensures that you are properly protected and fitted before setting foot on the field of play. Ensuring that you are properly outfitted with the proper gear will not only help your performance but will make you feel comfortable making your experience far greater.


 

Check out lacrosse gear at your local Source For Sports lacrosse stores:

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