Getting Started with Lacrosse: Facts, Question & Answers
My son/daughter is just starting lacrosse. What equipment is required and how do I get it?
Boys and girls lacrosse are similar but not the same. They require different equipment.
- Boys required equipment:
- Certified and approved lacrosse helmet with chin strap
- Approved Lacrosse gloves (hockey gloves are different)
- Approved shoulder pads
- Approved arm guards
- Appropriate and legal (boys) lacrosse stick
- Mouth guard (it is recommended to purchase one that attached to the helmet)
- Girls required equipment:
- Appropriate and legal ‘girls’ lacrosse stick (different from a boys stick)
- Certified eye goggles
- Mouth Guard
- ‘OPTIONAL’ - several manufacturers now sell a girls lacrosse helmet but this is not required.
**Some entry level camps will only require sticks and mouth guards for boys and girls.
Equipment can be purchased new or used.
- Play it again sports
- Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Tama Lacrosse (Naperville)
New equipment can also be purchased from numerous retailers 'online’.
What kind of shoes should my son/daughter wear?
If your son/daughter already has a pair of molded bottom cleats for another sport, they are OK to wear those for lacrosse. Fiberglass or metal bottom cleats, or cleats that ‘screw in’, are not permitted.
Note: some indoor facilities do not allow cleats of any kind and may require that players wear regular sneakers.
What should my son/daughter wear to practice (camps, clinics, league)?
- Outdoor Play (Cold Weather): dressing weather appropriate but with mobility is important (including a sweatshirt of athletic undergarment as necessary)
- Outdoor (Warm Weather) & Indoor Play: a t-shirt (wicking type preferred), athletic shorts (not cut off jeans) and appropriate athletic socks (preferably white)
Note: if your player is participating in a league, theymay be given a reversible jersey that must be worn to all practices and/or games.
What if it’s cold outside?
It happens! Lacrosse is one of those sports where it can be 90 degrees outside or 30 degrees. We play in both!
Staying warm is important and certainly impacts how a player performs, not to mention his/her comfort level. Many athletic equipment manufacturers sell thin (but warm) undergarments (i.e. Under Armour, Nike), just make sure that they are breathable and will not retain sweat. Cotton items do absorb moisture (sweat) and will only make a player colder. Please also remember that a player not only needs to be warm but also be flexible enough to play lacrosse.
Hands tend to be the first thing that gets cold. Some of this can be alleviated by wearing a thin pair of latex gloves under the required gloves. It doesn’t sound like much…but it works!
When should my son/daughter arrive at the field?
If no program specific instructions have been given, players should be dressed and ready to go at the field location at least 15 minutes prior to the start. Players arriving at the scheduled start time or after is a distraction to their teammates and coaches and is not acceptable.
Lacrosse is a team sport and it is important that all players (and parents) understand that time limitations exist and it is our intention to use every minute of the scheduled time to play lacrosse. Please be on time!
My son/daughter has asthma and can’t wear a mouth guard.
Mouth guards are mandatory! No exceptions to this rule. If your child wears braces or has specific mouth issues, mouthpieces can be made specifically for that child by your dentist. Please consult your dental professional for additional suggestions.
I’ve never seen a lacrosse game and am not sure of the rules.
The rules of lacrosse do tend to change, all in favor of the safety of the players. While the boys game and the girls game have different rules, the object of the game is the same: to score more goals than your opponent. We suggest that both you and your child explore a few ‘Youtube’ videos which explain the game and rules in great detail and at a slower pace. If you have any questions after your initial viewing your son/daughter’s coach will be happy to walk you through the basics and answer any questions that you may have.
Example Men's Lacrosse
Example Women's Lacrosse
Another good resource for lacrosse rules and updates is US Lacrosse (www.usalacrosse.com). This is the governing body for lacrosse in the USA.
How many players are on the field at a time?
The boys and girls games are a bit different.
- Boys: 9 field players and 1 goalie on the field
- Girls: 11 field players and 1 goalie on the field
I’ve seen people hitting each other with sticks during a lacrosse game and knocking people down. Is that legal?
Lacrosse is a contact sport and specific rules apply. More contact is involved in the boys game than the girls. Controlled checking (using a stick to hit the ball out of an opponent's stick) is legal in the boys’ game in specific situations.
Safety is always a consideration and officials are on the field to assure this is done safely and by the rules. Physical contact is part of the boys game but to a much lesser extent in the girls game. Safety is always our #1 priority in any game, practice, league, camp or clinic.
Sportmanship & Youth Sports
Good sportsmanship is extremely important to us. Although we are all competitive, we never lose sight that this is youth sports and what goes on can have a direct and long-lasting impact on these children.
We have a ‘zero tolerance’ policy for players and/or parents who demonstrate inappropriate behavior on the sideline or on the field. Our goal is to not only develop good lacrosse players but also help to develop good young adults who will excel both on and off the field.
My son/daughter is already in high school. Is it too late to start playing lacrosse?
NO! Lacrosse provides the unique opportunity to allow athletes to ‘pick up’ the game at any age. Lacrosse draws aspect from several different sports, so if the athlete has hand-eye coordination, speed and a competitive spirit, they will be able to pick up the fundamentals very quickly.
My son/daughter has participated in a few camps and now wants to participate on a team and compete. What are my options?
Once a player has some fundamentals under their belt they should consider joining a club team. Club teams are ‘tryout based’ and allow players to practice a few times per week as well as attend local and out of state tournaments for optimal exposure and competition. Club teams range from developmental (still competitive) to highly competitive. There is a club team for every level of player.
Boys Lacrosse Equipment: What do I need and Where Can I find it?
Girls Lacrosse Equipment: What do I need and Where Can I find it?