Since its creation, the lacrosse stick has undergone many advancements, from its beginnings as a large spoon-like stick made of hickory and a netting composed of leather to a durable plastic head, titanium shaft, and synthetic mesh. From its earliest form to the current design we know today, the lacrosse stick has always been a vital piece of equipment in the sport.
What are lacrosse sticks used for?
The lacrosse stick is the main tool used to play the game of lacrosse. It is used to perform numerous skills on both offense and defense. On offense, it is used to cradle the ball, pass and catch, and most importantly, shoot on goal. Defensively, the lacrosse stick enables the defender to intercept passes, secure ground balls, and check their opponents. Defenders in lacrosse use a longer shaft than attackmen or midfielders, which allows them to use a variety of checks to stop their opponent’s progression towards the goal. The shorter shafts used by offensive players give them more mobility and control over the ball.
Lacrosse sticks come in a variety of types, materials, and designs to choose from. Players are known to customize their sticks in many different ways, from the color of the head or shaft, the way it is strung, how it is taped, and much more.
Things To Consider
When looking for a lacrosse stick, you'll want to consider the following:
- What position do you play?
- What size stick are you most comfortable with?
- How much do you want to spend on a stick?
- What rules does your lacrosse league have regarding sticks?
What are you looking for in a lacrosse stick?
- Positional compatibility
- Correct size
- Meets league regulations
- Easy of assembly
Different types of lacrosse sticks are assigned based on the position of the player. There are short sticks, long sticks, and goalie sticks. Each type of lacrosse stick has its own unique characteristic that differentiates it from the others.
Short Stick (Attack and Midfield)
Short sticks are used by attackmen and middies. Due to its short nature, players using these are granted extra mobility, allowing them to easily juke defenders and shoot in narrow windows or gaps in the defense. Short sticks’ shafts measure 30 inches in length, as regulated by most lacrosse leagues.
Long Stick (Defense)
Long sticks are used by defensemen and long stick midfielders (LSM). A long stick allows the defender to check offensive players from a greater distance. Additionally, a longer stick gives the defender more force when checking and more power when throwing passes. The maximum length allowed for the shaft of long sticks is 60 inches.
The main differences between a goalie stick and the other two kinds of lacrosse sticks are its head size and pocket depth. The stick’s head features an oval shape, allowing for there to be more mesh than a long and short stick. This added surface area makes it much easier for goalies to stop high-speed shots. For goalie sticks, the maximum shaft length permitted is 40 inches.
Below are some of the most common materials used in lacrosse shafts.
- Aluminum Alloy: Composed of metal, aluminum alloy possesses a light feature and is geared towards younger players.
- Carbon Fiber Composite: Generally higher in price, carbon fiber composite shafts tend to last longer than other materials due to the shaft’s layered pattern.
- Scandium: Shafts composed of scandium work as a hybrid in that they are strong and lightweight.
- Titanium: Titanium shafts offer an excellent balance of weight and strength. This material falls on the more expensive side of the lacrosse shaft spectrum.
- Wood: Wooden lacrosse shafts have declined in popularity due to the advantages that metal shafts provide. However, wooden shafts offer a traditional feel and allow defenders to check with more force.
A wide range of brands produce lacrosse equipment; Maverick, STX, and Warrior are some of the most well-known and reliable brands in today’s market.
Maverick is an extremely popular provider of lacrosse equipment. They are known in conjunction with their sister company, Cascade, to sell some of the most highly-regarded equipment in the sport. Maverik sells various different equipment for lacrosse, with different options for heads and shafts, as well as complete sticks that don’t require players to acquire parts and assemble them themselves.
STX, abbreviated for stick, is the main supplier for the men’s national lacrosse team and numerous NCAA lacrosse programs. STX provides a variety of lacrosse sticks, as well as individual heads, shafts, and pads. They sell sticks for attackmen, midfielders, defensemen, and goalies at varying different price points.
Founded in 1992, Warrior has been well established in the lacrosse industry for quite some time. Players regard them as one of the top lacrosse manufacturer’s for their high-quality sticks, gloves, and footwear. They offer a variety of different complete sticks catered to different field players, each with their own individual design benefits. They also offer high-quality options for heads and shafts so that players can build the perfect stick to suit their needs.
How much does a lacrosse stick cost?
The cost of a lacrosse stick will vary significantly depending on the player's skill level and the quality of the stick. The components of a lacrosse stick, including the head, shaft, mesh, and other stringing materials, can be bought separately or all together. Lacrosse sticks for beginners will include all the necessary parts of the stick together and tend to be less expensive, falling in the $30 to $60 range. The price increases significantly when the shaft and head are bought separately, but quality significantly increases as well. Individual heads from high-end lacrosse manufacturers such as Maverick, STX, and Warrior can be priced from $50 to over $150, while shafts vary from $60 to well over $160, especially for defensive players. Mesh and stringing supplies can cost between $10 and $30.
What are the different types of lacrosse sticks?
The three types of lacrosse sticks are long sticks, short sticks, and goalie sticks. Long sticks are designed for defensive players, allowing them to defend the offensive player more effectively with the added length of the stick. Short sticks enable offensive players to be more agile and have better ball security. Lastly, goalie sticks have a larger head in order to have a larger surface area for making saves.
Are wooden lacrosse sticks still legal?
Wooden lacrosse shafts are legal in NCAA lacrosse as long as they conform to size and other regulations. At the high school level, the legality of wooden sticks will vary as this is decided by the league or other governing bodies within each individual state. Wooden shafts are known to be more dangerous than newer metal shafts, so many youth leagues will prohibit their use. Most players view wooden shafts as obsolete in comparison to modern metal shafts and plastic heads, so they are not commonly used at higher levels of the sport either. However, for players that prefer the traditional feel of wooden lacrosse sticks, they are still legal.