Selecting a Kids’ Lacrosse Stick

This post was written by Coach Tom on June 5, 2015
Posted Under: Equipment,Kids Lacrosse,Stick

Parents frequently ask which stick they should buy for their beginning player.

The first thing I tell them is to avoid the expensive sticks. Fine sticks can cost several hundred dollars, but a stick for a munchkin should cost significantly less, less than 50 dollars in 2015 prices.

The advanced capabilities of the more expensive sticks are wasted on an elementary school player. Just because the shaft is a space age alloy does not mean that your player will shoot any better. Just because the head is based on advanced fractal mathematics won’t make a kid catch or pass any better. It actually might make it harder for him to catch.

At the other extreme, some “lacrosse sticks” are made for very little kids who are not playing lacrosse. They are meant to be used with soft rubber balls, not the hard balls used in lacrosse. These sticks are great for the under six year old set, but are unsuitable for actual lacrosse.

Some readers of this blog may be unfamiliar with the basic parts of a lacrosse stick. All sticks have a head, a molded piece of plastic that vaguely resembles a Halloween drawing of a human skull, a net tied to the head and called a pocket, and a handle known as the shaft. The point where the shaft connects to the head of a stick is the throat. At the end of the stick opposite the head is a removable rubber cap known as the “butt end cover,” “butt end cap,” or “end cap.” There are several other components to a lacrosse stick, but it’s unnecessary to know them until you’re in lacrosse graduate school.

You want to buy a lacrosse stick that is 40 to 42 inches in overall length, often known as an attack stick or short stick. Compare the heads of the sticks you’re considering and go for the stick whose head is widest near the throat. An aluminum shaft is good. Avoid plastic and other non metallic shafts. The pocket should be a nylon mesh. Mesh is “hard” or “soft.” You want soft mesh. Avoid mesh that is made of material that resembles thick monofilament fishing line, polypropylene, or contains strips of leather.

Brand names such as Brine, STX, and Warrior are well established in the lacrosse world, but they’re not the only good brands available. Your son’s league may recommend a particular stick or a particular sporting goods store; that can simplify your search.

If they don’t, if there is a nearby store that specializes in lacrosse, start there. It’s true that its prices may be higher than the sporting goods giants, but the specialty store’s expertise is well worth the price difference. As a second choice there may a general specialty sports store such as one that equips kids’ soccer and baseball teams. Visit them, look for lacrosse equipment and ask for advice. Third choice would be a big box, sporting goods store, but they often do not have the necessary knowledge of lacrosse equipment. So you’ll be on your own.

If lacrosse is popular in your area, you may find a used stick suitable for a new player from a store or a family friend. You can save some money, but will need to carefully check the condition of all parts of the stick. And it should be free or at a big discount from retail.

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