All You Need to Know About How to Use Lacrosse Sticks

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A lacrosse stick typically comprises of two main parts – the shaft and the head. The shaft is the vertical length of the stick which ends in the "head" which is where the pocket of the stick is located.

Here is a brief overview of these two components of a lacrosse stick.


Shaft and Heads of Lacrosse Stick

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Lacrosse Shaft

Different lacrosse sticks feature different types of shafts.

Shafts may be made from a variety of materials and usually vary in length depending upon the age and gender of a player.

The materials most commonly use in the construction of the lacrosse shaft include composite and alloy. Composite shafts offer more flex while alloy shafts are stiffer.

The length of the shaft also depends on the position of a player. An attacking player usually wields a lacrosse stick with a smaller shaft.

This is because a stick with smaller shaft is light-weight, faster and can be wielded more aggressively in an attacking position.

Typically, the lacrosse sticks used by men in attacking position measure 30 inches in length.

Players in the defensive and midfield positions typically use sticks with longer shafts. Longer shafts allow them greater reach, enabling them to block opponent shots and throw harder.

Sticks used in these positions usually feature shafts measuring 60 inches in length.

Finally, the lacrosse sticks used by goalies have shafts that are smaller than defensive players but longer than attacking players. Typical shaft length in goalie lacrosse sticks measures at around 40 inches.

Lacrosse Heads

Lacrosse heads come in many shapes, sizes and types.

At the same time, the head on your lacrosse stick is probably the most important part of the stick because you will be scooping and throwing the ball with it.

So it is very important for a player to find the right head type. A lacrosse head comprises of many parts including the offset, the pocket, the sidewall and the scoop.

Players in the attacking position typically prefer a light-weight head along with a narrow pocket and maximum scoop.

This enables attacking players to ensure accuracy of their shots.

Defensive players, on the other hand, prefer a sturdier and more durable head. This allows them to throw hard checks.

Defensive players also broad a wider pocket which lets them defend more area during the game.

Goalies used a significantly different kind of head on their lacrosse sticks.

Goalie heads are typically up to 12 inches wide and shaped so that they allow the goalies to cover a wider area and ensure better ball retention.

Four Forms of Lacrosse Sticks

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1. Men’s Lacrosse Stick

The key difference between men’s lacrosse sticks and women’s lacrosse sticks is that of the length and diameter of the shafts (1).

Men’s lacrosse sticks tend to feature longer shafts. The men’s lacrosse stick for attacking and midfield positions typically run up to 42 inches while the defenders may use sticks as long as 72 inches.

The head on an average men’s lacrosse stick also features a deeper pocket made from interwoven synthetic mesh material whereas women’s lacrosse sticks comparatively feature shallower pockets.

2. Women’s Lacrosse Sticks

Women’s lacrosse sticks are designed significantly different from men’s lacrosse sticks (2).

This is partially because there is a slight difference in the game rules of men and women’s lacrosse games.

In general, the lacrosse sticks designed for women come with shafts featuring a smaller diameter. This makes it easier for women players to hold the stick comfortably and wield it with use in the game. 

The shafts of women’s lacrosse sticks are also briefer in length. The head on the women’s lacrosse sticks typically features a pocket which is shallower compared to man’s lacrosse sticks (3).

These sticks are available for different playing positions.

3. Youth Lacrosse Stick

lacrosse sticks and balls

Youth lacrosse sticks typically refer to the stick specifically designed for the younger players in the 3 – 8 years age bracket.

The most prominent feature of youth lacrosse sticks is that these are shorter in length compared to standard sticks. This is obviously to help the younger players wield a stick that they can comfortably use.

Youth lacrosse sticks can be as small as 36 inches in length which makes them a great choice for the younger players.

Youth lacrosse sticks may also be called ‘scoopers’ and most of them feature thinner shafts so that the younger players can easily hold them during the game.

4. Lacrosse Stick for Beginner

Lacrosse sticks for beginners typically come with a well-rounded design. Unlike more advanced-level lacrosse sticks, beginner sticks are strung and ready for use right out of wraps.

Since they are meant for use by players who play on the beginner or intermediate level, these sticks come with few or no customizable features.

They also require no break-in period and you can start using them right after unpacking them.

This is very convenient because if you buy these, as a beginner you won’t have to worry about the settings of the stick or any additional accessories.

For this reason, the beginner lacrosse models are also called complete sticks.

The 4 Positions in Lacrosse and Rules

1. Lacrosse Attack Stick Rules

Lacrosse attack position is well ahead on the field where players have to engage in offensive play.

Typically, players who are on the attack position have to swing the stick faster and throw quickly. A number of rules define the length and width of an attack stick.

According to these rules, an attack stick must have a length between 40 inches and 42 inches. This length limit includes the shaft and the head.

The rules also state that the shaft on an attack stick must be at least 30 inches long. The width of the head should also be somewhere between 6.5 inches and 10 inches.

How to Care for Your Lacrosse Stick

2. Lacrosse Middie Stick Rules

Lacrosse middie stick refers to stick used by midfield players.

Midfield players usually have to engage in both offensive and defensive moves, so the rules usually give them wide latitude regarding their sticks.

For this reason, a wide variety of middie sticks are legal and it ultimately depends on the midfield player.

Midfielders can use either a short lacrosse stick or a long lacrosse stick. If they are using a short lacrosse stick, it must be between 40 and 42 inches in length.

If they are using a long lacrosse stick, the length must be somewhere between 52 and 72 inches.

In both cases, the length limit includes the shaft as well as the head. And in both cases, the width of the head must be between 6.5 inches and 10 inches.

3. Lacrosse Goalie Stick Rules

A goalie on the lacrosse field needs to have a stick that can be wielded quickly and features an extra-wide head.

For this reason, the rules prescribe a wide length limit for a standard goalie stick.

As per the rules, a goalie stick’s shaft can be anywhere between 40 and 62 inches in length.

Depending on the personal style of a goalie and his needs, he can either go with a smaller shaft or a longer shaft.

The head on a goalie stick must be somewhere between 10 and 12 inches wide.

Together with the length of the head, a goalie stick’s total length should be no more than 72 inches.

The extra wide and extra long goalie stick allows the goalies to cover a greater area in defending the goal against the opponent team.

4. Lacrosse Defense Stick Rules

Lacrosse defense sticks are used on the defensive position.

Players wielding these sticks typically need to cover a greater area in their defense and so, they typically wield longer stick than attacking players. This is also reflected in the rules related to lacrosse defense sticks.

As per the rules, lacrosse defense sticks must be somewhere between 52 and 72 inches in their total length. This means that the total length of the shaft as well as the head must add up to no less than 52 inches and no more than 72 inches.

The head of a defensive player’s stick must be somewhere between 6.5 inches to 10 inches wide. In the width of the head, the defense stick is no different than an attack stick or a goalie stick.

Lacrosse Stick Maintenance

Lacrosse Stick Maintenance

Keeping your lacrosse stick in good working condition is critical. A well-maintained lacrosse stick performs a lot better than a non-maintained stick during any game.

So it is always a good idea to take some time for the maintenance of the stick after every game.

The head is the most important part of the stick and one that should be diligently maintained on a regular basis.

The pocket should be in good shape if you want to make your throws and catches accurate. So before and after every game, take some time to ensure that the pocket is shaped right.

Also make sure that the top string and sidewall strings on the head are tight. If the strings become loose or frayed, this may affect your performance. If a string has frayed a lot, waste no time in replacing it.

If your stick undergoes a rigorous use during the game, you will have to take additional precautions to keep its head in the right shape.

In order to do so, wedge in a solid object into the head to gently nudge it towards its original position.

This will not permanently resolve the problem but if you do this on a regular basis, this will help you maintain the head in the right position for a longer time.

The shaft of your stick requires the least amount of maintenance. Before using the stick in a game, make sure that the shaft is well-taped and offers you a solid grip.

A strong grip is critically essential for good performance in the game. And to achieve it, you may to a tape a few inches of the shaft from the bottom.

You may also need to replace this taped grip on a regular basis if and when it starts coming off.

Best Lacrosse Stick Brands

1. East Coast Dyes

East Coast Dyes is one of the recent entrants in the world of lacrosse stick manufacturing.

The company started off in 2011 and originally begun as a supplier of stringing and mesh supplies.

Offering incredibly quality in these supplies, East Coast Dyes was quickly able to develop a vast and loyal fan base.

Before soon, the brand was quite popular and East Coast Dyes started offering its own lacrosse sticks as well.

One of the most popular East Coast Dyes sticks features the famous Mirage Head.

The company has designed this head with meticulous attention to detail and constructed it so that it offers an unprecedented degree of ball control and accuracy in hard passes.

The Mirage Head is one of the best heads for offensive lacrosse players.

Apart from this premium-level offensive stick, East Coast Dyes also offers a wide variety of other lacrosse sticks.

These include sticks feature carbon pro shafts, carbon shafts and the highly covered scandium shafts which offer a great balance between weight, durability and strength.

2. STX

STX is one of the most popular and leading lacrosse stick brands. The company is known for manufacturing lacrosse sticks which offer premium performance and excellent durability.

STX lacrosse sticks feature well-designed heads.

These heads allow players to scoop the ball off the ground quite easily while also enabling players to have maximum ball control.

The pockets on STX sticks is also designed in such a way that the ball remains well within the pocket even when the stick is upright, allowing players to keep ball secure once in the pocket.

In all, STX sticks are counted among high-performing stick which allow players to accurate throw the ball, effectively snag catches and make precise passes during the game.

Interestingly, the company has a long history of creating premium hockey sticks and used this experience when launching its line-up of premium lacrosse sticks.

Today, lacrosse sticks are equally popular in men’s lacrosse games as well as women’s lacrosse games. STX sticks are known to last a long time and are constructed from sturdy materials.

So you get good value for the money you spend when buying an STX stick.

3. StringKing

StringKing is another top manufacturer when it comes to lacrosse sticks.

The company enjoys a unique position in the lacrosse market because it offers ultra-premium lacrosse sticks as well as entry-level complete sticks. This enables StringKing to cater to the whole lacrosse market and to players at all levels.

One of the stand-out features of StringKing sticks are the shafts used in them. The company uses metal shafts in many of its lacrosse sticks. These metal shafts are considered one of the lightest shafts available in the market right now.

So if you are looking for a well-performing stick which also offers very fast passing and shooting, one of StringKing sticks with metal shafts may be a great choice.

StringKing is also known to produce some of the most popular entry-level complete lacrosse sticks.

These sticks feature durable shafts and advanced game heads, enabling beginners to immediately get the hang of the game. May be one of the reasons why these are among the best-selling entry-level sticks in the market right now.

Notable examples of complete lacrosse sticks by StringKing include the famous Mark 1 and the StringKing Complete Junior sticks.

4. Brine

Brine started off as a relatively small company offering only a small number of sports equipment in the beginning.

But over the years, the company has steadily grown and earned its name among premium manufacturers of lacrosse sticks.

Today, the lacrosse sticks offered by Brine are considered top-of-the-range and are widely used all over the world.

The company is known for manufacturing a wide variety of lacrosse sticks each year. These include sticks featuring alloy shafts as well as those with carbon composite materials.

So you can choose between the light-weight and flexible carbon shafts as well as the slightly heavier but sturdier alloy shafts.

Brine is also known to offer complete lacrosse sticks. This refers to such sticks which combine a basic shaft with an advanced head.

These sticks are typically suited to new players who want to have an effective stick without paying too much for it.

Brine’s complete sticks are a very popular choice among players who are new to the game of lacrosse. So you can easily find a suitable Brine stick that corresponds to your game level, style and needs.

5. Maverik

Maverik is another well-known brand name in the lacrosse stick market.

This sticks are available in a wide variety of sizes and types. Broadly speaking, Maverik offers lacrosse sticks in 3 distinct shapes.

These 3 shapes come under the respective categories of speed, traditional and signature.

Each comes with unique features of its own, giving you plenty of options to choose from when finding the perfect Maverik stick.

You can find a suitable Maverik shaft and then couple with the right lacrosse head by sifting through the wide variety offered by the company.

When it comes to Maverik shafts, you can choose between different construction material, grips types and butt end designs.

This means that at the end of the day, you will always find a Maverik stick which is exactly according to your style and needs.

One of the standout features of most Maverik sticks is that these come with incredible light-weight profiles. As a result, offensive players are able to wield these sticks at great speeds and to great effect.

Although light-weight, these Maverik sticks are very durable at the same time and remain a top choice with many lacrosse professionals.

6. Warrior

Warrior is one of the most recognizable brands when it comes to lacrosse sticks.

The brand is based in Australia and has steadily become one of the top manufacturers of quality sticks for lacrosse players worldwide.

Warrior manufactures premium sticks for both men and women.

Over the years, Warrior has proved its commitment to the game of lacrosse by launching many specially designed lacrosse sticks.

The Warrior Rabil stick, for instance, is inspired by the famous player Paul Rabil and utilizes a head design as used by Rabil himself.

A great thing about Warrior lacrosse sticks is that most of these come with easy-to-read markers along the shaft.

These markers indicate the perfect position to grasp the stick, making it incredibly easy for new players to use the stick with accuracy and the right way.

It is for this reason that Warrior sticks are often preferred by players who are new to lacrosse.

Warrior sticks typically feature a durable construction which means that once you buy a Warrior lacrosse stick, it is going to stay with you for a while.

Freddy Woods

Freddy is the heart and soul of Lacrosse Runner. As a former athlete, Freddy is very passionate about Lacrosse. He keeps up with the sport's changes and innovations and often tests the new equipment released by the leading manufacturers. Read more here