Learn Your Basics: Different Types of Lacrosse Sticks (2023 Guide)

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Lacrosse is a popular sport that has been around for centuries. However, playing lacrosse requires specialized equipment, including the lacrosse stick.

Many types of lacrosse sticks are designed to accommodate different positions and personal preference choices.

From basic wooden sticks to modern composite variations, these options offer different advantages and features that will enhance your experience on the playing field.


Take Away Key Points:

  • The length of a lacrosse stick is important as it determines the amount of control the player has and the ease of dodging defenders.
  • The width of a stick's head also matters; if it is off, the player will get penalized.
  • More advanced players may want to use an appropriate lacrosse head that allows for more intricate adjustments, such as pocket depth. Deeper pockets offer better ball control, while shallower pockets are suited for a quicker release.
  • Ultimately, selecting the right type and size of lacrosse stick for each individual depends on personal preference.

What Are the Parts of a Lacrosse Stick?

A lacrosse stick consists of three main parts: the shaft, head, and pocket. The shaft is the handle-like portion of the stick and is usually made of either aluminum or composite material.

The head contains a deep pocket and a stringing system that helps to connect the shaft with the head. Lastly, the pocket is two-to-three balls deep and features mesh pocket material for gripping lacrosse balls when shooting and blocking shots.

types of women's lacrosse sticks

Difference in Lacrosse Sticks by Position

Lacrosse players must choose their stick carefully. They come in three specialized variations: the attack/midfield short stick, the defensive long stick, and the goalie stick.

Each of the positions has different stick lengths.

Best lacrosse sticks are specifically designed to meet the requirements of a different position, featuring varying shaft lengths, pocket depths, and head widths. With the right stick, players can maximize their game on the field.

1. Attack/Midfield lacrosse stick (short stick)

Lacrosse shaft

An attack/midfield lacrosse stick features a short length than the traditional one, designed to provide better maneuverability to players in those positions for midfield players.

These modifications help generate more power for shots and passes and quicker releases when dodging or cutting across the field for offensive players.

The length of the attack/midfield offensive sticks is the shortest type among the three main types of lacrosse sticks, making it more convenient for ball carriers to protect themselves from defensive pressure.

This is done deliberately to give offensive players a better advantage on the field, as the shorter stick can make it more difficult for defensive players to land forceful stick checks on them. It's also easier to dodge defenders.

Stick shaft length: 40-42 inches

Lacrosse head

Attackers and midfield players typically choose lacrosse heads of around 6 inches in width rather than 10 inches. This offers them more control over the lacrosse ball as it is held securely within a pocket. There is also less chance of the ground balls flying out due to limited movement within the pocket created by its narrow size.

Head size: 6-10 inches


The pocket of a midfield/attack lacrosse short stick is typically one ball deep and should be no lower than the lowermost surface of the head sidewall holes, according to NFHS and NCAA rules.

High pockets are pointedly used by attackers and midfielders for quick passes and shots due to the ball's ability to stay secure in the pocket.

Attack lacrosse sticks and pocket depth must be flatter to scoop ground ball pickups successfully.

Though convenient, high pockets also make it difficult to cradle with one hand since it is hard for the ball to drop down into a secure spot in the bottom half of the stick.

2. Defensive lacrosse stick

Lacrosse shaft

Defensive lacrosse sticks feature a long, slender shaft to help protect defenders from attacks. The longer shaft creates additional distance between the opposing team, giving the defender more time and space to react.

The rigid structure of the defensive stick shaft also offers superior control over the ball, enabling accurate clearances that can reach the far end of the field.

Alongside these advantages, defensive players may find that a longer shaft adds more confidence for defensive transitions and intercepts. These are the most obvious lacrosse stick differences between offensive and defensive sticks.

Shaft length: 52-72 inches

Lacrosse head

The wide head of a defensive lacrosse stick is typically larger than an offensive stick, measuring between 6 and 10 inches. Though this difference in size may seem slight, it serves an important purpose in the game for defensive players.

The larger head offers increased ball control, providing defenders with greater accuracy during clearances and extra confidence while transitioning the ball upfield.

This difference in defensive head width also reflects the contrasting responsibilities between the offense and defense - a defensive player often needs to execute quick but precise maneuvers to clear the ball away from their goal.

When defenders position their sticks in passing lanes, the increased surface area gives them a greater chance of getting a stick on an opposing pass. The wider size of lacrosse heads also offers more stability, improving the lacrosse shaft and head durability when enduring defensive contact.

Head size: 6-10 inches


Though the head size may differ, the pocket depth of a defensive lacrosse stick is identical to that of an offensive player stick.

This ensures that players can move quickly and effectively with a single type of stick, regardless of whether they are on offense or defense. The pocket also helps to enhance ball control while enabling players to throw properly powerful shots with greater accuracy.

Therefore, having a consistent pocket in both offensive and defensive sticks can be essential for successful gameplay.

3. Goalie lacrosse stick

Lacrosse shaft

The goalie lacrosse stick shaft is constructed slightly differently than a typical defensive or offensive stick.

The goalie's shaft is typically longer to provide the goalkeeper with additional reach and leverage when defending against shots. This increased length gives the goalkeeper more range when attempting to block shots and also helps to create greater torque when making saves.

Additionally, some goalie sticks feature reinforced sidewalls, making them more durable and able to withstand more intense physical contact while maintaining their shape and performance.

Shaft length: 52-72 inches

Lacrosse head

types of stringing for lacrosse sticks

The head of a goalie stick is typically 10-12 inches in size, making it larger than both offensive and defensive sticks.

This increased size gives the goalkeeper more surface area to work with when blocking shots and helps to create greater torque when making saves.

Additionally, some goalie sticks feature reinforced sidewalls, making them more durable and able to withstand more intense physical contact while maintaining their shape and performance.

Lacrosse head size: 10-12 inches


The pocket depth of a goalie lacrosse stick is usually two to three balls deep and features mesh material to help get a better grip on the ball when blocking shots.

This larger pocket size also helps to create a more powerful throwing motion and adds an extra layer of flexibility for goaltenders who need to make quick motion adjustments.

Additionally, the deeper pockets help keep the lacrosse ball from coming into contact with the sidewalls of the stick, which might otherwise cause it to spin off target.

Advanced lacrosse players may desire greater adjustment options on the stick.

This allows them to customize their equipment to fit their changing playing style and include more intricate adjustments according to personal preferences.

The player's pocket depth is one area that can vary from individual to individual, as deeper pockets offer better ball control, and shallower pockets facilitate a quicker release.

Difference in Lacrosse Sticks by Material

Lacrosse sticks can be made from various shaft material options, such as aluminum, composite, and traditional wood.

1. Aluminum

Aluminum lacrosse shafts are lighter, making it easier to control the stick and offering more power for shots. A long stick is of a different stick length than an offensive lacrosse shaft, offering defensive players better control.

Aluminum lacrosse sticks are some of the most popular sticks on the market today due to their weight, power, and overall control. The aluminum shafts are much lighter than traditional wooden sticks and provide more power for shots.

The lightweight materials used in aluminum stick construction also allow for more accuracy when hitting the ball, allowing for more precision passes and shots. Furthermore, aluminum lacrosse sticks have a softer touch when catching the ball, allowing for better control and accuracy in ball handling.

2. Composite

Composite shafts are typically balanced for better accuracy and control during a game.

Composite lacrosse sticks are becoming increasingly popular due to their balance and control during a game. Composite sticks offer a lighter weight than traditional wood sticks but still maintain good durability.

These sticks are usually balanced for better accuracy and provide superior control over the ball's motion when catching or passing it around. They also typically have a softer feel than aluminum when catching the ball, offering more cushion and an easier grip when controlling the ball.

3. Wood

Wood lacrosse sticks tend to be heavier and less durable than their aluminum or composite counterparts but offer a softer feel when catching the ball and add more control over the ball's motion.

Wooden lacrosse sticks remain the traditional option for many players, and for a good reason. Wooden sticks are often more durable and provide better ball control due to their heavier weight.

Wooden lacrosse sticks also offer a softer touch than aluminum or composite sticks, providing players with a natural grip when controlling the ball.

Furthermore, wooden lacrosse sticks can be customized with different patterns of grooves and shapes along the stick's length to personalize the playing experience further.

Customization is often a personal preference of many players.

Difference in Lacrosse Sticks by Gender

Lacrosse sticks have various features that enable different genders to play lacrosse in a way that suits them best.

Men's lacrosse sticks are typically longer than women's, ranging from 40 to 72 inches, depending on the player's size. Women's lacrosse sticks range from 35-43 inches in length.

Additionally, men's lacrosse heads are wider than women's lacrosse heads with more defined sidewalls, which helps increase the ball retention capabilities when cradling and scooping up ground balls.

Furthermore, there are also gender-specific shafts - men usually use aluminum or composite lacrosse shafts, while women use wooden ones.

Ultimately, these design elements create a lacrosse stick that is balanced for maximum performance and designed around the individual needs of each gender.


What kind of lacrosse stick do I need?

The type of lacrosse stick you should use depends on your skill and preference. For example, beginner players may prefer a lighter composite stick for greater maneuverability, while more advanced players may opt for a heavier wooden stick or titanium for better control.

Consider the kind of game you want to play when making your decision. Additionally, researching different brands and types of sticks can help you find the one best suited to your style of play.

Why do lacrosse defenders have longer sticks?

what are the best lacrosse sticks

Lacrosse defenders typically use longer sticks than other players to give themselves a greater reach and advantage when defending.

These sticks can be up to six feet long and come with features such as a wider lacrosse head design, stiffer material, and extra protection around the throat of the pocket, making them ideal for defensive play.

Longer sticks allow defenders to intercept passes and more easily check opponents from further distances.

What are the different types of lacrosse sticks?

The different types of lacrosse sticks include specialized variations such as defensive, attack/midfield, and goalie sticks offer specific benefits for every kind of player.

What is the most popular lacrosse stick?

The STX Super Power lacrosse shaft is the market's most popular lacrosse stick. It's made from an aluminum alloy that is lightweight yet durable, making it ideal for all levels of play.

The grip is comfortable, and the curves of the design are optimized to offer maximum power when shooting and passing. It comes in multiple colors and sizes, allowing players to customize their look and feel.

What is the strongest lacrosse stick?

The strongest lacrosse stick on the market is the Gait Ice Lacrosse Stick.

This stick is made of a specialized carbon fiber composite that offers unmatched strength and durability. In addition, it's designed with an optimal balance of flex and stiffness to give players maximum control while still providing plenty of power when shooting or passing.

Is a heavier lacrosse stick better?

Generally speaking, a heavier lacrosse stick is not necessarily better than a lighter one. While it can add power when shooting and passing, the added weight can be challenging to control for some players. It's best to find the right balance between weight, stiffness, flex, and length that works for you.

How much should I spend on a lacrosse stick?

The amount you should spend on a lacrosse stick varies depending on your level of play and the features you're looking for.

Generally, entry-level sticks can be purchased for around $50, while top-of-the-line models can cost up to $300. If you're starting, it's best to start with an entry-level model and upgrade as your skills increase.


When choosing the right lacrosse stick, there are various factors to consider, including weight, length, flex, and stiffness.

Ultimately, choosing the perfect stick for you should come down to finding a balance between performance and comfort that meets your individual needs and playing style.

Whether you're just starting or are among advanced players, having the best lacrosse stick can make all the difference in elevating your game.

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