Helmet


a lacrosse helmet

This is a typical lacrosse helmet. Although this particular one is a little banged up from wear and tear. The Helmet is essential to your safety because it protects your brain from concussions as well as shots or sticks hitting you in the face. It is also crucial to wear a mouthpeice, as you can see there is one connected to this helmet. Make sure to get a helmet that fits very snug because any loose room inside of the helmet just increases the chance of injury.


Gloves


lacrosse gloves

Gloves are important because they protect the hands from the large metal poles that are flying around when you play lacrosse. Remember that it is illegal to cut of the finger parts of the gloves, or to tamper with them in any way that compromises the safety mechanisms. It is actually noticably harder to catch, cradle, and throw for the first time with gloves rather than without them.


Stick


a lacrosse stick head

The stick is comprised of three parts: the head/pocket, the shaft, and the butt. The head is made usually from plastic, and comes in many different shapes that claim to either pick up ground balls better, throw better, or shoot better. The pocket is made up of intertwined string, frequently called the mesh, that can be soft, hard, or traditional. All three have advantages and disadvantages and each player should find the one that suits him best. The shaft is usually made of metal alloy nowadays, but used to be made out of wood. Defensive poles are about 5 feet long while attackers and midfielders poles are only about 3 feet. The butt is basically just a rubber or plastic stop at the end of the pole.


Shoulder Pads


lacrosse shoulder pads

Shoulder pads are important to protect your chest and back. There are variations of many different styles. For instance, there are extremely light weight foam shoulder pads that provide minimal protection, or there are big bulky plastic plated shoulder pads that may hinder your ability to make fast enough movements. Again it is all about personal preference. As you can see my shoulder pads fall more into the first catagory.


Elbow Pads


lacrosse elbow pads

Elbow pads essentially protect your entire arm from the wrath of hard stick checks. As a defender, getting checked in the arm is relatively infrequent, so the more practical route is to go with small, light-weight elbow pads that do not hinder movement. As an attackman, however, it is wise to get stronger and longer elbow pads. Either that or get used to having a lot of bruises on your arms.


Cleats


one cleat

Cleats are really sefl-explanatory. You need to have a good grip on the ground because lacrosse is a sport of quick cuts and angles. Getting light weight cleats literally helps you to be lighter on your feet and thus, faster.