In an effort to better prepare your athletes for the upcoming lacrosse season, the LYL coaching staff has prepared the following equipment guidelines and recommendations:
Sticks MUST include a hard mesh pocket. Hard mesh has a special coating that helps create a proper pocket shape, and help the pocket retain its shape and performance even in wet weather. There are several options available; ask your coach for advice.
Many lower-prices sticks come pre-strung with soft mesh (like the STX AV8); soft mesh is initially easier to work with, but performs poorly over time and loses its effectiveness in wet weather. If your child’s stick throws straight down…soft mesh is usually the problem.
Overly stiff mesh found in low-end sticks (like the Warrior Joker…a popular option that we’ve seen a lot of for the newer players) has almost no give, resulting in the lack of a pocket. This is almost possible to learn to catch and throw with, or to keep possession of the ball when running. If you’ve seen your child in practices where the balls flies out almost immediately, often times this is the culprit.
Poorly performing mesh leads to difficulty in mastering lacrosse fundamentals such as catching and throwing, and translates into frustration for beginning players and their teammates. Lacrosse in New England is played in rain (OR snow) or shine, so it is important that an athlete’s equipment is appropriate for the elements.
A good boy’s lacrosse pocket should look like this:
To help shape and maintain a good pocket, get one of these pocket stretchers for $20:
Many players make the mistake of only using their stick for an hour at practice a few times a week, and are surprised when it doesn’t result in a nice deep pocket. Sticks need to be constantly worked to keep their ideal shape, so if they aren’t using them every day (which they should be!) then a pocket stretcher is a great way to go. Better yet, throw against a wall on non-practice days!
If the coaches determine your child’s mesh is unsuitable, expect they will tell you or your child that they need to have it restrung. WE CANNOT STRESS HOW IMPORTANT THIS PIECE OF EQUIPMENT IS FOR PLAYER DEVELOPMENT!
Sticks can be restrung through Coach Gannon, ComLax, or any lacrosse-specialty store for around $25-30 using hard mesh. Please specify hard mesh if having it done at a store.
2. Protective Gear:
All players MUST be equipped at practices and games with the following equipment, or they will not be able to participate:
Chest protector (with reinforced sternum)
New players can purchase an all-inclusive protective equipment package at Tricon. These packages include chest protector, elbow pads, and gloves.
Helmets need to be purchased separately. In general the Cascade and Brine series of helmets are very good, and fit a wide variety of heads; it is up to the players comfort level which brand they choose.
ANY helmet, whether a new purchase or hand-me-down, MUST be NOCSAE approved for use. Players without a NOCSAE approved helmet (you can find this designation on a sticker on the inside or outside of the helmet) will likely be asked to sit out during games. US Lacrosse is very strict about this as it is a player safety issue.
If your player is U13 and above purchasing a new helmet, please purchase the Lexington High School color package for their helmet so we can be as consistent as possible (royal blue shell, yellow visor and chin guard). These are available at Tricon, or contact Coach Gannon.
Protective cups and mouthguards are not sport-specific and can be purchased at any sports retailer. Tricon Sports in Lexington has many options of both.
Intermediate to advanced players will have likely formed a preference for specific gear based on 1) their position, 2) what their friends have, or 3) brand loyalty. In general, defensive players require less arm protection, attackmen require the most.
Please send your child equipped to play a fast-paced sport on a variety of slippery surfaces, both natural and artificial. Many surrounding towns have natural grass fields which can be slippery, even when dry. Artificial turf can be very slippery when wet.
In general, soccer or football cleats work as well as lacrosse-specific cleats. Baseball cleats or running shoes are not appropriate; baseball cleats are not designed for quick cuts and lots of running, and running shoes lack proper traction and lateral support.
Please ensure that your child’s footwear is secured properly. Coaches spend a lot of time tying or retying footwear at practices and games, which cuts down on time spent with other athletes.
The staff at Tricon, or any major sports store can help you determine the proper choice for your child.
4. New Equipment Purchases:
LYL has secured team pricing at both Tricon Sports in Lexington, and through Sportstop.com, an online lacrosse specialty store based in New Hampshire.
Tricon has everything that new or younger players will need and should be your first choice. We have asked the staff at Tricon to ensure that all sticks purchased for LYL include hard mesh. They will begin stocking lacrosse equipment in mid to late-February. Please ask the staff at Tricon if your stick choice is approved for Lexington Youth Lacrosse.
If your player requests a specific piece of equipment that is not available at Tricon, please contact Coach Gannon (
) to see if it is available at a discount