The first rule of lacrosse sticks for youth players is to find one that the athlete can handle comfortably while remaining within official guidelines. Youngsters should be strong enough to wield the stick and to do so easily. Experts recommend that the stick length be equal to the height of the player – never taller.
It’s important before parents go shopping for a stick to determine if their league allows sticks shorter than 40 inches. Parents should also be aware that they may be back to buy another stick if their child is still playing when they reach middle school. To ensure the safety and comfort of their child, parents should have the stick cut themselves. Many retailers specializing in sporting equipment offer measuring and cutting services.
The length of the stick for young male lacrosse players in the 4 to 7-year age range is determined by individual height. Lacrosse sticks for girls are typically determined by measuring the arm length from the back of the player’s shoulder to the tip of the index finger. The following are typical stick lengths for players over the age of seven.
- Attackers will require a short stick that measures 36 inches.
- Midfield players should have a stick with a shaft of 36 to 42 inches.
- Goalies can have a stick ranging from 37 to 72 inches and is dependent upon personal preferences.
- Defensemen can have a stick with a combined length of 37 to 72 inches long.
For the youngest players, a shorter stick can help them gain confidence. A good rule of thumb is if a player can’t cradle without the butt end of the stick being exposed, consider cutting it. There are a number of variables that can affect optimum stick length for the individual, among them are youngsters that are shorter or taller for their age. The important thing is that the player is comfortable.