When I first got into lacrosse over 8 years ago, I was just using a stick that I bought from my local store. It wasn’t until I was recommended by my coach that I should cut the stick down as he believed I’d be better suited with a smaller stick.
After I’d cut down the stick to an overall length of 38″ I ended up improving my game quite a bit. And that was just from the stick length.
Youth lacrosse stick sizes vary from the position they play. With Attackers and Midfielders needing shorter sticks for dodging defenders and releasing the ball quickly. Whereas the defence and goalie are allowed and tend to prefer a lot longer sticks.
Youth: Attack 36 – 42 Inches
As an attacking player, your overall stick length including the head should be between 36 and 42 inches. This means that your long shaft should be between 26-30 inches.
As an attackman, you are allowed a to cut your shaft to a minimum of 26 inches. It’s definitely down to your own judgement on the length between 26 and 30 inches.
One thing my coach said to me was don’t make it to short and think more long term. When you change from youth to adult the minimum stick length changes so you don’t want to get really good using a shorter stick to then have to change it later on.
Asking your coach would be more beneficial before deciding on cutting your stick. He’ll be able to help you out and suggest what would be better for you as he’s seen you play and can understand what should be more helpful to you in the long run.
Youth: Midfield 36 – 42 Inches
Like an attackman, the midfielder overall combined stick length will be between 36 and 42 inches long. As a midfielder, you’re allowed a shorter stick than a defence player so your stick can be short enough to control the ball with ease but also keeping it at a decent length in order to generate a lot of power when coming into a shooting situation.
You’ll notice if you’ve ever played in a defensive position and used a long stick that when you change to a shorter stick your able to have much better control of the ball and keeping it secure.
It’s also a lot easier to pick up ground balls with shorter sticks. Which ultimately these are the two primary things you’ll be required to do as a midfield player.
Youth: Defense 26 – 60 Inches
As a defensive player, you’re allowed a longer combined stick length than the attacking players.
With the combined stick and head length being anywhere between 37 to 72 inches long.
One thing you should look out for though is making sure you’re comfortable and strong enough in carrying a long stick.
As a rule of thumb, a lot of defensive players normally have a combined stick and head length the same height as they are with their helmet on.
It must never be taller!
If you find yourself struggling with a long stick there’s no problem in cutting it down to a stick length that you’re more comfortable in carrying.
Youth: Goalie 40 – 72 Inches
A goalies stick is down to personal preference and there are benefits to longer and shorter sticks.
A short stick, is obviously lighter and therefore you’re able to have quicker reaction times which should allow you to stop more goals from being scored.
But a longer stick allows the goalie to intercept passes being passed along the crease. And longer sticks also allow the keeper to throw the ball further giving them more opportunities to and being more unpredictable to the opposition team when trying to mark the passing lanes.
Most goalies tend to opt for a shorter shaft of around 40 inches. Bringing the combined total stick to around 52 inches with the head.
Youth: Stick Size Chart
- Attack: Min 36 Inches – Max 42 Inches
- Midfield: Min 36 Inches – Max 42 Inches
- Defense: Min 37 Inches – Max 72 Inches
- Goalie: Min 40 Inches – Max 72 Inches
When it comes down to the perfect sized lacrosse stick for each position this is based on personal preference of the player. Some players perform better with shorter sticks as these are lighter and easier to manoeuvre.
Whereas some players prefer a longer stick to generate more power and range for passing the ball and shooting.
Cutting the Lacrosse Stick Shaft
Before you cut your stick make sure you don’t go too short all of a sudden and cut the stick down in small bits at a time and give it a few training sessions to test the new length. The last thing you want to do is cut the stick to short and not be able to play with that short of a stick so you need to buy a new one.
Step 1: Deciding the Length
Step 1 to cut the shaft is to pick the length by looking at the size chart for your position. Make sure to double-check your marking so you’re cutting the stick to the right length.
Deciding on which side to cut is ultimately down to if it’s a new stick or not. If you’re cutting a new stick then I’d suggest cutting the butt end. The opposite side to the head screw hole. This way you don’t have to drill another hole to attach the head.
However, if it’s a used stick and there’s a bit of damage to one side. Then you’re probably better off cutting the damaged end off.
Step 2: Secure before Cutting
Make sure you secure the shaft before cutting so you can get a clean straight cut. If you’ve got a vice handy than put the stick in the vice so it’s safe to cut and won’t be moving about.
Step 3: Cut and Sand
Once you’ve secured your shaft so it won’t move you can cut the stick with a hacksaw. Make sure your precise and keep the line straight. Using a hacksaw with a small blade and small teeth will help.
Go slow. Let the saw do the work. It’s always best to use your other hand to hold the stick in place and stop the stick from snapping when you’re almost through to avoid any damage to the stick.
Once you’ve made the cut make sure to sand the rough edges down until it’s nice and smooth. Then reattach the end cap or head depending on which side you’ve cut.
If you’ve cut the butt end where the end cap makes sure it’s really smooth before you putt the butt back on. You don’t want the metal to cut through the butt and injure you or another player.
Helpful tips for beginners
If you’re a beginner in lacrosse making sure you’ve read up on all the rules is your number one step. Although your coach will be there to tell you where you’re going wrong and put you on the right track.
As a beginner, your first thing is to learn how to throw properly. Finding a stick that has a wide face would probably be more beneficial as a wider face makes catching the ball easier. And a flatter face will help you when trying to pick up any balls that are on the floor.
A lot of coaches will suggest a wide head because it will be a lot easier to master all the basic fundamentals that’ll improve your game. Once you start to master the basics you can then start adjusting your head.
Opting for a shorter stick will help you keep more control of the ball. And shorter sticks help you dodge out of the way of defenders and score in more difficult situations.
If you’re playing a more defensive role then a long stick would probably be recommended by your coach as it’s a lot easier to keep your opponents further away, and easier to block shots.
A longer stick also allows you to increase the range of your passing. Perfect for playing the long balls to your teammates who are further away. This makes you less predictable.
An aluminium shaft makes the overall stick a lot lighter and aluminium tends to be more durable and easier to cut if you need to adjust the length of your shaft.
As you become more of an advanced player you’ll tend to adjust your heads pocket depth to a more deeper pocket. This allows for better control of the ball. However, having a deeper pocket does come with some disadvantages such as taking longer to release the ball compared to a short pocket.
Like with deciding the perfect length of your stick. Choosing and adjusting the pocket depth is down to the player’s preference and what’s better for them.
At the end of the day. Nobody likes losing but don’t worry too much about your stick length and pocket depth. The main thing is you go onto the pitch and enjoy yourself, make friends and have a good time whilst trying to win as many games as you and your team can.