For newcomers to lacrosse, especially for entry level boys helmets and pads, it is important to get a good fit.
There are loads of online retailers for lacrosse gear for the experienced shopper. Important!
Boys helmets should be White with a Royal blue visor. If you have one already that is different, no need to buy a new one. If you are getting a helmet, especially for 2nd - 4th grade, please get Blue with White visor.
Mouth guards are required at all levels of play. For girls, the mouth guard must be a high visibility color, not clear (visible to referee). Recommend getting a good quality and good fit. Check out defender or shock doctor.
Sticks: If new, they may need to be cut shorter.
Girls: minimum field stick is 35.5" (measured end to end including head), which is extremely short. While grasping the shaft just below the head, and extending the shaft along the outside of her outstretched arm, if the stick extends past her shoulder, then it's probably too long for her to handle and should be cut shorter. For Goalies, a girls goalie stick must not exceed 48" from end to end.
Boys: If you put the butt end on the ground and stand the stick in front of the boy, it should not be higher than this nose. Minimum length is 40" butt to end of the head. For attack/mid, max length is 42". For defense, the max length is 72 inches. However a 'long pole' is not recommended below 5th grade and even then it should be cut so that it is no longer than the boy is tall.
Watch out for narrow throated or 'pinched' heads - new 3" rule - see USLax info.
Mouth guard (cannot be white,red orclear)
optional: thin gloves
Things to Consider When Buying a Lacrosse Stick:
It is very important to buy a stick that fits your skill level. New players should consider a head with a wider throat area which makes it easier to learn the art of catching the lacrosse ball. Most performance heads will be narrower at the base of the head and form a channel to guide the ball for accuracy but this makes catching the ball more difficult.
Stick Length - Men's attack sticks run between 40-42 inches in length whereas men's defense sticks usually are between 52-72 inches in length. Women's sticks are sold in one standard length for both attack and defense positions but can be cut shorter if necessary.
Stick Weight - Lighter heads and shafts add maneuverability and allow you to generate more speed on your shot. This is especially important for players in attack positions. Heavier, thicker shafts increase the strength of your stick which is often preferred by defensive players.
Mesh - The softer the mesh in the lacrosse head, the more forgiving it is, thus making it easier to catch the ball. Stiff mesh or dura-mesh provides more power on your shots and passes. Women's pockets must be maintained so that the ball still shows above the top rail of the head for the stick to be legal.
Lower side rails allow for a deeper pocket, which helps you maintain control of the ball while being checked.
Glossary of Lacrosse Terms:
Cant (n) - similar to offset, the angle at which the head is tilted or positioned; forward cant allows the ball to sit higher in the pocket so players can release the ball quicker.
Offset (n) - angle at which the front of the head is curved if viewing it from the side; a full-offset head maximizes control and feel whereas non-offset (no curve) or mid-offset heads are recommended for beginners for learning how to throw properly.
Pocket (n) - the stringing or mesh in the head of the stick that catches, holds and directs the ball when passing or shooting.
Scoop (n) - the top part of the lacrosse head used to "scoop" up the ball.
Sidewall (n) - either side of a lacrosse stick head.
Whip (n) - the amount of downward direction in the balls path coming out of the stick on an overhead shot as a result of contact with the shooting strings.