The size of your lacrosse stick can vary, depending on the position and age group you play in. It can be confusing, especially for new players, but you need to know whether your stick is legal prior to stepping on the field. Coaches will not always notice an illegal stick, but refs may initiate stick checks during the game. An illegal stick will lead to a penalty for your team and you will not be able to use the stick again! Do not waste your money on illegal sticks and force yourself to buy another one. In this article, we will walk you through the different stick lengths for different levels of play. It is also common to cut sticks down for younger players for comfort or personal preference. As a bonus, we included these steps at the end of the article.
How Long Is A Lacrosse Stick?
Lacrosse sticks, including both the shaft and head, can vary from around 37 inches (~3 feet) to 72 inches (6 feet) depending on the position you play and sometimes your preferences! In general, lacrosse heads will generally add anywhere from 10 to 12 inches to the end of your shaft. All lengths listed in this article will include both the head and the shaft.
How To Measure A Lacrosse Stick
The length of a lacrosse stick includes both the head and shaft. Use a tape measure to determine the length of your lacrosse stick from the topmost point of the lacrosse head to the end of the shaft.
Attack & Midfield Stick Length
Attack and midfielders use what are commonly called “short sticks” or “shorties”. These sticks have the strictest size regulations of the three main categories of lacrosse sticks.
Starting at the 12U level, short sticks are required to be between 40 and 42 inches. This convention remains the same through the professional levels of the sport. Lacrosse shafts and head sizes are fairly standardized across the industry so you won’t have to worry about most head and shaft combinations when shopping for a lacrosse stick. Box lacrosse regulations also require sticks to be within this range.
Below the 12U level, short sticks must be between 37 and 42 inches. Unless the player needs a stick less than 40 inches long for comfort, you can buy a youth lacrosse stick that will last a player years. In 7U and below, players (except goalies) only use short sticks and sticks may be allowed to be shorter than 37 inches and the club coach should be consulted on legal stick lengths.
Defense Stick Length
In field lacrosse, defensemen start using longer sticks at the 10U age level. The maximum and minimum length requirements do change with age.
Like short sticks, the requirements for stick length conform to high school and college lengths starting at the 12U level. Starting at this level, a defenseman’s stick is required to be between 52 inches and 72 inches. Typically, you will see defensemen playing with 72-inch sticks as using smaller sticks takes away the advantages the extra length gives defenders.
At the 10U level, the long poles are allowed to be within 47 to 52 inches. If you don’t want to buy a stick at this length because a longer stick will be required in a year or two, when players will likely start using 72-inch sticks, you can buy an old, used adult-length defensive shaft and cut it. Cutting a lacrosse stick will be covered later in the article. If you decide to just buy a youth stick, you will at least only have to replace the shaft when the player requires a larger stick.
Goalie Stick Length
Goalie sticks are the most customizable of the three stick categories and it allows goalies to use the perfect stick for them.
Starting at 12U and up, the goalie stick 40 – 72 inches. This means you can essentially have a short stick or a defensive shaft with a goalie head on it. Almost all field goalies will use sticks that are on the shorter end of that range and it is not uncommon to see a goalie use a shaft for a short stick as a goalie shaft. But, clearly it’s not required to be.
Goalies in box lacrosse are required to use sticks abiding by the same range but they will use sticks on the longer end of that range due to the different way goalies play in the two variants of the sport.
At 10U and below, goalie sticks are required to be between 37 and 54 inches. At this age, you could use a short stick you have lying around for the shaft and buy only a goalie head. If the player grows out of that stick length, they can buy a slightly longer goalie shaft for competition at older age groups. Shorter sticks for goalies are likely allowed at levels 7U and below and the player’s coach should be consulted for legal stick lengths.
Lacrosse Stick Size Chart
How To Cut A Lacrosse Shaft
As mentioned earlier in the article, it may be beneficial to cut an old shaft for a youth defenseman, or maybe a goalie, rather than buy a new stick destined to be replaced. You can also make two short sticks from a single defensive shaft! Another reason to cut a stick would be to reduce the length of the stick by a few inches for the comfort of the player.
To cut a lacrosse stick, you need something to measure a length (tape measure, meter stick, etc.), a marker, and a hack saw. A miter box can also be useful to keep your saw lined up with the markings on the stick.
Measure, with a tape measure or meter stick, where you want to cut. Mark that spot with a sharpie or other kind of marker.
Measure again!!!!! If your tape measure does not line up with your original marking, wipe the mark off the stick and start over.
Put your stick on a surface that will not flex. Make sure you can hold the stick down without it slipping. Additionally, you want the surface underneath the stick to be a work surface that you do not mind sawing into a little.
Cut the stick along the marking you made in the earlier steps. After breaking through the initial metal layer on one side, you can rotate the stick slightly to continue working. This can help accelerate the process slightly. But continue cutting until your stick is in two clean pieces!