The box lacrosse goalie position is like a combination of the field lacrosse goalie and ice hockey goalie positions. A box goalie is focused on protecting a smaller net area and, due to small rink size, requires more padding and inherits many aspects of the hockey position. It can be easy to get lost trying to figure out all of the best gear with so much to shop for and this article aims to help make understanding the equipment and which equipment to look for easier!
Box Lacrosse Goalie Equipment
Box lacrosse goalies need a laundry list of equipment in order to play. The list includes a stick, gloves, helmet, chest protector, and shin guards. While this may seem mostly similar to the list for a field lacrosse goalie, many of the items are quite distinct from their field
Box Lacrosse Goalie Stick
Goalie sticks still consist of a head and a shaft. There are three options for a box goalie head: an NCAA legal head, a traditional wooden head with a more triangular shape, and combo of the NCAA legal plastic with the wooden head triangle shape. In some cases, the league you’re playing in may dictate which you will use. Please consult your team’s coach before buying a goalie stick so you know which kind are allowed. However, many modern goalies are using the third option due to light weight and larger area coverage of the triangular heads compared to field goalie heads. The Warrior Wall lacrosse head is an excellent box-specific plastic triangular head.
A box goalie stick must be between 40 and 72 inches from the butt end to the top of the head, just like in field lacrosse. This leaves you with plenty of room to pick a shaft based on your height and balance between comfort while holding the stick and throwing the ball.
Box Lacrosse Goalie Gloves
You can wear hockey goalie gloves to play box lacrosse goalie. However, there are gloves from lacrosse companies specifically made for box lacrosse goalies which include extra padding on the exterior to protect the hands as the knuckle side of a goalie’s free hand is frequently used to block shots which contrasts the free hand’s function in hockey. There is also extra protection around the wrists that are not provided by hockey gloves. The Under Armour Headline gloves are a popular pick for box team goalies due to their price, comfort, and protection.
Box Lacrosse Goalie Helmet
You can wear a standard field lacrosse helmet to play box lacrosse goalie. The other option is an ice hockey mask. Custom painted hockey cages and field lacrosse helmets are about equally popular among current professional NLL goalies. So, if you are already a field lacrosse or hockey goalie, you can try the position out without needing a new helmet.
Box Lacrosse Goalie Throat Guards
As mentioned earlier, goalies can either where a field lacrosse helmet or a hockey goalie helmet. If you choose a lacrosse helmet, then you’ll need to pair it with a lacrosse throat guard to protect your throat and upper chest.
Box Lacrosse Goalie Chest Protector
Box goalie chest protectors provide much more coverage than the field counterparts. Padding is thicker in general and provides coverage for the player’s entire arm. One piece chest protectors are generally required by most leagues and hockey pads will not be a sufficient substitute in this case as they do not provide adequate protection for lacrosse shots. The Warrior Burn Fatboy is a particularly durable chest protector that is popular amongst goalies.
Box Lacrosse Goalie Shin Guards
Box goalie leg pads or leg guards are massive hard plastic guards that cover from the toes to above the knee. To further protect the lower body, goalies wear hockey goalie pants and box goalie jocks for groin protection. For leg guards, the McKenney LG line of pads is a trusted brand for goalies with sizes for all ages!
Box Lacrosse Goalie Shoes
Like the runners, box goalies typically wear box lacrosse turf shoes.
How To Play Box Lacrosse Goalie
The goal of a box goalie is, of course, to stop shooters from scoring. To do that, box goalies play an arc, much like a field lacrosse goalie. The “ready” stance of a box goalie is meant to maximize goal coverage. This is achieved by crouching to leave the smallest possible gap between the legs and the head of the stick and elbows are typically flared outwards to reduce the amount of the net a scorer can see. Generally, the goal is to stop shots with your body and control the rebound which contrasts the field position’s stick-centric idea for saves. For this reason, the general ideology of the position is to make yourself as big as possible and trust your pads will absorb the shots.
Box Lacrosse Goalie Vs Field Lacrosse Goalie
Field lacrosse goalies have fewer pads, a smaller stick with a more rounded head, and are focused primarily on mobility due to the larger net they have to protect. Box lacrosse goalies have many more pads, have longer sticks, and guard smaller nets all of which de-emphasize mobility. Although, that doesn’t stop box goalies from making incredibly mobile saves at times. A particular disadvantage of the box goalie position is the inability to turn around when the ball is behind the cage (…you can, you just wouldn’t want to) and the lack of vision can be taken advantage of from athletic diving shots from behind the goal.
One additional detail that separates field and box goalies, unless the ball is in their stick, only hold their stick with one hand and position the longer shaft under the arms and shoulder for stability. The free hand is frequently used to make saves, as with hockey goalies, and also can pick the ball off the ground which is a unique attribute to the position. Goalies do tend to use similar tactics in both versions of the sport such as moving higher in the crease to reduce the shooting lane (see Dillon Ward in both versions of the game) and baiting shooters (i.e. staying to low to bait a shot high).
Box Lacrosse Goalie Fights
This article sums up the box lacrosse goalie position and the equipment required to begin playing it. In summary, if you are new to the position but play field lacrosse or hockey goalie, try to reuse as many pads as possible. In the best case scenario, you may only have to buy new gloves, leg guards, and a chest protector! If you need more equipment, talk to your team’s coach as it can be common the team has gear for goalies already due to the cost of all of the gear.