As lacrosse equipment evolved through the 2000s, it started to feel like the offensive players were reaping all of the benefits. In the early 2010s, the NCAA starting making changes to the legal dimensions of lacrosse heads by making them wider, all in the hopes that it’d become easier for defenders to take the ball away. As it turned out, performing takeaway checks still required a ton of practice and precision. In attempt to bolster the defensive arsenal, Gait released the Gait D lacrosse head – an innovative head that comes with can opener hooks on each side. The Gait D stirred up quite the controversy and sparked conversation around its legality. In this article, we provide a full review of the gait d lacrosse head, and discuss whether or not it is legal at each level of play.
Gait D Lacrosse Head Review
What Is The Gait D Lacrosse Head?
The Gait D lacrosse head is designed to be wide and stiff, like most popular defensive heads However, the Gait D also includes protrusions at the top corners of the head, called “Ball Dislodgement Technology”. These are meant to function as hooks that can “grip” an offensive player’s stick or pads when being checked.
Gait D Lacrosse Head Can Opener Hooks
Gait refers to the Gait D’s innovative protrusions as as Can Opener Hooks because they are designed to assist with executing the can opener check, a popular takeaway check for long pole defenders. You can see Gait athlete Graeme Hossack utilizing the head in both field and box lacrosse with the Archers and Halifax Thunderbirds in the PLL and NLL, respectively, demonstrating potential in both main versions of the sport.
- Can opener hooks help with can opener checks and lift checks
- Innovative –first ever Ball Dislodgement Technology of its kind
- Slim design and strong materials lead to a stiff but light head
- Wide scoop is great for ground balls and intercepting passes
At $119.99, it is a mid- to high-end price point compared to other defensive heads.
An attempt at innovation for defensive equipment aside from stiffness and width for ground balls and intercepting passes is actually pretty refreshing in the sport. However, the hooks will likely be seldom used for their intended purpose. Throwing a can opener check requires speed and precision, and these hooks are only useful if the hooks are pointed in the right direction when the check is thrown, which requires even more control. The hooks would be more useful for hooking under an offensive player’s elbow pads to perform lifts or v-holds, and the latter case would only apply to short stick defenders. The head does not provide enough utility for defensive players and recent rule changes, made due to safety concerns (i.e. slap checks, hooking of the facemask or helmet), make the head immediately obsolete.
Is The Gait D Lacrosse Head Banned?
Yes, the Gait D lacrosse head is banned at the youth, high school, and collegiate levels of lacrosse. The Gait D lacrosse head is not banned at the professional level, in both the PLL and NLL.
Is The Gait D Lacrosse Head Legal In High School?
No, the Gait D lacrosse head is not legal in high school. According the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) and USA Lacrosse rule changes, any head with protrusions or sharp edges is banned, effective August 2022.
Is The Gait D Lacrosse Head Legal In NCAA?
No, the Gait D lacrosse head is not legal in NCAA. The NCAA rules committee banned the head from competition in January 2023.
Is The Gait D Lacrosse Head Legal In Boys Youth Lacrosse?
No, the Gait D lacrosse head is not legal in boys youth lacrosse. According to the NFHS and USA Lacrosse rule changes, any head with protrusions or sharp edges is banned, effective August 2022.
Gait D Lacrosse Head Replacement
If you’re looking for a substitute to the Gait D, the most similar head on the market is the Gait Torq D. The two sidewall rails do not come quite as close together as in the Gait D and, of course, there are no hooks or protrusions. At the time of writing, Gait Lacrosse is offering exchanges for players who bought the new head and will exchange it with the Gait Torq D, a legal defensive head that is similar in shape, but without protrusions. Gait also mentions that it has plans to release a Gait D2 head in the future.
Aside from Gait, two great defensive head options are the STX Stallion 900 and the Maverik Tank 2. Both are stiff, durable heads with wide scoops priced similar to the Torq. A potential budget option for defenders is the Under Armor Command (not the 2.0) head, which can be found for around $45 new at the time of writing.
For more options check out our full list of best defensive lacrosse heads.
How do you put a new head on a lacrosse stick?
Putting a new head on a lacrosse stick is simple. First, if you currently have a head on the stick, remove the screw from the head and shaft. The head should then slide right off the shaft. If there is resistance, that is fine as there is probably tape somewhere on your stick. Slide the new head on such that the screw hole on the throat of the new head and on the shaft are on the same side. These holes may not line up. In that case, you can drill a new hole if it is not too close to the existing hole. When the holes line up, place the screw back in and you should be good to play lacrosse!
Does Gary Gait own Gait lacrosse?
No, Gait Lacrosse is owned by Paul Gait, the equally legendary brother of Gary Gait.