10 Mistakes When Choosing a Lacrosse Stick: Avoid These Common Blunders

Selecting the right lacrosse stick is essential for your game, whether you’re a beginner picking up the stick for the first time or an experienced player refining your skills.

A lacrosse stick that complements your position, playing style, and personal preference can drastically improve your performance on the field.

However, You must pay attention to mistakes when choosing a lacrosse stick.

Understanding the common pitfalls when selecting a lacrosse stick can save you time, frustration, and the potential cost of purchasing the wrong equipment.

Many players overlook the importance of the stick’s length, which should be tailored to your position, with shorter sticks for attackers and longer ones for defenders.

Additionally, paying attention to the stick’s materials, such as aluminum or composite, can impact your handling and durability.

Avoiding these mistakes will enhance your play and ensure that your stick is a trustworthy companion during crucial moments on the field.

Ignoring Position and Playing Style

When selecting a lacrosse stick, a common mistake is overlooking the significance of your position on the field. Each role has distinct requirements that can influence stick selection:

Position in Lacrosse
  • Attack: As an attack player, your nimble maneuvers and precision are pivotal. Therefore, a shorter stick—as short as 40 inches—is ideal. This enhances your control and helps with your accuracy.
  • Midfield: Similarly to attack, midfielders benefit from a stick that offers control during fast-paced play. Sticks for midfielders tend to range from 40 to 42 inches in length.
  • Defense: If you’re defending, reach is key. You’ll need a longer stick, approximately between 52 and 72 inches, to intercept passes and keep attackers at bay.

Additionally, your playing style should determine the stick’s attributes. For example, a lighter stick might complement your game best if you’re focused on speed. Here’s a quick reference to consider your options:

PositionStick LengthPurpose
AttackApprox. 40 inchesControl and accuracy
Midfield40 to 42 inchesVersatility in play
Defense52 to 72 inchesReach and ball interception
Goalie40 to 72 inches (Varies)Saving and clearing the ball

Remember, aligning your stick choice with your position and playing style isn’t just a recommendation—it’s essential for playing at your best. Tailoring your equipment to your role on the field can make a substantial difference in your performance.

Neglecting Stringing Preferences

When choosing your lacrosse stick, it’s easy to overlook the significance of stringing styles. Yet, your stringing preferences are crucial to your game. Incorrect stringing can dramatically alter your control and accuracy. Here’s why you should give this aspect the attention it deserves:

Neglecting Stringing Preferences
  • Consistency: The tightness of the strings determines the pocket’s depth, which affects how consistently you can catch and release the ball. A well-strung stick ensures that every throw you make feels the same.
  • Accuracy: The shooting strings’ arrangement dictates the ball’s trajectory. Improper placement may lead to unpredictable shots.
  • Control: The sidewall string tension shapes the pocket, influencing your cradling and one-handed play. Too tight or too loose, and you could be fighting to maintain possession.

Remember to consider these components:

ComponentInfluence on Play
Sidewall StringDetermines the pocket’s shape
Pocket DepthAffects catching and ball retention
Shooting StringsGuides the ball’s release

Your personal style matters. Whether you require a shallow pocket for quick releases or a deeper one for better control, stringing to match your play enhances your performance. Your position on the field might also dictate your preferences, as attackers often favor a different style compared to defenders. Take time to find your fit and don’t hesitate to restring if it’s not feeling quite right. Remember, it’s your tool to master the game.

Disregarding Rules and Regulations

When selecting your lacrosse stick, it’s crucial to be mindful of the specific guidelines set forth by your league or governing body, like NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) or NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association). Each organization has its own set of rules that can influence the legality of your stick.


  • Head Width: Make sure the width of your stick’s head is within the allowed range. For a male field player, the head must be 6 to 10 inches wide at the widest point.
  • Head Length: Confirm that the length of your stick’s head is at least 10 inches long.

Pocket Requirements:

  • Depth: Your pocket can’t be too deep. It must allow the ball to be dislodged easily by defenders.
  • Stringing: The size of the holes or gaps in the pocket must not exceed 1.68 inches in diameter.


  • Pay attention to the sidewall height, which must not be more than 2 inches.
  • Check additional width measurements at specific points on the head to ensure compliance.

Here’s a quick checklist for field player stick measurements:

Measurement PointMinimum Width
1.25″ from throat3″
3″ from throat3″
5″ from throat3″

Making the mistake of disregarding these rules can make your stick illegal for play. Always stay updated with the rule book and double-check your stick’s specs before purchasing or hitting the field. Remember, a non-compliant stick hinders your gameplay and could result in penalties for you or your team.

Learn more: Lacrosse Rules Demystified: Your Quick Start Guide to Hitting the Field.

Not Considering Skill Level

When you’re selecting a lacrosse stick, it’s crucial to consider your current skill level, as this affects what type of stick will best facilitate your growth and performance in the game.

Not Considering Skill Level

For Beginners:

  • Look for a stick with a wider head. This makes catching easier and can enhance your confidence as you learn.
  • A stick with softer mesh can also help with ball handling.
  • Shorter sticks are generally recommended for easier maneuverability as you master the fundamentals.

Related: How to Play Lacrosse: A Professional Guide for Beginners.

For Intermediate Players:

  • You might start looking for a stick that balances control and flexibility.
  • Upgrade to a tighter mesh for better control when passing and shooting.

For Advanced Players:

  • Your stick should match the specific demands of your position and playing style.
  • Consider options like a stiffer head for more precise control.
  • Advanced attackers often select short sticks for agility, while defenders go for longer ones for reach.

Remember, a stick that complements your abilities can significantly contribute to your on-field success. You want your lacrosse stick to feel like a natural extension of your body, not an impediment to your progress. Choose wisely, and your stick will be your best ally on the field.

Choosing the Wrong Head Shape

The head shape is critical for your game when selecting a lacrosse stick. The shape influences ball retentionpassing accuracy, and ease of ball release. If you choose the wrong type, you could be putting yourself at a disadvantage on the field.

For Attackers:

  • Pinched Heads: They help maintain ball control during dodges and quick maneuvers.

For Defenders:

  • Wide Heads: These offer better reach and easier ground ball pickups.

For Goalies:

Here’s a quick reference guide:

PositionPreferred Head Shape
MidfieldModerate pinch

Your playing position isn’t the only factor. Consider your playing style too:

  • If you’re a player who relies on quick passes, a pinched head can help keep the ball secure.
  • If your strategy is to scoop and clear the ball quickly on defense, a wider head might be your best bet.

Remember, regulations on head dimensions may vary between high school (NFHS), college (NCAA), and universal levels, so ensure the head you choose is compliant. Get a feel for various shapes and how they complement your play, and don’t rush your choice. The right head shape can enhance your natural abilities on the lacrosse field.

Ignoring Material Quality

When selecting your lacrosse stick, it’s crucial to pay attention to the material quality because it directly affects your gameplay and the longevity of your stick. Different materials offer varying levels of durability and performance.

  • Aluminum: Your aluminum shaft is light, making it easy to handle, especially if you’re new to the game or prefer a nimble stick. However, be mindful that aluminum can dent under stress, which might affect your control on the field.
  • Titanium: Titanium shafts step up the game in terms of strength. They can withstand more aggressive play, so if you’re often in the thick of the action, titanium might be your go-to.
  • Composite: Offering the best of both worlds, composite shafts are durable and provide good grip in all weather conditions. They won’t get as cold as metal in chilly weather, which can be a comfort plus.

Consider how each of these materials would work with your playing style:

MaterialWeightDurabilityClimate SuitabilityPlaying Position
CompositeMediumHighAll-WeatherAll Positions

Your choice should reflect your position on the field and personal preference for stick handling. Remember, a quality material may cost more upfront but could save you from frequent replacements in the long run.

Not Testing the Feel

When you’re in the market for a new lacrosse stick, it’s tempting to rush the process and pick one based on how it looks or what’s recommended online. However, overlooking the tactile experience can be a misstep. Each stick has its unique touch, and what feels right in someone else’s hands may not suit yours.

Why It’s Important:

  • Weight: Heavier sticks offer more power, while lighter ones improve maneuverability.
  • Grip: The shaft material affects your hold. Alloy provides a solid grip but might feel colder in cooler temperatures, whereas composite can offer a warmer touch and often a more strategic grip texture.
How to Cradle a Lacrosse Ball

What You Should Do:

  1. Hold Different Sticks: Spend time with various models to sense the balance.
  2. Simulate Play: If the store allows, mimic passing and shooting motions.
  3. Inspect the Shaft: Make sure it feels comfortable in your hands – not too slick or abrasive.

Especially important for beginners: is gauging the handling comfort to ensure you develop proper technique. Seasoned players should also regularly reassess the feel of their sticks — what worked before might not be ideal as your play evolves.

Remember, the right feel in your lacrosse stick is key to bringing your A-game on the field. Take the time to touch, hold, and handle different sticks before making that final decision. Your performance could very well depend on it.

Overlooking Stick Length

When choosing a lacrosse stick, selecting the proper length for your role on the field is essential. Attack players and midfielders generally require a stick that allows for dexterity and ball control. For these positions, a stick that’s 30 inches in length, not including the head, is standard. This shorter size aids in quick stick handling and ease in picking up ground balls.

On the other hand, defenders and goalies benefit from longer sticks. A typical defensive stick can be up to 60 inches in total length. The added length helps in blocking passes and extending your reach during checks. As a goalie, your stick length can be a maximum of 72 inches, which offers an advantage in blocking shots.

Here’s a quick reference:

Player PositionShaft Length (inches)Total Stick Length (inches)
Goalie30-40up to 72

Choosing a stick length that doesn’t suit your playing style can drastically affect your performance. A stick that is too long may be cumbersome, making precise ball control challenging. Conversely, a stick that’s too short could limit your defensive capabilities by reducing your reach. It’s crucial to strike a balance that both adheres to official regulations and feels comfortable for you. Remember, your stick is an extension of your skills on the field; ensure it complements your style of play.

Focusing Solely on Aesthetics

When you’re choosing a lacrosse stick, it’s easy to get swayed by how cool it looks. A stick with a stylish design or in your favorite color can catch your eye, but remember, the way it plays outweighs any visual appeal.

Here’s why you shouldn’t judge a lacrosse stick solely based on its looks:

  • Match With Playing Style: Make sure the stick complements your way of playing. The shaft’s shape and the head’s strung pocket should enhance your technique, not just match your team colors.
  • Weight and Balance: A sleek look won’t benefit you if the stick is not well-balanced or is too heavy. Your agility and speed depend on these factors more than aesthetics.
  • Material Durability: The materials used in the stick determine longevity, regardless of the design on the outside. Look for high-quality materials that can withstand wear and tear.
  • Cost Efficiency: Don’t let a flashy design lead you to overlook the price. More decor often means a higher cost without better functionality.

Here’s a quick checklist to keep your priorities straight:

PerformanceDesigns do not contribute to stick function
ComfortComfortable grip aids your control
DurabilityYou want a stick that lasts, no matter the color or pattern

Remember, you’re buying a lacrosse stick for your best game, not for the shelf. Choose wisely!

Neglecting Shaft Flex

When selecting your lacrosse stick, focusing on shaft flex is important, as it significantly affects your game. Shaft flex is the bend that occurs when force is applied, influencing both your shot speed and accuracy.

lacrosse shaft

Why Flex Matters:

  • Shot Speed: A shaft with the right flex can enhance the power behind your shots, similar to the effect of a well-strung pocket.
  • Accuracy: Control over your shots improves when using a shaft tailored to your strength and style, making it easier to hit your target.

Choosing the Right Flex:

  • Playing Style: If you’re an offensive player looking for quick, snappy passes, a higher flex may benefit you. Defensive players often prefer stiffer shafts for stronger checks.
  • Position: Midfielders, who transition between offensive and defensive roles, might choose a mid-flex option for versatility.


  • Your Strength: Flex should match your physical strength; too much flex might reduce control, while too little could hinder shot power.
  • Material: Different materials offer varying degrees of flex. Composite shafts tend to allow for more flex compared to their aluminum counterparts.

Remember, your flex choice should support your playing style and position. Try out different shafts during practice to see which feels most natural in your hands. Your perfect flex will complement your movements and contribute to your overall performance on the field.

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Conclusion on Mistakes When Choosing a Lacrosse Stick

Choosing the right lacrosse stick is critical for your performance on the field. Remember, your stick is an extension of yourself, so it’s important to select one that complements your role and style of play. Let’s recap the key takeaways to avoid common mistakes:

  • Ensure the stick size matches your position and body type.
  • The head shape should suit your playing style, whether it’s for control, quick passing, or ground balls.
  • Pocket depth is crucial. Strive for the right balance for better control and quicker release.
  • Shaft material and grip matter for durability and handling comfort.

By keeping these points in mind, you can greatly improve your lacrosse experience. Remember, the best stick is the one that feels right for you and enhances your natural abilities on the field. Happy playing!

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