Figuring out the right lacrosse stick length can be challenging. There are so many different sizes and variations that it can be daunting. This article will go over all of the in’s and out’s of lacrosse sticks and lacrosse shafts in order to help make the right decision for you.
How Long is a Lacrosse Stick?
In lacrosse, there are generally three different stick sizes used to enhance the player’s ability to succeed. Without the head installed, men’s shafts are typically one of three lengths; 30″ for the attack and midfield positions, 60″ for defense, and 40″ for goalies.
How to Measure a Lacrosse Stick
When purchasing a lacrosse shaft, the manufacturer will measure the length of the shaft. These will be the same lengths as listed in the above image. However, most leagues and tournaments will set their rules on stick lengths based off of the length of the entire stick. This includes the length of the shaft and the head combined. The head is typically 10 inches long.
Attack / Midfield Stick Length
The attack and midfield stick, or the shortie, is the classic lacrosse stick length. It is short enough to control with ease, but long enough to bring the power when shooting.
Adult: 30 inch long shaft
High school and college lacrosse players will need an attack lacrosse shaft that is 30 inches long and have a combined length of 40”- 42” inches long with the head. Attackman and midfielders use short sticks in order to make it easier to stick handle, pick up ground balls, and for better ball security.
Youth: 26-30 inch long shaft
Youth attackman and midfielders are allowed by rule to cut the shaft to a minimum length of 26 inches. Once they add the head to the shaft, the combined length will be within the youth regulation size of 36” to 42” long. It’s a judgment call when deciding shaft length for young lacrosse players.
However, when it’s time for the player to grow, it is possible that the player will become dependent on a small shaft and have trouble adjusting to a larger size. Even though it is allowed to cut down the shaft at the youth level, it is not recommended if the player is gifted with size at a young age. Think about what is best for the long-term development of the player and consult your coach before altering the size of the shaft.
Defense Stick Length
Defensive sticks or d-poles are the great equalizer on the lacrosse field. The longer length allows defenders to keep up with offensive players and take the ball away.
Adult: 42-60 inch long shaft
There is a variety of opinions about the length of which defensemen should have their defense shafts. As specified by rule, defensemen can have a stick length anywhere between 52” to 72” long. Typically the total combined length of the long pole should be the same height as the player. If the player is 5’10, then his lacrosse shaft should measure 60 inches with the addition of a 10 inch head that combines for a total of 70 inches.
Generally, the longer the shaft the more reach you will have when posting up on defense. Playing defense is a game of inches, and with a long pole you have the ability to check anyone within 6 feet of you. One inch could be the difference between a takeaway and a goal against. However with length comes added weight to the shaft. This will make your stick checks harder and more forceful, but not as quick. Longer shafts also have the ability to throw the ball farther when clearing, but are heavily exposed to riding attackman trying to get the ball back. Ultimately, bigger/stronger players are going to want the longest shaft length possible whereas, shorter/faster players are going to want their stick to be shorter and lighter for better handling because they can cover more ground with their feet.
Long pole midfielders tend to have shorter sticks than close defensemen due to the fact that they are more involved in the possession and clearing game. Most of their game is comprised of picking up ground balls and running the ball up the field. Therefore, the shorter the stick, the easier it is to pick up ground balls and fend off opposing midfielders.
Youth: 26-60 inch long shaft
As specified by rule, youth defensemen can have a combined stick length anywhere between 37” to 72” long, but make sure they are strong enough to handle it. It’s highly recommended that the combined stick length needs to be equal to the height of the player, and never taller. If a player is struggling with his stick skills, then maybe it’s time to cut down the shaft a few inches.
Goalie Stick Length
Goalies have one of the most unique stick lengths on the lacrosse field. Their stick sits in between the length of a defensive long pole, and a short attack or midfield stick.
Combined length between 40 to 72 inches
Goalies are allowed by rule to have a combined stick length anywhere between 40” to 72” long. Generally, the ideal shaft for a goalie is 40 inches “without” the head. Goaltenders need extra length in their stick due to the fact that they need to clear the ball farther than the average player. Goalies also have been known to need extra length to intercept passes that go across the crease.
On the other hand, some goalies like to have short shafts to minimize weight in order to increase their reaction time. The shorter the stick, the lighter the weight, the more goals you stop; once again it’s all based on personal preference and finding that happy median that is best suited for the player.
Lacrosse Stick Size Chart (With Head)
For a quick reference, check out our chart below. It consolidates the best length for each position and age.
|Length||Min. (inches)||Max. (inches)||Min. (inches)||Max. (inches)|
How to Cut a Lacrosse Shaft
There are several reasons why you might need to cut a lacrosse shaft, but the most common reason is to make it more appropriate for your own height. It is very popular in youth lacrosse to shorten the shaft in correlation to the player’s height.
- Lacrosse Shaft (New or Recycled)
- Tape Measure (Minimum 6 feet)
- Athletic Tape/ Permanent Marker
- Hack Saw
- Work Bench or Vise
- Sand Paper
Step 1 - Decide the best length for your position
Before cutting down the lacrosse shaft, the customer should have an understanding for what position they would like to play. Check out the above stick size chart to find the best stick length for you.
Step 2 - Measure twice, cut once
First, decide which end of the shaft is more beneficial for you to cut. If the shaft is brand new, choose the side with the butt end so you don’t have to drill a new screw hole for the head. If you are recycling an old damaged long pole, then it would be better to cut off the damaged area.
Once you have chosen a side, measure the shaft to the preferred length twice (without the head) and mark it by wrapping a piece of tape around the desired area. Make sure to have the edge of the tape match the exact mark you measure. The tape is there to use as a guide and help you cut a straight line.
Step 3 - Use a vise for safety
Here at Monkey Sports, Safety is our number one priority and that is why we recommend using a vise to keep the lacrosse shaft in place while cutting. Make sure you don’t crank the vise too much or else it will damage or compromise the shaft.
Step 4 - Make the cut
Use your hacksaw to precisely make the cut using a blade with small teeth. Start slow with long smooth strokes. Let the saw do the work. Once you make it almost halfway, start picking up speed with your saw strokes. Some people like to flip the shaft over and start cutting from the opposite side to prevent the shaft from snapping prematurely, but that’s your call. Let your tape strip be your guide and let the saw do the work. It’s not a race.
Step 5 - Sand down the jagged edge
Once you have completed the cut be sure to sand it until it's smooth and then put the end cap or butt end back over top of it. You don’t want the metal to cut through the butt end and injure another player or yourself. Safety first, Batman!
Shop Lacrosse Shafts with LacrosseMonkey!
One of the best ways to figure out the right stick for you is to visit a store location for in-person advice. We have a well informed staff who can help you make the right decision on which stick is best for you. You can also shop lacrosse sticks and lacrosse shafts online on lacrossemonkey.com.