Choosing Lacrosse Goalie Equipment

Goalies put themselves in harm's way every game – arguably, more so than any other player on the field. Proper-fitting equipment is essential to protecting yourself as a goaltender, so make sure that your gear is not just comfortable, but also covers all parts of your body that are vulnerable during a game. Goalies of all ages/levels are going to prefer different equipment based on their OWN preferences - and this is perfectly fine. Listed below are some things to consider based on my years of playing and coaching goalies.

Often times convincing a 10 yr old boy or girl to stand in front of shots in excess of 50mph from a ball that weighs 3 ounces is not the easiest task. Proper fitting and guidance can make this task much easier. You should always consider the level of competition at which you will be playing when you’re shopping for goalie equipment. Most programs or leagues require the following for youth:

1. Throat Guards - Either tie-on models or screw-in models work most effectively. Prices range from $15-$45. Tie-on throat-guards work best for kids playing both goal and field, because they can be put on or taken off quickly. Bolted models offer more coverage and protection, generally. 

2. Chest Protectors - Beginner and mid level chest protectors typically contain fewer "foam density varieties" than elite level chest protectors or having a velcro strap instead of a clip. Many refer to these type add-ons as the bells and whistles on lacrosse equipment. A mid-level or beginner chest protector still provides optimum protection comfort and mobility. Most manufacturers will provide chest size ranges in inches for each chest protector size option that they offer. This is one of the key measurements that you’ll use when sizing yourself for a chest protector. Items of interest.

3. Pants - Lacrosse pants are designed to be worn underneath either sweatpants or shorts. Pants should fit snug and go down to top of your knees. Since many models have elastic waists they are easy to wear. If pants are to big or too long, it will restrict mobility and comfort, so please keep that in mind. Many of todays goalie pants are filled with duel density foam that allows great flexibility and protection. 

4. Shin Guards - Shin guards are optional for goalies but are very helpful for new goalies or for who ever may be stepping into the goal for the next game. They are designed to protect your lower legs from getting bruised much like shin guards in soccer and field hockey. Many shin guards wrap around the leg to provide the entire leg with protection. 

5. Footwear - Proper footwear plays a very important role in any netminders game. Cleats of any model for football or soocer are sufficent especially on grass or wet surfaces. Mid-cut cleats offer more ankle support and coverage, while low-cut cleats generally weigh less, but do not provide as much support. Due to the rapid growth of field turf, wearing sneakers has become a viable option for boys and girls as well. Keep in mind, however, that cleats hold best on wet surfaces.