skip navigation

Lacrosse 101: An Equipment Primer for New Parents

We got a LOT of questions about equipment.  Typically these questions come from new parents.  We are always glad to help parents get started and have their boys ready for the lacrosse season!  You can always reach out to Hillsborough Youth Lacrosse at with any questions and we are glad to help!

What Equipment Does My Son Need To Participate?

Required Full Equipment

Mouthguard - please ensure you order extras. All players must have one to participate in practices and especially in games.

Cup - Like mouthguards, your son can use his cup from other sports like football or hockey

Cleats - Lacrosse specific cleats are preferred by older boys and experienced players.  New players often will use soccer or football  cleats. - both are acceptable.

Lacrosse Stick - For all players 42'' boys sticks from a reputable lacrosse manufacturer (eg STX, ECD, Warrior, Nike, String King) should be purchased.  For younger players  - usually grade 4 and under - we highly recommend cutting the shaft length by up to 4 inches.  Our coaching staff will do this for you with your permission at practice.   Older players grade 5  and up will either need a defensive stick (these are 60'') or a regular 42'' inch stick and this will depend on what position they play.  Most players begin lacrosse with 42'' sticks.  For many defensive players  (depends on their height) - we recommend cutting those sticks shorter and our coaching staff can assist with that!

Helmet - Lacrosse specific helmets are required.  Many helmets come fully adjustable with two size options: youth, or adult.  Boys will transition to the full size helmet around 5th grade.  As a rule of thumb, once a boys head circumference is over 20.5 inches he is ready for an adjustable adult helmet.  

Shoulder Pads - lacrosse specific shoulder pads are very important and also provide chest protection.  As of 2022 a new rule implemented by USA Lacrosse requires that ALL players must wear NOCSAE ND200 compliant shoulder pads - which essentially mandates better protection for the chest/heart area.  If you are purchasing shoulder pads from a reseller or Amazon please make sure that your shoulder pads are compliant.  

Gloves and Elbow Pads - Lacrosse specific elbow pads and shoulder pads are need to ensure the right protection.   Many manufactures (like STX, Maverick, Warrior, etc.) offer various levels and options and glove and elbow pads come in various sizes to ensure the right fit.

Uniforms -   Borolax uniforms are to be purchased by families before the season starts on our team store.  The team store is open from January to mid-February.  Uniforms  stay the same each season and can be used for as long as they fit!  Practice pinnies are provided by HYL to each new player when practice begins.

Where Can I Buy Equipment?

There are three general options we recommend:

1.  Visit Universal Lacrosse on RT 22 in Somerville.  They often assist new parents with many equipment questions and can walk you through everything, answers questions, make sure everything fits, and make sure you have all the equipment you need.  They do have equipment kits from manufactures like STX.   

2. Visit RE Sports in Belle Meade (used equipment).  You can sometimes get lucky and save quite a bit on a used helmet etc.  The staff may not be able to answer as many lacrosse specific questions and in particular ensure all equipment has the appropriate fit and is certified (shoulder pads).  We tend to advise against purchasing sticks this way.  Often you will need to have these sticks professionally restrung (can cost ~$40) at universal lacrosse.  If you are planning to do this anyway - great!!

3.  Visit Amazon.  This is a great place to get cleats, mouthguards.  If you know exactly what you need (and the sizes) you can find  new equipment cheaper here, but of course there is limited support.


While option #1 is not the cheapest - we do recommend this above all others given all considerations.

How Much Does Equipment Cost??

There will be a wide range in cost from buying used to new.  And furthermore, a wide range in costs from entry level new equipment to more high end items aimed at elite players (from youth to college level).

For new players in youth an STX starter pack is perfectly fine and that typically can cost about $260 for a helmet, stick, shoulder pads, elbow pads, gloves.  The coaches will help adjust the pocket at the first practice. Players growing fast may need to size up in the future and often as a player advances in skill we recommend moving to a higher quality stick with light shaft material, better head design, and that is stung professionally.  For brand new players the STX stick is just fine after a little pocket adjustment!

How can We help?

Starting your son in lacrosse does require an initial investment in equipment.  Historically we have found that over 90+% of players have a great experience and continue on to year 2  and beyond.  At HYL we do not want cost to be a barrier to trying lacrosse.  In addition to offering all first year players a tuition discount please reach out to us if you have concerns about your ability to secure equipment.  We do not have the resources to loan all new players equipment, but in many cases we can help find loaners for some, or in some cases all of the equipment you need.  Just reach out to us via email at and we will do what we can!