Top Players Start With the Basics: The Parts of a Lacrosse Stick

Parts of a Lacrosse Stick: Getting To Know Your Tool

If you have landed here to read through this article, do not feel like this is material solely for beginners. Understanding the separated parts of a lacrosse stick can be useful for both new lacrosse players and the more advanced players alike.

For a newer player we have the quest for knowledge about the sport. We highly recommend you get through this article so when someone on your team references the “throat” of their “head”, you know what they are talking about and do not feel left in the dark.

For the more advanced player: Please do not brush off this topic as elementary knowledge just yet. The more advanced you become as a player the more knowledge you should acquire about your stick.

A more novice player may have bought their stick in a “complete” set. That means all the head, the pocket and shaft of the stick come together.

However, a more advanced player needs to further their knowledge for the working components of the stick as to craft the most ideal stick for themselves. Some players may have a STX head they like, a pocket they strung themselves and a carbon fiber brine shaft.

Building your stick becomes an art the more you commit into this world of lacrosse.

With all that being said, I suppose now we should start taking a look at these parts of the lacrosse stick and what exactly you need to know about them.

Parts of a Lacrosse Stick – The Head:  gait13_matter_head_main

Old School Baby

Old School Baby

When the game of lacrosse first began, the head and shaft were one. They were wooden, and if you broke your head, or broke your shaft that meant getting a whole new stick.

Thankfully, the modern lacrosse stick now has the heads and shaft built to be two separate parts. Typically the head is of a plastic composition, and if you bust it up, you do not need to start at ground zero.

Even one better than that, you often time have a warranty for your head and it can be replaced.

Also, there is no need to worry, all the “current” heads are meant to fit all the “current” shafts, so replacing a head with a different brand of your shaft is of no concern.

As for the parts of the lacrosse head:
– The widest portion of the head is called the “scoop”
– The “sidewalls” are where the plastic sides of the lacrosse head and the sidewall string connect.
– As well, there is the “throat,” which is the bottom of the head where the ball stop sits.
– The “ball stop”, just mentioned, is a thin piece of rubber or foam that is meant to cushion the ball.

Keep in mind NCAA limitations!

The head of the lacrosse stick must be greater than 6.5’’ at it’s widest point at the top, and the ball must exit through the lower most narrow spot cleanly without obstruction.

That is, for the field players of course. The goalies have much wider heads on their sticks, and the width for them can be much greater, at 10-12’’.

images (2)Parts of a Lacrosse Stick – The Shaft:

The lacrosse shaft connects to the head of the lacrosse stick with a head screw at the “throat” of the head. (Sorry a lot of terms there)

The end of the shaft is capped off with a “butt end”.

The shaft itself is usually an octagon, and as well, they are usually made with a bit more texture as to provide a better grip.

More advanced players tend to use stick tape to mark locations on the lacrosse shaft along with giving themselves some extra grip.

A lacrosse shaft is made up of a number of different composite materials:
• Carbon fiber
• Aluminum
• Titanium
• Scandium
• Alloys

A more experienced LAX player may lend for a lighter shaft, which is most often a more expensive model. The less experienced player would do just fine with a lower end model as many long-term players continue to utilize less expensive lacrosse shafts.

For NCAA rules, the stick has to be at least 40’’ long, but no more than 72’’. Within that range players find a number of different shaft lengths that suit their style of play.

Parts of a Lacrosse Stick – The Pocket: images

There is a lot of freedom in how LAX players can put together their pockets (within the rules of course).

Every player needs to feel confident and comfortable with how they have crafted their pocket. The pocket must be crafted alongside the player’s game. If a player does not like the feel of their pocket it will cost them a few dropped balls and botched passes.

A player must find equilibrium with the feel of their pocket. The pocket must have both some stiffness, as to support the ball as it hits the pocket, but as well some flexibility and looseness for a player to be able to get rid of the ball quickly and smoothly.

To cover some logistics, the lacrosse pocket has three basic pieces. There is the lacrosse mesh, the sidewall string and the shooting laces.

Illegal pocket: Ball drops too low

Illegal pocket: Ball drops too low

Speaking to regulations, the pocket depth becomes an area of question. There can be no space viewed in between the plastic side of the lacrosse wall and the net. The top of the ball cannot be below the bottom of the sidewall.

To close out this pocket conversation, a lacrosse pocket can be made out of a number of different materials.

Traditional Pocket – Still a pretty common preference for players today, the traditional pocket is made up of nylon strings, which are woven through leather straps.
Hard Mesh – This is currently the most popular pocket used today. Hard mesh is durable, in the rain of dry weather. A hard mesh pocket will retain the feel of resistance.
Soft Mesh – Soft mesh is the easiest to play with right after purchase because breaking it in is not really a concern. However, many players find soft mesh pockets more flimsy, which requires a few more shooting strings.
Mesh can come in all different kinds of designs and patterns. A lacrosse pocket is strung to have a number of different diamonds across the width. The number of diamonds woven becomes a personal preference for players.

Shooting Strings: Shooting strings lead the ball out of the pocket during a player’s throwing action. Strings need to be really tight to be able to rocket the ball out of the pocket. Loose strings risk a more inaccurate pass. Sticks come normally come with two to three shooting strings.


Here we have a basic outline of the parts of a lacrosse stick for you, if there is anything you would like covered in greater depth or any questions or concerns please comment below!