In men’s lacrosse, padding helps protect players from injury. While the amount of padding may vary among player position, most players will wear shoulder pads, arm and elbow pads, and gloves.
Shoulder pads cover the sternum, collarbone and shoulder of a player. Attackers typically need more padding to protect them from checks, while defenders usually prefer lighter padding for more flexibility. Shoulder pads should fit tight to the body for maximum effectiveness.
Arm pads protect a player’s arm from the checks and hits of the game. A good pair protect from the mid bicep to the mid part of the forearm, as well as the elbows. For added protection, offensive players will usually opt for longer arm pads that cover most of the arm, while defensive players prefer less padding for more flexibility and range of motion.
For even more freedom, some defensive players will forgo full arm pads and just wear elbow pads. Elbow pads have less padding than arm guards or pads because they are designed to protect just the elbow. They are great for mobility and are a lightweight option.
Size, flexibility, weight, ventilation and protection are all important factors to consider when buying a pair of lacrosse gloves. Pay close attention to what material the gloves are made of. Gloves will be covered in thick padding on the fingers, backhand and wrist. A glove with a mesh palm makes for added ventilation, crucial to a fast paced game. Most gloves now come with an adjustable cuff, which allows for a secure fit.
Lacrosse is a physical game, making the helmet the most essential piece of gear for a player. When buying a helmet pay attention to fit, weight and field of vision. Always look for helmets that are NOCSAE certified. Lacrosse helmets should fit snug to the head to prevent injury. Helmets will also have vents for increased airflow and to decrease the overall weight. Most helmets will also come with an adjustable chinstrap for better protection.
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