October 18, 2022
For players and parents just getting started in lacrosse, we know that finding the right equipment can be a bit confusing, and perhaps, even a little intimidating. It’s important to know that there are key differences in the required protective equipment between the boys’ and girls’ game, as well as between field players and goalies. Also, box lacrosse has its own unique gender-neutral equipment requirements.
In the boys’ field game, perhaps the most perplexing piece of equipment to purchase is the helmet. All major rule sets require a NOCSAE certified lacrosse helmet.
So, what should you look for when you are shopping for a boys’ helmet?
Our USA Lacrosse Sports Science & Safety Committee experts offer some helpful tips to parents and players when shopping for a new lacrosse helmet.
1) As noted above, make sure the helmet is NOCSAE approved. The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment conducts rigorous tests and sets standards for safe athletic equipment, including lacrosse helmets.2) Always review the specific helmet manufacturer’s recommendations for proper helmet fitting, either on the manufacturer’s web site or in the store.3) Helmets are measured in inches. Check manufacturers’ charts to show the proper size helmet for your child’s head.4) Padding of the helmet shall give firm and uniform pressure about the head. The skin of the forehead should move as the helmet is moved from left to right and from front to back.5) Be sure there is a four-point chin-strap attached to the helmet. The chin-strap should be tightened so that there is no slack.6) Properly fitted helmets must take into account the hairstyle of your child; if your child has a great deal of thick hair and then receives a haircut, the helmet must then be refitted.7) Proper helmet fit should never cause headaches.8) The facemask should attach cleanly to the helmet and should be replaced if it is bent.
Players and parents looking for additional insights on purchasing equipment can download the USA Lacrosse Equipment Fitting Guide and access the Lacrosse Helmet Guidelines endorsed by the CDC.