Kids lacrosse is played by both girls and boys but there are differences when it comes to rules and equipment. The hitting and checking allowed in boys lacrosse is not allowed in girls’ lacrosse. This leads to a difference in the equipment used in girls’ and boys’ lacrosse. The major differences in kids lacrosse lies in the protective gear, the helmet, stick, ball and gloves.
Crosse – For boys, the length of the crosse or stick should be 40-42 inches for attackers and midfielders, 50-72 inches for defenders and the crosse head should be 6.5-10 inches wide. For girls, it should be 35.5-43.25 inches and the crosse head should be 7-9 inches wide.
Ball – By tradition, in boys’ lacrosse, the ball can be white, yellow or orange weighing 5-5.25 ounces and 7.75-8 inches in circumference. For girls, the ball has to be yellow.
Gloves – Protective gloves are mandatory in boys’ lacrosse but are optional for girls. The cutting or modification of gloves in boys’ lacrosse is prohibited.
Helmet – NOCSAE approved protective helmets are required in boys’ lacrosse. In girls’ lacrosse, only the goalie is required to wear a helmet.
Mouth Guard – A mouthpiece is mandatory for both girls’ and boys’ lacrosse with the latter in a very visible color.
Padding – Shoulder, elbow and rib pads, a protective cup and jock strap are required for boys’ lacrosse while nose guards, soft head gear and eye guards are optional but recommended for girls’ lacrosse.
Eye Wear – Protective eyewear is mandatory for girls’ lacrosse but is not required for boys’ lacrosse.
These are the major general differences in kids lacrosse, but there are special and specific differences for goalies.
In boys’ lacrosse, the goalie must wear a helmet, mouthpiece, gloves, throat and neck protector but need not wear shoulder pads. The goalie in girls’ lacrosse must use a helmet with a throat protector and mouth guard, chest protector, protective cup, arm and leg pads. Padding for the limbs, shoulders and chest must not exaggerate the size of those body parts.
Other safety rules are mainly concerned with helmets: their construction, maintenance, certification and use both in and outside of the game are common for both girls’ and boys’ lacrosse. In kids lacrosse, the main concern is, first of all, for the safety of the players, and secondly to tailor the equipment for optimum performance of girls’ and boys’ lacrosse players.