Throughout my last 10 years of playing lacrosse, I constantly get asked by my non-lacrosse friends, “why is lacrosse so expensive?” Unlike soccer or basketball, you need a lot of equipment in order to play lacrosse.
Today I want to go over (1) the cost of all the equipment, (2) other reasons why lacrosse is expensive and (3) how you can play the game for cheaper.
Why is Lacrosse Expensive? – The Cost of Equipment:
- Lacrosse Head ($50-$120) – This is the plastic part of the lacrosse stick that you actually catch the ball in. Lacrosse players have different preferences for their heads such as flexibility, weight or pinch.
- Lacrosse Shaft ($50-$200) – This is the handle of the lacrosse stick that you hold onto. Some handles are made by materials that make them more expensive than others. Lacrosse defenders have longer handles than offensive players that make them more expensive.
- Lacrosse Helmet ($300) – The helmet is one area of lacrosse you do not really want a cheaper version of. With hard rubber balls flying all over the field at 100+ MPH, you want something that will protect your brain from injury.
- Lacrosse Shoulder Pads + Arm Pads ($20-$120) – These are most similar to football pads. With defenders whacking you with metal shafts, these pads are very necessary. Fun fact: they do not wear shoulder pads in the PLL, the top pro lacrosse league in the US. Depending on the brand, these can be very cheap or very expensive.
- Lacrosse Gloves ($20-$150) – Let me tell you from personal experience, it does not feel good to get slashed by a lacrosse stick on the hands. That’s why all lacrosse players wear gloves. Gloves are a head scratcher – some are extremely cheap while others are expensive.
- Lacrosse Cleats ($50-$100) – Just like soccer or football, you need cleats in order to run effectively on a grass/turf field. You don’t have to wear lacrosse-specific cleats if you don’t want to. If you have football or soccer cleats, those will work just fine.
- Mouthguard, cup, dri-fit shirt ($25) – If you don’t wear a cup in lacrosse, you’re risking way too much. Just read this instagram post from pro lacrosse player Nick Osello about his experience not wearing a cup.
Total Cost: $515-$1,015 – And most lacrosse players have a backup stick in case their current stick breaks, so you could be looking at another $300 on top of that. Gear is one of the most expensive parts of lacrosse.
Other Reasons Why Lacrosse is So Expensive:
- Lacrosse is usually not a high-school funded sport – Depending on where you live it could be different, but most public schools I know of do not fund lacrosse teams. This means parents have to pay additional money for their kid to play lacrosse, which would not be the case to play football, basketball, soccer, etc. This added cost makes lacrosse more expensive.
- Club lacrosse is expensive – A solid amount of lacrosse players play club lacrosse (select teams) in addition to their school lacrosse. Most club lacrosse happens in the fall or summer when school lacrosse is not in-season. Club lacrosse tournaments can cost thousands of dollars in addition to flights, hotels, etc. Traveling around the country playing club lacrosse can be expensive.
- There are few lacrosse equipment manufacturers – Unlike football or basketball with thousands of companies competing to make products, lacrosse only has a few equipment manufacturers. This means these companies can charge more for their products simply because there are very few people who make lacrosse gear. If lacrosse were a bigger sport, equipment would certainly become less expensive.
How to Make Lacrosse Not So Expensive
- You don’t need expensive lacrosse equipment – Despite what some might say, I promise you that you will do just fine with basic lacrosse equipment. You don’t need super fancy gloves or the lightest shaft on the market to be a great lacrosse player. As you progress in your lacrosse career, you will naturally want the best gear, but for anyone just starting out, look for the cheapest gear possible to get started. You can also shop at second-hand equipment stores like Play-It-Again Sports! I used to get a ton of my equipment from there.
- Look for free clinics or non-profits in your area – Lacrosse participation is exploding across the US, which means there are camps and clinics popping up all over the place. There are also several non-profits that help lacrosse players get the gear they need to play the game. With a few quick Google searches, I’m positive you could find an opportunity not too far from you!
- Ask the lacrosse community for help – I have found the lacrosse community to be extremely helpful and giving in times of need. If you don’t think you can afford all of the equipment, try emailing a few lacrosse coaches. I’d be willing to bet they would find a way to help you out. (Update: If you find yourself struggling to afford lacrosse gear, email me and I’ll try to make something happen. I am a broke college student so I cannot guarantee anything, but nothing excites me more than people wanting to play lacrosse for the first time.)
Overall, lacrosse is an expensive sport, but if you go about it the right way, you can find gear for cheaper prices and not give into the hype of having the most expensive lacrosse equipment. I’m looking forward to the day when anyone from any background can feel like lacrosse isn’t so expensive. Until then, I will do my best to keep growing this sport that I love so much.