Westport Police Athletic League-WPAL is a non-profit organization in Westport, CT. Offering youth athletic programs, educational scholarships and community events such as, WPAl Ice Rink at Longshore, Independence Day Fireworks Show at Compo Beach.Youth s
Please review the important information below, which discusses mandatory protective gear, equipment and clothing for female lacrosse players.
Players are required to wear & have:
Stick: Girls Lacrosse Sticks and boys lacrosse sticks are different. Please be sure your daughter has a girls lacrosse stick. These sticks are constructed differently, throw differently and are the only legal sticks in the girls game. Lacrosse sticks can be cut down to better fit your daughter by taking off the rubber end cap at the end of the stick, using a hack saw and replacing the rubber end cap. Starting in 3rd grade sticks cannot be shorter than 90 cm (about 35 inches). For beginning players through 6th grade, your daughter should place her non-dominant hand all the way at the bottom of the lacrosse stick and then comfortably spread her arms to hold the stick. There should be approximately 4-6 inches between her top hand and the head of the stick. If there is more than this, please cut the stick down. It's always better to leave it too long and check with a coach on where to cut it again. For 7th grade and above we usually recommend leaving the stick at it’s full length except for smaller girls.
5th grade and above: The top of the ball must remain visible above the plastic sidewall after pressure has been applied to and released from a ball dropped into the pocket of a horizontally held stick. The ball must move freely within all parts of the head and stick, both laterally and along its full length.
4th grade and below are allowed to have modified sticks with deeper pockets and shorter shafts.
The Goalkeeper Stick’s overall length shall be no more than 35 1/2" minimum and 48" maximum. The pocket of the stick shall be strung with six or seven longitudinal leather and/or synthetic thongs and stick lacing or be mesh.
Mouthguards: are required during all clinics and per US Lax rules, must fully cover the upper jaw teeth. They cannot be clear or white and cannot have depictions of teeth on them. They cannot be attached to the goggles with a tether as this can be a safety hazard. They cannot have any protrusions in the front of the mouth.
Please be sure your daughter’s mouthguard fits her comfortably. It is fine to mold your mouthguard more than once to get the perfect fit. Read the package directions and shape any uncomfortable parts until it feels good in your daughter’s mouth. Feel free to cut the ends of the mouthguards to better fit your daughter’s mouth (and avoid gagging). Ideally do this prior to molding the mouthguard to avoid sharp edges. Mouth guards must be molded unless your daughter has braces and is wearing a mouthguard made for braces.
Goalies: The goalie must wear a helmet with a face mask, a separate throat protector, padded gloves, a mouth piece, a chest protector, pelvic protector and padding on the shins and thighs. The helmet must meet the NOCSAE test standard. Padding on the arms and shoulders is also acceptable. For travel teams, the goalie must wear a top of the same color as her team over her chest and shoulder pads; and must wear bottoms which are in agreement with the team's predominant color or be black or gray.
PinniesIf you own a pinnie, girls should wear it to all clinics to assist with splitting up groups for drills. Any pinnie is fine - any color, any team, as long as it has a white side and a colored side. If you don't have a pinnie, borrow from a friend. All new players will get a pinnie in the spring season.
Pinnies should be brought to all games, home and away. They are used for goalies, for friends who forgot their uniform (if the ref permits pinnies), and for warm-up drills.
Water bottles should be brought to all clinics and practices. There is no water at the field.
Optional equipment: Close fitting gloves, nose guards and soft headgear may be worn by all players.
*REMINDER: NO JEWELRY OF ANY KIND IS ALLOWED* Earrings are no longer allowed to be taped over. Please consider this when getting your daughter’s ears pierced. She will not be allowed in a game with earrings in. This applies to 3rd grade on.
Amy’s Recommendations for Equipment Purchase and Care 9/2017:
*These are our Coaching Director, Amy Alvord’s, personal suggestions and preferences.
Sticks: Once you’ve decided on a stick you can buy locally at Comlax and Lacrosse Unlimited in Norwalk, Athletic Shoe Factory in Westport, or Macwear in Westport. Or you can buy online by searching for the model you want. This is the most economical and you often have more color options.
Beginner sticks: The most commonly recommended stick is the STX Crux. It comes in a number of different models - the Crux 100 is great for beginners and can be bought online for $50-$100.
Advanced models the Crux 300, 500 and 600 are for the most advanced players, and aren’t needed until HS if at all. They offer modifications like 10 degree tilted heads, more dramatic scoops and sidewall angles. More info on the Crux models and comparisons can be found at STX’s website.
Popular sticks for advanced draw takers are the UA regime (some find it too heavy) or the STX exult.
Shafts: The shafts the sticks come with are absolutely fine. There are fancy and fun ones out there but they are not needed. If you do get a 10 degree head you have to get a 10 degree shaft and vice versa.
Pockets and stringing: The website below offers a good visual of the most common stringing options. I do not recommend the launch pocket as it tends to break easily, nor do I recommend the gripper pro as it’s too stiff for my liking. The latest trend is the ladder pocket and seems well-liked, the runway pocket is my favorite and is good for all levels, and you can’t go wrong with traditional stringing with 4 leathers. Leather strings are more forgiving overall but are also more expensive. See stringing options here.
Most local lacrosse shops will restring pockets if needed/desired for around $30-$40. I recommend Comlax in Norwalk on Connecticut Ave. I’ve heard mixed results from Lacrosse Unlimited stringing jobs, I don’t know about MacWear and I don’t believe Athletic Shoe Factory does stringing.
Note: While rare to find, do NOT buy an FIL stick - these are made for international play where they have much more stringent guidelines on offset heads, angles of the scoop and stringing.
Mouthguards: Any mouthguard is fine as long as it fits within the rules listed above. The latest trend is SISU mouthguards. They can be bought on Amazon for $20-$25. They come flat and are aerated. Most mouthguards can be remolded as their teeth grow. We also recommend keeping a few handy for last minute misplaced ones. You can get mouthguards for as little as $5.
Goggles: Any goggles that meet the US lacrosse specifications are fine. I do not recommend the Cascade Poly Pro or Poly Air models as the crossbar is thick and obscures vision. Also not recommended are those with lenses as they can fog with sweat and are difficult to see with in rain.
Most important is that it fits her head - I suggest trying it on and being sure it isn’t too tight at the side of the eyes/top of the cheek. We have a number of extra pairs at Fall clinics to try on or she can try on teammates/friends to see which she likes best.