The goalie is one of the most important positions on the lacrosse field. Goalies are usually the only player to stay on the field for a full 60 minutes and stand as the last line of defense between the pipes. In addition to a different set of responsibilities, goalies also carry a modified set of gear.
The essentials are usually the same. Goalies still wear cleats, jerseys, helmets, pads, mouth guards, etc. But because they don’t tend to run much or get checked, lacrosse equipment and apparel tend to slightly vary from attack, middies and defenders.
The most obvious difference between goalies and other players is their lacrosse stick. Goalie lacrosse heads have a crosse head (the netted portion with which you catch and throw the ball) between 10 and 12 inches wide at its widest point, and may be as long as 16 1/2 inches. While offensive players carry sticks with shafts closer to 40 inches and defensive long poles can measure up to 72 inches, goalie lacrosse sticks can measure as short as 40 inches and as long as 72.
Goalie lacrosse pads are meant to keep them safe from 100 mph shots, not necessarily from checks. Because of the different risks goalies face, their protective equipment slightly differs. Goalies are required to wear a throat guard and chest protectors as well as a helmet and gloves. Chest protectors cover from the bottom of the neck to the player’s waist, with straps to customize and adjust the fit. Throat protectors, as you may have guessed, protect the player’s neck, just below his helmet.
Goalie lacrosse apparel is typically the same as other players. The only real difference is that goalies tend to wear sweat pants, while running players do not. Because goalies are not constantly moving up and down the field, they don’t generate the same body heat that attackmen and midfielders do. Goalies also gain a slight advantage with sweatpants because they’re able to tangle up low shots and help prevent shots in the “five hole.”