Hey, Your Lacrosse Head is Illegal


It sucks. You’re in the middle of a lacrosse game, and during a timeout the referee taps you on the shoulder. He wants to see if your lacrosse stick is legal. Your heart drops.
You surrender your lacrosse stick over to him as he checks the length, width, and does the infamous ball roll-out and pocket check. Your heart is racing and your palms are sweating the entire time.
He blows his whistle and throws his flag. Oh crap.
3-minute, non-release penalty. Man down. Your entire team says they aren’t upset, but you can tell they’ve got resentment.
You’re left helpless as your defense tries to fend of a man-down situation as you are parked in the penalty box for 3 minutes. Not to mention the officials hold your stick hostage for the remainder of the game!
Well we’re going to show you how to avoid this entire situation.
Here’s the truth:
99% of the time if your stick is illegal, it’s because of your head and not your shaft. So we’re going to cover how to keep your lacrosse head legal!
The 3 Most Common Lax Head Penalties
Over at Lacrosse Scoop’s Guide to Choosing Your Best Lacrosse Head, they cover this more in depth. So go check it out! Otherwise, here’s a quick overview of what constitutes a legal lax head and how to keep yours legal!
Pocket Depth:
When the ball is dropped in your head, the referee must be able to see the ball while looking across the head.
Penalty: 1 Minute Non Releasable
Tips: Check your pocket before the game, and keep in mind your pocket will stretch when wet!
Ball Roll Out:
When the referee drops the ball into your head and slowly tips your stick forward, the ball does not roll out of your head.
Penalty: 3 Minute Non Releasable
Tips: Make certain you don’t have any stringing laces in the way of the throat of your lax head. These could cause the ball to get stuck!
Width & Length of Head:
(See Diagram) Your lax head must meet the length and width dimensions shown in the diagram.
Penalty: 3 Minute Non Releasable
Tips: Make 100% sure you are buying the right lacrosse head for your level of play. High schoolers want heads that have a “U” or “X” at the end of the name!

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Lacrosse Playground

In 2009, Adam O’Neill, Harry Alford and Thomas Alford launched Lacrosse Playground as the preeminent site for lacrosse gearheads. For years Lacrosse Playground provided lacrosse fans with tutorials and tips on how to string a lacrosse head, up-close looks at the gear the top players used and sneak peeks at equipment and uniforms before they were released. More than 10 years and millions of visits later, Lacrosse Playground has relaunched with a focus on storytelling. Our mission is to provide comprehensive coverage of the latest lacrosse news, share insights into the sports betting and fantasy lacrosse world and showcase the lifestyles and personalities of the sport of lacrosse through articles, videos and podcasts.

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