There are several reasons why you might need to cut a lacrosse shaft, but the most common reason is to make it more appropriate for your own height. It is very popular in youth lacrosse to shorten the shaft in correlation to the player’s height. Today, the experts here at Monkey Sports will help you through the process of cutting your lacrosse shaft to best fit your needs.
- Lacrosse Shaft (New or Recycled)
- Tape Measure (Minimum 6 feet)
- Athletic Tape/ Permanent Marker
- Hack Saw
- Work Bench or Vice
- Sand Paper
Five Steps to Achieve Greatness
Step 1: Decide what stick length is best suited for you and your position?
Before cutting down the lacrosse shaft, the customer should have an understanding for what position they would like to play. In lacrosse, there are generally three different stick sizes used to enhance the player’s ability to succeed. Without the head installed, men’s shafts are typically one of three lengths; 30″ for the attack and midfield positions, 60″ for defense, and 40″ for goalies.
Fun Fact: You can turn one defensive shaft into two regulation sized attack shafts by cutting it in half. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.
Adult Attackman/Midfielders – 30 inch long shaft
High school and college lacrosse players will need a lacrosse shaft that is 30 inches long and have a combined length of 40”- 42” inches long with the head. Attackman and midfielders use short sticks in order to make it easier to stick handle, pick up ground balls, and for better ball security.
Youth Attackman/Midfielders – 26 to 30 inches long for offensive players
Youth attackman and midfielders are allowed by rule to cut the shaft to a minimum length of 26 inches. Once they add the head to the shaft, the combined length will be within the youth regulation size of 36” to 42” long. It’s a judgment call when deciding shaft length for young lacrosse players. By cutting the shaft of the stick the player will have an advantage when it comes to ball security, groundballs, and stick handling. But when it’s time for the player to grow, it is possible that the player will become dependent on a small shaft and have trouble adjusting to a larger size. Even though it is allowed to cut down the shaft at the Youth Level, it is not recommended if the player is gifted with size at a young age. Think about what is best for the long-term development of the player and consult your coach before altering the size of the shaft.
Defensemen/ Long Pole Midfielders – 42 to 60 inches long for defensemen
There is a variety of opinions about the length of which defensemen should cut their shafts. As specified by rule, defensemen can have a stick length anywhere between 52” to 72” long. Typically the total combined length of the long pole should be the same height as the player. If the player is 5’10, then his lacrosse shaft should measure 60 inches with the addition of a 10 inch head that combines for a total of 70 inches.
Generally, the longer the shaft the more reach you will have when posting up on defense. Playing defense is a game of inches, and with a long pole you have the ability to check anyone within 6 feet of you. One inch could be the difference between a takeaway and a goal against. However with length comes added weight to the shaft. This will make your stick checks harder and more forceful, but not as quick. Longer shafts also have the ability to throw the ball farther when clearing, but are heavily exposed to riding attackman trying to get the ball back. Ultimately, bigger/stronger players are going to want the longest shaft length possible whereas, shorter/faster players are going to want their stick to be shorter and lighter for better handling because they can cover more ground with their feet.
Long Pole Midfielders tend to have shorter sticks than close defensemen due to the fact that they are more involved in the possession and clearing game. Most of their game is comprised of picking up ground balls and running the ball up the field. Therefore, the shorter the stick, the easier it is to pick up ground balls and fend off opposing midfielders.
Youth Defensemen/Long Pole Midfielders – 26 to 60 inches long for defensemen
As specified by rule, youth defensemen can have a combined stick length anywhere between 37” to 72” long, but make sure they are strong enough to handle it. It’s highly recommended that the combined stick length needs to be equal to the height of the player, and never taller. If a player is struggling with his stick skills, then maybe it’s time to cut down the shaft a few inches.
Goalies are allowed by rule to have a combined stick length anywhere between 40” to 72” long. Generally, the ideal shaft length for a goalie is 40 inches “without” the head. Goaltenders need extra length in their stick due to the fact that they need to clear the ball farther than the average player. Goalies also have been known to need extra length to intercept passes that go across the crease.
On the other hand, some goalies like to have short shafts to minimize weight in order to increase their reaction time. The shorter the stick, the lighter the weight, the more goals you stop; once again it’s all based on personal preference and finding that happy median that is best suited for the player.
Once you figure out your position and what length is best suited for you, you can move onto the next.
Step 2: Measure Twice, Cut Once
First, decide which end of the shaft is more beneficial for you to cut. If the shaft is brand new, choose the side with the butt end so you don’t have to drill a new screw hole for the head. If you are recycling an old damaged long pole, then it would be better to cut off the damaged area.
Once you have chosen a side, measure the shaft to the preferred length twice (without the head) and mark it by wrapping a piece of tape around the desired area. Make sure to have the edge of the tape match the exact mark you measure. The tape is there to use as a guide and help you cut a straight line.
Step 3: Use a Vice for Safety
Here at Monkey Sports, Safety is our number one priority and that is why we recommend using a vice to keep the lacrosse shaft in place while cutting. Make sure you don’t crank the vice too much or else it will damage or compromise the shaft.
Step 4: Make the Cut
Use your hacksaw to precisely make the cut using a blade with small teeth. Start slow with long smooth strokes. Let the saw do the work. Once you make it almost halfway, start picking up speed with your saw strokes. Some people like to flip the shaft over and start cutting from the opposite side to prevent the shaft from snapping prematurely, but that’s your call. Let your tape strip be your guide and let the saw do the work. It’s not a race.
Step 5: Sand Down the Jagged Cut
Once you have completed the cut be sure to sand it until its smooth and then put the end cap or butt end back over top of it. You don’t want the metal to cut through the butt end and injure another player or yourself. Safety first Batman!
If you have any questions about this process or any lacrosse shafts you can ask any of our experts at one of our Monkey Sports superstores or contact customer service at Lacrossemonkey.com