Shoulder Pads 101

In lacrosse, the difference between scoring the deciding goal and watching from the sidelines can come down to choosing the right protection.

When it comes to shoulder pads, responsible for protecting your collarbone and sternum, there’s much to consider—the size, the fit, the shape—to find the perfect for your game.

Shoulder pads cover the shoulders, the collar bone and the sternum.

Defenders usually prefer shoulder pads that are light to allow for flexibility.

Attackers often opt for as much protection as possible to withstand checks and swipes from the longpoles.


SIZE SMALL – Height 4’3″-4″6″, Weight 50-90 lbs., Age 6-10
SIZE MEDIUM – Height 4’6″-5’6″, Weight 90-150 lbs., Age 11-13
SIZE LARGE – Height 5’6″-6’+, Weight 150-200+ lbs., Age 14-17+
SIZE EXTRA LARGE – Height 6’+, Weight 200+, Age 18+

If your shoulder pads are too tight, you won’t be able to move like you want. If they are too loose, you expose yourself to injury.

How to get the best fit:

Place the pad over your head and have the shoulder caps rest on top of your shoulders. Then, slide arms through the bicep pad and secure the body straps to the front of the pad. If the straps are loose remove the slack by tightening the strap on the back of the pad. Make sure you’re comfortable, if it is too tight it will restrict movement and if it is too loose the pad can rise up during shots or passes.

Also make sure the collar of the pad is lying flat on your collar. Your collar is one of the most vulnerable parts of the body in lacrosse and you need to make sure it’s protected.

If your pad has bicep pads, make sure the slack is removed from the strap and the bicep pad sits snug and high on the bicep. This will prevent it from getting in your way.

Then, the shoulder cap should extend two inches off the shoulder, a shoulder pad liner should be one inch off the shoulder.

Lastly note the sternum pad, it should, well, protect your sternum.