What Is a Goalie In Lacrosse?

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What Is a Goalie In Lacrosse?

When it comes to sports, each position has its own particular set of skills and responsibilities. Lacrosse is no different. One key position in lacrosse is the goalie, whose main job is to protect the goal from incoming shots.

Let’s look at what a lacrosse goalie does and why it plays an important role on any lacrosse team. 

The Basics Of The Goalie Position

The most simple definition for a lacrosse goalie is that they are responsible for protecting the goal from opposing players’ shots. They will typically stand in front of their net, use their body, and stick to block shots coming their way.

While doing this, they must also be aware of the other players on the field so that they can communicate with their defensemen about where opposing players are located or where open lanes may be available for them to pass through.  

Strategy and Tactics 

Goalies need to have a good understanding of strategy and tactics to succeed. This means they must know when it is best to aggressively challenge shooters and when it is wise to play more conservatively by attempting to cut off passing lanes instead.

Goalies will also need to anticipate where opponents are likely going with the ball before they even get there to give themselves time to properly set up for action in front of the net.  


As one of only four defensive positions on the field (plus an additional player who lines up between them), goalies must act as leaders for their defensemen and their teammates across all positions on offense and defense.

A great goalie can rally their teammates with words or simply by example; strong leadership qualities are essential if you want your team to succeed in lacrosse competition.

Goalie Equipment

Lacrosse Helmet: To protect your head and face from errant lacrosse sticks and balls, you’ll need to wear a lacrosse helmet. Look for a good ventilation helmet to keep you cool and comfortable during long games.

Lacrosse Gloves: Goalie gloves are different from regular ones because they have extra padding to help protect your hands when making saves. They also have a tighter fit to maintain a good grip on your stick.

Chest Protector: A chest protector helps protect your vital organs from flying lacrosse balls. Look for a comfortable and not too bulky protector so you can move freely in the crease.

Arm Guards: Arm guards help protect your arms from errant sticks and balls. They should fit snugly but not too tightly so you can still move your arms freely.

Mouthguard: A mouthguard is a must-have for any lacrosse player, but it is especially important for goalies constantly getting hit in the face with sticks and balls. Choose a mouthguard that is comfortable and fits well so you can focus on making saves.

Lacrosse Pants: Goalie pants are designed to offer extra protection for your legs and groin area. They should fit snugly but not tightly so you can move freely in the crease.

Lacrosse Shoes: Goalie shoes need to provide good traction so you can move quickly from side to side in the crease. They should also have good ankle support to protect your ankles from getting rolled when making saves.

Lacrosse Stick: Your lacrosse stick is your most important piece of equipment as a goalie. Goalie sticks are shorter and heavier than regular lacrosse sticks, which gives you better control when making saves. They also have a wider head to help block shots.

Goalie Mask: A goalie mask protects your face from sticks and balls. Look for a comfortable mask with good visibility to see the action on the field.

Safety Reminders For Goalies

As a goalie, you’re especially vulnerable to head injuries, so it’s important to ensure you’re wearing a helmet that fits properly and offers adequate protection. You should also wear gloves, pads, and other protective clothing to help reduce the risk of injury.

It’s also important to be aware of your surroundings and play intelligently. Be sure to communicate with your teammates, so everyone is on the same page, and be aware of where the other players are at all times.


In summary, being a lacrosse goalie isn’t just about stopping shots—it’s leading your team, anticipating plays before they happen, understanding strategy and tactics, and staying alert throughout an entire game or practice session. It’s a difficult job, but one with plenty of rewards should you choose it.