Lacrosse is a unique sport as its own and even more so when you notice unusually big goalies. There are perfectly good reasons behind that, which you will learn in this article. In addition, I’ll explain why they aren’t always big, why they may wear a lot of padding, and some other interesting knowledge you will be eager to learn. But first, why are lacrosse goalies so big?
Generally, lacrosse goalies are so big for two reasons: box lacrosse goalie equipment or overweight. Box lacrosse is an indoor version of regular lacrosse, where the goals are smaller, and the goalie gear is large. Also, lacrosse goalies might be big because of being overweight.
When I first got interested in lacrosse and learned an indoor version of it, I was extremely surprised to see the goalie. The small goals and very big lacrosse equipment make the sport look like hockey.
Being overweight is also a big issue in the modern era, so the players might be big because of it, whether in regular or box lacrosse.
Now, I’m going to explain the two scenarios further. Stick with me, and you’ll learn exciting things!
Why Are Lacrosse Goalies So Big?
As said, there are two possible reasons why lacrosse goalies can be big. These are the huge box lacrosse goalie equipment and large body size on a player.
Box Goalie Equipment
The most usual comment on the size of lacrosse goalies comes from the cushioned equipment. The idea behind oversized box lacrosse equipment is so the goalies can block the ball with their body instead of stick skills and speed.
The box lacrosse gear wouldn’t work well in traditional lacrosse, as the goals are 6′ wide and 6′ tall, instead of 4′ 9″ wide and 4′ tall.
Think about it, as a smaller goal and bigger equipment work very well as the body blocks the majority of the goal. The only remaining area is the famous five holes where the ball can go. The five holes are each corner and the area between the goalie’s legs.
However, the big hockey goalie-styled equipment can slow down the goalie. Thus, they aren’t used in outdoor lacrosse as the goals are considerably bigger, so they need to rely on speed and skill instead of aggressive body blocking.
In traditional lacrosse, the goalie will hold the big goalie stick at eye height while quickly reacting to the player’s actions and the ball’s movement.
To give you an idea about the box goalie equipment, check out the video below.
The second reason lacrosse goalies can be big is overweight or, overall, a large body size. This is a common occurrence in baseball as well, where the players can be overweight.
Whether overweight or just tall and big, you can definitely see the difference. A tall and wide muscular/athletic physics would be great as the person would move with speed with the benefits of large area coverage.
However, an overweight person is often slow if the weight is fat. This is because fat doesen’t generally contribute to the movement but is an excess weight that naturally slows the movement.
If you think that athletes are somehow guarded against the growing overweight problem, they aren’t.
In the United States, the home of lacrosse, over 2/3 of people are either obese or overweight. Research shows that about 36.5% of Americans are obese, whereas 32.5% are overweight. This leaves 31% that are within ”normal” BMI ranges.
However, BMI isn’t the perfect calculator as people who are packing a lot of muscle can easily be classified as ”overweight”, but it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. On the contrary.
Why Every Lacrosse Goalie Aren’t Big?
Given that more area covered in front of the goal makes it harder to score, why all lacrosse goalies aren’t big?
Goalkeeping in lacrosse isn’t just about covering the goal area with big padding or large body size. A lacrosse ball can be shot with incredible speed, so skill and guts are required instead of slowing equipment.
When you look at a lacrosse game, the goalies aren’t wearing much padding, at least in outdoor lacrosse. However, they will bravely go in front of the ball, which can hurt a lot, given that it’s recorded to travel as fast as 111mph (179kph).
Bigger goalie equipment is helpful in box lacrosse as the goal is smaller, but you need to be able to move fast in field lacrosse.
Why Do Box Lacrosse Goalies Wear So Much Padding?
Field and box lacrosse are both lacrosse, so why do boxla goalies wear so much padding?
Box lacrosse goalies wear so much padding because they try to block the ball with their bodies instead of catching it like in field lacrosse. The goals in box lacrosse are considerably smaller, so large padding will cover more area in front of the goal, making it harder to score.
Box lacrosse can easily be compared to ice hockey, at least when looking at the goalie equipment. However, field lacrosse goalies look like every other player on the field, which is why many goalies report that it takes a lot of guts to be one and a dash of craziness.
The huge size of box lacrosse goalies makes you think, why don’t the teams recruit massive players that could take up most area in front of the goal? Well, this has been researched, and it isn’t necessarily great. There is a fine line with a large goalie and a too-large goalie that has a really hard time moving.
See the sumo goalie experiment made in hockey which can be compared to lacrosse.
What Is a Good Save Percentage for Lacrosse Goalies?
When you look at sports such as soccer or ice hockey, the game is lucky to see a total of 5 to 6 goals. However, the average goal amount per game in lacrosse is over 20 goals from both teams. This makes you wonder, what is a good save percentage for lacrosse goalies?
Generally, a save percentage over 50% is good, 60% is great, and +70% is excellent in lacrosse. The numbers may seem low compared to an average save percentage of 91% in NHL. However, lacrosse goals are bigger, and the goalies aren’t wearing nearly as much padding as hockey goalies.
What is considered a good save percentage in lacrosse also depends on the level of play. A high school goalie may overperform the expected numbers, whereas, at a professional level, they rarely are 70%.
A great resource by NCAA shows the best men’s college lacrosse goalies, and their save percentages. Take a look at the top 10 goalies and their save percentages.
|Lacrosse Goalie||Save Percentage|
|1. Griffin McGinley||.700|
|2. Mac Gates||.696|
|3. Michael Harris||.654|
|4. Mike Adler||.620|
|5. Luke Millican||.607|
|6. Pat Ryan||.593|
|7. Caton Johnson||.571|
|8. Colin Kirst||.571|
|9. Jack Fracyon||.545|
|10. Will Mark||.500|
After the top 10 layers, the list goes down to 27 total goalies and as low as .211 save percentage. So, the same league goalies can have a difference of over 300% in their save successes.