Letting your children play lacrosse and hockey isn’t as expensive as you think


Photo by Sebastian Gagnon - Reporter

Lacrosse and hockey gear is more accessible than many parents believe.

Sebastian Gagnon, Reporter

Lacrosse and hockey are both gaining popularity in the United States. However, the amount of money it takes to purchase equipment for these sports has deterred some parents from registering their kids to play.

There definitely are opportunities available to get free or discounted equipment, but I don’t think most parents know they exist. I believe they just see the price tag of the equipment required to play these sports and rule them out as too expensive.

Parents need to be informed of the opportunities available for discounted and free gear so youth players can get involved in lacrosse and hockey.

When I was middle school, one of my best friends gave me his old lacrosse stick and taught me how to catch and shoot with it–this was my first experience with the sport. I instantly fell in love and have played it ever since. My experience with hockey was similar.

I want youth players to have that same experience. I don’t want them to miss out on this opportunity just because they cannot afford the brand new equipment required to participate.

In a Zoom interview, California Lutheran University Women’s Lacrosse Coach Laura McIntyre said she believes that if equipment was more accessible, there would be a rise in participation.

“I definitely think that if there was more equipment out there to be had at a price range or in support somehow of those families that can’t necessarily afford it, it would definitely drive some participation for sure,” McIntyre said.

McIntyre also said there are some second-hand vendors that offer discounted equipment to players such as Do It Again Sports or Harlem Lacrosse.

There is not a lack of free or discounted equipment, but there certainly is a lack of knowledge that that it is available.

In a phone interview, junior and Vice President of Cal Lutheran’s Lacrosse Club Chris Noji said lacrosse is unique because it requires far more equipment than other sports.

“With sports like soccer or basketball you only need two things to play and that’s a ball and a net and you’re pretty much good,” Noji said.

Noji said in all the years he has played lacrosse, he has only ever had to buy elbow pads and cleats. He has gotten the rest of his gear from friends or his school.

Parents also may not realize this opportunity to reuse their teammates or friends’ old gear. 

I believe more people would play if parents were aware of these more affordable ways to obtain equipment.

Keith Walker, president of Kingsmen Hockey Club at Cal Lutheran, said in an email interview that Play It Again Sports in Thousand Oaks is a great place to get discounted equipment.

He said the store does not have everything, but it is a good place to start.

Tyler Verna, vice president of the Kingsmen Hockey Club, said in a Zoom interview that there are also opportunities for youth players to get on the ice and learn the basic skills required to play hockey.

“Rinks usually have their own learn to play program or learn to skate,” Verna said.

Verna also said most rinks offer stick time sessions at a discounted price where players can go and just skate and shoot around.

I think it is important that parents know about these opportunities so that they can get their children involved in hockey without worrying about the financial burden that can come with playing it.

I want parents to stop looking at the price tags associated with lacrosse and hockey and automatically thinking there is no way they can afford the sports.

As someone who has played both sports, I can tell you that the lacrosse and hockey communities are not exclusive clubs. We are more like a family and we want new people to join.

When we hear that someone new wants to join, we get excited and many of us would do anything we can to help someone get on the field or the ice.

There are many opportunities to get discounted and sometimes even free equipment, so I encourage everyone to get out there and get involved.