Lacrosse Goalie Guide to Athletic Cups
Based on what’s at stake, this may be the most important thing I ever write.
Because today we’re discussing protection of the most important area (at least for us male goalies).
Jockstraps, athletic supporters, protective cups. Call them what you will.
In this post, we’ll be breaking down the different options for the most important piece of protection a lacrosse goalie can have.
The options have evolved since I strapped on the basic protection available in the late 90’s.
So what choices do we have when it comes to lacrosse goalie protective cups?
Finally, at the end of this post I want to share a little-known rule which lacrosse goalies have the power to enact that could get you out of a very sticky situation.
Basic Athletic Cup / Jock Strap
When I was playing college ball in the early 2000’s, everyone – including myself – used the basic McDavid or Bike protective cup and jock strap.
The grundle straps (those 2 straps as my teammates called them) were not very durable so most players had a floating cup situation going on.
I would put on a pair of practice shorts, then put on this athletic cup, then put another pair of shorts over that.
That’s something I learned from the goalie ahead of me and something I passed down to the goalie after me. It’s a great tip if you’re using this style jock and even if you’re not.
While this cup provided the bare minimum level of protection, any goalie my age will tell you a direct shot to the cup still hurt. Sometimes bad.
For one thing, the cup is curved and angled so if the shot hit any part of the curved area it simply ricocheted into your thigh causing an unpleasant contusion.
And if you took a crank shot straight on, the impact to the groin area – while not lethal due to the protection – was still painful at best.
Nowadays there’s much better groin protection available to us goalies so unless you’re looking for the absolute cheapest option I’d suggest going with something else.
Maybe just stash one of these in your lacrosse bag as backup.
Ice Hockey Goalie Cups
Around my senior year, another goalie I was friends with recommended I try using an ice hockey goalie protective cup.
I figured if these things were built to withstand a hockey puck to the nuts then they should be able to withstand a lacrosse ball.
Just by looking at them you can tell they’re going to provide A LOT more protection than the standard white jock strap.
The ice hockey goalie cups have protective waistbands to protect the groin area above the cup but still below your chest pad.
They also feature additional rigid protection around the hard cup to increase impact protection in that area. The cup covers a lot more area than the basic jock to ensure ricochets are less likely to cause groinal damage.
The straps are much more sturdy and there is overall less fidgeting and adjusting that needs to be done.
The only drawback of these style groin protectors is the higher price. But when dealing with protection of your little team, can we really put a price on that?
But to say this was an upgrade is perhaps the understatement of the year. There’s no comparison when it comes to the level of protection and more importantly, the feeling of safety wearing this beefed up protection.
It’s weird but when you feel protected (especially groinally speaking) you’re a more confident goalie.
Protective Pants + Cup
Several companies have taken the original jockstrap and turned them into a more comfortable pair of pants.
While these are more comfortable than the basic Bike or McDavid athletic supporters, ultimately you’re still getting the same level of protection.
The Shock Doctor Shocksin pants do come with some extra padding but the others are simply a more comfortable version of what I wore in college.
Many complaints on Amazon focus around the cup not being protective enough and that’s what I worry about too for lacrosse goalies using these style of protection. Although many goalies have told me this is their preferred method of protection.
These may work for middies and attackman, but as a goalie, I’d look elsewhere.
Lacrosse Goalie Cups
Not to be outdone by ice hockey companies like Brine and Bauer, lacrosse equipment manufacturer Warrior got into the lacrosse goalie groin protection game as well.
That pictured above is the Warrior Nutt Hut. A hut for your nutts of course.
While it is an improvement over the original Bike and McDavid style athletic cups, it’s still not on the same level as the ice hockey goalie jocks.
Then Warrior went back to the drawing board, calling upon all groin protection engineers on staff (and perhaps even a few outsourced freelancers).
After days of investigative work and state of the art research they came out with this bad boy.
Edit: Seems to be sold out on Amazon now. You can still get it here on GoalieMonkey.com.
That’s the Warrior Ritual X Pro Goalie Cup and it’s definitely more in line with the ice hockey goalie athletic supporters.
Just read this description of their new design:
The design begins with a modified double jock style, utilizing Warrior’s ShockShield technology. A double jock is traditionally constructed of a standard supporter cup internally with an outer shield of HD and/or LD foams for added protection. The Ritual X Pro is constructed of not only an internal supporter cup, but also a layer of molded medium density closed-cell foam around PE plastic. This creates an extra rigid shell around the internal protection.
Extra rigid shell around the internal protection – I like the sound of that.
I think the Warrior Ritual X Pro Cup is a solid choice for lax goalies.
The Nutty Buddy
I’ve actually never used the Nutty Buddy but enough goalies emailed me its praises I need to include it in this list of methods to protect the boys.
I mean this is the inventor’s face after getting hit right in the junk from a pitching machine at point blank range.
They say lacrosse goalies are crazy but if you had a smile that big after getting hit square in the package, you’ve taken crazy to a new level.
The cup is designed to be anatomically correct so both little boys have sufficient room. Plus upon impact the force goes towards the pubic bone which is less painful.
I mean this dude takes a 90mph baseball from 6 feet away and says he only felt “a little pressure”.
A little pressure?
Sounds like a winner to me! And many young male lacrosse goalies have confirmed. Nutty Buddy ftw.
The only drawback of the Nutty Buddy is like the basic cup you don’t get a lot of protection around the cup where goalies are still very vulnerable to a shot.
Goalie Cup Rule
Finally, I want to let all goalies in a rule.
Hopefully, you don’t have to enact this rule but in the unfortunate event you find yourself needing to – you now know this rule exists and can be exercised at any time.
It’s called the Goalie Cup Rule.
And it states that if a goalie forgets his protective cup – for whatever reason – an attackman (or another teammate) is obligated to let him borrow theirs for that practice or game.
Never ever get in goal with no cup on. Enact the goalie cup rule.
If attackman pleads ignorance to the goalie cup rule, it doesn’t matter. A person who is unaware of a law may not escape liability for violating that law.
Now please hand over that cup. Goalie cup rule bro.
In my wee-wee!!!? This is what we’re trying to avoid ladies and gentleman. Or maybe just gentleman.
I remember I used to wear just a simple athletic cup. Then I got hit square in the package. I didn’t cry like these youth goalies, but I felt like it.
If I would have had a mobile phone on me, I would have ordered a reinforced goalie jock right from the field. This jock provides the most protection and is well worth the investment. Given what’s at stake, this is my favorite piece of lacrosse goalie equipment that I own.
As you see in this post, there are a few varieties of athletic supporter to protect your family jewels.
But really you should opt for an ice hockey-style jockstrap or Warrior’s latest groin protective product.
And there’s also the Nutty Buddy which seems like a solid option for max protection!
Without one of those options, you’re playing with pure fire.
Until next time! Coach Damon
Anyone else use a different style of groin protection? A better lacrosse goalie cup? Leave me a comment down below.
24 thoughts on “Lacrosse Goalie Guide to Athletic Cups”
I’ve played goalie for my entire field lacrosse career and even though I play forward in box I always wear a cup. People who don’t wear them always confuse me because, not only is it one of the most important parts of a males body but it is also one of the most sensitive and should be something everyone takes extra precautions to protect.
I had teammates who didn’t wear them while in the field. Never understood that either. Given what’s at stake who cares if its a little uncomfortable. Plus that dual shorts method makes it pretty comfortable.
My son always wear a Cup while playing Goalie in Lacrosse. His problem is the inner thigh keeps getting pelted on shots when steps toward the shot and his hands aren’t quick enough. They don’t make pass in the short style girdle for this area. Somebody should develop an all around protective girdle for this and make an all sports related girdle that you move in and still protect your vitals
That would be ideal! I listed that in a post I wrote about things I wish existed for lacrosse goalies. There’s football pants but even then the inner thigh is exposed.
Has anyone tried the NuttyBuddy? I’ve been eyeing it for my goalie son.
Actually never tried the Nutty Buddy but a bunch of people wrote to me about that option so I’ll add to this post. Thanks!
I’ve used Nutty Buddy for 8 years, and LOVE IT! It disperses the impact outward, to the outside, while other cups still internalize the impact/blow. it’s a gamechanger, and has made me completely fearless as an outdoor field and an indoor box goalie. highly recommended
Interesting! Never tried it out myself but got tons of notes asking why I left it out so I’ll include that Nutty Buddy!
My son is a college goalie and has used the Nutty Buddy for the past 6-7 years and he loves it. Not as bulky as the ice hockey cups which he prefers. Highly recommend it!
Another vote of confidence for the Nutty Buddy!
Simple, inexpensive, and effective- 2 cups! Nothing fancy or expensive, just 2 stacked on top of each other in the same supporter or shorts. Any impact transferred by the top cup is dispersed completely by the one underneath.
For the ultimate everything-in-place comfort and protection, wear a regular jock strap and cup then a compression short with cup on top of that.
For box goaltending, the Warrior Ritual is amazing, but hockey-style cups add so much weight, bulk, and expense for field goaltending, that they don’t compare favorably to me versus 2 cups.
2 cups?? isn’t that a massive protrusion? what’s the comfort level on Murphy’s 2 cup system? haha Protection has gotta be a full 10!
Played hockey and lacrosse (field and box) in high school, hockey in college, and still play adult-league hockey. In HS we just pulled on a cup jock over our boxers. But if you have loose nuts one or the other would sometimes slip out from under the cup jock — ouch! Briefs under the cup was better for your nuts, but the cup would chafe your inner thigh. When they came out, I tried compression shorts (or the looser hockey shorts) with a built-in cup; no better, and arguably worse because the Cup floats around over your groin with each step.
Freshman year in college I noticed older guys wearing a regular jock as their base layer, then compression shorts, then a cup jock over that. Tried it, and never looked back — by far the most comfortable set-up down there. Why didn’t someone tell us that in high school?
Never tried the dual cup system. The cups actually serve as the bread while the compression shorts in the middle complete the sandwhich? Interesting. Seems like it’d be bulky and tough in run with but I guess I’ll give it a go. I also never suffered from loose nuts syndrome ahahaa
Not dual cups. Regular jock as base layer, then compression shorts, then cup jock over the comp shorts.
In addition to a cup, I’ll be getting my 9 year old a hockey style Warrior cup, what about these Inline Hockey styly girdles? I’m looking at the goalie pants, they all seem to be mediocre based on reviews, and came across Field Hockey girdles, then finally Inline Hockey gear. For example: https://www.inlinewarehouse.com/Mission_Core/descpage-MRHG19.html
Is seems interesting at least. They seem to keep cooling and padding in mind. Not sure if anybody has ever tried them? I appreciate any responses, looking to get a new goalie confident in the goal.
Those look very interesting. If you end up trying em out please let me know how it is!
I no longer play competitively, but when I did I always wore a hockey jock with a shock dr titan alloy cup because I’ve seen plastic ones break. Got the idea from Trevor Tierney/Kip Turner. Don’t mess around: you can get horrifically injured taking not only a shot, but also getting stepped on or checked.
Hockey jock ftw!
Would love to hear your opinion.
My son’s 4th Grade Boys Lacrosse Coach forced my son to play goalie without a cup. The coach asked if he had a cup and my son said no. The coach asked my son to try on the goalie pants and they did not fit. They would not stay up. The coach said he had to play goalie anyway. It was the 2nd game of a 4 game Jamboree. It was a last minute Goalie decision where they picked on stick out of the pile, which was my son’s stick. I was back at the car to get gatorade for a few boys. When I came back, I noticed my son in Net on the far side. I ran down and asked him if he had his cup on. He said no. I walked on the field and stopped the game. I confronted the Coach and the coach said it was policy. Does this make sense at all??
Pretty simple – never play goalie without a cup. Not sure what the coach was thinking.
Update! Our town Boys Lacrosse board members just voted late yesterday to change the policy and never do this again! Not sure why the old policy was ever in place. Very cruel punishment for not having a cup. One would have thought laps, pushups, sitting out a game etc.. would have been a clear action to take.