You can’t even imagine playing Lacrosse without having a lacrosse ball, can you? Among Lacrosse’s equipment, the lacrosse ball is unquestionably one of the fundamentals yet overlooked equipment. A high-end crosser never fails to give importance to his pieces of equipment along with the training. Many fail to choose the Lacrosse’s right ball since they do not know how a lacrosse ball is produced.
It appreciates that you are conscious of the equipment besides the game. It shows how passionate you are regarding this sport. As you search for the answers to how the lacrosse balls, lacrosse sticks, and lacrosse helmets are made, I will share all you need to know about this equipment. So, stick with the guide, and you will find all your answers in this.
What Were Lacrosse Balls Made of?
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Lacrosse is an ancient game of North America having a history of a long time. Since the origination of the game, balls, and sticks were the only equipment in the game. There were no such modern technologies to manufacture any balls like today we have for Lacrosse. Lacrosse is always associated with nature. So, Lacrosse’s equipment was also made of natural things such as buckskin, wood, or rocks. Typically, people made lacrosse balls in either of these three ways in ancient times.
- They used deerskin balls stuffed with hair, grass, or sand for Lacrosse. Usually, they made these balls by themselves. Players back then mostly used these buckskin balls for the game.
- A different type of wooden ball was also popular back then. This was a solid wooden round-shaped piece of the ball.
- Lastly, rocks were the alternative to lacrosse balls. People used stones that were similar to the lacrosse balls for playing Lacrosse.
What are lacrosse balls made of now?
After Dr. William George Beers developed the Lacrosse game rules in the 1860s, a considerable evolution came into lacrosse balls, making the balls more formal. After generating the lacrosse rules, lacrosse balls were brought under various regulations such as the ball’s material, weight, diameter, and color. Day by day, regulations for lacrosse balls evolved to the modern days of now.
Currently, lacrosse ball manufacturers widely use either of three materials for making a ball. According to the standard rule of modern Lacrosse, the ball should be of a solid, elastomeric material. Lacrosse ball manufacturers have many options for making the balls, such as silicone, polyurethane, rubber, and various vinyl types. Despite having so many materials, the balls made with solid, vulcanized rubber are most popular among crossers.
Vulcanized rubbers are relatively strong and have other natural rubbers mixed, so the balls made with this material are very convenient for the game. Another main reason for using this material is that vulcanizing rubber is standard and comfortable.
Lacrosse rubbers typically do not swell from the inside. If you cut the ball into two pieces, you will see the lacrosse ball’s middle is the same as the outside. That means they are made as a single solid piece of rubber. However, people used to stuff cement inside the ball some decades before. But, the era of stuffing cement inside the lacrosse ball has vanished at a point, and solid rubber balls gained overall popularity.
How Much Does A Lacrosse Ball Weigh?
Well, it’s a crucial fact to know about the lacrosse ball before you head towards buying for yourself or practicing with one random ball. Standard lacrosse regulations include the weight and diameters of a lacrosse ball for setting an ideal measurement of the lacrosse ball worldwide. When it was the old version, lacrosse balls were 3 inches in diameter. After developing the rules, the diameters and weight of a lacrosse ball also changed with time.
Generally, there are different dimensions operable depending on each lacrosse league. However, the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment has set a standard size, weight, and circumference of lacrosse balls, followed for the international lacrosse games. According to NCAA, a modern lacrosse ball’s ideal dimension should be 140 grams to 147 grams, equivalent to 5 to 5.25 ounces. Instruction from NCAA states that the balls’ circumference is 7.75 inches to 8 inches, and the diameter should be62.7 mm. to 64.7 mm.
These measurements of a lacrosse ball given above are according to the standards of NOCSAE, and this can vary depending on the different local leagues as there are different rules of lacrosse balls.
Game Ball vs. Practice Ball
Those who play Lacrosse know that slightly different balls are available for lacrosse gameplay and practice sessions. By the name, you already understood that game balls are for playing in final matches, and practice balls are for training or practicing. Some may think of why the game ball and practice ball should differ. It’s because of the increased speed and variations of the game.
You will find a decent range of in-game balls depending upon the players’ age, level, and gender. Beginner players or the players who are still in 6U or 8U should use soft-type balls. Softballs like tennis balls, soft lacrosse balls, or other soft athletic balls of similar sizes are the right choice for beginners. If you have already recorded a significant number of playing in your bag, you are an intermediate or advanced player. In that case, a softball wouldn’t be the right choice for you.
Once a player reaches his 10U level of playing Lacrosse, he can use the lacrosse balls made with rubber that follow the standards of NOCSAE. The balls that follow the standards of NOCSAE have a label written: “Meets NOCSAE Standards.” This rule is compatible with all crossers, whether a man or a women.
Gender differs from the colors of lacrosse balls. The color of the ball Lacrosse for men and women is not the same. Men can use a lacrosse ball of any stated color; white, orange, or lime green. Most of the time, white is the preferred color for a lacrosse ball in a men’s lacrosse game. And women are usually seen using yellow balls on game day, although they have another orange option. Overall, white for the men’s lacrosse game and yellow for the women’s lacrosse game is preferable. Crossers can use other colors only if both coaches agree to use them.
Training balls come with slight differences to make your practices more effective if we talk about training balls. While practicing, you work on your skills, speed, and overall game. So, you need slightly specialized balls that will help you in this regard.
Practice balls are usually of soft yet durable material, also shock absorbent. You will find practice balls with the same regulations as game balls. These balls will have the same weight, diameter, and circumference as the game ball. But, there are also practice balls with more weight than game balls. These balls are widely known as weighted balls also. Weighted balls have the same dimension as a game ball, having more weight, about three times heavier than regular lacrosse balls. You can develop your strength on the field, shot speed, and ball-handling skills with these weighted balls’ help.
It is wiser to use a light ball for practice through pink, purple, blue, and marble options. One of the significant differences between the game ball and practice ball is that practice balls come in colors that are not allowed in the standard game.
I mentioned that the color of lacrosse balls differs depending upon gender. Here are the color tips for lacrosse balls for your convenience.
- Men’s Lacrosse: (game ball) white, orange, lime green. (practice ball) yellow, pink.
- Women’s Lacrosse: (game ball) Yellow (practice ball) Orange.
- Boy’s Youth Lacrosse: White, orange, lime green, and pink
- Girl’s Youth Lacrosse: Orange, yellow, and lime color
How Are Lacrosse Sticks Made?
Lacrosse sticks are undoubtedly as vital as lacrosse balls in the game of Lacrosse. Like lacrosse balls, lacrosse sticks also evolved and became our modern lacrosse sticks throughout many years. Currently, you will find a lacrosse stick made of wood, metal, or carbon fiber. People used a big single wooden piece as a Lacrosse stick in ancient times, slightly bent at the head part. It looked like a big wooden spoon. But now we can buy lacrosse sticks as individual heads and shafts.
As per the traditional method, mostly hickory wood was the material to produce the lacrosse sticks. Hickory wood is hard yet lightweight and malleable, so it was the best suitable material for lacrosse sticks. Developing the game in Canada and Europe, the equipment started evolving after the 1970s. In the early 1980s, a revolutionary change came to the lacrosse sticks. People used to adopt aluminum for making the shafts. People grew interested in aluminum shafts because hollow aluminum is so lightweight than wood. These lighter aluminum shafts also help faster stick speed, shots, and passes. In 1992, titanium shaft also grew popularity as this material did not dent or snap as easily as aluminum. However, some of the crossers still prefer using wooden lacrosse sticks to be connected with the roots.
People in ancient times used to bend the wooden shaft from the top to shape it and continued this practice for a long time till STX introduced an individual plastic head for the lacrosse stick in august 1970. Since then, the plastic head has become standard in Lacrosse. The era of single-piece wooden sticks started dissolving. A plastic head over a metal shaft gained wide popularity among crossers and is still experienced, and high-end players prefer buying individual parts for the sticks. According to NCAA rules, the head of a men’s lacrosse stick must be 6 to 10 inches. Naturally, the stick’s head for the goalie is taller, so NCAA has set the length of 10/12-15 inches for the head of the goalie’s lacrosse stick.
Mesh is another functional part of the stick. The lacrosse stick pocket used leather strings interwoven or nylon mesh. But, synthetic mesh stringing replaced the tradition of the pocket of the lacrosse stick. Since the synthetic mesh is lighter, performs better than nylon or leather strings, and is more resilient in inclement weather, people adopted the new evolution in no time.
What Are Lacrosse Helmets Made Of?
The helmet is a recent piece of equipment for Lacrosse. Early crossers didn’t play Lacrosse wearing a helmet. If we look into the history, using a helmet in Lacrosse started in the 1928 Olympics when only the US wore helmets as protective gear. Lacrosse helmets have usage mainly in men’s Lacrosse as men’s Lacrosse allows body checks. In women’s Lacrosse, the only goalie has permission to wear helmets.
Lacrosse helmets are non-adjustable shells with thick pads inside to comfort the player’s head. They also have a face mask made of metal bars to protect themselves from the opponent’s attacks and a chinstrap to secure the helmet. Almost all lacrosse helmets have these same features; the differences between helmets are weight, the field of vision, color, brands, and fit.
The shell of a lacrosse helmet is produced from injection-molded material, such as ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastic. You can also find lacrosse helmets made with similar materials to motorcycle helmets, such as polycarbonate plastics. Lacrosse helmets can vary their weights from 2 pounds to 6 pounds.
Lacrosse is a game that is always fun and feels energetic. But, you can’t enjoy this super fast-paced sport if you do not have proper knowledge regarding the equipment. Lacrosse balls and lacrosse sticks are undeniably necessary equipment for playing Lacrosse. And by far, you might get all your question answered. If anything is I yet to know about lacrosse balls or sticks, kindly ask me in the comment section.