Lacrosse Sticks by Don Allen

Lacrosse Sticks

Lacrosse Sticks by Don Allen at

A lacrosse stick (sometimes called the crosse although this term is rarely used) is a lacrosse player's most important piece of equipment - the piece of equipment he should sleep with. Lacrosse sticks are different for men's and women's lacrosse but consist of the head and shaft.

The head of a lacrosse stick is the part used for handling the ball. The head has the net piece of mesh or leather. Players catch, throw and cradle with the ball in the head of the stick. The head is usually made of a hard type of plastic, but some players prefer classic wood heads. The differences between men's and women's lacrosse sticks are found mostly in the head; men's stick heads may be from 4 to 10 inches wide according to ILF (International Lacrosse Federation) rules, or 6.5 to 10 inches wide according to US Lacrosse and NCAA rules. The goalie's stick may be up to 15 inches inside measurement at its widest point (ILF) or 10 to 12 inches wide (US Lacrosse and NCAA). The sidewalls of sticks in Men's Lacrosse may not be more than 2 inches tall. Lacrosse sticks may be strung with mesh or leathers and nylon strings to form a pocket. In field lacrosse, the pocket of the crosse is considered illegal if the top of the ball, when placed in the head of the stick, is below the bottom of the stick's sidewall. Although players should beware because rain and the elements have a way of making a pocket illegal even though a player adjusted his stick so it's legal.

US Lacrosse Rules dictate that the head of a woman's stick may be from 7 to 9 inches wide, and must be strung traditionally, with a pocket formed by a grid of leather strings (no mesh is permitted); however, the goalkeeper's stick head may be up to 12 inches wide an is allowed to be strung with mesh. The top of the ball, when placed in the pocket, must remain above the sidewall. Hence, women's lacrosse heads tend to lack any pocket. Also, women's lacrosse usually features much more colorful heads.

Modern handles, more commonly referred to as shafts, are mostly hollow metal tubes. They are usually polygonal, instead of round, in order to provide a better grip for players. Most are made of aluminum, titanium, or kevlar, but many are still made from other materials, including wood. Hallow metal handles must be covered with with tape or a plug (commonly referred to as the "butt"), usually made of rubber, on the exposed end. Women's lacrosse handles are usually shorter than those found in men's lacrosse, since regulations limit the length of men's sticks (including the head) from 40 to 42 inches (52 to 72 inches for defensemen), while women's sticks can be 35.5 to 43.25 inches long.

Offensive players' lacrosse sticks are often as short as possible, because of the offensive advantages of a short stick. Men's defensive sticks, however, are usually as long as the rules permit, to allow a defenseman to stay further away from the player he is covering while still playing defense effectively.

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Don Allen is a recent college graduate who has been playing lacrosse since he was 5. He realized the internet doesn't provide enough information about lacrosse equipment and the sport in general and hopes to provide everything people want to know. Please visit his site at