The lacrosse sticks as you see them today was not the same as when the game was invented. The first generation sticks were roughly 3 feet long and these were laden with a circular net at the end meant for holding the balls in place. The netted pocket at the stick’s end part was quite deep so that the ball can be carried with ease. However, there was one issue. The deep pocket made throwing the ball a tedious task. This made lacrosse a game of endurance and strength rather than a game to display the skill of the player.
The stick used in lacrosse underwent the first round of change in the 1880s. The stick handle was made curved and a section of the handle from the top down was made flat, triangular and large. The new flat-shaped stick enhanced dodging possibilities and made passing the ball simpler. This led to a speed boost in the game.
Cut to the present time and you will see the lacrosse sticks for male players are made with titanium and aluminium while the heads are composed of plastic. There is still a net pocket but the depth has reduced. It is just enough for holding the ball in place. In women’s lacrosse, sticks made of laminated wood and composite material are used at large.
You should check out a few such sticks to ensure you bring home the right one for your needs. Keep some time for evaluating the sticks.
The stick length is not the same for all lacrosse players. In Men’s lacrosse, the stick length is from 40 to 42 inches. The defensive players have longer sticks and the length can be up to 72 inches. The sticks used by the goalie can be up to 72 inches long.
In women’s lacrosse, stick lengths are different. The stick length should be within 431⁄4- 351⁄2 inches. The goalies stick can be within the range of 48-351⁄2 inches. For box lacrosse, 42-46 inches is the length. The goaltender’s stick, however, has no length capping.
Longer sticks are used by the defense players. These help in thwarting advances of the offensive players. The defensemen can’t engage in offensive moves.
Based on your height, playing style and comfort factor you can choose the stick length. Of course, that has to be within the legal limits. However, lacrosse experts opine that cutting the stick short may not be helpful, more so for young lacrosse players. The officials assess legal stick length. Players using sticks with illegal length are fined.
In lacrosse, players do not use right or left-handed sticks. This is in stark contrast with the hockey players. Lacrosse sticks are designed neutral so that they can be used by both hands with ease.
Men’s field lacrosse players use stick heads measuring 6.5 to 10 inches wide. However, the goalie’s stick head measures differently and is 10-12 inches wide.
For women’s field lacrosse players, the stick head measures 7-9 inches wide. The stick head of the goalie can be of 12 inches width.
The pocket in a field lacrosse stick should be 6.5 to 10 inches wide. Ideally, following the rule, the pocket should be shallow to an extent so that a portion of the ball can be seen over the sidewall.
In box lacrosse, the width of the pocket is within 4.5 to 8 inches. For the goal-tender in this kind of lacrosse, the pocket should not be more than 15 inches wide.
If you want to figure out the difference in men’s and women’s field lacrosse stick heads, it is in the pocket. There is no mesh in the women’s game, apart from the goalie’s stick.
When you purchase, the majority of lacrosse stick heads are flat. This means that they don’t have pockets. You have to make and restring the pocket on your own. While making the pocket, make sure that it is not there right at the throat of the stick. Try creating it more towards the middle of the mesh.
If possible, ask your local store selling sporting goods items if they can create the pocket for you before taking the stick home. Offset heads are the most popular choice with both men and women players of field lacrosse at all levels. Offset heads were introduced in mid-1990s and in this style, the head is set back from the main shaft.
With the offset head, the pocket becomes deeper. Moreover, the ball can be released with a high trajectory. The shooter can increase the shot’s speed along with providing torque to the cradle. As a result, the ball does not come out easily.