It can be an exhilarating sight when you look at lacrosse players at full speed on the field. They move with speed, seem to have incredible accuracy, their helmets look incredible, and their stick handling skills are over the top.
When you think about the most important tools lacrosse players have, the stick is the most important. However, the stick raises some questions, such as what are they called or just called sticks?
The official name of a lacrosse stick is a lacrosse stick, whereas the next common term is a crosse. Other names include a stick, twig, wand, and spoon. Lacrosse players also give nicknames to their sticks, often based on their friend’s mother’s names. However, this will vary between areas.
As you can see, there are many more clever and fun names to describe the lacrosse stick. Personally, my favorite is the wand or a nickname based on my friend’s mother’s name. I’m childish, I know.
Speaking of lacrosse sticks, there is much more to them than the name. That being said, I’ll give you some more information about sticks, twigs, wands, spoons, or crosses, whatever you want to name it. Let’s start with the parts of a lacrosse stick.
What are the Parts of a Lacrosse Stick?
The lacrosse stick isn’t just made out of one part. There are many more components than you would think.
Lacrosse sticks consist of three main parts: the head, mesh, and shaft. In addition, there are smaller parts on all of these parts, including shooting strings, channel, sidewalls, pocket, ball stop, and butt end.
Take a look at all the parts on a lacrosse stick and what they are used for.
- The head is the top part of the lacrosse stick, and you will use it to catch the ball. There are strung and unstrung lacrosse heads where prestrung heads make things easy, whereas unstrung heads make things very customizable.
- Mesh is the “net” on a lacrosse head. The mesh is often mistaken as a common string, but it’s a piece of woven fibers meant to replicate strings. However, the benefits of mesh include improved durability and water resistance.
- Shooting Strings are located at the end of the head and mesh area. They are included on the mesh to provide a better feel, grabbing, and increased whip when shooting the ball. Shooting strings are highly customizable, so you can choose how many of them you want, how tight, and what type.
- Channel is a guard that prevents the ball from moving freely on the head. Without a channel, it would make the accuracy very inconsistent. However, with the channel, the ball is held on the center of the head every time before the shooting, eliminating poor and inconsistent performance.
- Side Walls are located on the head and used to string the lacrosse stick with the mesh net.
- Pocket is the area within the head and mesh where the ball will be held.
- Ball Stop is located at the bottom of the head, just above the throat. The meaning of a ball stop is to help the players in catching.
- The shaft is the metal part of the stick that you hold on to. It’s the part that looks like a stick and makes most of the stick’s length.
- Butt End or a bottom end is the end cap of the lacrosse stick. It’s commonly a hard plastic cork at the very end of the stick. The purpose of a butt end is to protect others from getting hit from a pointy end and give the players an indication of when the stick will end.
What Types of Lacrosse Sticks are There?
As far as the names and parts on lacrosse sticks go, they aren’t the only things you should know about them. There are also different lacrosse sticks meant for different positions and purposes. Let’s learn more about them.
There are three main types of lacrosse sticks: short sticks used by offense, long sticks used by defense, and goalie sticks used by the goalies. In addition, there are traditional lacrosse sticks, also called native sticks, and separate women’s lacrosse sticks.
The stick you need to choose is widely based on your position and personal preference. To learn more about the five different lacrosse sticks, check out the overview of each type.
- Short/Offence Stick is used mainly by attackers and the midfield. These sticks are between 40 to 42 inches long. These sticks are the most common ones.
- Long/ Defense Stick is used by the defense and some midfielders. They are 52 to 72 inches long, so it’s a considerable difference compared to short sticks.
- Goalie Stick is used by only lacrosse goalies and is between 40 to 72 inches long. Such a wide range is a personal preference so that the goalies may use a stick of their liking. Also, the head of a goalie stick is considerably larger, so goalkeeping would be easier.
- Traditional (Native) Stick is the OG of lacrosse sticks. These are generally made of a single piece of wood, bent to form ahead on end. There aren’t many native lacrosse sticks users nowadays, as the modern ones are superior in durability and performance.
- Woman’s sticks are shorter than men’s lacrosse sticks ranging from 35.5 inches to 43.25 inches, excluding the goalie stick. In addition, women’s stick heads often have similar stringing to native netting; however, a mesh is also available.
I highly suggest that you try out multiple types and lengths of sticks before settling on the best one for you. This is true, especially if you play midfield.
What Makes a Good Lacrosse Stick?
As a lacrosse player, your performance reflects your skills and equipment. The stick is by far the most important equipment in terms of performance, so how do you know when you have a good stick?
There are many reasons, but the four ones below are the most important.
1. The Right Lenght
First of all, the length of your lacrosse stick will have a huge effect on your performance. Generally, the lacrosse stick length goes as follows;
- Offensive stick length: 40″ – 42″
- Defensive stick length: 52″ – 72″
- Goalie stick length: 40″ – 72″
- Women’s stick lenght: 35.5″ – 43.25″
I highly recommend trying out the different stick lengths inside your position’s stick range. The differences might not be as big with offensive or women’s sticks, but defensive players and goalies will notice a difference.
2. Proper Mesh
When lacrosse moved from the traditional stick stringing to the mesh, it was a big leap towards quality lacrosse. However, there are differences between mesh as well.
A high-quality mesh is important for many reasons, such as durability, weather elements, and impact absorption.
A quality mesh will endure more usage, which increases the lifespan of your lacrosse stick. In addition, rain and high temperatures can be harsh, so that the quality mesh will endure them as well.
Finally, a great mesh will absorb fast lacrosse shots much better, so the game feel will flow on better.
3. Sturdy Construction
You’d be surprised how big differences there are in the durability between lacrosse sticks. This is especially true between poor and high-quality brands.
You should examine a couple of parts to know whether your stick has good durability. These parts are the end cap and the connection between the shaft and head.
The butt cap is often overlooked, but it has an important task. The end cap ensures that you won’t poke your opponents with the pointy end of a shaft. Therefore, it needs to be sturdy, and it can’t start to wobble or fall off during a play.
However, even more importantly, it prevents your hands from sliding past the shaft and accidentally throwing your stick. In addition, when you wind up into a shooting motion, the end cap goes under a lot of pressure, so it needs to hold.
Second, the connection between the shaft and head needs to be solid. When the head doesen’t move at all, your shots are much more accurate when compared to poor shaky construction.
4. Symmetrical Sidewalls
If you want to have consistent performance when playing lacrosse, the sidewall knot pattern must be as symmetrical as possible.
The knotting on the sidewalls determines many things, such as pocket placement, depth, tightness, and so on. These are vital things to get right to have a great feel and accuracy on your stick!
How Much Is a Good Lacrosse Stick?
There is so much to know about lacrosse sticks, as you might have noticed by now. So, how can you quickly estimate by looking at the price of a lacrosse stick and know what is a good stick and what isn’t? How much does a good lacrosse stick cost?
Generally, a good lacrosse stick will cost $150 upwards. However, this depends on the player’s age, level of play, personal preference, and the stick itself. You can get good beginner-level lacrosse sticks starting from $100 and more advanced customizable sticks up from $200.
Well, what about the cheap $40 lacrosse sticks? You can get started with one of those, but you can’t expect a good lacrosse stick with less than $50. Lacrosse is quite an expensive sport, and a lot is going on a lacrosse stick, so the price isn’t often low.
You should also note big differences between lacrosse stick brands and models. Therefore, a $100 lacrosse stick from one brand can be very high quality, whereas another costing $150 can be of lesser quality. Always do proper research, and you will know a good stick when you see one!
What Is an Illegal Lacrosse Stick?
In every sport, there are guidelines of what features the equipment can hold to guarantee equal sportsmanship for each player. There are a couple of things you need to know about lacrosse sticks and what would make them illegal for play.
A lacrosse stick will be illegal if it doesen’t meet the stated position-specific stick lengths and general head measurements. The pocket can’t be too long and must pass the ball retainment rules. In addition, the hanging strings can’t be too long, and the mesh can’t be deceiving in color.
These are the most important things to follow if you want to keep your lacrosse stick legally. The good thing is that you often need to do something wrong yourself for the stick to be illegal.
If you purchase a lacrosse stick from a store or online, they are always up to standards, so you don’t have to worry about it being illegal. Only when you install the mesh yourself or modify the stick in some way will there be troubles.