Lacrosse is widely famous both for men and women. Both men and women are interested in this game, which is encouraging. Even though both men and women call this game lacrosse, the rules and equipment may differ slightly based on gender. This dissimilarity also holds for the lacrosse sticks. Lacrosse sticks are manufactured differently for men and women.
Naturally, women have differences in their physical structure and strength from men. These differences make men physically stronger than women. That’s why they have significant dissimilarity in physical contact. So, rules for the game and equipment also vary in any sport, just like lacrosse. This article will discuss the reasons that differ depending upon gender dissimilarity in the sport’s essential equipment, the lacrosse stick.
Before proceeding to the differences that make lacrosse sticks different for men’s and women’s, let’s look at the short brief of a lacrosse stick.
Basics of a lacrosse stick
Lacrosse, the game is speedy and needs a player with intense physical stamina, whether the player is male or female. The game is very similar to hockey, but the stick used in both games is significantly different. This game aims to get the rubber ball into the net as many times as possible with a lacrosse stick.
Lacrosse sticks are generally wooden sticks with a bent head of mesh. People used to play lacrosse with a long wooden spoon-shaped stick in the past. Gradually, the game gained popularity, and lacrosse stick makers started evolving with modern sticks. These sticks have two parts; the shaft and the head. You can buy shafts and heads separately and customize your stick, or you can buy an utterly ready-made lacrosse stick. However, professional players prefer customizing their sticks according to their playing skills and ability.
If we talk about a lacrosse stick’s length, these sticks come with a minimum length of 35 to 72 inches. Sizes vary depending on whether you are a male player or female, your height, and what position you will play. Lacrosse sticks are usually made from wood. But, these days, other materials are also used to make lacrosse sticks. So, the weight of a lacrosse stick mostly depends on the material and the brand. A wooden standard lacrosse stick can weigh approximately 10 oz approximately. It’s encouraging to know that offensive players have lighter sticks than defensive players because they need to use more giant sticks.
Men’s Lacrosse Stick vs. Women’s
Sizes of the stick:
The length or size of the shaft makes a significant difference between men’s and women’s lacrosse sticks.
Women’s lacrosse sticks have thick shooting strings with mesh, similar to the traditional rule. Women’s sticks usually have lengths from 35.5″ to 43.25″. There is no limit to using different sticks for various women’s lacrosse rule positions except goalies. Players of various parts, except the goalie, can pick the stick of their choice.
In contrast, men tend to use longer sticks than women. The stick length of the men’s game varies according to the player’s position. Players on the offensive team have to use shorter shafts, approximately 40 to 42 inches. Oppositely, defensive players and goalkeepers should carry a long stick of 52 to 72 inches, depending on their height. Goalies can play with the longest stick at the field.
Different kinds of mesh and pockets:
The mesh is the most noticeable difference between men’s and women’s lacrosse sticks. The mesh used in men’s lacrosse sticks is dissimilar to women’s. In the traditional way of playing lacrosse, the mesh of the women’s sticks contains thick shooting strings. These strings are tied very tight; thus, they become the shape of an actual pocket for holding the ball. Conversely, men’s sticks have a mesh that does away with traditional stringing, and the netting is designed to shape a soft pocket capable of holding the ball securely. Thus, men have better access to keep the ball in their pockets than women. The mesh bags are entirely different from one another.
Men’s pockets of lacrosse sticks can not be used in women’s games. It would be declared illegal.
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Cradling is crucial in the sport of lacrosse. You can attain the most comfortable shooting position if you design the cradle correctly with a tight balance. This essential strategy also differs from men to women. Players employ the cradle to keep the ball secure with centrifugal force, whether male or female. But, no checking is allowed in women’s games, so female players tend to maintain a tight cradle motion between the ear and shoulder.
This cradling is not seen in men’s games as they are allowed to check. Players maintain a standard range of motion by keeping their sticks farther to absorb body checks.
Checking and no-checking
Another noteworthy differentiator between men’s and women’s lacrosse sticks is the checking and no checking rule. Women’s sticks differ significantly from men’s sticks because of this rule.
Checking in lacrosse means the players have to prevent the threat of getting bumped or poked with the stick by another player. But, this rule is only applicable and allowed for men’s lacrosse. Therefore, male players must use their sticks to check other players and put the ball in the net. On the other hand, women do not have to face matching, as this rule is illegal in women’s lacrosse. The most significant thing to remember is that checking is allowed unless violent, even in men’s lacrosse. In hockey, we see a similar guideline.
However, legal checking also carries the risk of getting hurt injured. Thus, players must strictly wear protective gear such as helmets, mouth guards, shoulder and elbow pads, and gloves. Women have a few protective gears, goggles, and mouth guards because any body-check or stick-check will result in a penalty.
There are some other differences between men’s and women’s lacrosse games. These differences are in the numbers of players, gameplay, lacrosse ball, field size, and a few rules. In this article, we briefly discussed the differences between sticks. It doesn’t matter how much the difference between men’s and women’s lacrosse is. This game is enjoyed equally by men and women and is beneficial to their physical well-being. The lacrosse sticks may vary depending on gender, but the fun is the same!