Tag Archives: lacrosse

Features and Functions of a Women’s Lacrosse Head

Womens-Lacrosse-Head.jpg

Women’s Lacrosse Head
Women’s Lacrosse Heads differ widely from the men’s version to better fit the needs of the women’s lacrosse game. While the men’s stick has a deep mesh pocket to ease catching and carrying the ball, the women’s stick has a tighter pocket that requires proper technique to keep possession while cradling.

Curve of the Scoop
The scoop is the widest part of the women’s lacrosse head and is used to pick up the ball and also can improve accuracy when passing and shooting. Scoops vary in width and curvature. They range from a flat design where the scoop has a little curve at the top, to a more “U” shape, where the scoop has a lot of curve at the top. Heads with a flatter scoop are designed for developing players because it makes it more suitable for picking up ground balls.  The “U” shaped scoop will channel the ball better during a pass or shot, making it perfect for improving shot accuracy.

The Sidewall and Angle of the Scoop
Sidewalls, like the rest of the head, are made of plastic mold and connect the strings to the lacrosse head. They vary in flexibility and depth. The shape and depth of the sidewalls directly affects ball control. A lower sidewall allows for a deeper pocket, which increases ball control. Most elite heads have dropped sidewalls for this reason. Beginner sticks tend to have flatter or straighter sidewalls to help teach younger players proper technique. The angle of the scoop from the sidewall area determines the way the ball will be released from the head. An extreme angled scoop provides more whip and accuracy when shooting. A flatter scoop will have less whip and not as advanced ball control.

Weight of the Head
The weight of the head is usually due to the head having more plastic, which not only increases the weight, but also makes it stiffer. This is beneficial to defenders, midfielders, and other players who are often stick-checking and aggressively going after ground balls. A lightweight head usually has thinner sidewalls and is more flexible. Many attackers, or midfielders that shoot, like having a head that is lightweight because it makes them feel like they have more control. A light head will make it more flexible, which can make them ineffective on ground balls and landing hard checks. It also makes the head more susceptible to breaking.

Width of the Head
Narrow heads are good for ball retention and accuracy, while wider heads have more surface area for blocking and catching the ball. Wide heads tend to be more desirable to defensive players. Attackers tend to like the more narrow heads, and midfielders look for a balance depending on whether they are more offensive or defensive.

Ball Stop
This thin piece of rubber or foam that is meant to cushion the ball as it sits in the pocket. Women’s lacrosse heads feature a larger ball stop area since the pocket is not as deep as the men’s and the ball comes in contact with the ball stop more often.

The Pocket 
The pocket is where the ball resides. Pockets include the center piece, nylon stringing around the center piece, and leathers or thicker nylons on either side of the center piece. There is also a top string at the top, which may need to be replaced depending on what surface you play on and how often. The sidewalls strings, in conjunction with the top string, help to secure the pocket to the head. Sidewalls strings are also susceptible to breaking and are usually easy to repair. The last strings in the pocket are the shooting strings. They can be strung into a head in different shapes and positions, as long as they meet the stringing requirements. The most common shape and combination is a shooting string at the top threaded straight across, and then a U or V-shaped string below.

Visit http://www.longstreth.com for details on the huge selection of women’s lacrosse sticks, heads, and gear. Longstreth Sporting Goods specializes in bringing the best of the best equipment to the female athlete. Check out the great selection of women’s lacrosse equipment at Longstreth.

What is the Best Women’s Lacrosse Stick

Best Women's Lacrosse Sticks

2017 Women’s Lacrosse Sticks
Each year, lacrosse vendors roll out their new selection of women’s lacrosse heads and sticks for the upcoming season. Most equipment is designed with specialized technology that helps players get the most of their game. Some are constructed for players who are great defenders; while others have attributes that are best for a player who plays offense. Of course, goal keeper sticks have their own unique features.

This year, two sticks rise to the top of selection. Both have new technology that set them apart from the rest of the collection.

Under Armour Glory
Under Armour was inspired by the University of Maryland when creating this head. They constructed the Glory with the new Rail Elite Pocket , making it ideal for the elite player. The Rail Elite Pocket is unbeatable compared to any other pocket in the market. The high-quality nylons are built to withstand extreme temperatures and reduce weight. It also features Glide Scoop Technology that guides players to the ball no matter what direction they approach it. The Maximum offset offers superior control and feel, especially in the sweet spot. Lastly, the Poron XRD ballstop absorbs ball impact to minimize the chances of the ball bouncing out of the pocket. The Under Armour Glory with Rail Elite Pocket is available as a strung or unstrung head or as a complete stick with the Under Armour Composite Handle. These features make this stick the preferred choice of many college women’s lacrosse programs.

STX Crux 500
Another top choice of the season is STX’s Crux 500. This lightweight 10-degree lacrosse head comes with the Launch Pocket. 10 degree technology shifts the center of gravity, pushing the ball to the sweet spot, thus releasing the ball quicker. The unique Launch pocket features a design where the middle Chevrons widen near the sweet spot to flex out and hug the ball for better control and feel. The STX Crux 500 can also be purchased as a strung or unstrung head or as a complete stick with the STX Composite 10 handle.

2017 Women’s Lacrosse Heads and Handles
There are many other sticks and brands to choose from. Each brand offers a complete line of lacrosse heads that fit the needs of players of each level. Longstreth Sporting Goods specializes in bringing the best of the best equipment to the female athlete. Check out the great selection of women’s lacrosse equipment at Longstreth.

7 Things Every Lacrosse Parent Should Know

Female lacrosse players on the sideline of a game

Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports, but most parents, unless they have been lacrosse athletes themselves, don’t know much about the sport and might never have watched a game before their children became players.  Here are 7 things every lacrosse parent should know:

  1. Learn about the Game

This fast-paced sport can be bewildering. Here are some things to learn:

  • The different positions and their responsibilities.
  • How the game is played
  • Foul rules

Longstreth Sporting Goods has a great selection of books – check out the 2017 US Women’s Lacrosse Rule Book or read about the history of the game in Women Play Lacrosse

  1. Don’t Talk to Officials

Everyone cringes when parents become overly critical of officials or coaches, but no one is hurt more than that parent’s child. As a matter of fact, lacrosse etiquette says that parents don’t comment on calls at all. It is out of order to say anything either good or bad to the officials and it is important to stop other parents from doing so because it can cause your team to have a penalty.

  1. Volunteer

Like most sports, lacrosse coaches can often use another set of hands and eyes to help either in practices or games. Ask your daughter’s coach if you can be a:

  • Timer
  • Scorekeeper
  • Equipment manager
  • Concessions helper
  • Film manager
  • Statistician

Getting in on the action yourself is a way to learn about the game and also a way to get to know other players and parents. Better yet, you can go back on the sidelines and help other people understand what is going on during the play.

  1. Be Positive

Any competitive sport can cause strong emotions in both players and parents but remember that, as a parent, you set a tone for your player when you communicate with the coach. Remember to speak thoughtfully, kindly, and in a positive manner to the coach, and also to your child when talking about the coach. Coaches often spend far more time coaching than they ever get compensated for, so be appreciative!

  1. Don’t Assume-Ask

Is your daughter or another child not given much play time?  Or you see a player coming off the field and you don’t know why? Don’t assume there is some prejudice against the player or imagine the coach doesn’t think she has talent. There could be other reasons a player comes off the field, such as:

  • The player has been asked to make a change on their own and hasn’t yet done it.
  • The player may have been sent in for a particular short job on the field.
  • A player may feel winded and choose to sit out a while, which is allowed.

6. Take the Long View

Did your team lose?  Take the opportunity to give your daughter some life lessons about the value of being challenged, learning to practice harder, and learning to work together as a team. Is your player disappointed by tryouts? Sympathize but also help them see what they can do to improve for next time.

  1. Know the Equipment

Making sure your daughter has the right lacrosse equipment for playing her game and practicing her skills is an important part of helping her succeed in this fast-paced game. Make sure to choose a stick that fits her height and skill level. The handle on a stick can be shortened for smaller players, as long as the full crosse is within the legal length.  Keep some lacrosse training balls handy for her to hone her skills. Make sure she has good quality cleats so that she has a strong footing in the ground and slip-ups are minimized.

Need help? The lacrosse managers at Longstreth Sporting Goods can provide you information. We specialize in outfitting female lacrosse players and are happy to answer any questions. Feeling fancy? Come in to our store and get your custom strung lacrosse heads at Longstreth!

3 Great Professional Sports for Women – Field Hockey, Softball and Lacrosse!

professional-sports-for-women

Fortunately, many women’s sports are becoming increasingly popular to play and watch. Whether your daughter has just joined a team or is considering what she’d like to play, you might want to learn more about 3 great professional sports for women–field hockey, softball, and lacrosse.

Field Hockey

Brought to the United States in 1901, field hockey has grown as a women’s sport and is now played in over 250 colleges. This fast-paced, exciting sport resembles ice hockey but is played with a hard ball on a field of grass or turf. Players use field hockey sticks to drive the ball into a net. Rules include:

  • 11 players on each team: goalkeeper and 10 field players.
  • Only the flat side of the stick can be used to hit the ball.
  • Fouls are called for using a body part to advance the ball, hitting another player with the ball, playing dangerously or interfering with play.

Players Equipment needed for field hockey includes sticks, goggles, shinguards, mouthguards, balls, and cleats/turf shoes. Goalies also have helmets and protective gear.

Softball

The National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) is a professional softball league with six teams, each playing a 50 game schedule. In addition, close to 1,700 college softball programs are available and some players can receive scholarships to play. In softball, there are:

  • 7 inning games.
  • 11 or 12 inch balls (depending on age group) that are pitched underhand from a flat 8-foot circle 40-43 feet from the batter.
  • Bats for softball are under 34 inches and often made of a composite rather than aluminum or wood.
  • Rules that say runners can’t leave the base until the ball is pitched, but stealing and bunting are allowed.
  • Nine fielders.
  • Fields that are smaller than baseball, with 60-foot baselines.

If your daughter wants to play softball, she will need a bat suited to her height, weight, and ability. In addition, she will need other equipment for playing softball like a glove, batting helmet, cleats and other protective gear. For practice, she may want a pitching machine too.

Lacrosse

Based on a game played by indigenous Americans, lacrosse for women is equally fast-paced as the men’s game, but not as physical. Played both in colleges in the U.S. and internationally, there is a Women’s Lacrosse World Cup every four years. Women’s lacrosse is played:

  • On a field with a goal at either end.
  • With teams of 12 players, including the goalkeeper.
  • With a yellow rubber NOCSAE-stamped ball. The goal is to shoot it into the opposing team’s goal. The team with the most goals wins.
  • In two 30-minute halves.
  • By passing the ball with the sticks.
  • With players cradling the ball by moving it back and forth to prevent being checked by another player.

Because rules in women’s lacrosse prevent the play from involving as much contact as men’s games, equipment needed for women’s lacrosse is less extensive. Field players need a lacrosse stick, mouth guard, goggles, cleats, practice balls and a bag. Of course, goalkeepers need additional gear.

Whether your daughter chooses field hockey, softball or lacrosse, she can find equipment for her sport designed especially for the female athlete at Longstreth Sporting Goods. Visit us here. Excited? Just wait until you see her play!

What’s the Difference between Boys’ and Girls’ Lacrosse?

lacrosseIf your daughter has joined a lacrosse team, know that she is joining not only the oldest American sport, but one of the fastest growing team sports in both high school and college. Why the increasing popularity of lacrosse as a sport for young women? Lacrosse combines the best of basketball, soccer, and hockey, but emphasizes agility over brawn, so players of all sizes can succeed. Here are the differences between boys’ and girls’ lacrosse:

Girls’ Lacrosse is a Non-Contact Sport

Both boys’ and girls’ lacrosse have the same objective of scoring goals, but the rules and field markings for girls’ lacrosse are different. Boys’ lacrosse has a lot of physical interaction and body contact, which is not allowed in the girls’ game as outlined by the girls’ lacrosse rules. In fact, girls’ lacrosse is considered a non-contact game, making girls less likely to be injured while playing.  Because of this, girls’ lacrosse players require less protective lacrosse equipment &gear, generally only needing goggles and a mouth guard.  Some girls add gloves for light protection or because of playing in cold weather. Boys’ lacrosse teams also use mouth guards but add helmets, shoulder, chest, arm pads, as well as highly padded gloves that cover the wrist for protection during full contact play and body checking.

Differences in Sticks

The differences in play between girls’ and boys’ lacrosse means that players have different kinds of lacrosse sticks:

  • Boys’ lacrosse stick heads have a deep pocket to catch the ball and carry it. The defensive sticks are longer and often harder to handle.
  • Girls’ sticks are typically all one length, regardless of field position, and have a more shallow pocket that allows for quick ball movement and faster release.

For a great selection of women’s sticks and lacrosse heads, visit Longstreth.

Differences in Fielding

The rules and set-up of boy’s and girl’s teams are somewhat different:

  • Boys’ teams have ten players total: nine field, and one goalie; while women have eleven field players and one goalie, for a total of twelve.
  • Boys’ lacrosse fields are 110 by 60 yards fixed, while girls’ fields are a bit bigger, and can vary between the limits of: between 110 – 130 yards by between 60 – 70.

Differences in Play

Of course, both genders will claim that their play is faster, more skilled, more active and more aggressive! In reality, except for girls not being involved in body checking, the style of play is very similar. Both boys and girls use their athletic ability and stamina to be hard on their opponents, pass the ball down toward their goal and avoid being checked.

Similarities in Lacrosse Equipment

While lacrosse sticks and protective gear are somewhat different for boys and girls, some of their equipment is the same.

  • Both girls and boys use mouth guards for protection.
  • Both genders need to use approved and stamped lacrosse balls when they play.
  • Choosing the right lacrosse cleats for quick play, firm footing and agility is important for both boys and girls. Find some great selection of lacrosse cleats here https://www.longstreth.com/lacrosse-cleats.asp

Enjoy Lacrosse Watching!

Another similarity?  Lacrosse play of both boys and girls is a blast for spectators.  With the quick play, exciting action, and opportunities for vivid athleticism from every size player, lacrosse for girls is one of the most interesting and challenging sports available for young women. So be encouraged that your daughter’s choice of lacrosse may have less physical contact than boy’s lacrosse, but is just as exciting to watch!

My Daughter is Starting Lacrosse – What Equipment Does She Need?

equipment

Congratulations!  Your daughter is going to play an intense and exciting game which will challenge her to develop physical stamina, hand-eye coordination and the ability to work with her team. Here is what she is going to need to play well and keep safe:

Lacrosse Stick

Of course, the most important and personal piece of equipment for each player is her stick which has two parts: the handle, and the head. Both pieces come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes that give young women different advantages depending on the position they play and how they like to handle the ball.  However, without knowing all the ins-and-outs of the game, how is a beginning player supposed to choose? Here are some guidelines:

  • Heads with flat scoops and wide faces help beginners catch and pick up the ball.
  • Stick head choice can depend on position: narrow throat for offensive player wanting increased accuracy; stiff, flat head for defenders for hard checks and stability on groundballs; sturdy head for goalies to withstand hard shots.
  • Stick length can be between 35.5 and 43.25, but beginners often opt for a shorter stick for better control.
  • Handle material advantages differ: alloy is strongest in moderate weather, composite is softer and more flexible in extreme weather; titanium is lightest and strongest but can make a stick top-heavy.

ASTM Approved Lacrosse Goggles

Safety is first and wearing goggles that meet the current ASTM International standards is a must to protect your daughter’s eyes. Lacrosse goggles:

  • Are made with soft padding, rubber, plastic, and wire.
  • Should fit snugly on the face, be comfortable and provide good side and ground vision.
  • Can be made for girls who wear glasses.
  • Should be tried on before buying.

Mouth Guard

Available in a variety of fun colors, shapes, and flavors, lacrosse mouth guards protect teeth but are lightweight and comfortable.  In addition:

  • Girls like to show their style with their mouth guard colors.
  • Mouth guards allow girls to breathe, talk, and even drink.
  • You can buy them for girls who have braces.
  • Flavors include: bubble gum, mint, fruit, and lemon-lime
  • Mouth guard cases are a good way to store them.

Lacrosse Cleats

The right lacrosse footwear will help players have good traction on grass, mud, or turf. The cleats are usually designed with 4 studs on the heel and 6-8 on the front.  Choose cleats that are:

  • Lightweight and breathable for flexibility and comfort.
  • Stiff enough to absorb impact and protect from foot fatigue and injury.
  • Not too tight or too loose, with about 1/2 inch of space between toe and shoe.

Optional Lacrosse Equipment

For protection or cold weather comfort, some players like to wear gloves.  In addition, players often want to have their own balls for individual practice. One inexpensive but important piece of lacrosse gearfor beginners is the Cradlebaby, a lacrosse training ball attached to an lanyard-type band which allows players to practice stick work, cradling, and improve wrist strength.

Worthwhile Investment

Yes, buying your daughter lacrosse equipment will be an investment, but the total cost will probably be less than private lessons in many sports. Better yet, you will get the enjoyment of watching her grow in confidence, agility, and pride in her sport and her team.