Tag Archives: Women’s sports

How to Keep your Women’s Lacrosse Stick Looking New

how to guide to womens lacrosse sticksIt’s important that players know how to best take care of their women’s lacrosse stick, as well as the best places to practice. These are just a couple of tips for keeping your lacrosse stick looking like new.

You may not think that the temperature affects your women’s lacrosse stick, but it does, DRASTICALLY! Your women’s lacrosse head is made of plastic and could warp if you leave it in the heat for too long. It’s best to keep your lacrosse stick inside your house, where the temperature will remain consistent. Storing it in a car or garage – especially in the summer time – could be too hot. It’s important to keep in mind that warped women’s lacrosse heads are not covered under warranty, so storing it in a moderate temperature is a crucial tip.

It’s really hard to avoid playing in the rain, but water can damage the stringing of your women’s lacrosse stick over time. So if you want to go outside and practice in the rain, try practicing with a back-up women’s lacrosse stick.

Another great way to keep your stick longer is to practice on a grass or turf surface. Although it may be convenient to practice in your driveway, the hard pavement could damage your women’s lacrosse head and stringing when picking up ground balls. Practicing your lacrosse skills on grass or turf will prevent the lacrosse head from becoming scratched and the strings from being frayed or torn.

There are a few good habits you’ll want to start that will help, too. Treat your women’s lacrosse stick with care by never leaning on or throwing it. Avoid using your women’s lacrosse stick as a cane to prevent warping the head. By leaning on your lacrosse stick, you are bending your head and causing more harm than good. Keep your stick safe by never throwing it to the ground. Even if you’re frustrated by a bad call or a really bad practice, it’s not worth cracking the head or damaging the lacrosse shaft.

Caring for your women’s lacrosse stick is really important and can save you a lot of money in the future. Warranties do not cover self-inflicted problems like warped heads and damaged strings. To avoid the hassle of finding a new women’s lacrosse stick, simply follow the tips listed above to keep your current stick as new as possible.

If you have any lacrosse related questions regarding your stick, visit Longstreth Sporting Goods’ Ask the Experts page. Longstreth’s sports managers are always helpful with answering questions and giving suggestions. Longstreth Sporting Goods is your one-stop shop for all your women’s lacrosse needs.

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Let’s Talk Women’s Lacrosse Handles

Women's Lacrosse Sticks

Choosing the correct women’s lacrosse stick can be a tough decision and can potentially affect your game. The head and stringing of the lacrosse stick are essential, and the handle is just the stick that the head is on, right? Wrong! The handle of the lacrosse stick can also affect a player’s game tremendously.

The two major types of lacrosse handles are composite and alloy. While many girls quickly jump on the composite bandwagon, it’s important to fully understand the setbacks and advantages to each material. These types of handles can be compared on four different levels: the handle’s performance in the weather, its stiffness, the range of designs it can come in, and its weight.

How the handle acts in different weather conditions is what many girls base their handle preference on. If you want a handle that will remain more temperate in extreme heat or the frigid cold, then composite material is right up your alley. By comparison, your alloy handle will fluctuate depending on the weather. Also, if you are playing with an alloy handle in the rain, chances are your hands will slip. However, there is hope for all of you alloy lovers out there! All of these problems can be simply fixed by either using cloth tape on your stick or by wearing gloves.

Another important factor is how stiff or malleable you want your stick to be. Since composite handles are made up of a mix of materials, they can be more prone to breakage. However, the bright side to the stick being less stiff is that it can bend. Certain handles are designed to slightly bend with enough force, which is called flex technology. This can add extra whip to your passes and shots. Alloy, on the other hand, cannot bend, making it a much stiffer stick and less prone to breakage.

If design and colors of your shaft are important to you, then you may lean more towards a composite handle. Composite handles tend to come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and finishes that make them more appealing to players. Alloy, unfortunately, is more limited.

Who wants to run with an obnoxiously heavy, awkwardly balanced, lacrosse stick up and down the field? Certainly not many. Alloy handles used to be really heavy but now, thanks to modern technology, they can be just as light, if not lighter, than a composite handle. Most alloy handles are made of scandium, titanium, or a mix of the two, called Sc-Ti.

There are so many important things to consider when choosing the best lacrosse handle for you, and that is why Longstreth Sporting Goods is here to help. Both the associates in the Longstreth retail store and customer service are here to assist you in choosing your dream lacrosse stick. We are prepared to answer any and all of your women’s lacrosse related questions in order for you to get everything you have ever wanted out of a lacrosse stick. Ask us anything!


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Features and Functions of a Women’s Lacrosse Head

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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.

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!

Women’s Lacrosse: A Basic Introduction to the Game

Women's-Lacrosse

Women’s lacrosse is an exciting game both to watch and to play. Because ball possession is integral to winning, both individual skill and team effort are important. Here is a basic introduction to the game:

Rules and Fouls

Like most ball games, the team with the most goals wins. Here are the basic rules:

  • Games start with a draw between two opposing team players at the center of the field.
  • Play consists of teams passing or cradling the ball while running toward the goal.
  • Teams gain possession by intercepting, retrieving ground balls, capturing (checking) balls from an opponent’s stick, or blocking a shot or pass.
  • Athletes can only use stick-to-stick contact. Stick to body and body to body contact is illegal.
  • Players must stand immediately when the official’s whistle is blown.
  • If the ball goes out of bounds, the team that touched the ball last loses possession. Off of a shot, the possession goes to the closest player to where the ball goes out.
  • Fouls are called for illegal stick use, illegal equipment, illegal field position, or taking a dangerous shot.

Field

Originally, women’s lacrosse field size was unlimited. However, in 2006, women’s lacrosse adopted regulation fields which are somewhat similar to  to a regulation soccer field.  There is a restraining line (30 yards infield from each goal line) which limits each team to 7 field players to engage in settled play. Defense is allowed 7 field players and a goalie between the restraining line and their defensive endline.

Positions

A women’s lacrosse team has 11 field players and one goalie. A team must have five players behind the restraining line when the ball is in their offensive end (this includes the goalie), and must have four players behind the restraining line when the ball is in their defensive end. On the draw, only three players are able to be on the circle, between the two restraining lines. This includes 1 person from each team taking the draw and two people from each team on the outside of the circle. Field players are usually divided into:

  • 4 players on attack
  • 4 players on defense
  • 3 players in midfield

Equipment

In addition to needing the right pair of lacrosse cleats for fast action on the field, players need sticks, goggles, mouthguards, and balls.

Sticks

The most important aspect in choosing a lacrosse stick is finding one that meets the player’s skill level, experience, comfort level and age.

  • Size: most sticks are roughly 42 3/4″. The STX Lilly is shorter and meant for very young, short players.
  • Diameter: options are women’s traditional 7/8″, mid-size (inbetween 7/8″ and 1″) and full size  1″.
  • Shape: octagon, concave octagon, rounded octagon and teardrop.
  • Materials: Alloys are stronger but less temperate in extreme weather. Composites are less strong but have a softer feel and are more flexible. While Sc-Ti is extremely strong and lightweight, these handles can make the stick feel top heavy.
  • Finish: soft, smooth rubberized or alloy.

Heads

The type of lacrosse stick head chosen sometimes depends on the position played. Defenders often prefer a stick head that is flatter and stiffer to deliver powerful checks, while midfielders often prefer a head that offers more flexibility for quick releases.

Goggles

Goggles protect the player’s eyes, so fit and vision are the most important factor in choosing them. Upgraded titanium cage can make the goggles more lightweight but just as protective and strong.

Gloves

Generally, gloves are optional for women’s lacrosse players, but they might be worn for warmth in cold weather, or for increased grip and or protection for the hands.

Balls

Official lacrosse game balls must follow specific NCAA regulations for color, weight, and bounce, so it is important to choose certified balls. Soft bean bag practice balls are useful for indoor practice.

Equipping Women’s Lacrosse Players

Young women lacrosse players require equipment specially developed for their skillset situations. Longstreth Sporting Goods specializes in equipment that is designed specifically for the needs of women lacrosse players of all levels.