Are you curious to know how heavy a lacrosse ball weighs? If you’re playing for an official team, should you abide by certain standards? There are different types of lacrosse games throughout the world and different countries have different rules. In the United States, the standards for how much a lacrosse ball should weigh is determined by the NCAA, NFHS, and the US Lacrosse.
What are the New Specifications?
Back in the year 2016, the NCAA released a new set of specifications for the lacrosse ball. In their document, they specifically stated that “the measurements for the ball shall include the following: The ball shall be of white, yellow, or orange solid rubber. The ball may measure between 7 ¾ and 8 inches in circumference. The ball may be between 5 and 5 ½ ounces in weight and when dropped from a height of 72 inches upon concrete floor, shall bounce back up 43 to 51 inches at a temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit.”
Now that’s a lot, but what do these changes mean for you? For obvious reasons, if you’re playing in the NCAA, then you definitely have to know about to these specifications. Non-compliance to these rules will disqualify your team or you won’t be allowed to play for the day. Apart from wasting the time to show up, it’s also embarrassing to be flagged by the officials for this simple mistake made.
Differences with the Old Specifications
How are the new specs different from the old rules? Here’s a quick comparison of the older NCAA specifications to the new rules.
To give you an idea, the old NCAA specifications require that the ball weigh around 140-147 grams which is slightly lighter than the new lacrosse ball (the new ball should weigh a minimum of 141 ounces). However, this is not going to be that different since it’s just a one-ounce difference. You will barely feel it when you play.
The old rules state that the diameter of the lacrosse ball should be 62.7 mm. In circumference, that’s 393.96 mm or 15.51 inches. As you already know by now, the circumference of the new lacrosse ball should only be at 7 ¾ which is almost half of the old ball specs! It sounds like a good idea but in reality, cradling a smaller ball is more difficult since it has a more room in the pocket to move around.
To test a lacrosse ball’s bounce, you have to drop it from a certain height. In the old NCAA rules, when a ball is dropped at a height of 1800 mm (or 71 inches), it should bounce at a height of 1,092-1292 mm. In other words, the bounce’s height should be from 43-51 inches.
What about the new rules? Fortunately, they’re the same except that the ball should be dropped from a height of 72 inches.
What should the new lacrosse ball be made of? It still has to be made with solid rubber which is just the same as the old rules. Needless to say, the rubber should be the primary material of any lacrosse ball. And this is followed across all US-governed lacrosse associations.
Does it matter how the lacrosse ball looks? This is a common question among players because there are so many colors you can use on a lacrosse ball. However, if you’re playing an official game, then it’s required to use a white lacrosse ball. If it’s not an official game, you can use any color.
Does the Weight of the Lacrosse Ball Matter?
Just like most sports, the goal of lacrosse is to shoot the ball into the net without it being blocked. But for you to do that, the ball should be sitting in the pocket and thrown using the lacrosse stick.
What if your ball is too light? Then this means it can easily bounce off and it’s harder to control. Sure, it’s easier to carry but that doesn’t make the game easier right away. In fact, some people prefer a heavier lacrosse ball simply because it’s easier to “feel” when it’s in the pocket and you’re cradling or trying to throw or defend.
So if you’re asking if the weight is important, yes it is. The lacrosse ball’s weight can sometimes spell the difference between a good play and a losing game. It’s highly recommended for you to use a ball that meets the NCAA standards. This will help you get into condition and reduce your errors. It’s a great practice for you and your team!
The NOCSAE Standard
Did you know that starting in 2014, all lacrosse balls should be marked with “Meets NOCSAE Standard”? What’s the NOCSAE anyway?
NOCSAE stands for National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment. They are an independent and non-profit organization that researches athletic safety and sets standards for both performance and sports equipment. Since 2014, the US Lacrosse, NFHS, and NCAA mandated that all lacrosse balls should be approved by the NOCSAE. To show proof of meeting such standards, all lacrosse balls should be marked with “Meets NOCSAE Standard”.
For lacrosse balls that don’t have this mark, they will not be allowed in any official game.
Consequences for Non-Compliance
What happens when your lacrosse ball’s weight doesn’t follow the standards? If you’re just playing for fun, then you don’t have to worry about being sanctioned. You’re not in an official game anyway. However, it helps your training if you have an official lacrosse ball with you so that you get familiar with its weight, material, and bounce. If you’re playing with a team, it’s great for conditioning everyone, too.
What about if you’re in an official game? Unfortunately, if you’re playing officially and the ball does not abide by the standard weights, you can’t play using the said ball. There are some cases where teams are not allowed to play at all especially when they don’t have an official ball with them.