How Big is a Lacrosse Ball? [ANSWERED]

Lacrosse is an exciting, fast-paced team sport played with a solid rubber ball and long-handled rackets with netted heads for catching and throwing the ball. But what are the exact dimensions of a regulation lacrosse ball? Let’s take a closer look at the official size standards.

Regulations for Ball Size

According to the official rules set by US Lacrosse and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the diameter of a lacrosse ball must be between 7.75 to 8 inches, or around 20-20.5 cm. The acceptable weight range is 5 to 5.25 ounces, approximately 140-150 grams.

There are minor variations in ball specifications depending on whether it’s men’s, women’s or youth lacrosse.

Men’s Lacrosse Ball

In men’s lacrosse, the largest ball size is used. The diameter is 8 inches, or around 20.3 cm. The weight must be 5.25 ounces, roughly 150 grams. This provides a sturdy, easy to grip and throw ball fitting men’s hands.

Women’s Lacrosse Ball

Women play with a slightly smaller ball of 7.75-8 inches in diameter, or 20-20.5 cm. The weight stays the same as the men’s at 5.25 ounces/150 grams. The smaller size is better suited for female players, but still has enough heft for effective handling.

Youth Lacrosse Balls

For youth teams, ball size is graduated by age group and skill level. The youngest players from ages 7-11 use an extra-light 4.5 inch/11 cm ball. Teenagers may play with a mid-size 5.5-6.5 inch/14-16.5 cm ball. Only in the late teens is the regulation adult size introduced.

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Why Lacrosse Ball Size Matters

The lacrosse ball’s size and weight specifications serve important functions:

  • Ensure fair, equal play – all teams use the same balls.
  • Provide appropriate challenges by age and ability.
  • Allow effective throwing, catching, scooping and cradling using lacrosse sticks.
  • Enable fast, free-flowing play with a ball that performs optimally.

Balls that are too big or small would change the nature of the game and create advantages or disadvantages for some players. That’s why the precise lacrosse ball dimensions are so important.

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Meeting Regulations

All lacrosse balls used in official games must meet the size, weight and material standards. Popular brands that offer regulation balls are STX, Maverik, Nike and Warrior.

Most balls have 8 panels stitched together, with a durable rubber sponge or solid rubber core. Synthetic leather, nylon or polyurethane covers provide a textured, grippy surface.

Quality balls will retain their shape and bounce even during heavy use and wet conditions. Cheaper balls tend to absorb moisture and become “dead”.

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Proper Inflation

For best bounce and performance, lacrosse balls often need to be pumped with air. Youth and women’s balls may require 12-14 psi of inflation. Men’s lacrosse balls should have 14-16 psi of air pressure. A ball pump with pressure gauge helps achieve proper inflation.

So next time you watch a lacrosse game, keep an eye out for the signature ball zipping up and down the field. With its 8-inch diameter and 5 ounce weight, the lacrosse ball is engineered for the game’s fast, skillful play.

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