Lacrosse balls are one of the hardest balls in sports. The hard structure on the outside leads many people to think lacrosse balls have cement in them.
Lacrosse balls are not made of cement. The entire ball is made from vulcanized rubber and polyurethane.
In this article, we take a look at the lacrosse ball and how it has changed over the years to become the ball that it is today.
What Lacrosse Balls Are Made Of
The lacrosse ball is one of the more unique balls that are used in sports. It’s soft, rubbery texture can be shot by players at over 100mph+. When the ball hits the ground creates an opposite spinning motion which is then propelled at an even high speed than the first bounce.
The lacrosse ball used to be played as a wooden ball that was passed around with 5 foot long sticks. However, as time passed the sticks became shorter and the ball itself was no longer made from a hard piece of wood.
Lacrosse started to revolutionize in Canada,and by the 1860, leagues were being played across the country. The original wooden ball seen above however, was replaced by a deerskin ball that was stuffed with fur. This soon became the ball which the modern day ball was modeled after.
Do Lacrosse Balls Have Cement In Them?
Lacrosse balls do not have cement in them. They are made entirely of vulcanized rubber or polyurethane.
Players may think that lacrosse balls have cement in them because of the soft outside and what seems to be a hard center. However, the lacrosse ball throughout is made entirely of rubber.
Youth athletes will use a soft type of vulcanized rubber, which has additives to make the ball feel soft, or not as rock solid as a standard ball. These balls are still made from rubber entirely.
What Is The Lacrosse Ball Made Of?
The new NCAA year 2000 specs states:
“Section 17. The ball shall be white, yellow or orange solid rubber between 7 3/4 and 8 inches in circumference, between 5 and 5 1/2 ounces in weight and when dropped from a height of 72 inches upon concrete floor, shall bounce 43 to 51 inches at a temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit.”
These are the specifications for all lacrosse balls. The ball must measure a certain circumference, and bounce at a certain height.
The typical lacrosse ball is made up of vulcanized rubber. Vulcanized rubber slowly being faded out, simply because of the separation process overtime. The vulcanized rubber separation process makes the ball become oily and greasy.
A newer manufacture process, from the company Pearl, has developed a polyurethane ball. The polyurethane ball is special because it doesn’t have the greasy feeling as the balls get worn down. The ball last longer than the traditional vulcanized rubber. Check out the Pearl Lacrosse balls here
Present day balls, whether it’s rubber or polyurethane, must meet NOCSAE standards and be NCAA & NFHS approved.
Why Are Lacrosse Balls Different Colors?
According to lacrosseballsdirect:
- Women’s Lacrosse use Yellow and Orange Balls.
- Men’s Lacrosse use White, Orange, Yellow, Lime Green, and Pink Lacrosse Balls.
- Girls NFHS and Youth use Orange, Yellow, and Lime Lacrosse Balls.
- Boys NFHS use White, Orange, Yellow, and Lime Lacrosse Balls.
- Boys Youth use White, Orange, Yellow, Lime Green, and Pink Lacrosse Balls.
Here is a chart they’ve created for your reference as well…
Different leagues use different types of lacrosse balls. The purpose of the lacrosse ball is to separate the leagues. For instance, looking at the chart, women will never use white balls in any league. The NFHS,youth, as well as college all will use the white balls.
Female lacrosse games however strictly use orange yellow, and lime colored ball. Except for the NCAA, which disallows for lime colored balls to be in effect.
Each league has a strict guideline for the color ball to be used. Here’s a great video to describe these balls even farther:
Lacrosse balls since the beginning of time were made out of wooden balls, then deerskin stuffed with fur, vulcanized rubber and now shifting to a newer model of polyurethane. The polyurethane helps lacrosse balls last longer and provides a non-slick surface overtime.
Lacrosse balls have a unique type of feel and bounce to them when they’re playing on hard surfaces. If you’ve ever bounced a ball on turf or any hard surface, you’ll notice it bounces different from any other ball.
The lacrosse ball generates backspin immediately when it hits the ground. If you’ve ever thrown a ball with either a lacrosse stick or with a hand, it seems as if the ball doesn’t go as far on the first bounce.
However, on the second bounce, the ball will fly forward at almost twice the speed. This is because of the vulcanized rubber and the spin that it generates when it hits the ground.
To test this, simply bounce a ball in the air and watch it hit once, and twice off the ground.
Despite the softness of youth lacrosse balls and training balls, the lacrosse ball does not have cement in the middle of them and are composed entirely of a rubber material.