What is a Lacrosse Ball Made Of? Revealing the Materials & Composition

This post contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. But it never influences our product selection process.

If you’ve ever wondered “What is a lacrosse ball made of?”, you’re in the right place.

A lacrosse ball primarily comprises solid, elastomeric materials like latex rubber, vinyl, silicone, or polyurethane. These materials are specifically chosen for the bounce, durability, and strength required during official lacrosse games.

As you read on, you’ll better understand the different elastomeric materials used in lacrosse ball production and why these particular materials are chosen.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a comprehensive grasp on the makeup of lacrosse balls so that you can appreciate the fascinating world of lacrosse even more.

Take this opportunity to dive deeper into the topic, and soon enough, you’ll be able to share your newfound knowledge about the composition of lacrosse balls with your friends and fellow lacrosse enthusiasts.

Who knows? It might even spark some interesting conversations about the sport you love.

What is a Lacrosse Ball Made Of: Composition?

Material Types

When it comes to the makeup of a lacrosse ball, they’re typically made from solid rubber materials like latex rubber, vinyl, silicone, or polyurethane.

1920px Polyurethane synthesis.svg
Polyurethane synthesis. S: Wikipedia

Latex rubber and crosslinked polyurethane are the most commonly used materials. Each material has its properties, but all contribute to the ball’s ability to bounce and withstand impact during gameplay.

Watch this video to discover what is inside:

Regulation Specs

Now let’s talk about regulations and standards for lacrosse balls.

In international play governed by the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) and in college play regulated by the NCAA, lacrosse balls must meet specific requirements.

For example, the weight should be approximately 5 ounces (142 grams), and the diameter should be around 2.5 inches (6.35 centimeters).

How Weight Is a Lacrosse Ball?

Here’s a quick rundown of the key specs:

  • Weight: 5 ounces (142 grams)
  • Diameter: 2.5 inches (6.35 centimeters)

These specifications help ensure that players at different levels of lacrosse use consistent equipment, which ultimately affects how the game unfolds.

Using balls that meet these regulations during official gameplay is essential to maintain fairness and a level playing field.

Manufacturing Process


The first step in making a lacrosse ball is to create the rubber compound by mixing latex rubber with oils, fillers, and additives. This mixture ensures the ball’s stability and durability during gameplay.

A process called vulcanization is used to mold the ball. The rubber compound is heated and subjected to pressure in a mold during this process. The heat and pressure cause the rubber to cure and solidify into the shape of a lacrosse ball.

  • Latex rubber
  • Oils, fillers, and additives
  • Vulcanization process


After the ball has been molded, it might have some rough edges or imperfections. A polishing process is applied to ensure the ball has a smooth, consistent surface.

This typically involves tumbling the lacrosse balls in a machine with an abrasive material, which removes any rough edges and ensures a uniform surface.

Once the polishing process is complete, the finished lacrosse ball is ready to be used in a game.

  • Tumbling in a machine
  • Abrasive material
  • Smooth, uniform surface

Now, you can understand how lacrosse balls are made and the importance of the materials and methods used in their production.

Safety Standards

NOCSAE Certification


When it comes to lacrosse balls, safety is a top priority. That’s why the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) sets certification standards for lacrosse balls. Meeting these standards ensures that the ball you’re using is safe, consistent, and high-quality.

Nowadays, lacrosse balls are made of solid rubber or elastomeric material that meets the certification standards. Some of these elastomeric materials include silicone, polyurethane, rubber, and various types of vinyl.

This promotes uniformity in the balls, leading to a better and safer playing experience.

Testing Requirements

To achieve NOCSAE certification, manufacturers must comply with several testing requirements. These tests assess the ball’s bounce, size, weight, and construction. Here are a few of the key testing requirements:

  • Material and Construction: The ball must be made of smooth or slightly textured, solid, elastomeric material. The texture depth shouldn’t exceed 0.007 inches or 0.17mm.
  • Size and Weight: The ball must have a circumference between 7 3/4 and 8 inches and a weight between 5 and 5 1/2 ounces.
  • Bounce: When dropped from a height of 72 inches on a concrete floor, the ball should bounce 43 to 51 inches at a temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Keeping these safety standards in mind helps ensure that your lacrosse game runs smoothly and safely. So, the next time you’re in the market for new lacrosse balls, look for ones that meet NOCSAE certification standards.

Branding and Design

Color Variations

Lacrosse balls come in a variety of colors. Manufacturers produce balls in bright shades like orangeyellowwhite, and lime green.

Lacrosse Ball Colors

These colors are chosen because they stand out on the field and make it easier to spot the ball during games. It’s common to find lacrosse balls in more unique colors such as pink, blue, and even multi-colored designs.

The choice of color often depends on the level of play, personal preferences, or specific league requirements.

Logo Imprinting

Another element that sets lacrosse balls apart is the logo imprinting.

Many brands, especially the well-established ones, will place their logos and certification stamps on their balls. This helps provide credibility and assurance that you use a quality and approved product.

When buying lacrosse balls, be sure to look for the following imprints:

  • Brand logo: It usually displays the manufacturer’s name or symbol, so you know whose product you’re using.
  • Certification stamp: This imprint confirms that the ball meets the specifications set by official lacrosse governing bodies like the NCAA or NFHS.

Example of logo imprinting on a lacrosse ball:

Brand LogoCertification Stamp
Signature LacrosseNCAA Approval
STXNFHS Compliance
61OtiZ3JzCL. AC SL1500
Signature Lacrosse Balls

Choosing a lacrosse ball with proper branding and design is essential for quality and usability. Take your time and make an informed decision based on your needs and preferences.

Environmental Considerations

Material Sustainability

The core component of lacrosse balls is typically a solid rubber material, which could be latex rubber, vinyl, silicone, or polyurethane. These materials have varying levels of sustainability. For instance, latex rubber is a natural material sourced from rubber trees, making it more environmentally friendly.

On the other hand, materials like vinyl and polyurethane are synthetic, and their production can have a higher environmental impact. To make a more informed choice, consider the materials’ origin, production process, and ecological footprint.

Recycling Programs

Recycling plays a crucial role in reducing waste and promoting a more sustainable future.

There are a few recycling programs you can participate in to help reduce your environmental impact.

  1. Manufacturer take-back programs: Some lacrosse ball manufacturers offer take-back programs for their products. Check if your lacrosse ball brand offers such a program and follow the instructions for recycling the balls.
  2. Local recycling facilities: Contact your local recycling facility to see if they accept lacrosse balls. They may have a designated recycling program or guidelines for recycling these rubber materials.
  3. Repurposing used balls: Find creative ways to repurpose or reuse your old lacrosse balls. For example, you could use them as massage balls, dog toys, or even as handy tools for household tasks like removing scuff marks.

Usage and Maintenance

Proper Storage

To keep your lacrosse ball in top-notch condition, proper storage is essential. Find a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.

This will prevent any potential damage to the ball’s material. Keeping your lacrosse ball away from other rubber items is also a good idea, as they may cause unexpected reactions.


The lifespan of a lacrosse ball depends on several factors, including usage, care, and the quality of the ball itself.

A lacrosse ball can typically last several months to a year with regular play. But, you’ll notice that with time, the ball loses its grip, becoming more slippery.

When this happens, it’s time to replace your ball with a new one. Here are some tips to extend your lacrosse ball’s lifespan:

  • Rotate the balls regularly: Switch between multiple balls during practice, distributing wear evenly across them.
  • Clean your ball: After each use, quickly wipe it with a damp cloth to remove dirt and debris.
  • Avoid concrete surfaces: Playing on grass or turf will reduce wear and tear on your ball.

Remember, taking care of your lacrosse ball extends its life and ensures optimal performance during your games and practice sessions.

Related Article: Can You Kick the Ball in Lacrosse? Learn more to Master the Rules.

Rate this post