Best Lacrosse Balls

Updated October 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

28 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
331 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

Buying guide for best lacrosse balls

Last Updated October 2019

When playing lacrosse, it’s common to focus on the safety equipment and gear. After all, lacrosse gear keeps you safe — and, let’s face it, it looks really cool.

But after finding the right lacrosse stick, helmet, padding, face mask, and shoes, you need to find the right ball, too. Although it’s true that the majority of lacrosse balls are very similar, there are a few key differences to consider. For game situations, you’ll want to find one that’s the official size, weight, and color. If you’re training, you’ll need to decide between lacrosse balls that are either weighted (to build up your strength) or soft (so you don’t hurt yourself or, if you’re practicing indoors, the walls — especially if you’re new to the game).

To learn more about lacrosse balls, read our shopping guide, which has all the details and tips you’ll need to find the right balls at the best price. If you’re ready to buy, consider one of our top picks.

For official game play, any lacrosse ball must be stamped with words or a logo that verify it meets NOCSAE standards.

Key considerations

When seeking to purchase lacrosse balls, start by determining whether you need game balls, practice balls, or training balls.

Official size

Whether they’ll be used for practice or games, all lacrosse balls are the same size. An official ball will weigh between 5 and 5.25 ounces, and it will have a circumference of between 7.75 and 8 inches.

The size of a lacrosse ball is very similar to a tennis ball. However, because the lacrosse ball is solid rubber, it has a far different weight and consistency than a tennis ball. If the ball is stamped with “meets NOCSAE standards” or a similar phrase, it will be an official-size ball. It can be used for both practice and games.

Some balls will be stamped as “meets NCAA/NFHS standards.” These are not official balls unless they also have the NOCSAE stamp. However, as long as they meet the official size and weight measurements, it’s fine to use these balls for practice.

Training balls

Training balls are not made for game play, even though they often have a circumference that matches the official standards. When shopping for training balls, there are two types to look for:

Weighted training balls: Some training balls will have extra weight and can be twice as heavy as an official ball. This helps players gain strength during practice while being able to use the same form they would with an official ball. However, it’s important to note that overuse of a heavy training ball could result in an injury, so use these weighted balls sparingly.

Soft training balls: Soft training balls are perfect for beginners who are still learning how to use their stick and may be afraid of getting hit by a hard ball. When practicing or playing indoors, a soft lacrosse ball is a smart way to avoid damage to walls and ceilings. Typically, soft training balls are similar in weight and size to an official ball, so you’ll be prepared for the big game.

EXPERT TIP

When practicing, a lost ball is always a possibility. You should have a few lacrosse balls on hand, so you don’t have to stop playing if one ball becomes lost.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

The differences between individual lacrosse balls are subtle. Inexperienced players may not even notice a difference from ball to ball. However, there are a few differences that you should consider among various lacrosse ball models:

  • Color: The most obvious difference from ball to ball is the color. White or yellow are common colors for official game play. Other colors are more fun for practice situations. Some weighted balls will be an odd color, such as blue, so they’re easy to distinguish from official balls.
  • Markings: Official lacrosse balls do not have stripes or seams like other sports balls. They’re perfectly round and solid-colored. The manufacturer’s name and the NOCSAE certification will be stamped into the surface of the ball.
  • Surface: The surface of the lacrosse ball is a key differentiator among various models of balls. Some balls will become slick or “greasy” as they age. This is not a desirable trait, as the ball may slip out of the net during a throw, affecting accuracy. A lacrosse ball needs to have a slightly tacky surface for optimal game play. Take a ball out of play when it starts to age and show signs of being slick. Try cleaning it to remove the slickness.
  • Materials: Traditionally, lacrosse balls consist of a solid vulcanized rubber. As this material ages, it releases oils, which cause the surface of the ball to feel greasy, as we just discussed. Some manufacturers use a polyurethane material in their balls to avoid this greasy feeling.
DID YOU KNOW?

Some coaches will use different colors of lacrosse balls to distinguish certain drills at practice.

Lacrosse ball prices

Lacrosse balls are similar in price to baseballs or softballs. An individual lacrosse ball will cost $3 to $6. A ball that does not meet NOCSAE standards will be at the lower end of that price range.

To save money, you can purchase multiple balls in a pack. Sets of two, three, six, 12, 24, or more balls are available. Quantities of up to a dozen may cost $2 to $5 per ball. When bought in large quantities of more than a dozen, you could pay as little as $1.25 to $3 per ball.

Training balls will cost more than official balls. You could pay $5 to $15 for a soft, padded, or weighted lacrosse ball. You may find some training lacrosse balls in multipacks, which will help save some money.

Tips

After purchasing your lacrosse ball, you’ll want to make the most of it. We’ve collected some tips to help you enjoy playing lacrosse and staying safe while doing so.

  • Younger players should have soft lacrosse balls. A soft or padded lacrosse ball is good for players ages eight and under who are just learning the game. Some leagues will even use tennis balls instead of lacrosse balls for really young players. However, some leagues will stick with official lacrosse balls for any age.
  • There’s only one size of official lacrosse ball. In sports such as basketball or softball, younger or women’s players will use a different-size ball. However, lacrosse has only one official-size ball for all.
  • Other equipment differs from the men’s game to the women’s game. Even though men and women use the same ball, the men’s game is played slightly differently from the women’s game. This means the equipment needs are different. Men’s players need more protective padding because body checks are allowed, for example. Checking is not allowed in the women’s game.
  • The ball hurts when it hits you. Every lacrosse player will be hit with the ball at some time . . . if not multiple times. And it hurts. Top-level lacrosse players can fire the ball at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour. Youth players won’t generate these speeds, but being hit with the firm rubber ball still hurts at slower speeds, which is why younger players will use a padded ball.
  • Lacrosse balls sometimes have a bad odor. As with any rubber product, lacrosse balls can generate an odor, especially when new. Try to store the balls in a ventilated carrying bag to help dissipate the odor.
  • Clean the balls occasionally. To keep a lacrosse ball in top condition as long as possible, you should clean it after every two or three practice sessions. You can wash the balls in an automatic dishwasher on the top rack. Or try soaking them in warm, soapy water for 20 to 40 minutes, and then rinse them in cold water. Always allow them to air dry rather than using a heated drying system.

 

EXPERT TIP

A lacrosse ball will show signs of wear over time, such as becoming greasy. If a ball is thrown at higher speeds, it will wear out faster. You should replace a ball after 20 to 40 practice sessions.


Staff  | BestReviews

Other products we considered

For those who need several dozen balls in one order, the Velocity 60-Pack of Lacrosse Balls delivers a huge quantity of balls at a low price. Guardian Innovations’ The Pearl set of three lacrosse balls uses a special polyurethane design, which reduces the greasy, slippery feel many lacrosse balls get after they’ve been used. The Champro NOCSAE Lacrosse Balls set of three has a nice price point. Champro-branded lacrosse balls are the official balls for the IHSA Championship series. For those who don’t like the smell of lacrosse balls, the Signature Lacrosse Balls set of two solves that problem. It uses a particular blend to reduce odor while maintaining the tacky surface longer.

If practicing in areas where the grass is tall or where there are overgrown bushes, a brightly colored lacrosse ball will help you see it in the tall grass.

FAQ

Q. Why does it matter if my lacrosse ball is NOCSAE-certified? Aren’t all balls the same?
A.
The NOCSAE standard simply verifies that the manufacturer followed all guidelines in creating each ball. This results in a safer game to play. If a ball is not manufactured to the proper weight or size, it could create a dangerous situation for players. A nonstandard ball could damage helmets, face masks, or nets.

Q. Is there any advantage to using a padded lacrosse ball for training?
A.
For younger players or those just starting to play, the hard lacrosse ball might be a little scary. Players may shy away from being hit with the ball. With a padded ball, though, players may feel more comfortable about possibly being hit. As they gain more experience, they then can switch to a regulation ball. Choose a padded ball with an official size and weight to make the transition to a regulation ball easier.

Q. Do official lacrosse balls have to be a certain color?
A.
League rules vary on which colors of balls are allowed as game balls. White and yellow lacrosse balls are used in college, high school, and youth leagues. Some leagues will allow orange, lime green, or pink balls under certain circumstances. For practice, any color of ball is common.

Q. Beyond game play, what are some other uses for lacrosse balls?
A.
Some people will use these balls to play fetch with their dogs. The hard rubber construction should stand up well to the jaws and teeth of a dog. Massage therapists like the hard rubber balls to help with muscle massage.

The team that worked on this review
  • Angela
    Angela
    Editor
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Kyle
    Kyle
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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