The crosse, or stick, used to play lacrosse in the U.S., and generally anywhere, must meet detailed specifications and have a distinct look that makes anyone who with a general sports knowledge to quickly identify, “Hey! I know that thing! It’s one of those sticks used to play lacrosse!” or something like that.
The general look of the stick, from the bottom to the top, goes rubber plug in the end of the long aluminum or other material stick attached by a screw to a plastic head in roughly the shape of an oval with strings or mesh filling in the head. There are many variations on this basic look but there are tight requirements on what is allowed on a field and will be caught if and when a referee performs a stick check.
- Length : 40 – 42 inches for “short crosses” (midfield and attack) or 52 – 72 inches for “long crosses” (LSM and defense) or 40-72 inches for goalie crosse
- Circumference of Handle (stick) : 3.5 inches
- Head of Crosse: 6.5 – 10 inches at the widest point measured from side wall to side wall or 10 – 12 inches for goalie heads and side walls that are shorter than or equal to 2 inches high with the overall head length for goalie crosses no more than 16.5 inches
- Material of Crosse (stick) : wood, laminated wood, or synthetic material as close to perpendicular to the head as possible
- Side wall: Two inches or less high
In a game situation penalties for illegal sticks can be harsh and are determined according to stick check guidelines. The rule section regarding “prohibitions” outlines how a stick cannot be:
- The pocket depth cannot be so deep or designed in such a way that the ball cannot be dislodged
- The stringing of the pocket cannot restrain the dislodging of the ball
- Leftover strings or leathers cannot hang more than six inches
- Handles of adjustable length are illegal
- Handles may not be altered in any way aside from tape and such that improves the grip
- Sticks must be “relatively straight” which is defined as a stick laid on a flat surface there exists not height point that exceeds 2.5 inches
Crosses can generally be purchased in many fashions from many suppliers just as most sporting equipment. Crosses can be purchased as just the stick, the unstrung head, the strung head, or complete meaning a stick with an attached, strung head. Prices for crosses range from as cheap as $20 all the way up to and exceeding $300 depending on what head and stick combination you piece together. An average quality stick runs approximately $75-125 though good sticks of a used nature can be purchased for around $50.
References from the 2004 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Rulebook