Women’s Lacrosse Head
Women’s Lacrosse Heads differ widely from the men’s version to better fit the needs of the women’s lacrosse game. While the men’s stick has a deep mesh pocket to ease catching and carrying the ball, the women’s stick has a tighter pocket that requires proper technique to keep possession while cradling.
Curve of the Scoop
The scoop is the widest part of the women’s lacrosse head and is used to pick up the ball and also can improve accuracy when passing and shooting. Scoops vary in width and curvature. They range from a flat design where the scoop has a little curve at the top, to a more “U” shape, where the scoop has a lot of curve at the top. Heads with a flatter scoop are designed for developing players because it makes it more suitable for picking up ground balls. The “U” shaped scoop will channel the ball better during a pass or shot, making it perfect for improving shot accuracy.
The Sidewall and Angle of the Scoop
Sidewalls, like the rest of the head, are made of plastic mold and connect the strings to the lacrosse head. They vary in flexibility and depth. The shape and depth of the sidewalls directly affects ball control. A lower sidewall allows for a deeper pocket, which increases ball control. Most elite heads have dropped sidewalls for this reason. Beginner sticks tend to have flatter or straighter sidewalls to help teach younger players proper technique. The angle of the scoop from the sidewall area determines the way the ball will be released from the head. An extreme angled scoop provides more whip and accuracy when shooting. A flatter scoop will have less whip and not as advanced ball control.
Weight of the Head
The weight of the head is usually due to the head having more plastic, which not only increases the weight, but also makes it stiffer. This is beneficial to defenders, midfielders, and other players who are often stick-checking and aggressively going after ground balls. A lightweight head usually has thinner sidewalls and is more flexible. Many attackers, or midfielders that shoot, like having a head that is lightweight because it makes them feel like they have more control. A light head will make it more flexible, which can make them ineffective on ground balls and landing hard checks. It also makes the head more susceptible to breaking.
Width of the Head
Narrow heads are good for ball retention and accuracy, while wider heads have more surface area for blocking and catching the ball. Wide heads tend to be more desirable to defensive players. Attackers tend to like the more narrow heads, and midfielders look for a balance depending on whether they are more offensive or defensive.
This thin piece of rubber or foam that is meant to cushion the ball as it sits in the pocket. Women’s lacrosse heads feature a larger ball stop area since the pocket is not as deep as the men’s and the ball comes in contact with the ball stop more often.
The pocket is where the ball resides. Pockets include the center piece, nylon stringing around the center piece, and leathers or thicker nylons on either side of the center piece. There is also a top string at the top, which may need to be replaced depending on what surface you play on and how often. The sidewalls strings, in conjunction with the top string, help to secure the pocket to the head. Sidewalls strings are also susceptible to breaking and are usually easy to repair. The last strings in the pocket are the shooting strings. They can be strung into a head in different shapes and positions, as long as they meet the stringing requirements. The most common shape and combination is a shooting string at the top threaded straight across, and then a U or V-shaped string below.
Visit http://www.longstreth.com for details on the huge selection of women’s lacrosse sticks, heads, and gear. Longstreth Sporting Goods specializes in bringing the best of the best equipment to the female athlete. Check out the great selection of women’s lacrosse equipment at Longstreth.
Fastpitch Softball Gloves
When it comes to the game of fastpitch softball, gloves and mitts are one of the most important choices an athlete can make. Each year, vendors roll out their new line for the upcoming season. Typically, each line includes gloves/mitts produced for specific positions with a variety of leathers and pocket web designs. Some gloves are made for the both right- and left-handed players; but the majority of gloves / mitts are designed for the right-handed thrower.
As a female athlete, it’s important to find a glove that has been made specifically for the female player. These gloves feature narrow fingers, smaller wrist openings, and a wider pocket.
This season, three fastpitch softball gloves have become popular choices.
Nokona Walnut Fastpitch Gloves
The Nokona brand is synonymous with high-quality, top-of-the line offerings. Their Nokona Walnut line is a classic best-selling glove that provides great stability, durability, and a game-ready feel. The Walnut Fastpitch gloves are constructed of flexible, lightweight Walnut Steerhide Leather. They are handcrafted and made specifically for the female athlete’s hand. The single finger closed back with adjustable Velcro wrist strap offers a personalized fit for each individual player. The fielder’s and catcher’s gloves come in a variety of sizes with a closed web, while the first base is available with an H-web design. They’re all available for the right-handed thrower.
Wilson’s A2000 is designed for the serious fastpitch athlete. This 12.5-inch fastpitch glove has been created with the new Custom Fit System, a hook and loop wrist closure that offers every player a customized secure fit – no matter how tight she wears it. It is built from Premium Pro Stock leather that gives the glove superior feel and durability; and allows the glove to break in perfectly and last from season to season. The A2000 features D-Fusion padding just below the pocket to absorb the shock of hard line drives; a Victory Web that makes it the perfect outfielder glove; and is available for right-handed throwers.
Rawlings Liberty Advanced
Rawlings has developed a perfectly-balanced pattern technology for the Liberty Advanced Fastpitch Softball Glove series. This 12.5-inch glove is designed for the smaller hand of the female athlete, therefore providing improved control and comfort. The nonslip pull strap makes the hand opening adjustable for a custom fit. The Liberty Advanced Glove is constructed from full-grain oil-treated shell leather making it feel game-ready. It features a double-laced basket web which forms a closed, deep pocket making it an excellent choice for infielders, outfielders, and pitchers. It’s available for right-handed throwers.
While these three gloves rise to the top of this year’s offerings, there are many other options available for all levels of players. Longstreth Sporting Goods has a huge variety of gloves and mitts specifically designed for the female athlete. Visit Longstreth to see the fastpitch equipment selection or ask the Softball Expert how to select the perfect glove for you.