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Differences Between Field Hockey Balls & Lacrosse Balls

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author image Jill Grant
Based in Winston-Salem, N.C., Jill Grant is a physician assistant practicing in orthopedic surgery and anesthesiology. She has performed research focusing on the role of exercise in breast cancer. Grant holds a Master of Exercise Science from James Madison University, as well as a Master of Medical Science from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
Differences Between Field Hockey Balls & Lacrosse Balls
Differences Between Field Hockey Balls & Lacrosse Balls Photo Credit James Boardman/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

For centuries, people have enjoyed the sports of field hockey and lacrosse. Current evidence suggests that field hockey likely originated in Egypt more than 4,000 years ago. On the other hand, lacrosse is thought to be one of the oldest sports in North America, perhaps dating back as early as the 12th century. In spite of their differences in origin and technique, field hockey and lacrosse have many similarities. For example, to score a point in either sport, a player must use a stick to shoot the ball into the goal. The sticks used in field hockey and lacrosse are noticeably different, but the differences between the balls used in both sports are subtle.

Material

The ball used in the game of field hockey is spherical in shape. Made of solid plastic, a hockey ball is very hard, and in some cases, may contain a core made of cork. A lacrosse ball, on the other hand, is made of solid rubber. Also spherical in shape, a ball used in lacrosse can bounce easily, which is often used as part of a strategy for passing between teammates.

Weight and Size

According to the United States Field Hockey Association, a regulation field hockey ball must weigh between 5.5 and 5.75 ounces. A hockey ball's circumference must range from just over 8.75 inches to 9.25 inches. The weight of a lacrosse ball must range from 5 to 5.25 ounces. The ball's circumference may vary between 7.75 inches and 8 inches.

Texture and Color

The ball used in a game of field hockey is the same for both indoor and outdoor play. However, the ball used for outdoor play may be dimpled, promoting consistency of speed when playing on turf or wet surfaces. Although a white ball is most commonly used in field hockey, other colors may be used if approved. According to the United States Lacrosse Association, a textured ball may be used in a game of lacrosse, depending on the league of play. Typically, a lacrosse ball is white, though other colors may be permitted if approved by the officials.

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