Everybody know that you can play lacrosse outside when the weather is nice and agreeable. However, many people question the possible prospect of playing lacrosse in the winter when there is snow on the ground. It is a valid question considering that lacrosse is largely a spring and summer sport.
Lacrosse can be played in the snow. The snowy conditions make it tougher to perform basic lacrosse movements, such as throwing passes and scooping up ground balls. Nonetheless, there are many lacrosse programs that play lacrosse in the snow frequently, even at the high school and collegiate level.
There is a multitude of reasons why lacrosse can be played in the snow. These reasons are outlined in the latter portions of the article. To discover some practical tips for playing lacrosse in the snow this winter, keep reading further!
Main Reasons Why Lacrosse in the Snow is Possible
There are a couple of reasons why lacrosse can be played in the snow. The most prominent of which are listed below.
Lacrosse Does Not Need a Specific Kind of Weather
The foremost reason that lacrosse can be played in the snow is because the nature of the sport is not entirely contingent on the weather.
The equipment in lacrosse can withstand a large degree of weather abuse. Lacrosse cleats are built to maximize traction on the field, even if there is a little snow on the ground.
In addition, contemporary lacrosse is played mostly on turf fields. These turf fields are able to hold out against the snow far better than grass or dirt fields. Grass and dirt fields tend to get slick and messy when snow is on the ground, which increases the likelihood of player injury.
Sports like baseball or softball are predominantly played on grass and dirt fields, which is why these sports do not coincide well with snow. Luckily, lacrosse does not typically have this problem.
Warm Clothing Keeps the Cold at Bay
If lacrosse players are worried about the harsh cold that accompanies the winter snow, they can simply throw on extra clothing layers.
Players do not have to wear shorts and a t shirt every time they step on the field. There are plenty of sports clothing options that are specifically designed for the winter. A long sleeved shirt and some sweatpants is enough for most players to do just fine during lacrosse practice and games.
In addition, the extra layer of lacrosse equipment definitely helps to ward off some of the effects of the cold. Think about it. A helmet, shoulder pads, pair of arm guards, and pair of gloves is quite a lot of padding. The combined insulation of all this equipment together plus warm clothing is sufficient for players to stay warm.
Furthermore, the sport of lacrosse demands a lot of running. Once players get into the swing of a practice or game, they hardly even notice the cold any more.
Mesh is Getting Far Better Equipped to Take on the Snow
The performance of lacrosse mesh is also improving to better cope with the effects of snow. In fact, many lacrosse stringing companies are introducing specific performance meshes that are geared toward maintaining durability in spite of weather effects.
Examples of these high performance lacrosse meshes include East Coast Dyes Hero Mesh and StringKing Type 4X Mesh. These meshes are specifically advertised as weatherproof and are designed to be the top tier form of lacrosse mesh on the market.
In the early days of lacrosse, players were forced to use pockets that were made of flimsy leather and frail string. These lacrosse pockets were not built to tolerate the challenges presented by the snow. Luckily, lacrosse mesh has evolved to allow players to expand their play into snowy conditions.
The Lacrosse Season Just Keeps Getting Earlier
Moreover, the lacrosse season seems to start earlier and earlier every year. For this reason, lacrosse teams are beginning to feel the effects of winter a lot more and play with snow on the ground.
Players and fans want to extend the lacrosse season for as long as possible, which is why practices and games are starting to dip into late winter. I remember there being multiple days during my high school lacrosse tryouts where our program had to practice through heavy snow. It was practically a blizzard out there!
Even collegiate lacrosse teams are sharing in these snowy lacrosse experiences. Don’t believe me? Check out this video of the D1 collegiate lacrosse team Brown warming up for practice in the snow!
Why People Mistakenly Believe that Lacrosse Cannot Be Played in the Snow
People wrongfully assume that lacrosse cannot be played in the snow for a variety of reasons. Let’s take a look at some of these lines of reasoning.
Lacrosse is a Spring Sport
The predominant reason that people assume lacrosse cannot be played in the snow is because lacrosse is a spring sport. People only really see players participating in practices and games in the agreeable spring weather. They are completely unaware of the times when players compete in the snow.
This unfamiliarity with the sport causes people to wrongfully assume that lacrosse needs perfect weather to operate. This presumption has spread like wildfire, which is why many lacrosse newcomers are confused when they train in the snow.
More Popular in Warmer Climates
In addition, lacrosse is much more popular in locations where the weather is warm year around. For example, lacrosse is most popular on the east coast and west coast in the United States. Most of these locations rarely ever see snow, even during the dead of winter. Lacrosse is only just beginning to take off in the midwest where winter snow is an expectation, not a rarity.
The lack of lacrosse popularity in these colder climates has caused people to think that the sport simply cannot be played in these locations. Hopefully the rise of lacrosse in the midwest will help to counteract these mistaken presumptions in the future.
Potential Wear and Tear on the Lacrosse Stick
Moreover, the game of lacrosse obviously revolves heavily around the use of a lacrosse stick. Since the lacrosse pocket is comprised entirely of string, it is hard to fathom that this delicate material could stand up to the harsh snowy conditions.
As aforementioned, this was only the case in the early days of lacrosse when the stringing materials used to construct lacrosse pockets were not durable. Lacrosse manufacturers have recognized the need for solid stringing materials and have made the necessary adjustments to correct this problem.
Now the majority of stringing materials have the sturdiness to last through an entire snow game and still survive the rest of the lacrosse season.
Tips for Playing Lacrosse in the Snow
During my play years, I made a lot of foolish mistakes with playing lacrosse in the snow. To avoid making the same mistakes I made, consider implementing the tips outlined in the following paragraphs.
Wear ColdGear Under Armour
My number one piece of advice for lacrosse players that have to face the adverse effects of the snow is to wear ColdGear UnderArmour.
I do not know what it is about this specific clothing fabric, but it keeps you warm throughout the whole game. Once you start to generate some body heat from running up and down the field, it retains that heat and prevents it from escaping into the air. Believe it or not, there were a couple times where I played in freezing temperatures and I was sweating because of how effective this clothing was.
The material is also not as restrictive relative to some of the other athletic winter clothing materials out there. This extra freedom of movement can definitely give you a slight leg up on the competition.
It does not just have to be ColdGear Under Armour. I had a couple of teammates that played just fine in a long sleeved shirt and some sweatpants. As long as you wear some sort of extra clothing layers, you will survive.
Switch Out the White Lacrosse Balls for Colored Ones
Another helpful tip is to switch out the white lacrosse balls for colored balls.
Unsurprisingly, the white lacrosse balls blend in real well with the snow. This makes ground balls extremely difficult to locate. The difficulty level of throwing and catching also goes up a notch with white lacrosse balls because the snowfall camouflages the flight path of the ball.
Trading out the white lacrosse balls for colored balls will help to mitigate this problem. Orange lacrosse balls are far more convenient to utilize during lacrosse practices and games.
A little known fact is that both lacrosse teams have the right to petition for a colored lacrosse ball instead of the standard white lacrosse ball prior to the gam. If both teams agree to this request, a colored lacrosse ball can be used for the game.
In summary, just use a colored lacrosse ball when it is snowing out. Unless you are obsessed with the notion of performing a successful hidden ball trick, a colored lacrosse ball will make the game a whole lot easier.
Invest in Performance Mesh
One other element to consider if snow is a commonality in your area is potentially investing in performance mesh.
Although performance mesh can definitely get on the pricer side, there is no denying that this mesh stands up to weather better than your standard piece of mesh. These stringing materials are constructed for durability, especially against harsh weather conditions like snow.
Standard pieces of mesh do not really bode well with the snow. The wetness alters the consistency of the pocket to the point where it may even be irreversible. Rather than having to go through the hassle of restringing your lacrosse stick at several points during the season, why not just invest the extra money up front and have a sturdy pocket from the get-go?
Ultimately, this just comes down to preference. If you think your lacrosse stick can withstand the snow, I would not change a thing. As the wise old adage goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Is Practicing Lacrosse in the Snow Even Worth It?
Now that you know that that lacrosse can be played in the snow, you are probably asking yourself, “Is playing in the snow even worth it?”
The answer to this depends on what your individual goals are with lacrosse. If your main ambitions with this sport are to have fun and enjoy some good times with your teammates, I would not worry too much about training on your own in the snow.
However, if you are extremely serious about the prospect of taking your game to the next level, practicing in the snow is absolutely necessary. Not many players are willing to put themselves through harsh snowy conditions just for the sake of upping their game.
The best lacrosse players are prepared for every eventuality during games, including snow. Rather than thinking of practicing in the snow as just an extra set of obstacles, see it as an opportunity to acquire a skill that few other lacrosse players have.
The off-season is where lacrosse players make the most substantial jumps in their skill set, not the actual lacrosse season itself. In order to become the star of your lacrosse team or reach your collegiate lacrosse dreams, the snow should not stop you from developing your skills.
If you are genuinely looking for ways to revamp your lacrosse skill set this winter, check out my article 10 Tips on How to Get Better at Lacrosse in the Winter.