Cricket balls and lacrosse balls are both solid sport spheres used in stick/bat games, but they diverge in many qualities including weight, size, materials, bounce, speed, cost, manufacture, and purpose.
Here are 11 ways cricket balls differ from lacrosse balls:
- Weight – Cricket balls weigh 5.5-5.8 oz, lacrosse balls 4-5 oz.
- Size – Cricket balls have a 2.8-2.9 in diameter, lacrosse 2.5-3 in.
- Bounce – Cricket balls have a firm bounce, lacrosse balls dead bounce.
- Materials – Cricket uses cork/leather, lacrosse is rubber.
- History – Cricket balls from 1600s England, lacrosse balls from Native American origins.
- Speed – Cricket bowls up to 100 mph, lacrosse balls 70 mph.
- Spin – Cricket balls swing and seam, lacrosse balls minimal spin.
- Records – Fastest cricket bowl 161.3 km/h, no records kept in lacrosse.
- Brands – Kookaburra, Dukes famed for cricket balls; Maverik, Brine in lacrosse.
- Storage – Cricket balls deteriorate over time, lacrosse balls very durable.
- Cost – Pro cricket balls $100+, lacrosse balls $5-$15 normally.
Below we’ll explore their specialized designs to appreciate how cricket and lacrosse balls are engineered for their specific sports!
Difference in Weight
Right off the bat you’ll notice cricket balls are heavier at 5.5-5.8 oz compared to lacrosse balls weighing 4-5 oz.
The cricket ball’s weight lends momentum for pitches and hits. The lacrosse ball is light enough for quick handling.
The heft of a cricket ball surprised me after years playing lacrosse – it felt incredibly dense!
Difference in Size
Cricket balls have a standard diameter around 2.8-2.9 inches. Lacrosse balls are a bit smaller on average between 2.5-3 inches wide.
The cricket ball’s larger size aids visibility and striking surface area off the bat. Lacrosse balls are more compact for tight stick handling.
Difference in Bounce
Cricket balls have a firm, low bounce on the pitch from their layered cork interior and leather casing.
Lacrosse balls actually have almost no bounce – the solid rubber construction deadens impact rather than rebounding energy.
So cricket balls retain shape after bouncing, while lacrosse balls go dead on contact.
Here’s a video of England cricketer Stuart Broad bowling with a cricket ball, to give you an idea of how much a cricket ball bounces:
Difference in Materials
Cricket balls have a cork interior layered with string windings, encased in a leather outer shell. Lacrosse balls are solid sturdy rubber all the way through.
The cricket ball’s layers create a hardy yet lively sphere optimized for bat impact and pitch abrasion over extended gameplay. The pure rubber lacrosse ball provides durable construction to withstand high-force stick checks and throws.
Each material suits each sport’s specific demands.
History of Ball Types
Cricket balls originated from wood spheres in England in the early 1600s. The current handmade cork and leather standard emerged in the late 1700s.
Lacrosse balls were traditionally carved deerskin stuffed with hair in Native American origins. Rubber lacrosse balls followed in the late 1800s as manufacturing advanced.
So cricket balls uphold artisanal heritage, while lacrosse evolved with industrialization.
Speed They Travel
The fastest cricket bowls exceed 90-100 mph from elite fast bowlers. The ball weight prevents extraordinarily high speeds.
Lacrosse ball velocity tops out around 70 mph. The heavy rubber doesn’t reach faster velocities despite extreme stick forces during play.
So cricket balls edge out lacrosse for speed potential, but neither approach tennis ball or golf ball velocities.
How Fast is a Bowl/Shot?
- Top cricket bowlers reach average speeds between 70-90 mph. Spin bowlers use slower paces.
- Lacrosse shot speed peaks around 90-100 mph for pro players.
So maximum bowl and shot speeds are comparable between the sports.
- Fastest cricket bowl: 161.3 km/h or 100.2 mph by Shoaib Akhtar
- No speed records kept in lacrosse due to ball limitations.
The cricket bowl record has stood for over a decade thanks to the ball’s physical restrictions.
For cricket, Kookaburra and Dukes make premier English willow balls used in international matches.
In lacrosse, Maverik, STX, Brine, Warrior, and Champion are major manufacturers.
Each sport benefits from recognized brands producing optimized balls.
Storage and Maintenance
Cricket balls slowly degrade as the materials deteriorate over years of use. They aren’t as reliant on internal air pressure though.
Lacrosse balls retain their qualities for years if stored at room temperature with minimal deterioration of the solid rubber.
So lacrosse balls edge out cricket in durability under normal storage conditions.
Top cricket balls are handcrafted and priced over $100 per ball at the high performance tiers.
Lacrosse balls normally cost $5-$15 per ball for recreational versions, reflecting simpler mass production.
The specialized cricket manufacturing commands a premium cost.
In summary, while sharing spherical profiles, cricket balls and lacrosse balls differ significantly in their materials, bounce, speed, manufacture, cost, and ideal performance considerations that tailor them precisely for each sport’s unique gameplay needs and environment.