Do lacrosse balls float

Do Lacrosse Balls Float? Yes and Here’s The Science

Ready to take your lacrosse game to the lake or beach? Or do you need to play the game in the water? But do lacrosse balls float?

Usually, a rubber ball floats with an average density of 900 kilograms. It will sink if it’s more than that. Does this theory work with all the balls? And will a lacrosse ball float?

Here, we’ll explore the scientific explanations behind it. We’ll also talk about the materials utilized to construct these balls so they can survive rough treatment during game time. 

To get all your answers, read this article.

Quick Summary 

Lacrosse balls are more likely to float in water due to the low density of the materials they are normally produced from (hard rubber or cork-based substances). To further improve their chances of floating, most lacrosse ball makers provide smaller, lighter variants.

Do Lacrosse Balls Float?

Things that are denser than water will sink. The opposite is true for objects with densities lower than water. Rubber, with its much lower density compared to water, can float.

Similarly, the low density of these small rubber balls helps them to disperse their weight uniformly over the water’s surface, keeping them floating. This makes them ideal for use in pool sessions, whether with a group or as a lone player.

What Is a Lacrosse Ball Made of?

Certification requirements specify that lacrosse balls have to be constructed from rigid elastomeric materials.  Manufacturers of lacrosse balls may choose from a wide variety of such kinds of materials, including polyurethane, silicone, latex rubber, and vinyl.

There are now two approved kinds of lacrosse balls for use in games:

  • Balls made of imported latex rubber
  • U.S.-made cross-linked polyurethane (patent) balls

Yet, rubberized cork is widely used in current lacrosse balls. This material functions as a cushion. 

They also offer durability during tough gaming without significantly reducing performance quality. 

Around this core, you’ll see different materials, like leather or textiles, wrapped. 

They provide structural strength while allowing for mobility throughout the use period. It goes on until you replace the ball with a brand-new one.

As an added measure, some models may install foam padding between their inner layers. Some balls’ structure combines in-built air pockets.

All these states that even under the most extreme conditions of play, the outer casing will suffer only minor impact wear.

The Science Behind Lacrosse Ball Floating

Let’s find out why lacrosse balls float with the science behind it.

The Physics

The density and the volume of an item are the two primary parameters in determining its buoyancy. An item will sink in water if its mass is greater than its displacement; conversely, an object will float if its mass is less than its displacement. 

Because of their higher mass in relation to their volume, heavier things tend to sink more quickly when dropped into water. 

This is the case even if they displace the same quantity of water as lighter ones. Two-thirds of a rubber ball’s volume is above the water when it floats. 

If you calculate the typical density ratio of a rubber ball, you’ll find that it has an average density of 0.71. As long as 12 of a rubber ball’s 13 volumes are outside of the water, it will float.

A standard lacrosse ball weighs between 141.75 and 148.83 grams. This means it has a lower density than other materials, like wood or metal. 

How Much Does a Lacrosse Ball Weigh?

The standard weight range for a men’s lacrosse ball is between 5.0 to 5.25 ounces. The National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Federation of International Lacrosse set this weight level for men’s lacrosse.

A women’s lacrosse ball may weigh anything from 5.0 to 5.25 ounces. These fall within the same weight range as men’s lacrosse balls.

Standardization of ball weight for both men’s and women’s lacrosse helps maintain parity on the field.

Lacrosse Balls That Can Float

Specially-made lacrosse balls allow the game to be played in the water. Aqua lacrosse balls aren’t completely solid rubber on the inside since they’re stuffed with foam. The user’s bodily mass is negated by the foam, enabling them to float.

The smooth exteriors of water lacrosse balls also aid in their ease of movement in the water. Because of their specific design, they can’t be used in regular lacrosse games on the ground.

4 Types of Lacrosse Balls and Their Floating Properties

4 Types of Lacrosse Balls and Their Floating Properties

Several distinct varieties of lacrosse balls are on the market, each with its own perks and styles.

1. Standard Balls

The majority of games are played using these standard lacrosse balls.

They are often white, orange, or yellow in color and are composed of solid rubber. All competitive and recreational lacrosse is played using regulation-sized balls.

2. Greasers

Players use greased lacrosse balls instead of sticky balls because they are easier to control. Only seasoned players should attempt to utilize them since they are mainly intended to hone stick-handling abilities. For this reason, considerable training is recommended for players before trying to trap and handle a greaser.

3. Indoor Balls 

Indoor lacrosse uses a particular ball in a confined space like a gym or indoor arena. These lacrosse balls are faster and more maneuverable on the indoor court because they are flatter and softer than their outside counterparts. They’re simpler to hold and toss since they’re smaller and lighter. 

4. Outdoor Balls 

Lacrosse balls used outside are made with a different material to handle the weather. Due to the rougher outside surfaces, these balls tend to be more intricate and longer than their indoor counterparts. Additionally, these balls have an extended form that facilitates precise long-distance throws.

Do lacrosse balls bounce?

Yes, lacrosse balls are known for their ability to bounce. When you throw or drop on a hard surface, lacrosse balls can bounce back up. So you can pass, shoot, and catch the ball during gameplay. 

The bounce of lacrosse balls is an important characteristic, as it contributes to the fast-paced and dynamic nature of the sport.

What Makes Lacrosse Balls Bouncy?

Lacrosse balls are bouncy because of their material and design. [1]

Material Composition

As you already know, rubber, specifically vulcanized rubber, is the main element of its elastic properties. 

This type of rubber comes through a chemical process involving sulfur and heat. Consequently, it increases the resilience, strength, and elasticity of the ball’s rubber. 

Lacrosse balls may retain energy when they hit a hard surface because of their flexibility. Potential energy is stored when the ball is bent or squeezed upon collision. 

When you let go, the ball’s stored energy is released, and it bounces back. Lacrosse balls get their distinctive bounce from this elastic nature.

Smooth and Round Shape

The ball will bounce higher because the smooth surface reduces the amount of time it spends slowing down due to contact with the ground or other surfaces. The rounded shape helps channel the ball’s bounce force, making for a more consistent bounce.

Because of its unique construction and elastic qualities, the ball is able to achieve a high amount of bounce. 

Why Do Lacrosse Balls Get Greasy?

Two or three factories in Taiwan and China provide lacrosse balls to most of the world’s lacrosse brands. The balls are made to the exact specifications of the other brands but are privately labeled by the producers. 

They employ vulcanized rubber made from latex. It blends natural rubber with various oils, filler substances, and additives. It’s the same technique used to manufacture automotive tires and footwear.

The fillers and oils used in producing rubber lacrosse balls may seep out over time, turning the balls into tough and durable greasers. The rubber hardens and deteriorates in outdoor applications in the same way as vehicle tires do.

How Long Will a Lacrosse Ball Float? 

A lacrosse ball is much denser than water, with a density of 1.2 g/cm3. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that these balls aren’t made to float. However, its buoyancy allows for water-based throwing, catching, and shooting.

On the other hand, the duration of a lacrosse ball’s flight varies depending on a number of variables. 

Such as- 

  • the ball’s condition
  • Its composition and the environment in which the game is being played. The lightweight construction also ensures that it will stay afloat for an extended period of time. 

However, water may enter your lacrosse ball if it is punctured or otherwise damaged. 

Because of this, the ball might get less dense and eventually sink. Furthermore, the ball could not float if it had filth, dirt, or other things on it. 

Last Thoughts on Lacrosse Ball Floating

This was all about do lacrosse balls float. If yours is a modern, low-density ball, it’s going to be floating on water. But high-density rubbery balls won’t. 

They would sink in the pool or whatever water reservoir you’re playing in. It depends on its weight, composition, dimensions, and air volume trapped inside its chambers.   

A standard regular-size official sport-grade lacrosse ball is supposed to be able to float over calm waters during a lacrosse game. Or, you can opt for specially designed lacrosse balls to play on water.


  1. “The Physics of Bouncing Balls” by John Fontanella, Physics Teacher, Vol. 39, No. 1, January 2001, pp. 18-23

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