A Biomechanical Analysis of the Lacrosse Shot: Long-stick Vs. Short-stick

June 29, 2010 / By: Eric Tiffany

With male high school lacrosse being in its fourth year as a male high school varsity sport in Minnesota, it is relatively new and is becoming increasingly popular throughout the state.  In lacrosse, two sticks are used.   The short stick is about forty inches long and is used by midfielders and attackers.  The long stick is about seventy-two inches long and is used by defenseman. The purpose of this study was to……Ten male collegiate lacrosse players (Mean age=21.80 yr. ± 1.03; ht=182.75 cm ± 4.65; wt=82.69± 12.75) volunteered to participate in this study.  Each participant was videotaped in the sagittal plane with a Canon ZR850 Mini DV video camera.  Participants shot ten shots on a goal 44 feet away and were given six feet in which they could move towards the goal before shooting.  Five shots were taken with a long-stick and five taken with a short stick; each participant used the same two sticks.  Shot speed was measured using a Bushnell Velocity Radar Speed Gun. The third trial of each group of shots was digitized using Kinematics Video (Schleihauf, 2004) to determine the angular velocity of the stick at three phases of the shot: wind-up, shot and follow through.  Data were analyzed using Minitab 15 t-tests.   When comparing the average shot speed of the long stick and short stick, the p-value was <.05; indicating a significant difference between the shot speeds generated by the short stick vs. the long stick.  The short stick generated significantly faster shots than the long stick.  No significant difference was found between angular velocity of the two sticks in regards to the wind up, shot or follow through.  When comparing the angular velocities of both sticks at each phase of the shot, the p-values >.05.  Data suggests that there is a significant difference between the shot speeds generated by the short stick vs. the long stick, but there is no significant difference in angular velocity of the stick when comparing short stick to long stick.