Some early lacrosse balls were made out of wood. Others were made of deerskin stuffed with hair. They were typically three inches in diameter. The first lacrosse sticks were essentially giant wooden spoons with no netting. A more advanced type had one end bent into a 4 to 5-inch (130 mm) diameter circle, which was filled with netting. This netting was made of wattup or deer sinew. The most recent Native American sticks use a U-shape instead of a circle.
These sticks were bent into shape after being softened through steaming, and lengths typically ranged from 2 to 5 feet (1.5 m). Lacrosse sticks often had elaborate carvings on them intended to help players in the game. Lacrosse sticks were so treasured that many players requested to be buried with their stick beside them. Some versions of lacrosse used unusual stick designs. In the St. Lawrence Valley a version was played in which the head took up two thirds of the stick. In the Southwestern United States a double-stick version was played with sticks about two and a half feet long. No protective equipment was worn in traditional lacrosse.
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