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As a defensive player in lacrosse you need to find the best defensive lacrosse head, which is honestly no easy task.
The best defensive lacrosse head will need to stand up to the use and abuse during each game, plus it will need to be able to last all season long.
Inferior defensive heads tend to break during the middle of the season, which often leaves you in a lurch either relying on a backup head you have stashed in our bag or having to buy a new one.
The best defensive lacrosse head won’t bend or break, no matter how rough the season.
When and Why you Need a Defensive Head
As a defensive player, you are playing a position that is considered extremely reactionary.
You are constantly having to pick off shots or block passes, having the best defensive lacrosse head enables you to do all of that and more.
Another part of your job as a defender is to scoop up ground balls. This is made easier with a defensive head as the wider head and flatter scoop makes the process smoother.
Plus the wider head makes it easier to control the ball something that inexperienced players will find extremely helpful.
As a defensive player you need a lacrosse head that offers a wider catching area. Being a defensive player your main job during the game is to block or intercept shots and passes from the opposing team.
In order to do this effectively a defensive head is going to offer you the widest catching area possible.
Something else to think about as to why you need a defensive head is because you are often the beginning of a counter-attack; you need that deeper pocket to make sure you keep control of the ball while setting up the pass.
Comparison of Top Lacrosse Defense Heads Today
Check out a quick comparison of top defense heads in the market today –
Maverik Lacrosse Tank Universal Unstrung Head
|Black, Grey, White||Check Price|
STX X10 Men's Lacrosse Head
|White, Black||Check Price|
Warrior Revo 2 X
East Coast Dyes - Rebel Defense Strung Lacrosse Head
|Black, White||Check Price|
Warrior Regulator - X
|Black, Blue, Red||Check Price|
Warrior Regulator MAX
|Titanium Grey||Check Price|
- Quick Answer: Best Defensive Lacrosse Heads
- When and Why you Need a Defensive Head
- Comparison of Top Lacrosse Defense Heads Today
- Characteristics of Good Defense Heads
- Legal Requirements of a Good Defensive Head
- Strung or Unstrung Defensive Heads
- 1. As a Defensive Player do I need a Defensive Lacrosse Head?
- 2. What makes a Good Defensive Head?
- 3. Why are Defensive Heads Stiffer than other Heads?
- 4. Can I use any Defensive Head with any Lacrosse Shaft?
- Reviews of the Best Defensive Lacrosse Heads
- Final Words
Characteristics of Good Defense Heads
One of the things that you will notice with a good defense head is that they all have a similar design. The best defensive heads offer numerous sidewall holes and a wider top.
The sidewall holes and wider top of the throat work together to form a high pocket that is ideal for scooping up those ground balls.
When it comes to the best defensive lacrosse heads there are plenty of models to choose from. What you need to do is find the model that will work best with your playing style and your abilities.
One of the biggest benefits to having the best defensive lacrosse head is that they really do help you improve your ball handling skills.
Now just because you have the best defensive head doesn’t mean you are going to be the best player on the field.
Having the best equipment only goes so far in making you a great player.
The best equipment can improve your game, but hard work and determination is going to play a bigger role in how great of a player you become.
Your lacrosse stick is the most important piece of equipment you will have with you out on the field. With how important it is, it is vital that you choose the best lacrosse stick complete with the best head.
Read: Best Lacrosse Sticks
The problem is how do you know you are choosing the best head with all of the choices out there.
The best head will vary greatly depending on the position you are playing, choosing the best defensive head means understanding what to look for in a head geared for that position.
As a defensive player, your lacrosse head needs to be built to last.
You want to look for a strong and sturdy head. The lacrosse head is going to be heavier than other lacrosse heads because it needs to be able to withstand checks and ground balls.
You want the head to be able to deal with throwing poke and slap checks. You need a durable head that won’t break the first time you are checked on the field.
Something else to keep in mind when looking for the best defensive lacrosse head is that the defensive position is a very reactionary position.
As a defensive player, you have to constantly react to the ever-changing conditions around you. With this in mind, most defensive players prefer a wider head as they help provide the consistent results you need as a defensive player.
Wider heads allow passes or even shots to be knocked down and picked off a lot easier than a narrower head.
The wider head of the defensive lacrosse heads along with the high pocket work together to create an excellent defensive lacrosse head.
This combination allows for better ball handling with long poles, plus allows for smoother pick up of ground balls.
Stiffness is also something to consider when it comes to a defensive head. The stiffer the head the better as it allows for the transference of energy to the opposition during checks.
This transfer of energy makes it easier to dislodge the ball from our opponents pocket among other things.
The best part is with the introduction of new plastics technology defensive heads now have stiffer and bigger sidewalls without adding a lot of unnecessary weight.
Legal Requirements of a Good Defensive Head
As a defender, you want a stiffer head that offers a flat scoop, but you also want to make sure you are purchasing a head that you can legally use at your level of play.
Back in 2010, NCAA lacrosse came out with new standards for measuring lacrosse heads.
These new standards use four points on the head and all lacrosse heads must meet these minimum standards to be used in play.
In order for a defensive head to be legally it needs to be labeled NCAA legal, NFHS approved, or universal.
These heads are not allowed for high school or youth lacrosse leagues. They can only be used at the college level.
These heads can be used at both high school and youth levels of play, but are not acceptable for college levels.
These heads are allowed for every level of play. Universal heads are usually distinguished with a U or X in their name.
Strung or Unstrung Defensive Heads
One of the biggest questions is whether the best defensive lacrosse heads are strung or unstrung. The answer to this question really depends on your own personal preference, as well as your ability.
Many defensive players prefer unstrung heads because they are able to fully customize them to their liking. As a defensive player you want a head with a flat scoop and a high pocket.
Factory strung heads can offer this, but the problem with factory strung heads is they are all the same.
Purchasing an unstrung head means you can string it to create the perfect pocket and scoop with the materials you prefer.
Some defensive simply purchase a pre-strung defensive head because they don’t know how to string the heads.
If you happen to fall into that category don’t let that stop you from buying an unstrung head if that is the one you really want.
Defensive lacrosse players can learn how to string their own heads using YouTube videos or they can ask a knowledgeable teammate to teach them.
1. As a Defensive Player do I need a Defensive Lacrosse Head?
Technically as a defensive player, you do not need a defensive head; you can use any lacrosse head that you prefer. However, it is strongly recommended that you purchase a head that is designed for the position you are playing. As a defensive player having a defensive head allows you to play your position to the best of your ability.
2. What makes a Good Defensive Head?
When looking for the best defensive lacrosse head there are a few features that you want to look for. The best defensive lacrosse head is going to be built to last, it is going to offer a strong and sturdier design than other heads because it has to withstand checks. A good defensive head will also be wider with a high pocket and flat scoop. This combination allows for better control of the ball and makes it easier to scoop up ground balls.
3. Why are Defensive Heads Stiffer than other Heads?
The heads stiffness is an important factor for defensive players because of how rough the position can be. The stiffer heads provide many benefits for defensive players, including their ability to transfer energy to the oppositions’ stick. The transference of energy makes it easier to dislodge the ball from your opponent’s stick.
4. Can I use any Defensive Head with any Lacrosse Shaft?
If you purchase your shaft and head separately you need to make sure your head works with your shaft because they are not all interchangeable. If you purchase a defensive head that is made for a straight shaft you cannot use it on a bent shaft. Before buying your head you will want to determine if a bent or straight shaft will work better for you as a player and then buy the appropriate head.
Read: Best Lacrosse Shafts
A good defense head can have many features. If you like dishing out aggressive checks then you need the stiffest one you can find, if you like intercepting attackers then a wide head is what you’re looking for, and if you prefer shot power then you need specially engineered sidewalls and rails for a good pocket.
Despite this diversity in the possible types of heads, when compared to the vast array of attack heads available on the market, defense heads aren’t as easy to come by.
Finding the latest available defense heads can become a problem and you may not encounter too much variety to find one that perfectly matches your playing style.
Reviews of the Best Defensive Lacrosse Heads
Check out quick reviews of the best defensive lacrosse heads in the market today –
Maverik Lacrosse Tank Universal Unstrung Head
The Maverik Tank is one of the most popular defense heads out there and is built for elite defensemen.
It satisfies all the specifications for both the NCAA and NFHS and comes with an array of technological and design features to give you everything the best defenseman requires.
To start off, you get a Level 5 bottom rail that is designed to give you a high pocket which gives you excellent ball control.
It lets you easily channel the ball into the pocket on the first try. However, if a high pocket is not your preference, the multiple stringing holes on this head let you customize your pocket in whatever way you want.
The head is also extremely sturdy, capable of fierce checks, and is supported by Maverik’s 4-Strut design.
This imparts maximum stiffness to the head along with rail support so that it doesn’t warp or bend.
It also has Maverik’s True Form technology that ensures that it keeps its shape even after taking a battering.
It also has a wide face that is capable of intercepting passes to disrupt your opponents and also lets you scoop ground balls up with ease. This gives you a fair bit of agility on the field as well.
Maverik’s video on the Tank is available here:
- No head rattle
- True Form technology prevents warping
- Stiffness imparted by 4-strut side rails
- 17 stringing holes for customizable pocket
- Durable, strong and long-lasting
STX X10 Men’s Lacrosse Head
The STX X10 is designed for intermediate to advanced level defensemen as well as long stick middles.
It is a universal head, which means that it satisfies both NCAA and NFHS specifications and can be used at both the high school and collegiate levels.
It features STX’s classic trestle sidewall design. This design provides both strengths as well as stiffness to the head so that it can take on a fierce game while also maintaining a low weight.
The sidewalls also have multiple stringing holes so that you can customize your pocket. However, it is best suited for mid-high pockets.
This head is also meant to be an improvement on older STX heads such as the Xcalibur. It has a stiffer scoop than the Xcalibur and the scalloped design makes picking up ground balls easier.
The head is also made with a Forward Cant that means you get excellent ball retention without having to sacrifice passing and shooting abilities.
- Evenly placed holes
- Sturdy trestle sidewalls
- Forward Cant design
- Wide face shape for intercepting
- Longevity issues
- Can warp easily during more intense checks
STX Hammer U
The STX Hammer U is another popular defense head by STX that has universal validity. This means it is both NFHS and NCAA legal.
It is designed to be a more affordable option for defensemen that still manages to give you the stiffness you need without being bulky or heavy.
To do this, it has three unique sidewall braces that are designed to give extra stability to the head.
At the bottom, the four-chambered throat helps eliminate excess material from the design so that it stays compact and lightweight.
As for ball handling, the head has STX’s Forward Cant technology that dramatically improves ball retention while also giving you good shooting and passing capabilities.
The bottom rail is meant to give you a high placed pocket for good ball control. The rail also features STX’s C-Channel technology along with the scoop that gives further strength for checking and stability for ground balls.
You can check out STX’s video for the HammerU here:
- Designed to eliminate excess material
- Economically priced
- Forward Cant Design
- C-Channel technology for strength and stability
Warrior Revo 2 X
This head is perfect not just for defensemen who will need sturdiness for strong checks but it is also great for face-offs.
It is both NFHS and NCAA legal so it’s good for players at both college and high school levels.
A major factor that makes this head so tough is the sidewalls. They are designed to be super-tough and feature reinforced detail along the entire length to give you maximum strength.
At the same time, they have an open design that gives them a low weight.
The wide face design makes it great for intercepting players. It also has the perfect scoop angle to make scooping up groundballs much easier.
Another design feature is Warrior’s Tru Offset technology that lowers the sidewalls below the center of the shaft. This gives you the lowest possible sidewalls, giving you the deepest legal pocket for the best ball control.
A few more features include its additional stringing holes that give you limitless pocket customization as well as a reinforced elliptical throat design for durability.
- Tru Offset technology
- Deep pockets for ball control
- Multiple stringing holes
- Tough, reinforced sidewalls
- Open sidewall design for less weight
- Wide face and ideal scoop angle
- Multiple complaints of cracking
- Can also warp easily
- Quite an old model
East Coast Dyes – Rebel Defense Strung Lacrosse Head
This is one of the handful of heads manufactured by ECD and covers all bases: it can take the most punishing checks, make the fastest shots and passes, and absolutely dominate ground ball play.
Its groundball-friendly design means that it has a rounded scoop which acts as a guide. This lets you take on groundballs from any angle as well as any direction with ease.
It can also withstand brutal checks as it has an ultra-stiff construction for durability.
The head itself has a very tight face shape along with a pronounced pinch, which also elongates the channel.
This design, while reducing intercepting power, makes it an extremely versatile head that ensures you remain a threat on the field at all times.
This particular head also comes strung with ECD’s Hero 2.0 mesh. This is its latest mesh and is lightweight and ready for all-weather use.
It gives increased control over the ball to boost your accuracy. The head is both NFHS and NCAA legal.
This is ECD’s video on the Rebel series, which includes both the offense and defense heads:
- Versatile design
- Stiffness to take on punishing checks
- Excellent for groundball play
- Comes strung with Hero 2.0 mesh
Warrior Regulator – X
The Warrior Regulator X is the first of two heads on this list from Warrior’s Regulator series. Like many of the other heads on this list, it is a universal head which means it meets both NFHS and NCAA regulations.
It is designed for players who prefer to have shot power over extremely stiff sticks for checks.
First off, it has Warrior’s Symrail design in which the interior and outer sidewalls mirror each other. The effect of such a construction is to reduce weight without having to cut down on stiffness.
The sidewalls also have a mid-high transition that gives you a high pocket placement for powerful shots.
The head also has Warrior’s Tru Offset design in which the sidewall of the head is dropped below the center line of the shaft.
This means that you get extremely low sidewalls which in turn let you string the deepest possible legal pockets. Such pockets give much better ball control.
It also sports Warrior’s new, patent-pending LOC-throat which adds stability to the head and also eliminates shaft rattle.
- Deeper pockets for better ball control
- Higher pockets for more powerful shots
- LOC-throat adds stability
- It eliminates shaft rattle
- Symrail design ensures low weight without sacrificing stiffness
- Throat design doesn’t fit all composite shafts
Warrior Regulator MAX
The Warrior Regulator Max is supposed to be one of the stiffest defensive heads on the market.
It is designed with the Max sidewall to reinforce key areas of the head that take the most impacts during play so that its durability dramatically increases.
The sidewalls feature a number of stringing holes that are part of Warrior’s patent-pending Tilt-Tech design. This design is meant to improve pocket tension so that you get a better ball release.
The bottom rail on the head ensures a good mid to high pocket placement for better control. It also gives you additional hold and shot power.
Finally, it also has Warrior’s patent-pending LOC-Throat design that is meant to boost its stability and eliminate shaft rattle at the same time.
- Extremely stiff
- Tilt-Tech stringing holes
- Ideal pocket tension
- Bottom rail ensures good pocket placement
- LOC-Throat design adds stability, eliminates rattle
- LOC-Throat doesn’t fit all shafts
Since the 2018 legal change in the rules of Lacrosse, “U”, “X”, “X6” and “10” are the only ones that will remain legal in the NCAA and the NFHS levels. Heads using the “HS” label will no longer be legal for the high school goers. This rule was enacted to create a safer environment during the games, lose the balls more easily and encourage more passing in the game. Hence, if you come across a Lacrosse head with “U” on it, consider it legal.
The wide shaped face of the Lacrosse heads provides better passing stances than the narrower ones. Attackers prefer the narrow shaped faces as they prioritize accuracy for scoring the goals. Alternatively, wider face shapes are excellent for defence players, as their need for accuracy is lesser than their need to successfully passing the Lacrosse balls.
The Level 5 Bottom Rail is one of the latest additions in the defence Lacrosse heads. This allows the thickest point of the head to sit a bit higher, which in turn raises the level of the pocket as well. This raised levels of the head and pocket increase the chances of picking up ground balls giving you a bit more whip, which is needed when you are playing with a long pole.
The defence Lacrosse heads differ from those of midfielder and attacker in the material of construction, the throat and their flexibility. Midfielder and attacker Lacrosse heads are made of either aluminum or titanium whereas defensive Lacrosse heads are always made of titanium for the added strength. Narrow heads with flexible throats are excellent for attackers whereas wider heads with stiffer throats are better for midfielders. Stiffer heads are also best for defence provided that they have added aluminum or titanium support at the base.
Offset Lacrosse heads dropdown at the junction where the head connects the body of the stick. Offset heads are more suitable for attackers as it provides a lower position of the pocket and head so that the ball is carried more easily and shot on cue. It increases ball accuracy and improves the retention ability when attackers dodge the defenders. Offset lacrosse heads are a poor choice for the defenders.
Durability is more important for the defenders compared to flexibility. A defence Lacrosse head needs to be as stiff as possible when picking up ground balls or catching the balls from the attackers and midfielders. Too much flexibility with wider heads will make you lose the ball easily. These heads need to focus on added support and stiffness, which is why durability is a prime factor.
The heads on this list check all the right boxes: they are popular, highly-rated, and are made using the most cutting-edge design features and technologies.
A quick look through it and you should easily be able to find a defense head that’ll help you reach on-field dominance as a defenseman in no time.
Here is the list of top defensive lacrosse heads available in the market again for you. Click on the links to get specifications, reviews, price and offers on Amazon –
- Maverik Lacrosse Tank Universal Unstrung Head
- STX X10 Men’s Lacrosse Head
- STX Hammer
- Warrior Revo 2 X
- East Coast Dyes – Rebel Defense Strung Lacrosse Head
- Warrior Regulator – X
- Warrior Regulator MAX
Last update on 2022-10-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API