With the 2022 NCAA Lacrosse Tournament now a month in the past, let’s go through my ranking of the best and worst of the 18 teams’ helmet designs from this year’s tournament.
WARNING: This list is strictly one writer’s opinion on which helmets were their favorite. However, I strongly encourage debate in the comments sections about your own lists of your favorite buckets from this year’s tournament.
Although they did not make it past the play-in round, they were still in the tournament. The dark green logo on a black helmet makes for one of the hardest to read logos, and for that reason, I have them at the bottom. This helmet is very barebones especially when ranking other lacrosse helmets on this list.
This helmet isn’t necessarily a bad one, however it is a bit bland with the only logo being the shield which is so small that you can’t identify anything besides that it must be the Harvard shield. This one is more at the bottom because they chose not to sport the incredible black and crimson uniforms. Less of a bad helmet and more of a missed opportunity.
Once again this helmet is not necessarily bad, the G pops on the helmet really well. However the Hoyas colors of Navy and Gray is a hard combination to make an impressive kit with. To get them higher on this list there would’ve had to have been some kind of special new logo to top some of the other helmets on this list.
I love Brown’s colorway with the Brown and Red. It shouldn’t work, but it does. However, the Bear logo being two shades of Brown makes it very hard to see, and this is what lands it this low on my list. I would prefer maybe their simple B with the red outlining.
Throwback helmets look amazing…on Cascade helmets. I love the winged leather helmet throwback look on Cascade helmets (Michigan and Delaware), because Cascade helmets are evolved from the old leather buckets. However when STX went out to make their own bucket, it had to be different from the patented Cascade look. This generated the round type look that we see in the Rival helmet, which does not flow at all with the winged helmet look. I’m giving them brownie points for trying a throwback look because we need more teams to try, but this one simply did not look right.
This is another helmet that they tried something new and used Handsome Dan on one side, and a plain print Yale on the other. I much prefer the scripted Eli’s over the plain print Yale, and the bulldog logo has so much detail that it is hard to appreciate when stamped on a helmet from far away.
Vermont has been an STX school from the start and their uniforms have been molded by the Rival. I also love the Green and Yellow colorway. But because it is still their simple helmet, and it is not one that has become iconic yet, like others on this list have, it doesn’t rank near the top on my list.
11: Ohio State
Replicating the iconic look of the OSU football helmet has been a challenge over the years for both the Buckeye hockey and lacrosse programs. A lacrosse helmet just doesn’t have that glossy silver finish that the football bucket does. I think the chrome look is the closest they’ve gotten although I love that both OSU and That Team Up North sport the same design on their lacrosse and hockey helmets as their football programs, they are truly iconic looks.
10: Robert Morris
I love a simple logo, and with the complexity of the Colonials primary logo, I am very glad they went with a simple star on their bucket. It is the perfect balance of complexity to appreciate, but not so much detail that it is hard to tell what exactly the logo is.
I don’t think there is a nickname in college sports I love more than the Spiders. The colorway of their helmet is great and the logo fits perfectly on the bucket. Although I loved the old oversized logo on the Cascade S, I still love this helmet.
The middle stripe pattern on this helmet is what makes it awesome, it pops well but it doesn’t disrupt the rest of the helmet. I wish we could’ve seen these along with Sam Handley on Championship Weekend.
The Scarlet Knights sported multiple helmets during their 2022 run. The latter of which was their usual scarlet and white helmet they wore in the semifinals, which I love. But that wasn’t the one that spotted them at this point on the list, that honor went to their all black helmets with a popping red logo that they wore in the quarterfinals.
6: Boston University
For whatever reason I love the simple one color with white helmets, and the Terriers bucket is one of the best. Why you might ask? Because the skyline of Boston on the back of the helmet is one of my favorite looks for city based schools, and Boston is no exception.
The rounded nature of the STX rival gives off serious Pro 7 vibes. When it’s put in Cornell Red, it feels like their back on their 2009 run to the finals. This red Rival helmet has become an iconic look for the Big Red and it feels wrong whenever they try any sort of alternate helmet. Although I wish they still used the stadium on the back of the helmet.
The all matte black helmet itself is a great look. But it has always felt like black would be an alternate color for the Terps. When they put these helmets on the all white look, it makes the players look like bobble heads in my opinion. Although it is an unconventional combination, Maryland pillaged more teams in them than the ancient vikings. They’ve given this look a lot of mystique and it has become synonymous with the wagon John Tillman is building in College Park.
The vibrant orange buckets have become a staple for the Wahoos this year. The bright color pops out immensely but unlike Maryland, these helmets fit very well with the rest of the uniform. Also the crossed swords in the brim of the helmet have to be one of my favorite trim type logos in lacrosse.
2: Saint Joseph’s
As stated earlier, sometimes less is more, and no one does that better than the Hawks of Saint Joseph’s. The hawk wings on the side rather than trying to squeeze their logo on is the perfect fit in my mind. The hawk wing is also detailed in a way that is appreciable up close, but also doesn’t make it look like something other than a wing from afar. This helmet would fall similar to Manhattan with the double dark colors, but the silver trim holds it all together in a perfect combination.
The winged helmet look originates from the old leather head football helmets that had a forehead patch in the front that looked like wings, and colored stripes going to the back of the helmet. This look has been coined by the University of Michigan, but the Blue Hens of Delaware (FCS) have also continued the winged helmet look. In my opinion, the Delaware blue and yellow is one of my favorite color combinations and will always look amazing on the cascade winged helmet style design. I was very sad we didn’t get to see this Cinderella get their championship weekend debut.
This iconic lacrosse helmet is well deserving of the No.1 spot on this ranking.