Lacrosse might seem hard to follow and downright confusing to some people. Is there protective equipment? What are the sticks for and how long does a game last? We have made this helpful little guide to answer these questions and assist you with all you need to know about playing lacrosse.
It is important to point out that there are different types of lacrosse, depending on the gender and the age of the players, as well as the leagues they are playing in. For the sake of simplicity, we will point out just some of the bigger differences between male and female lacrosse.
Touching and Pushing
Generally speaking, contact is not allowed when playing lacrosse for women. You can block the other players’ sticks with your own, but that’s pretty much it. To prevent injury, women are equipped with a mouth guard and something to shield their eyes. Men, on the other hand, have far more protective equipment, since physical contact is not only allowed, but encouraged as well. In addition to their own eye protection and mouth guards, they have helmets, shoulder pads, rib pads, and elbow pads. All they need now is a cup, and they’re all set.
Players and Sticks
Men keep their player lineup with 10 players, one of which is the goaltender, whereas women have two more. While men’s positions are pretty simple, women have their own set of roles in playing this sport.
One more thing – women’s sticks are, on average, 5 inches shorter than the men’s. They are also not allowed to use mesh in their netting. Remember, these sticks are not meant to clobber your opponents. You can only use them to pass the ball or to try to steal it from the opposing team.
Women’s lacrosse is usually divided into two halves of around 30 minutes each, whereas men play in four quarters. Minor leagues and children have their own sets of rules.
The game begins with a fight of sorts for possession of the ball and only the midfielders are allowed to run anywhere they please. The rest of the team must stay in their own designated areas.
If the score comes to a tie, it very rarely remains as such since there is usually a sudden death rule in order to make the game keep moving and to decide the winner.
Like in hockey and some other sports, if you commit a foul or your actions cause a penalty, you are sent to sit in the penalty box for a predetermined period of time. While you are in the box, you are not allowed to go outside and play. You must wait patiently for the penalty to run out.