Lacrosse, also known as lax, is finally spreading across the nation. With the start of collegiate lacrosse starting, I thought I’d give y’all a lacrosse for dummies guide (because I know I sure needed this when I watched my first lacrosse game my freshman year of college and had no clue what was going on).
Here are the basics:
- Faceoff – happens in the center circle between two opposing players and starts off each quarter and happens after every goal is scored.
- Each game consists of 4 quarters that each last 15 minutes
- The crease – 9ft semicircle that goes from goalpost to goalpost that offensive players cannot enter
- There are 10 players from each team on the field
3 midfielders – responsible for bringing the ball up the field into the attack zone,
3 attackers – best stick handlers, primary goal scorers
3 defenders – use longer sticks, constantly checking other players and working with the goalie to clear the ball
1 goalie – only player allowed to touch the ball with their hands (only when blocking shots)
- Only midfielders can run the entire field without restrictions
- Offensive players stay in the opponent’s defensive zone
- Substitutions can happen at any time during the game
- Wear helmets and more padding than women’s lacrosse players
Men are allowed
- body checking– using the body to hit an opposing player that is either within fifteen feet of a loose ball or holding the ball
- stick checking – hitting the ball carrier’s stick with their own stick in order to dislodge the ball
- poke checking – defender hits his stick against the hands of the ball carrier
- slap checking – slashing the opponent’s hands
- wrap checking – defender’s stick is swung around the body or over the head of the ball carrier
- The only protective gear they wear are gloves, mouth guard and eye goggles.
- Wear kilts with shorts as part of the uniform
- Game is two 25 minute halves
- Women’s lacrosse does not allow slashing, checking, pushing, shoving, tripping or any other physical contact with the opponent
- Free Position – given to a player after a major or minor foul has been committed
If it was a major foul all players must stand four meters behind the player that was awarded the free position
- There is no offsides in women’s lacrosse
- Players may cover the whole field
- Attackers – primary goal scorers, front line of the offensive attack
- Midfielders – two defense wings, two attack wings & one center, cover the entire length of the field, control the tempo of the game
- Defenders – point, cover point & 3rd man, generally stay on the defensive side, work to clear the ball
- Goalkeeper – plays inside the crease, wears extra padding, allowed to block shots with hands
In case you need better visuals, here is a great video!
Now you can get out there and cheer on the Fighting Irish Lacrosse teams!