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Boys Home :: Boy's Lacrosse 101
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Lacrosse 101


The sport of lacrosse is similar to the sports of basketball, soccer and hockey. Anyone can play lacrosse--the big or the small. The game requires and rewards coordination and agility, not brawn. Quickness and speed are two highly prized qualities in lacrosse.

An exhilarating sport, lacrosse is fast-paced and full of action. Long sprints up and down the field with abrupt starts and stops, precision passes, and dodges are routine in men's and women's lacrosse. Lacrosse is played with a stick, the crosse, which must be mastered by the player to throw, catch, and scoop the ball.

Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing team sports in the United States. Youth membership (ages 15 and under) in US Lacrosse has more than tripled since 1999 from 40,000 to over 125,000. No sport has grown faster at the high school level over the last 10 years and there are now an estimated 169,000 high school players. Lacrosse is also the fastest-growing sport over the last five years at the NCAA level and that's just the tip of the iceberg. There are more than 400 college club programs, the majority of which compete under the umbrella of US Lacrosse and its "intercollegiate associates" level.

Lacrosse Action
The Proper Equipment


The rules of lacrosse for boys and girls are very different and require much different types of pads equipment.

The boys wear a lot of protective gear that is required that include a helmet, shoulder pads, elbow pads, gloves, and mouth guard. Suggested equipment include a cup, cleats (soccer, football, or lacrosse) and any athletic gear you are comfortable wearing. Despite what many people think you do not wear anything on your legs. Every player is required to have a stick that meet the approved specifications.

The girls wear eye protection and a mouth guard. Other then that, they can wear hand protection but it is not required since there is far less contact then the boys. Every girl needs a girl’s lacrosse stick which have different requirements then the boys.

Boys Lacrosse Equipment
The Proper Equipment

Just like any other fast moving and exciting sport where men, women or kids are chasing balls and wielding sticks around at high speed, there is a certain amount of safety gear involved when playing the sport of Lacrosse. Probably the most important piece of equipment you’ll need (apart from your Lacrosse stick of course) is your Lacrosse helmet.

How to Fit Your Lacrosse Helmet
Lacrosse helmets are designed to protect the players heads from injury, but just like anything else in this life, they only work properly if they fit properly. They have hard plastic on the outside with padding on the inside. A chin strap makes sure that it stays on your head (hopefully) without wiggling about too much, and there is a wire face mask which completely covers the players face. So, what are the key points to remember when fitting your Lacrosse helmet?

Across the brow - Lacrosse helmets have to fit well for protection, but it’s also important that you can see what you’re doing! For this reason the brow of your helmet ought to be only around one fingers width of space above your eyebrows, maximum protection, maximum visibility, job done!

Nice and snug – your Lacrosse helmet should sit squarely but feel nice and snug yet very firm. The skin on your forehead should “go with it” if the helmet is moved upwards, downwards or from side to side. The chin strap needs to be sufficiently tight to hold your helmet on, but not too tight to cause a headache! They also have a knob at the back of the helmet which can be turned to tighten or loosen the helmet – what a good idea!

Lacrosse Helmet maintenance - is important, after all, in order to save your head it’s got to be working properly. U.S. Lacrosse recommends players prepare their helmet for each new season by replacing screws, nuts and the face-mask if it’s got a bit bent. Also worth bearing is mind is that, if you drastically change your hair style, ie go from very long hair to very short, you might need to change your helmet too!

Manufactuers recommendations - are that you should follow specific sizing instructions when buying a new Lacrosse helmet, and don’t be tempted to decorate your helmet with stickers or graphics, it can damage the outer case and cause it to be less efficient.

Rules and Equipment


Attack: The attackman's responsibility is to score goals. The attackman generally restricts his play to the offensive end of the field. A good attackman demonstrates excellent stick work with both hands and has quick feet to maneuver around the goal. Each team should have three attackmen on the field during play.

Midfield: The midfielder's responsibility is to cover the entire field, playing both offense and defense. The midfielder is a key to the transition game, and is often called upon to clear the ball from defense to offense. A good midfielder demonstrates good stick work including throwing, catching and scooping. Speed and stamina are essential. Each team should have three midfielders on the field.

Defense: The defenseman's responsibility is to defend the goal. The defenseman generally restricts his play to the defensive end of the field. A good defenseman should be able to react quickly in game situations. Agility and aggressiveness are necessary, but great stick work is not essential to be effective. Each team should have three defensemen on the field.

Goal: The goalie's responsibility is to protect the goal and stop the opposing team from scoring. A good goalie also leads the defense by reading the situation and directing the defensemen to react. A good goalie should have excellent hand/eye coordination and a strong voice. Quickness, agility, confidence and the ability to concentrate are also essential. Each team has one goalie in the goal during play.


Men's lacrosse is a contact game played by ten players: a goalie, three defensemen, three midfielders and three attackmen. The object of the game is to shoot the ball into the opponent's goal. The team scoring the most goals wins.

Each team must keep at least four players, including the goalie, in its defensive half of the field and three in its offensive half. Three players (midfielders) may roam the entire field.

Collegiate games are 60 minutes long, with 15-minute quarters. Generally, high school games are 48 minutes long, with 12-minute quarters. Likewise, youth games are 32 minutes long, with eight-minute quarters. Each team is given a two-minute break between the first and second quarters, and the third and fourth quarters. Halftime is ten minutes long.

Teams change sides between periods. Each team is permitted two timeouts each half. The team winning the coin toss chooses the end of the field it wants to defend first.

The players take their positions on the field: four in the defensive clearing area, one at the center, two in the wing areas and three in their attack goal area.

Men's lacrosse begins with a face-off. The ball is placed between the sticks of two squatting players at the center of the field. The official blows the whistle to begin play. Each face-off player tries to control the ball. The players in the wing areas can run after the ball when the whistle sounds. The other players must wait until one player has gained possession of the ball, or the ball has crossed a goal area line, before they can release.

Center face-offs are also used at the start of each quarter and after a goal is scored. Field players must use their crosses to pass, catch and run with the ball. Only the goalkeeper may touch the ball with his hands. A player may gain possession of the ball by dislodging it from an opponent's crosse with a stick check. A stick check is the controlled poking and slapping of the stick and gloved hands of the player in possession of the ball.

Body checking is permitted if the opponent has the ball or is within five yards of a loose ball. All body contact must occur from the front or side, above the waist and below the shoulders, and with both hands on the stick. An opponent's crosse may also be stick checked if it is within five yards of a loose ball or ball in the air. Aggressive body checking is discouraged.

If the ball or a player in possession of the ball goes out of bounds, the other team is awarded possession. If the ball goes out of bounds after an unsuccessful shot, the player nearest to the ball when and where it goes out of bounds is awarded possession.

An attacking player cannot enter the crease around the goal, but may reach in with his stick to scoop a loose ball.

A referee, umpire and field judge supervise field play. A chief bench official, timekeepers and scorers assist.


There are personal fouls and technical fouls in boy's lacrosse. The penalty for a personal foul results in a one to three minute suspension from play and possession to the team that was fouled. Players with five personal fouls are ejected from the game. The penalty for a technical foul is a thirty-second suspension if a team is in possession of the ball when the foul is committed, or possession of the ball to the team that was fouled if there was no possession when the foul was committed.


Slashing: Occurs when a player's stick viciously contacts an opponent in any area other than the stick or gloved hand on the stick.

Tripping: Occurs when a player obstructs his opponent at or below the waist with the crosse, hands, arms, feet or legs.

Cross Checking: Occurs when a player uses the handle of his crosse between his hands to make contact with an opponent.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Occurs when any player or coach commits an act which is considered unsportsmanlike by an official, including taunting, arguing, or obscene language or gestures.

Unnecessary Roughness: Occurs when a player strikes an opponent with his stick or body using excessive or violent force.

Illegal Crosse: Occurs when a player uses a crosse that does not conform to required specifications. A crosse may be found illegal if the pocket is too deep or if any other part of the crosse was altered to gain an advantage.

Illegal Body Checking: Occurs when any of the following actions takes place:

a. body checking an opponent who is not in possession of the ball or within five yards of a loose ball.

b. avoidable body check of an opponent after he has passed or shot the ball.

c. body checking an opponent from the rear or at or below the waist.

d. body checking an opponent above the shoulders. A body check must be below the shoulders and above the waist, and both hands of the player applying the body check must remain in contact with his crosse.

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