Lacrosse history, origin, field and rules of women's lacrosse and box lacrosse - teenflixsports

Lacrosse: rules, field, women's lacrosse and box lacrosse

Lacrosse is one of those sports that, despite being popular in certain regions, in Latin countries are quite unknown. However, lacrosse grows internationally from year to year, and is one of the candidates to return to the Olympic Games in the near future. It is a sport that shares similarities with hockey, but also with other racquet modalities. Its practice is very common in the United States and Canada, although more and more countries have been encouraged to create their own teams.

In this article you will learn more about this unknown racket sport in some regions of the world. You will discover what lacrosse is and how it is played, the different types that exist (field lacrosse, women's lacrosse and box lacrosse ), its origin and history, and what the rules of lacrosse are . You will also learn how long a game lasts, what material is needed to play, the measurements of the lacrosse field , as well as some differences between the feminine and masculine modalities.

What is lacrosse and types: women's lacrosse, box lacrosse

To answer the question what is lacrosse , you must know that it is a team sport where a stick is used to steal, control and throw a small rubber ball. Under lacrosse rules , the main objective of the game is to score more goals than the opponent. Teams are made up of ten players each. In its modern version, this sport is played with three forwards, three midfielders, three defenders and a goalkeeper. The lacrosse field can be made of natural or synthetic grass.

Its North American origins make this sport more actively practiced in this part of the world, although in recent years it has begun to gain more popularity in other areas. The most widespread modality is the one that is practiced on grass. However, there are other varieties that are also very popular: box lacrosse , practiced indoors, and women's lacrosse . The masculine and feminine modalities differ only in a few  rules . However, they are what make them two very different sports in the way they play. The masculine has more physical contact and, therefore, requires more protection and a tactical vision; the feminine it has less contact, so it requires more technique and strategy. Next, we'll delve into the women's game, box lacrosse , and the rules of field lacrosse .

women's lacrosse

Women 's  lacrosse is a team sport created by the indigenous peoples of the eastern forests and regulated exclusively for women in 1890 by the British Louisa Lumsden. This is one of the three main versions of this sport. Field lacrosse is the first version, codified in 1867, and box lacrosse appears in the 1930s. The first women's match took place in 1890 at St Leonards School (Scotland), under the will of Louisa Lumsden. Later, one of Lumsden's students moved to the United States and imported women's lacrosse to the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore.

Initially, both versions were played under the same rules as lacrosse , with no protective gear until the 1930s. Today, the men's game is a tough sport, while the women's game requires little contact. Like box and grass lacrosse , women's lacrosse is governed by the  International Lacrosse Federation , which organizes the World Cup every four years. The Women's World Lacrosse Championship has been played since 1982. The United States is the dominant power, having won eight championships, while Australia triumphed in both finals lost to the Americans.

Regarding the professional league, the first season of the United Women's Lacrosse League was played between four teams in 2016 in the United States. The league had its last season in 2018, and in January 2019 it closed due to the economic losses that competing with the Women's Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL) would generate; a league with more income and better organized. The WPLL, which was founded and had its inaugural season in 2018, is made up of five franchises.

box lacrosse

Box  lacrosse is an indoor version of  lacrosse  that is played mostly in North America. This modality originated in Canada, where it is the most popular version of this sport. Under the rules of lacrosse , it is played between two teams of five players and a goaltender, on an ice hockey field after the ice has been removed. The playing area is called a box, in contrast to a traditional lacrosse field .

Its invention has been attributed to Paddy Brennan, a Montreal field lacrosse player and referee. Being annoyed by the constant delay of the game by balls going out of bounds, Paddy experimented with indoor games at the Arena du Mont-Royal (Montreal, Canada) during the 1920s. Canadians quickly embraced this new version of the sport. The first professional box lacrosse game was held in 1931.

In 1970 a professional indoor lacrosse league was created. However, in 1976, the competition folded for two seasons due to financial uncertainty. The revival of box lacrosse in the United States came on March 13, 1986, with the formation of the Ɓguila Pro Box Lacrosse League . It was known as Major League Indoor Lacrosse and originated with four teams: Philadelphia Wings, New Jersey Saints, Washington Wave, and Baltimore Thunder. Later, in 1998, it changed its name to the National Lacrosse League (NLL). The first world championship in box lacrosse took place in various arenas in British Columbia (Canada) in July 1980.

Over the grass

After reviewing women's lacrosse and box lacrosse , in this section we will look at the traditional modality: grass lacrosse . The team that scores the most goals in a match wins. Players use netted sticks to carry, throw, or hit the ball on the lacrosse field. which makes it an interesting sport to implement in schools. In this sports discipline, two teams with a maximum of 23 players face each other. 10 of them are on the field : a goalkeeper, three defenders, three midfielders and three forwards. As dictated by the rules of lacrosse, the teams have no limit on substitutions and these can occur at any time, without the need to stop the game.

player positions

In order for you to better understand the strategies that are applied, you need to know the characteristics of the different positions of the players within the field of play . Later, we will see what the rules of lacrosse are, how it is played, what material is necessary and what are the measurements of the field .

  • Goalkeeper: He is usually the team leader. His main objective is to prevent the ball from entering the goal.
  • Defense: It is in charge of not allowing the ball to pass into the goal zone.
  • Midfielders: They can move in different areas of the field , so they can play offense and defense depending on the situation of the game.
  • Attackers: It is very important that they have a very good agility with the stick. They are the players in charge of breaking the opposing team's defense and managing to score for their team.

Origin and history of lacrosse

Now that we have already discussed which are the most outstanding lacrosse modalities ( on grass , women's lacrosse and box lacrosse ), in this section we will focus on their history. Its origin is in North America, and dates back to a game created by the American tribes in 1400. In its beginnings, this sport was much more rudimentary than its current version, its purpose being ritual rather than sport. It is considered the oldest organized sport in North America.

The object of his game was to get a ball to a designated area, which was usually a large rock or a tree in the form of an arch, using a wooden stick to control it. The team that managed to move the ball to the other end won the game. The lacrosse field was several kilometers long and each team had hundreds of members. Since there were no rules for lacrosse , it was a very aggressive game, lasting several days and played once a year. The winning tribe settled last year's debts with its rival.

Evolution and popularity

Modern lacrosse has seen great changes since its inception . However, despite the variations made to the modern game, the native Americans will always be recognized as the founders of the sport. In 1800, when it was adopted by the French, the violence in the game decreased markedly. In 1867, W. George Beers, a Canadian dentist, established the first rules of lacrosse .and he modified the game: he shortened the duration of each match and reduced the number of players to ten per team. As of 1900, this sports discipline was already integrated into Canadian sports life, especially in high schools and universities. Currently, this game is considered the national sport of Canada and there are some variants such as box lacrosse .

The world's first official game took place in 1867 at Upper Canada College, where Upper Canada lost to Toronto Cricket Club by three goals to one. Today, in addition to the United States, lacrosse is widely played in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, England, and Scotland.

Lacrosse rules and how to play

The first known official rulebook was written by William George Beers. Since then, it has undergone many modifications to reach what we know today. According to World Lacrosse , the rules may have modifications depending on the site where it is played; if it is outdoors or indoors ( box lacrosse ), or if the participants are men or women. However, the female modality is the one that most resembles the original version of this activity. Next, we will review the lacrosse rules that govern both modalities.

  • In both women's and men's lacrosse , the goal is to score goals into the opponent's goal by passing the ball from one stick to the other through the air.
  • 4 parts of 15 minutes are played.
  • 10 players are allowed on the lacrosse field .
  • The ball cannot be touched by hand by any player, except by the goalkeeper as long as it is within his area (crease).
  • According to lacrosse rules , you can play behind the goal.
  • When a shot on goal is taken and the ball goes out of bounds , possession is awarded to the team of the player closest to the ball. When it goes out of bounds for any reason other than a shot, possession is awarded to the team opposing the team that last touched the ball.
  • To avoid an offside penalty, there must be four players behind the defensive box line.
  • As dictated by the rules of lacrosse , no opposing player may make contact with the goaltender while within his penalty area.
  • Defenders may cross through their own goal crease, but crossing the opponent's goal area line is not allowed.

Differences between women's and men's lacrosse

The contact between the participants is one of the points that drastically differentiates both categories. In the male category, this contact is very marked, almost as if it were American football. In women's lacrosse , on the other hand, it is not allowed  to attack any of the opponents, either with the body or with the stick. However, there are a few more differences in the rules of women's and men's lacrosse .

In the female category, there is the shooting distance (shooting space). It is a double rule by which a player must not take a shot if there are players in front of the goal (not counting the goalkeeper). At the same time, a defender cannot hinder the shot by getting in front; It must be at a maximum distance of one meter from the player. Among the rules of lacrosse there is also the rule of three seconds. This means that you are not allowed to stay in the 11m area for more than three seconds if you are not defending your opponent. Later, we will see some more differences between women's and men's lacrosse in relation to the necessary material or the duration of the games.

lacrosse field

The lacrosse field measures 110 x 60 meters, and is divided into three zones: attack, neutral, and defense. The court can be a flat surface on a field outdoors or indoors. In both women's lacrosse and box lacrosse , the field is divided into the goal line, a center line, and the wing lines.

Similar to ice hockey, the goals are not placed on the end lines, but 12 meters from them, and play behind them is allowed. Under lacrosse rules , such goals are square, measuring 1.8 meters on each side. Around it is the goal area, with a diameter of 3 meters. At 18 meters from the goal line, towards the center of the field, the goal area line, also called the restriction line, is drawn from band to band. Said area extends to the back of the lacrosse field .

On the central line and 18 meters from its center, the field of play has two parallel lines drawn that extend 12.5 meters to each side. They are the wing lines, which give rise to the wing areas. Finally, within each goal area, the zone limited by the imaginary extension of the wing lines is the so-called restriction zone.

How lacrosse is played and duration of the game

The duration of a game is not the same in the men's category as it is in women's lacrosse . First, in the men's modality, a match is divided into four periods of 15 minutes each. As dictated by the rules , at the end of each match the team that has scored the most goals against the opponent's goal wins. In the event of a tie, and if the definition of a winner is necessary, an extra time of four minutes with a Golden Goal will take place; that is, the team that first scores a goal wins. In this way, and if necessary, overtime of four minutes will continue to be played, with breaks of two, until one of the teams scores.

On the other hand, the female modality is played between two teams of twelve players, one of which is the goalkeeper. In this case, the duration of a match is 60 minutes (two 30-minute halves). Apart from the last two minutes of the break, there is no time interruption. In this way, the rules of women's lacrosse differ from field lacrosse practiced by men.

Tips for playing

As the lacrosse rules state , each quarter, and after each goal, the game begins with a faceoff at midfield . This face-off is executed on the ground. During a match, you must try to get past your opponent's defense to score a goal. In the same way, you must be aware of defending the goal zone of your field so that they do not score you. Lastly, you must avoid infractions that could expel a player from your team, such as: pushing another player from behind, impeding the movement of a player by holding him, intentionally keeping the ball without playing it or, if you have the ball, hitting with your hand free to an opposing player. Unlike women's lacrosse In the men's game, you can charge against an opponent who has the ball or is close to it.

During the game, each team must maintain a minimum of four players in its defensive half, including the goalie, and three in its offensive half. The three remaining players can go around the entire field. In addition, a player cannot play the ball inside the area surrounding the opponent's goal, but they can use their stick, from outside, to try to get hold of a loose ball.

Lacrosse material and equipment

According to the rules , in order to practice this sport on grass, or any of its modalities ( box lacrosse or women's lacrosse ), it is necessary that you have these implements:

  • The Stick or Stick: It is essential to have this equipment since, without it, you cannot move the ball during the game.
  • Helmet: It is necessary to protect yourself from blows or injuries. It is important that the helmet has a face mask to provide greater security.
  • Sports shoes: Although according to the rules of lacrosse they do not have to be specialized, if it is necessary that they provide you with a good grip and comfort: In the case of a professional game, they are usually studs or with grooved soles.
  • Protections: Since this sport is contact, players must be protected with gloves, elbow pads, helmet and mouth guard. Additionally, goalkeepers must also wear throat and chest protectors, and gloves with more padding. These protections are different in the female and male modality. In women's lacrosse , with charges being prohibited, the helmet is substituted for goggles. Also, in this case, gloves are optional. On the contrary, the mouth guard is maintained.

Types of stick or lacrosse stick

The lacrosse stick has a more or less triangular head with a net that forms a kind of pocket. Through it, the players must control, catch, transport and throw the ball. There are two different types, the short cross (or short stick) and the long cross (or long stick). The short stick is the one used by forwards and midfielders. It measures between 101 and 107 centimeters. On the other hand, goalkeepers and defenders play with the long stick. This measures from 132 to 183 centimeters and can occasionally be used by midfielders as well. The goalkeeper sticks, in addition to being long, have a larger head than the rest. As the lacrosse rules state , each team can only play with four short sticks (a separate goalkeeper).


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