OBJECTIVE OF LACROSSE: Score more points than your opponents by shooting the ball in the opposing team’s net.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 20, 10 on each team
MATERIALS: Lacrosse stick, mouthguard, cleats, and helmet for each player
TYPE OF GAME: Sport
OVERVIEW OF LACROSSE
Lacrosse is originally a Native American sport that has been gaining more traction over the years. Although this game may not be as familiar to the average person as basketball, lacrosse is a high-contact sport that requires a lot of finesse. This team field sport is relatively easy to understand and pick up.
Lacrosse is played on a 60-yard by 110-yard rectangular grass field. The midfield line cuts the field into two equal halves. And 20 yards from the midfield on either end are the sidelines. Then there are 35 yards on each end until the end lines.
The three parts of the field created by the two sidelines are the attack/defensive area, the wing area, and the attack/defensive area, depending on which side of the field your team is playing on.
The goal lies within the goal area known as the crease. The crease lies between the side and end lines on each end of the field.
There are ten players on each team, and the players are divided into four different categories.
Attackers: 3 offensive players that try to shoot balls into the opposing team’s goal.
Defenders: 3 defensive players that try to stop offensive players from scoring.
Midfielders: 3 players that advance the ball and switch between attack and defense as needed.
Goalkeeper: The goalie aims to stop offensive players from scoring by protecting the goal.
Lacrosse is divided into four quarters of 15 minutes each. At the beginning of each quarter and after each goal, the game starts with a face-off in the middle of the field. The referee then blows their whistle to start the game.
The team that manages to gain possession of the ball during the face-off is on offense.
The offensive team must move the ball towards the opposing team’s goal. The players can move the ball by cradling it in their lacrosse stick and running with it towards the goal. The second method to move the ball is to pass it to a teammate. The offensive team must move the ball towards the goal to shoot a point.
The defensive team must stop the offensive team from advancing and scoring. The team must deflect and intercept the ball (called “checking”) and try to take possession.
When the defense gains possession of the ball, they must pass it to the midfielders within 20 seconds. Only then does the team go into offense. And when the ball has moved past the midfield, the ball must then be passed onto the attack area within 10 seconds. This is all to ensure a fast-paced and exciting game!
A point is scored every time a ball goes into the goal.
There are a couple of rules to keep in mind regarding possession of the ball.
- If the ball is out of bounds at any point during the game, the team with the player closest to the end line gets the ball.
- In the game’s final two minutes, the winning team can only play in the attack area.
There must be four midfield or defensive players behind the defensive area line at all times. Failure to do so will result in an offsides penalty.
Penalties can last anywhere between 30 seconds to 3 minutes or loss of possession. Players will be sent to kneel in the penalty box if any of the following occurs:
- Offsides: as explained above.
- Crease violations: this happens when an offensive player steps into the goalie’s crease.
- Slashing: purposefully hitting an opponent with the stick.
- Cross-checking: violently hitting an opponent from behind, above the shoulders, or above the waist.
- Holding stick: holding an opponent’s stick.
If a player is sent to the penalty box for at least a minute, the defensive team is man down.
END OF GAME
A lacrosse game cannot end in a tie. The team with the most goals by the end of the four quarters is the winning team. A sudden-death round is called if the game is tied by the end of the fourth quarter. In sudden-death, the first team to score wins the game.