If you grew up in the US, you will almost certainly have at least some idea of what the game of lacrosse entails. A Beginner’s Guide to Lacrosse and the fixtures you shouldn’t miss. Whether you’re a player, a fan, or someone who attended a school or university where it was played, you will most likely have an idea of the basic rules and concepts that make up the game.
A Beginner’s Guide to Lacrosse and the Fixtures You Shouldn’t Miss
Lacrosse is a sport that was originally played by Native American tribes, particularly the Algonquin, in the St Lawrence Valley area. Though lacrosse is played and loved by teams from all over the globe, its popularity has never taken over with as much vigor anywhere else as it has in the United States, so with lacrosse novices in mind, we’ve put together a little beginner’s guide to lacrosse, as well as a guide to the big games coming up in the new season that any burgeoning lacrosse fan simply can’t miss. Take a look to learn a little bit more about this fun and exciting game.
A Beginner’s Guide to Lacrosse
First, let’s clarify something. There are fundamental differences in the way that men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, and box lacrosse are played. Let’s define men’s and women’s for you before we go any further.
Men’s and women’s lacrosse differences
- Physical contact is the main difference between the two. In men’s, you can body check; in women’s, you can’t. The required protective gear differs radically as a result: men wear helmets, mouth guards, gloves, shoulder pads, rib pads, and elbow pads. The women-only wear mouthguards and protective eyewear, and except for the goalies, they wear no helmets or padding.
- The number of players is another key difference. Men’s teams feature three attackers, three midfielders, three defenders, and a goalkeeper. Women’s teams feature twelve players: offensive (first home, second home, third home, and two attack wings) and defensive (two defensive wings, center, point, cover point, third woman, and goalie).
- The lacrosse sticks themselves differ significantly. Mesh is not allowed for the pockets of women’s sticks, but it is for men’s. The top of the ball has to be above the sidewall when it’s in the pocket, so shooting and handling are far more difficult for women than men. Men’s field lacrosse sticks are 40 to 42 inches long. Defensive players’ and midfielders’ sticks are 52 to 72 inches, and the goalie’s stick is 40 to 72 inches. Women’s sticks are 35½ to 43¼ inches long; the goalie’s stick must be 35½ to 48 inches long.
- The men’s field is 110 yards long and 60 yards wide; the women’s field is bigger: 120 yards long and 70 yards wide.
- Women will receive a yellow or red card for making contact with another player’s head or a high hit. Men may receive a non-releasable penalty for the same actions.
- Men’s games begin with a face-off, while women’s games begin with a draw. In a face-off, a ball is placed in the center of the field and the first player to the ball from the two selected starts off the game. In a women’s game, two players meet in the middle of the field and a ball is placed on their crossed sticks, and they then compete for control of the ball.
- Overtime and sudden death rules apply in the same way to both men’s and women’s games.
Unmissable games and teams
The best lacrosse teams in the world are currently ranked as such:
- United States
- Puerto Rico
While lacrosse was originally a summer sport, it’s now played year-round outdoors if the weather in the location is mild enough, as well as being played year-round by indoor leagues. The World Lacrosse Championship for men’s and women’s lacrosse will take place in June and July 2023 in San Diego.
The teams who will be competing are as follows:
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- Japan Korea
- New Zealand
- Puerto Rico
- United States
No schedules are available yet for the upcoming World Championships, but we can guarantee there will be some fierce competition between the best teams in the world because they all want to take home the cup.
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If you’re interested in lacrosse, we suggest that you subscribe to World Championship mailers to stay as up-to-date as possible and learn about the division and match details as soon as they become available.