Lacrosse Rules of the Sport
Lacrosse Rules of the Sport
Lacrosse traces its origins back hundreds of years ago, where French Jesuit missionaries in St. Lawrence Valley discovered Native Americans of the Algonquin tribe playing the sport. These missionaries adopted the game, and adapted it for faster play until it was declared an official Canadian sport in 1867. Now, lacrosse is played competitively through most of North America.
How to play Lacrosse
Lacrosse is a stick-and-ball sport, however the stick isn’t be used to strike the ball -- instead, it’s being used to propel it into a goal. While the original game of lacrosse was leisurely, lacrosse’s modern adaptation is actually considered a contact sport; so players will require a helmet, faceguard, mouthpiece, and some light padding.
The lacrosse stick is the main tool that the player will use. The size of each stick varies depending on the player’s position. Each team will field ten players, and the team with the most goals at the end of the game is declared the winner.
Rules of Lacrosse
- There are ten positions in lacrosse: One goalkeeper, three defensemen, three midfielders, and three attackers.
- Defensive players will carry short sticks (40 to 42 inches long) while attackers carry long sticks (52 to 72 inches long). Goalkeepers can decide to carry a long or short stick. Long sticks usually propel the ball faster, while short sticks can be used for stealing opponent’s passes.
- Lacrosse fields are 110 yards long by 53 yards wide. The 6 feet by 6 feet goals are only 80 yards apart, leaving 15 yards of playing field behind each net. The game is either played on natural grass or turf.
- Each games starts with a hockey-style faceoff were the ball is dropped midfield.
- The game is divided into four, 20 minute quarters with no intermission. Timeouts are the only way to pause time.
- To keep the pace of play up, teams only have 20 seconds to bring the ball past midfield before it’s declared a turnover.
- Although lacrosse is a contact sport, there are rules where players can check and strike each other. For example, only body checks to the front of an opponent are allowed. Also, a player cannot slash an opponent with their stick in the face, back, head, or groin area.
- Players cannot impede the movement of an opponent with their stick. This is called offensive interference and results in a penalty -- in which the player will be sent to the penalty box.
- In the event of a tied score at the end of regulation, the game goes into a sudden death overtime where the first score wins.
Being a contact sport can have a bad connotation, but lacrosse has actually been ranked as one of the safest sports to play by the NCAA. There are very few serious injuries resulting from lacrosse.
Written by: Devin Pickell