Lacrosse Is An Awesome Game
There is a game that has been played in east coast schools and clubs for several decades. This highly popular team sport is called lacrosse. The popularity of lacrosse has been growing across the U.S. Lacrosse is officially noted as the summer game in neighboring Canada and is actually played in more than 20 nations around the world.
Lacrosse originated with the Native Americans of North America which makes it this continent’s oldest known team sport. French missionaries in Canada during the 1600’s actually recorded games played by natives which they called baggataway. The missionaries renamed the spectacle la crosse for the stick used by players in the game that resembled a bishops cross.
Both men and women, boys and girls play lacrosse in official programs around the U.S. Children as young as 3rd grade and older are joining the nearly 4,500 programs around the country. Over 5,500 women lacrosse players participate in more than 240 American colleges and universities and 125,000 kids play lacrosse around the country.
Seemingly complicated, lacrosse rules are slightly different for women’s and men’s leagues. Studying a lacrosse game might remind the viewer of American football, field hockey and soccer all rolled together. Perhaps the native game of baggataway influenced these younger team sports.
Basics of Lacrosse:
Lacrosse players use a stick to pass and carry a rubber ball that is around the size of a standard baseball. On one end of the stick is a head with nylon cording strung to create a pocket for the ball. Each player carries a stick and uses it to throw and catch the ball, carry the ball while running and displace the ball from an opponent. Cradling is the practice of keeping the ball in the pocket while running.
Just like soccer, each lacrosse team has a netted goal. The goalie uses a stick with an over sized head used to stop opposing scores. Basically, each team is trying to score goals against the other during a set time divided into quarters. The overall length of the game depends on the age of the players.
Men’s lacrosse players wear protective padding. The shoulders, ribs and arms are covered and they wear padded gloves. Physical contact is permitted in men’s games with some blocking, tackling and shoulder checks though not as hard core as American football. Women’s lacrosse does not allow physical contact so no padding is required. Many female players choose to wear nose guards, eye protection and non padded gloves. Men wear helmets but women do not.
A lacrosse game begins with a face off as in ice hockey. A team consists of a goalie, defensemen, attackmen and midfielders. The numbers allowed of each differ for men and women. Women actually play on a larger field than men and require more players.
Higher level lacrosse games are officiated by three people, a field judge, referee and umpire. They keep watch over the game looking for technical (holding or grabbing) fouls and personal (tripping or slashing) fouls. Lacrosse requires certain position-players to stay to one side of the midfield line and of course there can only be the required number of players on the field while the ball is in play.[adToAppearHere]
Lacrosse is a fast-paced sport that develops good hand-eye coordination and endurance. The added benefit of team sports is the development of teamwork and cooperation. More schools across the country are developing lacrosse programs which means seeing a game will become easier. Then you’ll have first hand knowledge on why lacrosse is growing in popularity across the U.S.[adToAppearHere]
K.L. Amadio is the mother of 3 lacrosse players and webmaster of, Lacrosse-Information.com which has comprehensive insight to this swiftly growing game.
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