An Introduction to Lacrosse for Those Who Don't Know How to Play It

Intrigued by the game of lacrosse? It is not too complicated to understand. I'll tell you how to play lacrosse, in this article.
Lacrosse is a very interesting game. It is a team sport, which is played using a crosse or a lacrosse stick and a ball. The lacrosse stick has a mesh at one end. This mesh is loose, so that it can hold the ball. The main objective of each team is to score maximum goals. A goal is scored when you shoot the ball into your opponent's goal. The history of lacrosse is quite interesting. It is Native American in origin. There are 10 players in each team, excluding the substitutes. Attack, midfield, defense, and the goalie are the various positions in a lacrosse team. There are various types of lacrosse, and they differentiated on the basis of sex, indoors, and outdoors.

Starting the Game

There are strict rules in this game. At any given instance of the game, 4 defenders of a team should be present on their own half of the field. If they fail to do so, it would be considered as an offside penalty. The other players can interchange their positions with the defense positions to comply to the needs of their team on the field. Initially, 3 midfielders from each team fight for the possession of the ball. The other players are not allowed to intervene. Once the midfielders of a team have the possession, the other players can join in. Care should be taken that no fouls are committed. Fouls can be technical, viz. offside, crease violation, etc. Fouls can also be personal, such as tripping, slashing, etc.

Learn to Play Defense in Lacrosse
  • The main aim of a defender is to restrict the opponents from shooting at the goal. The key to a great defense is communication. It is very important for a player in the defense position to communicate with his fellow teammates. It is important for a player to know what is happening around him in the field, while dodging. The player has to know where other opponents are, while he is tackling one of the opponents. This is achieved through communication. The communication between the players should be loud. Yelling is recommended. The opponents will get intimidated if your team has an aggressive style of communication.
  • Keep the attacking opponents away from the top-side. This is very important. 'Top-side' can be termed as the region from where scoring a goal is easy. Extra care should be taken so that no opponent has an upper hand over you. Keep the top-side clear.
  • While tackling an opponent, do not cross your feet. If you tend to cross your feet, your motion will be restricted and you won't be able to chase your opponent, and he will be successful in getting away from your grasp.
  • Observe the dominant hand of the attacking players. By this you can predict their passing. Keep your crosse on the player you are tackling. This restricts him from collecting passes, and is called checking.
Playing in an Attacking Position
  • The main aim of a player who is positioned to attack is to score goals for his team. This can be achieved by staying in your opponent's top-side. You should pay attention to the calls given by your teammates. These calls help you to seize the ball and convert the passes into goals.
  • You should call out for passes if you feel that you have no opponent covering you. If you are playing in the attacking position, you should train both your hands to be equally dominant. This helps you trick the opposing defense players. Practice swift dodging, this will be very helpful.
Playing as a Midfielder
  • The midfielder has the toughest job in the field. A midfielder is also called a middy. They have to cover the entire field. They have to support the defense, and they also have the task of assisting goals.
  • You should pay attention to all the calls and communication done on the field. You should try to restrict your opponents away from your half of the field. You should also pass the ball to the appropriate attacker in your team. Keeping a check on your man too is important. In order to be an effective midfielder, you should be able to catch the ball which is shot behind you, by stretching your arms. If you are playing defense as a midfielder, then I advise you to bring your man down the sides of the field. You should practice split dodging, which may be right to right, right to left, left to right, or left to left. Control the pace of the game by increasing or decreasing the frequency of passes.
Role of a Goalie
  • The goalie is always under pressure. His main aim is to save goals by not letting the ball inside the goal.
  • The goalie is supported by the defenders. There is a relief for the goalie as the opponents can not enter the crease. The crease encompasses the area surrounding the goal. Hold the crosse firmly. Your dominant hand should be on top of the stick, while your other hand is above the middle of your stick. You should be alert. It is very important that the goalie wears the necessary guards to avoid injury.
Checking should not be done from behind, else it will be considered as a foul. If a penalty is awarded, then the concerned player is sent to the penalty area in front of the scoreboard. The player should remain there till the stipulated time is over. It is important that you wear the protective gear, viz. helmet, shoulder pads, etc., while playing this game. Lacrosse is a very competitive game, and it also imbibes team spirit.
Lacrosse player breaking away from opponents
Lacrosse Girls Varsity