Monthly Archives

June 2015

Womens

How to Play Girls Lacrosse (Rules, Gear, Field, Drills & More)

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girls-lacrosse-rules-field-gear-drillsHow to Play Girls Lacrosse

Like most sports, the goal of girls lacrosse is to score more points than your opponent in order to win the game.  Girl’s lacrosse is played with twelve players per team on the field; 1 goaltender, 4 defensemen, 3 midfielders, and 4 attackers.  Though the game shares similarities with boy’s lacrosse, girl’s lacrosse is a much more finesse and skill-laden game due to the lack of physical contact between players.  The game is dictated by scoring goals in your opponent’s net, which can be achieved in a different number of ways through different offenses and penalties. The game is played at many different levels of skill, from youth to college, and even semi-professionally.  It is an ever-changing game, as the skills and talents of players expand; the game is constantly updated by USLacrosse, the governing body for lacrosse in the United States.  These changes and additions allow for growth of the game.

The Playing Field and Goals

The space allotment for a girl’s lacrosse field has some variance, depending on each site’s field.  Current USLacrosse rules state that a girl’s lacrosse field must be between 110 and 140 yards long and 60 to 70 yards wide.  The goals should be placed no less than 90 and no more than 100 yards apart on the field, with at least 10 yards of space behind each goal. Placed on the field are a series of lines, native only to girl’s lacrosse and completely different than boy’s lacrosse.  In the center of the field, there is a draw circle.  The diameter of the draw circle is 60 feet.  Inside the center of the draw circle, there is another line marking exactly half of the field.  This line is where the draw takes place.  Like a faceoff in boy’s lacrosse, a draw occurs after every goal scored, and to begin every game and second half.

30 yards up from each goal line where the goals are placed, are the restraining lines.  Restraining lines are placed on the field for two reasons: One, all other players besides three midfielders per team must be behind the restraining lines when a draw occurs.  Two, a restraining line is used to mark the offensive and defensive zones.  Each team may have 7 players in their attacking zone, but 8 in their defensive zone, (7 field players and a goaltender.)  Teams must hold four players behind the restraining lines when in the attacking and defending zones, or they are committing an offside foul and can be penalized.

In each attacking zone, there is a 12 meter arc and an 8 meter fans.  The 12 meter arc extends from the goal line up to 12 meters in front of the goal, and back around to the opposite side of the goal line.  The 8 meter fan extends from the goal line and intersects with the goal circle.  There are also hash marks on the 8 meter for free position penalties.

The goal circle encompasses the goal, and has an 8 ½ foot diameter.  Inside is the goal, which is a 6 x 6 square made up of metal pipes and netting.

The entire field is kept in by sidelines and end lines, referred to as “hard boundaries.”  A hard boundary in girl’s lacrosse means that if the ball or player with the ball goes out of bounds, it is treated as a minor penalty, and the ball is given to the non-offending team.  The game must be played within the boundaries and players cannot use space outside the sidelines or end lines to play.

Equipment

Girl’s lacrosse is played with sticks that must meet specifications in order to be designated as legal.  Most common manufacturers, like Nike, DeBeer, Brine, and STX, ensure their designs meet all rules specified for players.  The sticks must be between 35 ½ and 43 ¼ inches, and the pocket of the stick must allow for the ball to be seen over the side rail of the head.  There are other specifications that allow for a certain number of strings and leathers, but every stringing is a little bit different.

Girl’s participating in lacrosse must also wear ASTM approved eyewear in protective goggles.  A mouth guard that must be any color other than clear has to also be worn while playing.  Field players can also wear protective gloves.

A goaltender in girl’s lacrosse has different specifications for necessary equipment since they are jumping in front of shots. They must wear a NOCSAE approved lacrosse helmet, a throat guard, chest protector, gloves, thigh pads, and shin guards.  A goaltenders stick must be between 35 ½ and 52 inches long, with pockets rarely being illegal.

Format and Time

The girl’s game is separated into halves, with a set amount of time each half and halftime. High school participant’s normally play 40-50 minute games, with halves of 20 or 25 minutes.  The college game is played with 30 minute halves.  Time does not stop when the whistle blows in most situations unless indicated by the official for an injury, a timeout, a card, or after goals.  The team with the most goals at the end of the designated game time wins.  If tied, many teams will continue to play periods of three minute overtimes.

The Draw

Like a faceoff in boy’s lacrosse, two players meet in the middle to take a draw after goals and the start of the game and half.  Girl’s lacrosse draws are taken by placing the ball between the backs of two player’s sticks, one player from each team.  On the officials whistle, the draw takers lift the sticks over their head in a quick motion, releasing the ball and allowing both teams to fight for possession of the ball.  Upon taking possession, the teams can then bring the ball into the attacking zone and try to score.

Strategy

Strategy of girl’s lacrosse delves deep into many different options of both offense and defense.  Like most sports, there is the option, when in possession of the ball, to take it straight to the goal and try to score off the draw.  This is referred to as a “fast break.”  Attacking teams can also choose to “settle” the ball, pass it from teammate to teammate, and look to score off of options and set plays. Defenses can also be played with the best options in mind, and can go from zone to man-to-man and different variations of the two.  More options and strategy comes with age and experience in the game.

Fouls

Fouls are a large part of the girl’s lacrosse game.  Players that commit a foul during the game will cause the game to stop on the officials whistle, and everyone on the field must freeze, or “stand.” This allows for no disadvantages to either team. There are team fouls and individual fouls, as well as cardable fouls.  Major fouls, usually dangerous to players, can be cardable.  Receiving a card means a player will have to leave the game for 2-4 minutes, depending on the severity of the card.  Major fouls include blocking, checking within the sphere, dangerous shot on the goalkeeper, illegal procedures, offensive fouls,  goal circle fouls,  pushing, illegal cradles, holding, illegal stick on the body, obstruction of free space to goal or shooting space, rough check, three seconds, tripping and warding.  Cardable offenses being the most serious can be any variations of player or coach misconduct, delay of game, slashing, check to the head, dangerous propel, and any repeated dangerous action the official deems necessary to card.  Minor fouls include checking the empty stick, and covering.

Though it may seem like a lot of penalties and fouls, when the game is played fairly and safely, the outcome is better dictated by the players than it is by the officials.  As young players learn the game, the whistle is blown more due to the need to teach appropriate skill and procedure.  Once skill and knowledge is obtained throughout a player’s career, the game flows more smoothly with less need of dictation by the official.

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News

The History of Lacrosse Timeline

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lacrosse-historyHistory and Origins of the Sport of Lacrosse

Who invented lacrosse is a common question we hear a lot. The origin of lacrosse was first dated back to the 1600’s, when Native American Indians covered most of North America’s land. French explorers in North America observed the Native Americans playing the game, which rules and setting largely differ from how we play today. The name “Lacrosse” identified the sport, after French explorers were reminded of how similarly the sticks used to play were to the cross that a Bishop would carry, called “le crosier.” Before French explorers gave the sport a name that stuck, the game was referred to as “Baggataway.”

The Early Game (Iroquois and Native Americans)

In the beginning of the creation of the game, Native Americans played the sport to appeal to their creator, to settle disputes between different Native American Tribes, and to prepare for war as a ritual. Games were played on fields up to a half of a mile long, with no boundaries and unlimited players. The games would last for days, with players taking breaks from sundown to sunrise. All of the players on the field would fight for the ball, made out of deerskin or wood, and try to score on the opponent. Scoring was identified by the amount of points a team would gain by hitting the stick pole at the end of the field, and kept by the Native Americans who were observing the game.

Lacrosse was prepared for in the same fashion that war was prepared for. Tribes would paint their bodies, players would undergo rituals performed by their tribe’s Medicine Man in order to prepare them to play their best, and sacrifices were made to the creator prior to games. On the day of a game, tribes would perform more ceremonies, including dunking their sticks in spiritual water and receiving a blessing speech from their Shaman, the religious leader.

This was more than a blessing speech as the Shaman would also give a strategic pep talk to the players.

Just like modern games played today, lacrosse also had strict dietary rules. Players were not allowed to eat several things before a game. The Medicine Man of each tribe was not only responsible for preparing the players for the game. He was also responsible for preparing their sticks for the game. The night before game day, the players took part in a ceremonial dance which would be followed by sacrifices. Also, the tribes would yell sacred expressions. The purpose of this was to intimidate the opponents and get the blood rushing in the players.  

On game day, more rituals were performed while the teams walked to the field. As a part of some rituals, the players were scratched on their arms or their torso.

Players were required to place a wager on the game, which consisted of a small trinket, jewelry, weapons, or animals that would be given to the winning team or tribe upon completion of the game. After the games were over, after about 20 points were scored by one team, players would participate in a ceremonial dance and then feasted. Many conflicts between tribes were then considered placed behind them.

From Europe, the first people to come across lacrosse were the French. They were Jesuit missionaries who came to St Lawrence Valley during the 1630s. When they initially saw the game, they did not approve of it. According to them, the game was violent. They also opposed the game because of the betting that was involved in it. Also, they were there to eradicate a religion which lacrosse was a part of.

The missionary who gave lacrosse its name was Jean de Brebeuf. He was the first one among the missionaries to write about it. In 1637, he wrote that he saw the Hurons playing ‘crosse’. Even though the missionaries were not fond of the game, their exposure made other Europeans intrigued about the game. By 1740, the game had become a part of the French colonist’s lives as they betted on the game often. However, the colonists could not beat the Native Americans at the game.

lacrosse-for-dummies-historyFurther Reading: The Best Books on the History of Lacrosse

Flamethrowers is a phenomenal story about a young boy named Kenny who discovers the sport of lacrosse, it's history, and eventually his calling. This isn't a comprehensive history of lacrosse book, but it's a fantastic story that holds meaning for all lacrosse enthusiasts and kids of all ages!

Lacrosse for Dummies is an excellent source for those lacrosse players and enthusiasts looking to improve their knowledge of lacrosse history, rules, positions, plays, and equipment. Quickly leapfrog your competition by reading this lacrosse book! This book is an excellent source for beginners to learn about lacrosse. It gives information on everything from the equipment used in the game to the offensive and defensive strategies. There is also guidance for ‘arm chair lacrosse players’ on how they can enjoy this game on TV or in Print media. Beginners can benefit a lot from this book as it mentions many skill building exercises and also has drills for the starters to follow.

Vintage lacrosse postersHistory of Lacrosse Equipment (Sticks and Balls)

The ball, made of animal hide or wood, was carried by players that fought for it or passed from player to player by a stick crafted from wood. The wood was usually burned and charred, which made it easier to carve into the shape of a lacrosse stick. The sticks were normally 3-4 feet long, with netting made from animal hide at the top, creating a web on a triangular or circular- shaped hook at the end. When trying to score a point, the early version of the sport included a stick marked where a goal was. The stick was divided into three sections, a one, two, and three point section. Players would have to throw the deerskin ball at the stick pole and when hit it, were awarded with the appropriate number of points. Later versions of the game included using large rocks or trees as goals to score into.

After the 1940s, many attempts were made to improve the design and manufacturing of lacrosse stick. Previously, the lacrosse stick was one piece that was steam bent. In this era, the creative heads started to make lacrosse sticks with laminated wood. They would make the stick by gluing thing wooden layers together, followed by steam bending. There came a time when lacrosse sticks were made of fiberglass only. The evolution of manufacturing process, over the years, lead to formation of lacrosse sticks with aluminum shafts.

Also See Our: Wooden & Traditional Lacrosse Sticks Buying Guide

The Growth of Lacrosse

The game was expanded and revamped by a Canadian dentist names George Beers in 1856, when he founded the Montreal Lacrosse Club. The group modified the rules of the game as well as the equipment used. Lacrosse became a popular sport among young men, and the first game played with the new set of rules and equipment was played in 1857 at a college in Canada. Shortly after that, Canada named lacrosse its national sport. The game was brought overseas to England shortly after where a game was played between different nations, and expanded throughout England schools as a result. In the late 1800’s, cities in New York also founded lacrosse clubs, and the game continued to grow as a result.

history-of-lacrosse-gifThe Sport of Lacrosse Today

Lacrosse continues to be a very large part of Native American culture to this day. Games are played as praise to the Creator, and often referred to as “The Creator’s Game.” Many Native American tribes hold the game to high standards and play as a devotion to their tribe and creator. Lacrosse is played worldwide, with various different countries coming together to play in the Lacrosse World Championships. The game is played at all levels, professional, collegiate, recreational, high school, middle school, and youth levels. Both men and women play the game, through the game varies in rules, field, and equipment. The concept of the game is to score more points than your opponent, and that concept has never changed. The history of lacrosse is one of the most unique stories of all sports played today, which makes it the fastest growing sport in the world!

Women wear eye gear for protection during the game. As for the goalies, they use protective pads and helmets. Even though professional level games are separate, both genders do play together in Intercrosse. In this game, the stick is made up of plastic and the players play with a softer ball than in a regular lacrosse game.

Also See: US Lacrosse Tells the Story of Lacrosse

Events & History of Lacrosse Timeline (Major Events)

1636- Jean de Brebeuf was the first to write about lacrosse being played and gave it the name lacrosse.
1740s- European settlers took interest in the game, betting and wagering on games of local tribes.
1757- Farmer and soldier James Smith described watching the game played among local Native American Tribes.
1763- The Ojibwa tribe played a game next to a British fort, now Fort Mackinac, and used the game to distract British Soldiers that they then surprised and killed.
1805- US Army Lieutenant observed the game being played in what is now Wisconsin, and named the city La Crosse.
1834-Caughnawaga Native Americans demonstrated lacrosse in Montreal and interest grew steadily in Canada.
1856- George Beers founds Montreal Lacrosse Club.
1857-First game with new rules and equipment is played.
1860s-Canada names lacrosse as its national sport.
1867-First exhibition game played between nations in England.
1890- The first women’s lacrosse game ever is played in Scotland.
1890s-Girl’s schools throughout England adopted the sport of lacrosse.
1900s-Choctaw Native Americans were observed attaching lead weights to their sticks in order to injure opponents during games, and led to lacrosse being banned in some areas.
1904- Lacrosse became an Olympic Sport.
1908-Lacrosse became a sport at the World Games and dropped from the Olympics
1928, 1932, 1948- Lacrosse demonstrated again at the Olympics, and then dropped.
1930s- Box lacrosse grew rampantly throughout North America.
1937- The first double-sided wooden stick was designed by Robert Pool.
1987- First professional lacrosse team was founded, the Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League. It is now known as the National Lacrosse League, or the NLL.
2001- First professional field lacrosse team founded, now known as the Major Lacrosse League, or MLL.
Current- Lacrosse continues to be the largest growing sport across the world, gaining governmental regulation by bodies such as the Federation of International Lacrosse.

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Shafts

True Temper Lacrosse Shafts Review (Composite & Alloy)

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I had the honor of being selected to review some dope new lacrosse shafts from our friends over at True Temper Lacrosse. Below is my story…

Thoughts on the True Lacrosse Shafts:

Dope!!! Turns out, True Temper has been manufacturing lacrosse shafts for years under other names in the lacrosse industry. Well, their time is now, and they've decided to launch their own line of sweet lacrosse shafts.

Seriously, for over at decade they've been designing the best lacrosse shafts in the game. And believe it or not, they've been producing the world's best golf shafts for over 100 years!

They have their own research and development department who has been testing strength, durability, flex, grip, and design of lacrosse shafts forever. Attack, defense and goalie lacrosse shaft sizes available on these 🙂

True Composite 4.0 Lacrosse Shaft Review

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This is definitely one our most favorite lacrosse shafts now. Designed with SmartPly and SmartFlex technologies, this has tremendous strength-to-weight ratio. Just holding it in your hands, you can tell this shaft is well balanced and lightweight.

Coming with a slight concave, you'll notice this helps when needing to make some quick passes or shots. While holding it in your hands you'll notice the texture grip is all you need….no lacrosse tape here!

The SmartFlex technology gives you that necessary lacrosse shaft flex when taking a hard shot….known to increase your shot speed. We're not kidding! Scoop up the flex 6 or flex 9.

True Alloy 2.0 Lacrosse Shaft Review

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Holding onto the True lacrosse shaft, alloy version, it feels very similar to any other alloy lacrosse shaft. If you aren't looking to break the bank on your next lax shaft, we recommend the True Alloy 2.0

Designed with 7075 alloy used in the aircraft industry, it has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio.

The grip feels better than other alloy lacrosse shafts, as it's been sandblasted. Minimal lacrosse tape needed here!

The Bottom Line:

What we love about both of these True lacrosse shafts is they come with a full 6-month warranty. If it breaks, just send it right back in!

Scoop up the True Composite if you've got the money, otherwise the True Alloy is a great starting point.

Thank you for reading our article. Please check out our Lacrosse Products on Amazon. Click Here to view our 12 Pack of Lacrosse Balls.