Lacrosse Information


Insider Info

dotLacrosse is one of the oldest games around. First played by native Americans, Europeans learned to appreciate the game when they came to North America.

The rules are similar to hockey and football. Lacrosse is played using a stick with a woven net on one end, used to transport the ball.

dotHistorically, teams of men played the game. But now women enjoy the sport too. So, hit the field and get ready to "stick it" to the game of lacrosse!

dotSometimes called the fastest game on two feet, lacrosse is popular as a spectator sport because of all the action and scoring that takes place. Originally called baggataway, native North Americans played it as training for war.

French Canadians took up the game and renamed it lacrosse. That's because the head of the stick looked like a bishop's crosier or cross. Lacrosse became so popular that in 1867, the National Lacrosse Association was formed to oversee the sport. (It is still around today, but is now called the Canadian Lacrosse Association.)

dotLacrosse is a field game that is played by two opposing teams, with a ball and a netted stick (or crosse). The ball is caught, carried and thrown. Points are scored when the ball makes its way into the opposing team's net. Just like in hockey or soccer, scoring goals takes special skills and abilities.

dotA camp or lacrosse clinic is an excellent place to develop lacrosse skills. Sarah W. Hughes is a goalie. She feels that smaller camps are better because of the personal attention. It's also a good idea to write things down in a notebook and review it and use it. Also, don't forget to ask questions -- the coaches are there for you!

The skills you learn at a lacrosse camp would give you a leg up on the competition. Cradling, scooping, throwing and catching are essential skills in the sport of lacrosse. Cradling is the most basic skill in the game. It is important because it allows the player to keep possession of the ball.

Scooping is another important skill to develop. Put simply, scooping means picking up the ball from the ground with the head of one's stick. Scooping up the ball before the other team takes speed and agility. A bit of adrenaline won't hurt either!

dotDaryl Fernquist has been involved with lacrosse for almost 40 years. He says practice makes perfect. "Practice with your stick until it becomes a part of you. Train your body to be able to run hard and fast," he says.

"Hard work does wonders in lacrosse," says Hughes. "Don't say 'I want to be a goalie, or I want to play first home...or defensive wing.' That is too limiting. The best lacrosse players are open to all positions. Agility and the ability to change directions quickly are important skills too."

Hughes feels that playing a lot of different positions has given her a sense of confidence in the overall understanding of the game.

"One thing I have learned the hard way is that mistakes can only make you better," she says. "I suggest testing yourself in practice. Or when you are playing around, try something that you haven't done before, such as passing behind your back. Keep trying and eventually you will get it."

Getting Started

dotThe cost of equipment will depend on whether you play men or women's lacrosse. That's according to Mary Ann Meltzer. She is a coach and a sales representative for a company that sells lacrosse gear.

"Women only have to wear a mouth guard and buy a stick. For men, there is much more equipment involved," she says. Everything from a helmet to shoulder pads are important in a men's game because there is much more contact involved.

For players who love the sport, the cost of the equipment is something that they get used to. Greg Tanis coaches a high school team in East Grand Rapids, Michigan. "The sport is somewhat expensive, but once most people play the sport they are not worried about any costs," he says. "They just want to play as much as possible."

dotThere are different levels of lacrosse, starting at youth and ranging to adult and professional leagues. Start by calling your local arena or sports facility. They will be able to put you in touch with the right people.

dotThere are jobs where you could use your love of lacrosse. Like Meltzer, you could become a sales representative for a company that supplies lacrosse equipment and accessories.

Coaching people is something you could do if you gained enough training and experience. What better way to share your love of the sport than to teach other people?

Associations

U.S. Lacrosse
Internethttp://www.lacrosse.org/

USLacrosse
Internethttp://www.uslacrosse.org/participants/players/pos
t-college.aspx

Publications

Lacrosse: Technique and Tradition,
by  Bob Scott
Lacrosse: Fundamentals for Winning,
by  David Urick and Bob Woodward

Links

E-Lacrosse
An online magazine

National College Lacrosse League
It claims to be the largest lacrosse league in the world