Lacrosse 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.
Historically, 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!
Sometimes 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
Lacrosse 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.
A 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!
Daryl 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."
The 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."
There 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.
There 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
Lacrosse: Technique and Tradition,
Lacrosse: Fundamentals for Winning,
David Urick and Bob Woodward
An online magazine
National College Lacrosse League
It claims to be the largest lacrosse league in the world