Lacrosse is a team sport, played with a rubber ball, and a long-handled racquet. The objective of lacrosse is to advance the ball up the field by passing or running with it, and shooting it into the opponents goal.Lacrosse History
Lacrosse was first played by the Native Americans, specifically the Algonquian. The game was used as part of religious ritual, to resolve conflicts, heal the sick, develop strong men, and prepare for war. The first lacrosse games are thought to have taken place in the 12th century. These games consisted of teams composed of 100 to 1000 men. In 1637, Jean de Brebeuf, a French Jesuit missionary, was the first European to write about the game. He named the game lacrosse. The rules for lacrosse were refined in Montreal, Canada in 1867, by Dr. William George Beers. In the United States, lacrosse has primarily been played in Maryland, New England, upstate New York, Long Island, and Mid-Atlantic states. In recent years the sport has spread to other states. Today, lacrosse is played at the high school, college, and professional level.Lacrosse Rules
Lacrosse is played by two teams of ten players to a side, on a grassy field 110 yards long and 60 yards wide. The field is split in halve by a center line. On either end of the field stands a six ft by six ft goal. The goals sit in a circular "crease," 18 ft in diameter. An attacking player cannot enter the crease around the goal, but they can use their stick to scoop a loose ball. A player scores by throwing the ball into their opponent's goal. The team with the most goals after four 12-15 minute quarters wins.
Each team is composed of: One goalkeeper and three defensemen that must stay on the defensive side; Three attackmen that must stay on the offensive side; Three midfielders who can roam the field freely.
At the beginning of each quarter, and after a goal is scored, play is started by a face-off at midfield. When the ball goes out-of-bounds possessions goes to the team that did not touch it last. Similar to hockey, teams can substitute players in and out freely. Substitutions need to occur in the designated area.
When a player receives a penalty they must go to the penalty box and their team plays down a player. Penalties are usually 30 to 60 seconds. For example, off sides, when there are more than three midfielders and three defenseman or more than three midfielders and three attackmen on one side, results in a 30 second penalty.
Players may advance the ball up field by running with the ball in their crosse (net pocket of their stick), or by passing and catching the ball. Only the goalkeeper may touch the ball with his hands. A player can gain possession of the ball by hitting it from an opponent's crosse with their stick. They are allowed to poke and slap at the stick and glove hands of the player with the ball. In men's lacrosse, a player is permitted to body check an opposing player who has the ball. All contact must be from the front or side, above the waist and below the shoulders.Lacrosse Tips
Stick handling is a key skill in lacrosse. Players should practice passing and catching on the run, and scooping the ball off the ground.Lacrosse Equipment
Lacrosse requires each player to have a lacrosse stick, gloves, shoulder pads, a helmet, arm pads, and a protective cup. The game is played with a solid rubber ball 7.75 to 8 inches in circumference and weighs 5 to 5.25 ounces.More from Team Sports
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This video demonstrates two basic techniques for winning face-offs in boys lacrosse: the clamp and the rake. These are great tips for young players learning the basics of the lacrosse face off.
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In every sport, specialists are becoming more and more prevalent, including Lacrosse. Trevor Baptiste of the University of Denver is proving that not only is the face-off specialist important, it may be be one of the most valuable in the sport.
In last summer’s World Cup, Louis Van Gaal, the coach of the Netherlands, substituted his starting goalkeeper, Jasper Cillessen, in the 120th minute of their quarterfinal match against Costa Rica. With a shootout imminent, Van Gaal called on Tim Krul, a 6’4” penalty specialist, who had never played in a World Cup match.
The stage wasn’t too big. Krul saved two shots in a 4-3 shootout win and clinched a spot in the semifinals for the Dutch.
Van Gaal’s decision was more than just a case of obsessive tweaking. Everywhere you look it seems, sports teams are increasingly relying on specialists for specific situations.
In baseball, set-up men and one-hitter relievers have become a staple of bullpens. On football rosters, long snappers are now distinguished from their fellow linemen despite only playing a handful of downs.
As teams continue to try and gain an edge, a player’s value is no longer proportional to playing time.
This trend has spread to the game of lacrosse and was on full display earlier this month during the University of Denver’s semifinal matchup against Villanova University in the Big East Tournament.
Trevor “the Beast” Baptiste crouched down low like a wrestler at the midfield line. At the referee’s whistle he clamped the head of his stick onto the ball, pulled it away from his opponent and scooped it up.
Then, after passing to a teammate, Baptiste sprinted to the sideline and another player took his place. His work was done—f or now.
The play lasted all of ten seconds.
“I haven’t seen any freshman come in and be so dominant,” Terry Foy , the editor-in-chief of Inside Lacrosse, says of the 18-year-old from Denville , New Jersey. “What he’s is doing is historic.”
Baptiste’s supremacy centers on a single task: the draw.
Face-offs in lacrosse occur at the center of the field at the start of each quarter and after every goal. Unlike in hockey where players who face-off also skate a full shift, lacrosse draw men are most often specialists. The position has even spawned its own acronym: FOGOs (face-off, get off).
“He is like a place kicker the way he practices his skill,” Denver’s coach, Bill Tierney, said of his freshman phenom.
“My job is to take face-offs and win possession for our team,” Baptiste said. “That’s where all my focus is.”
This was not always the case.
A former junior Olympic swimmer, Baptiste first took up lacrosse in the sixth grade. He played defense. He played attack. He did not face-off.
His introduction did not start until his sophomore year at Morristown-Beard high school when the player who usually took team’s draws injured his shoulder.
Baptiste plunged right into his added role.
He took hundreds of reps every day. He sought out Chris Mattes, a professional face-off specialist for the Florida Launch in the MLL, for individual instruction. He even made a playlist on his iPhone titled “Down, Set” with twenty whistles of different cadences to hone his reaction time when he’s practicing on his own.
“He practiced facing-off before practice, during practice, and after practice,” says Dena Baptiste, Trevor’s mother.
“It’s very technical position and there are a lot of nuances that most people look past,” Mattes says. “Since I met Trevor, he has dedicated himself to the craft.”
Heading into his senior season, Baptiste planned to attend Franklin & Marshall, a Division III program, and play regular midfield in addition to taking draws. But after winning over 85% of his face-offs to start the season, Denver came calling. Baptiste visited the campus in March. He changed his commitment to the Pioneers later that month.
In his collegiate debut, Baptiste won 25 of 34 face-offs and picked up 14 ground balls in a 13–7 win against defending national champion Duke. The performance was more than beginner’s luck. He set the single regular season record for face-offs won by a freshman (259), topped all of Division I in face-off win percentage (68.6%), and on Monday helped the Pioneers claim their first national title in a 10–5 win over Maryland.
“He has been the biggest surprise of the college lacrosse season,” Foy says. “Without a doubt.”
Twenty years ago, Baptiste, who at 5’10” 215 pounds resembles a full back more than a kicker, might not have had the opportunity to turn heads. Back then, specialists were a rarity in the sport and FOGO had yet to enter the lacrosse lexicon.
“Every team’s face-off guys used to play offense and defense as well,” said Duke’s coach John Danowski . “You would just send your best athlete out to scrap for the loose ball. But now the position has completely evolved.”
Face-off technicians emerged around the early 2000s. Midfielders like Chris Cercy at Syracuse and Andy Corno at Georgetown began playing abbreviated shifts and focused exclusively on taking draws.
The position started to gain more notoriety in 2007 when Alex Smith, a face-off specialist for the University of Delaware who set NCAA records in face-offs won in a season and career, carried the unseeded Blue Hens on a Cinderella run to the final four.
“When I played it was like lambs to the slaughter because nobody else took facing off seriously,” Smith says.
“It's gotten to the point where you’re almost recruiting a face-off guy every single year,” Marquette coach Joe Amplo says. “Face-off specialists have become as important as a goaltender, a starting attackman or a first-line midfielder.”
Baptiste’s impact was evident in the second quarter against Villanova. Denver trailed 5–3. The Wildcats seemed poised for an upset.
“It’s all right,” Leon Baptiste, Trevor’s father, said from his perch twenty rows up near the fifty yard line. “Trevor has this kid figured out. He has got his game now.”
The remark proved prophetic.
The younger Baptiste went 5-of-5 on face-offs in the quarter. Denver flipped their deficit into a 7–5 halftime lead. The Beast then stifled any chances of a Villanova comeback by winning 9-of-14 draws in the second half. Denver pulled away and won 16–9.
“If you have a great face-off guy it’s akin to having an eight-foot center and having a jump ball after each basket,” Tierney says. “It almost becomes ‘make-it take-it.’ ”
Yet, the anatomy of a successful face-off is more intricate than a tip-off and begins before Baptiste toes the midfield line. As he makes his way out onto the field, he confers with his wingmen , usually Chris Hampton and Mike Riis .
Baptiste then gives a quick glance left and right before he gets set. Sometime he motions for the wing players to shift their alignment—like Peyton Manning calling an audible.
When asked about his success, Baptiste is quick to point out that a face-off is more than a one-man show. He shirks praise as fast as he reacts to the whistle.
“I couldn’t ask for a better unit,” he says. “Chris and the other guys have helped me a ton adapting to the college game and we’re always talking about different strategies.”
Although Baptiste said he sticks with four main moves (the “clamp,” “jam,” “razor,” and “quick rig”) there are dozens of variations. “I think of the face-off like it’s a really complicated game of rock-paper-scissors,” he says.
And, like Manning, he always keeps the opponent guessing.
“He has pretty much the perfect skill set,” Amplo says. “He’s strong, athletic, quick, smart. He’s resilient. We threw the kitchen sink at him with four different guys but nothing could slow him down. He had the answer every time.”
Still, despite the acclaim and the fact that specialists are now the norm in lacrosse, some worry about being defined solely by their niche.
“We prefer to use the term face-off athlete instead of FOGO,” says Mattes, Baptiste’s tutor. “We want guys to have pride that they have the ability to play lacrosse and not just face-off.”
His protégé agreed.
“I think there definitely is a misconception about the position,” Baptiste says. “People think what we do is pretty easy because we’re on the field for such a short time, but we can still throw, catch and shoot just like any other player.”
During the fourth quarter of the Big East semifinal game, Baptiste found his opportunity to prove just that.
He won the draw forward to himself then sprinted into the offense end. He absorbed a slash from a Villanova defenseman like a would-be tackler. He wound up and fired a low shot from ten yards. He scored. The goal drew the loudest cheers of the game. Leon and Dena stood and high-fived the other Denver parents.
“Sometimes he just can’t help himself,” Leon said with a chuckle. “He has a head for the goal.”
His son raised his stick above his head in a quick celebration.
Then he trotted back to the face-off X.You May Like Training with Alex Honnold: How the free-climbing rock star gets his grip Cavs' Matthew Dellavedova takes the lead when it comes to his NBA diet Training hard isn't enough—training smart makes all the difference Sign Up for our Newsletter Subscribe & Save Sign Up for our Newsletter Already a Member? Not A Member? Sign Up Now Forgot Password
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Regulations are current to 2017-09-27Face Protectors for Ice Hockey and Box Lacrosse Players Regulations
Face Protectors for Ice Hockey and Box Lacrosse Players Regulations
P.C. 2016-600 2016-06-21
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Health, pursuant to section 37 of the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act Footnote a , makes the annexed Face Protectors for Ice Hockey and Box Lacrosse Players Regulations .Requirement
1 В Face protectors for ice hockey and box lacrosse players must meet the requirements of standard CAN3-Z262.2-M78, entitled Face Protectors for Ice Hockey and Box Lacrosse Players , published by the Canadian Standards Association in English in December 1978 and in French in June 1979.Coming into Force
3 В These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.
Lacrosse - Box vs Field Lacrosse - Box vs Field
This page will outline the basic differences between indoor box lacrosse and outdoor field lacrosse.
· Box lacrosse is a full contact, indoor version of lacrosse, played mostly in North America. The game originated in Canada , where it is the most popular version of the game played in contrast to the traditional field lacrosse game. It is played between two teams of six players each, and is traditionally played on an ice hockey rink once the ice has been removed or covered. The playing area is called a box, in contrast to the open playing field of field lacrosse. The object of the game is to use a long handled racket, known as a lacrosse stick, to catch, carry, and pass the ball in an effort to score by ultimately hurling a solid rubber lacrosse ball into an opponent's goal.
· While box lacrosse is similar to hockey, it is far more closely related to basketball. The offense involves full team strategy utilizing all 5 runners and there are no defensemen. The offensive players are setup as two creasemen, two shooters or cornermen and one pointman (top). The goalie sits inside his ‘crease’ which offensive players are not allowed to enter. If an offensive player enters the crease, the shot is nullified and possession is rewarded to the opposing team.
· Like basketball, there is no offside or icing, but for novice kids and older, there is a 30 second shot clock. This keeps the pace of the game moving very quickly. Many penalties are similar to hockey, but lacrosse has many ‘possession’ calls instead of penalties, which keeps the play moving quickly.
· Lacrosse is a fast physical game encompassing specific skills, agility, team work, physical conditioning, discipline, trust and respect. Contact is introduced at the earliest levels of play and considering the physical nature of the game and high pace, it remains one of the top sports with the least amount of youth injuries, ranking far behind hockey, football and basketball.
Indoor box lacrosse diagramField Lacrosse
Field lacrosse is a full contact, outdoor version of lacrosse, played with 9 runners and a goalie. Field lacrosse is the fastest growing game in North America at every level. The appeal? It's a neat composite of other sports, it's fast, extremely athletic, and it's cool! As parents discover that field lacrosse is more exciting than soccer (Zzzzz. ), cheaper than ice hockey ($$$$) and not as dangerous as football, the game is getting a closer look.
There are 10 players on the field; 3 attack, 3 midfielders, 3 defence and a goalkeeper. Substitutions are done on the fly, mostly for the midfielders, who play the entire length of the field. Attackmen will generally remain on the offensive half of the field while the defensemen (long poles) will remain on the defensive half. Players may exchange postions as long as another player remains in the area as a temporary replacement.
Unlike box lacrosse, there is no time requirement to take a shot, so the team can maintain control of the ball for as longs as they want.
Players who have played box lacrosse will find field lacrosse very different. The essential skills such as passing, catching and shooting remain similar, but the level of contact, game rules and strategy are very unique.
As players discover their uniqueness, they develop into role players and learn to find positions on the field where they are most effective. Goalies and face-off specialists are an example and become designated early in their career.
Regulation sized men's college lacrosse field
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