Also see "A Quick Guide to Watching Lacrosse" by Coach Melvin on the Documents Page.
About the Boys Game
General - It's a Native American invention, it's the fastest game on two feet, it's fun, it's exciting and, even if you don't understand all the rules, it's a great spectator sport! Here's a brief description of the players, positions, the field and the action to help you enjoy the game.
The Game - 40 minutes of play (48 in high school) divided into four, 10 minute periods. Teams get two time outs per half and one during each overtime period. Overtime to settle a tie is played in four minute periods; the first team to score wins.
The Equipment - The game is played with a 5.25 ounce solid rubber ball, slightly smaller than a baseball. The crosse, or stick, comes in three different categories. Attackmen and most midfielders or “middies” use a short stick which can be from 36 to 42” long. The defensemen (and no more than one middie) use a long stick which can be anywhere from 52 to 72” in length. The head width of the crosse can measure from 6.5 to 10”. The goalie’s stick has no minimum length and the head can be from 10 to 12” wide. Players are required to wear a helmet, mouthpiece, gloves, shoulder and arm pads and a cup. Play is stopped if a player loses any required equipment in the scrimmage area.
The Teams – 10 players on each: one goalie, three close attack, three close defense and three middies. Attackmen are positioned in the offensive half of the field and defensemen in the defensive half. Middies are the most versatile players on the team: they must attack, defend and cover the whole field.
The Field – Larger than a football field at 110 yards long by 60 yard wide. Forty yards from midfield to each goal and 15 yards from the goal to the endline. Wing areas on either side are 10 yards wide. Goal openings are 6’ by 6’.
Cradling: The method of keeping the ball from falling out of the net of the stick.
Crease: the area around the goal. No one with ball possession is allowed in the crease except the goalie.
Face Off: Much like hockey, two men vying, one on one, for the ball which is placed on the ground between their stick after every goal and at the start of each period.
Clearing: The team with possession of the ball moving from its defensive zone to the attack half of the field. Teams have 10 seconds to move the ball from their defensive half across midfield.
Riding: Attackmen and middies trying to prevent the team with the ball from clearing out of its defensive zone.
Fast Break: Similar to basketball. Usually a fast clear in which the offensive team has managed to put more players in the attack zone than the defense.
Man Down Defense: The defensive team is a man short due to a penalty. They usually play a patterned or zone defense in this situation.
Body Checking: Must be from the front or side with contact made above the waist and below the shoulders. Okay only when opponent has possession of the ball or is within five yards of a loose ball.
Stick Checking: If the opponent has the ball or is within five yards of a loose ball in flight, the player can check the opponent’s stick with his own stick.
Illegal Contact – Personal foul penalties of one to three minutes can be called for:
Illegal Body Checking: Hitting an opponent at or below the waist or from the rear.
Spearing: Blocking an opponent with the head.
Slashing: Striking an opponent with the stick on the arms, shoulders, head or any part of the body except the gloved hand holding the stick. This call is made at the official’s discretion and is usually not called unless the act is deliberate or out of control.
Cross Checking: Using the part of the handle of the stick between the hands to check or push an opponent.
Tripping: Obstructing an opponent below the knees.
Description of Boys Positions
POSITIONS & BASIC SKILLS
Goalkeeper (Goalie), Defenseman, Midfielder (Middie) and Attackman.
Number one priority is to stop the ball and to be the last line of defense. Requires courage, good reflexes, reaction time, and ability to think quickly. Goalie is the quarterback of the team. Controls and dictates play of the defensive unit. Calls out location of the ball and presence of cutters. Tells teammates when to check opponents. Controls clearing process. Must be the most fearless and courageous player on the field. Deals with dozens of high velocity shots during a game. Must be willing to absorb shots over any part of body. Must be a leader and command respect of teammates. Must keep his composure when mistakes are made and not be overly critical of himself or the team.
Top priority is to neutralize opponents attack and prevent close range shots. Requires agility, quickness, good reflexes, ability to react quickly, and to calculate cutoff angles. Being aggressive, but always under control, makes an excellent defenseman. Speed becomes important for long stick middies. Size helps, but is secondary to reaction, agility, mind set and speed.
Primary responsibility is to move the ball from the defensive end into the offensive zone and assisting in defense of the goal. Regardless of offensive contribution, midfielders must be good defensively. Characteristics of good midfielders are speed, stamina, hustle and determination. They need to possess good stick skills and have the ability to effectively play ground balls. Should be able to switch back and forth from offense to defense quickly and frequently,
Primary responsibilty is to score goals. Must be most proficient stick handlers on the team or possess the basic qualities that will make good stick handlers. Must have great hand/eye coordination, having the ability to utilize both hands, and being adept at fakes and dodges. Quick feet, speed, agility, maneuverability and courage are needed. Must be able to take physical punishment from opposing defensemen and middies. Must posses great shooting, passing skills, and accuracy.
Boys Safety Equipment
All players playing in full contact divisions are required to wear the following safety equipment while on the field during all games AND practices:
Helmet, mouthpiece, shoulder pads, armpads, gloves, and cup.
Rib pads are recommended but not required.