Lacrosse

Lacrosse is a team sport played with a lacrosse stick and a lacrosse ball. Players use the head of the lacrosse stick to carry, pass, catch, and shoot the ball into the goal.

The sport has four versions that have different sticks, fields, rules and equipment: field lacrosse, women's lacrosse, box lacrosse and intercrosse. The men's games, field lacrosse (outdoor) and box lacrosse (indoor), are contact sports and all players wear protective gear: helmet, gloves, shoulder pads, and elbow pads. The women's game is played outdoors and does not allow body contact but does allow stick to stick contact. The only protective gear required for women players is eyegear, while goalies wear helmets and protective pads. Intercrosse is a mixed-gender non-contact sport played indoors that uses an all-plastic stick and a softer ball.

The sport is governed by the Federation of International Lacrosse.

Lacrosse
men's lacrosse player running with the ball
Men's field lacrosse game between
UNC and Duke
Highest governing bodyFederation of International Lacrosse
First playedAs early as the 17th century
Characteristics
TypeTeam sport, stick sport, ball sport
EquipmentLacrosse stick and ball in addition to various body armor or pads. Different protective gear for different versions of the game
VenueOutdoor lacrosse field or indoor lacrosse rink
Presence
OlympicMen's field at the Summer Olympics in 1904 and 1908.
Demonstrated in 1928, 1932 and 1948
World GamesWomen's field in 2017

History

George Catlin - Ball-play of the Choctaw--Ball Up - Google Art Project
Ball-play of the Choctaw – ball up by George Catlin, circa 1846–1850

Lacrosse is based on games played by various Native American communities as early as 1100 AD.[1] By the seventeenth century, a version of lacrosse was well-established and was documented by Jesuit missionary priests in the territory of present-day Canada.[2]

In the traditional aboriginal Canadian version, each team consisted of about 100 to 1,000 men on a field several miles (several kilometers) long.[3] These games lasted from sunup to sundown for two to three days straight and were played as part of ceremonial ritual, a kind of symbolic warfare, or to give thanks to the Creator or Master.

Lacrosse played a significant role in the community and religious life of tribes across the continent for many years. Early lacrosse was characterized by deep spiritual involvement, befitting the spirit of combat in which it was undertaken. Those who took part did so in the role of warriors, with the goal of bringing glory and honor to themselves and their tribes.[4] The game was said to be played "for the Creator" or was referred to as "The Creator's Game."[5]

Ball players
Ball Players by George Catlin.

The French Jesuit missionary Jean de Brébeuf saw Huron tribesmen play the game during 1637 in present-day Ontario. He called it la crosse, "the stick" in French.[6] The name seems to be originated from the French term for field hockey, le jeu de la crosse.[7]

James Smith described in some detail a game being played in 1757 by Mohawk people "wherein now they used a wooden ball, about 3 inches (7.6 cm) in diameter, and the instrument they moved it with was a strong staff about 5 feet (1.5 m) long, with a hoop net on the end of it, large enough to contain the ball."[8]

Anglophones from Montreal noticed the game being played by Mohawk people and started playing themselves in the 1830s.[6] In 1856, William George Beers, a Canadian dentist, founded the Montreal Lacrosse Club.[9] In 1860, Beers codified the game, shortening the length of each game and reducing the number of players to 12 per team.[6] The first game played under Beers's rules was at Upper Canada College in 1867; they lost to the Toronto Cricket Club by a score of 3–1.

The new sport proved to be very popular and spread across the English-speaking world; by 1900 there were dozens of men's clubs in Canada, the United States, England, Australia, and New Zealand. The women's game was introduced by Louisa Lumsden in Scotland in 1890. The first women's club in the United States was started by Rosabelle Sinclair at Bryn Mawr School in 1926.[10]

From rattlesnake hunt to hockey page 121 cropped
Richmond Hill "Young Canadians" lacrosse team, 1885.

In the United States, lacrosse during the late 1800s and first half of the 1900s was primarily a regional sport centered around the Mid-Atlantic states, especially New York and Maryland. However, in the last half of the 20th century, the sport spread outside this region, and can be currently found in most of the United States. According to a survey conducted by US Lacrosse in 2016, there are over 825,000 lacrosse participants nationwide and lacrosse is the fastest-growing team sport among NFHS member schools.[11]

Versions of lacrosse

Field lacrosse

Mens lacrosse diagram
Diagram of a men's college lacrosse field

Field lacrosse is the men's outdoor version of the sport. There are ten players on each team: three attackmen, three midfielders, three defensemen, and one goalie. Each player carries a lacrosse stick. A short stick measures between 40 and 42 inches (100 and 110 cm) long and is used by attackmen and midfielders. A maximum of four players on the field per team may carry a long stick which is between 52 and 72 inches (130 and 180 cm) long and is used by the three defensemen and sometimes one defensive midfielder. The goalie uses a stick with a head as wide as 12 inches (30 cm) that can be between 40 and 72 inches (100 and 180 cm) long.[12]

The field of play is 110 by 60 yards (101 by 55 m). The goals are 6 by 6 ft (1.8 by 1.8 m) and are 80 yd (73 m) apart. Each goal sits inside a circular "crease", measuring 18 ft (5.5 m) in diameter.[13] The goalie has special privileges within the crease to avoid opponents' stick checks. Offensive players or their sticks may not enter into the crease at any time. The mid-field line separates the field into an offensive and defensive zone for each team. Each team must keep four players in its defensive zone and three players in its offensive zone at all times. It does not matter which positional players satisfy the requirement, although usually the three attackmen stay in the offensive zone, the three defensemen and the goalie stay in the defensive zone, and the three middies play in both zones. A team that violates this rule is offsides and either loses possession of the ball if they have it or incurs a technical foul if they do not.[14]

Face-off
A face-off

The regulation playing time of a game is 60 minutes, divided into four periods of 15 minutes each.[14] Play is started at the beginning of each quarter and after each goal with a face-off. During a face-off, two players lay their sticks on the ground parallel to the mid-line, the two heads of their sticks on opposite sides of the ball. At the whistle, the face-off-men scrap for the ball, often by "clamping" it under their stick and flicking it out to their teammates. When one of the teams has possession of the ball, they bring it into their offensive zone and try to score a goal. Due to the offsides rule, settled play involves six offensive players versus six defensive players and a goalie.[15]

If the ball goes out of bounds, possession is awarded against the team that touched it last. The exception is when the ball is shot towards the goal. Missed shots that go out of bounds are awarded to the team that has the player who is the closest to the ball when and where the ball goes out. During play, teams may substitute players in and out if they leave and enter the field through the substitution area, sometimes referred to as "on the fly". After penalties and goals, players may freely substitute and do not have to go through the substitution area.[16]

Penalties are either technical or personal fouls. Personal fouls such as cross-checking, illegal body check or slashing, are about player safety. Cross-checking is when a player checks another player with their hands further than shoulder-width apart on the shaft. A slash is when a player swings his/her stick at another player uncontrollably, usually to the discretion of the referee. Even if he/she does not hit the player in possession, a flag can still be thrown. These fouls draw 1-minute or longer penalties; the offending player must leave the field and stay in the substitution area for the length of the penalty. Penalties are either releasable or non-releasable; releasable means that if a goal is scored by either team during the time that the penalty is served, the player serving the penalty can re-enter the play and both teams will once again have an equal number of players. Non-releasable means that the player must serve the entire time of the penalty, regardless of any goals scored. His team plays with nine players for the duration. Because of the offsides rule, this means the opponent plays with six attackers versus five defenders plus the goalie. Technical fouls, such as offsides, pushing, and holding, result in either a turnover or a 30-second penalty, depending on which team has the ball.

The team that has taken the penalty is said to be playing man down, while the other team is man up. Teams will use various lacrosse strategies to attack and defend while a player is being penalized.

Box lacrosse

Box Lacrosse
A game of box lacrosse in the NLL.

Box lacrosse is played by teams of five runners plus a goalie on a hockey rink where the ice has been removed or covered by artificial turf, or in an indoor soccer field. The enclosed playing area is called a box, in contrast to the open playing field of the traditional game.[17] This version of the game was introduced in Canada in the 1930s to promote business for hockey arenas outside of the ice hockey season.[18](p157) Within several years it had nearly supplanted field lacrosse in Canada.[18](p120)

The goals in box lacrosse are smaller than field lacrosse, traditionally 4 ft (1.2 m) wide and tall. Also, the goaltender wears much more protective padding, including a massive chest protector and armguard combination known as "uppers", large shin guards known as leg pads (both of which must follow strict measurement guidelines), and ice hockey-style goalie masks.[17][19]

The style of the game is quick, accelerated by the close confines of the floor and a shot clock. The shot clock requires the attacking team to take a shot on goal within 30 seconds of gaining possession of the ball.[17] Box lacrosse is also a much more physical game. Since cross checking is legal in box lacrosse, players wear rib pads and the shoulder and elbow pads are bigger and stronger than what field lacrosse players wear. Box lacrosse players wear a hockey helmet with a box lacrosse cage. There is no offsides in box lacrosse, the players substitute freely from their bench areas as in hockey. However, most players specialize in offense or defense, so usually all five runners substitute for teammates as their team transitions between offense and defense.

For penalties, the offending player is sent to the penalty box and his team has to play without him, or man-down, for the length of the penalty. Most fouls are minor penalties and last for two minutes, major penalties for serious offenses last five minutes. What separates box lacrosse (and ice hockey) from other sports is that at the top levels of professional and junior lacrosse, participating in a fight does not automatically cause an ejection, but a five-minute major penalty is given.[17]

Box lacrosse is played at the highest level in the National Lacrosse League and by the Senior A divisions of the Canadian Lacrosse Association. The National Lacrosse League (NLL) employs some minor rule changes from the Canadian Lacrosse Association (CLA) rules. Notably, the goals are 4 feet 9 inches (1.45 m) wide instead of 4 feet (1.2 m) and the games are played during the winter.[20][17] The NLL games consist of four fifteen-minute quarters compared with three periods of twenty minutes each in CLA games. NLL players may only use sticks with hollow shafts, while CLA permits solid wooden sticks.[20][21]

Women's lacrosse

The rules of women's lacrosse differ significantly from men's lacrosse, most notably by equipment and the degree of allowable physical contact.[22] Women's lacrosse rules also differ significantly between the US and all other countries, who play by the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) rules. Women's lacrosse does not allow physical contact, the only protective equipment worn is a mouth guard and eye-guard. Recently, there has been discussion of requiring headgear to prevent concussions. Florida was the first state to mandate headgear in women's lacrosse in 2008.[23] Stick checking is permitted in the women's game, but only in certain levels of play and within strict rules. Women's lacrosse also does not allow players to have a pocket, or loose net, on the lacrosse stick. Women start the game with a "draw" instead of a face-off. The two players stand up and the ball is placed between their stick heads while their sticks are horizontal at waist-height. At the whistle, the players lift their sticks into the air, trying to control where the ball goes.

The first modern women's lacrosse game was held at St Leonards School in Scotland in 1890. It was introduced by the school's headmistress Louisa Lumsden after a visit to Quebec, where she saw it played.[24] The first women's lacrosse team in the United States was established at Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, Maryland in 1926. Men's and women's lacrosse were played under virtually the same rules, with no protective equipment, until the mid-1930s.

Women's lacrosse
Women's lacrosse field diagram

Both the number of players and the lines on the field differ from men's lacrosse. There are 12 players in women's lacrosse and players must abide by certain boundaries that do not exist in men's play. The three specific boundaries are the 8-meter (26 ft 3 in) "fan" in front of the goal (11 m [36 ft 1 in] internationally), the 12-meter (39 ft 4 in) (8 m [26 ft 3 in] internationally) half circle that surrounds the 8-meter fan, and the draw circle in the center of the field, which is used for draws to start quarters and after goals. The goal circle is also positioned slightly closer to the end line in women's lacrosse compared to men's. In women's lacrosse on either the offensive or defensive end, the players besides the goaltender are not able to step inside the goal circle; this becomes a "goal-circle violation". However, at the women's collegiate level, a new rule has been established that allows defenders to pass through the goal circle.

The 8-meter fan that is in front of the goal circle has a few restrictions in it. Defenders cannot stand inside the 8-meter fan longer than 3 seconds without being a stick-length away from the offensive player they are guarding. This is very similar to the three-second rule in basketball. A three seconds violation results in a player from the other team taking a free shot against the goalie. If you are an attacker trying to shoot the ball into the goal, you are not supposed to take a shot while a defender is in "shooting space." To make sure that you, the defender, are being safe, you want to lead with your lacrosse stick and once you are a sticks-length away, you can be in front of her.[25]

Intercrosse

Intercrosse, or soft stick lacrosse, is a non-contact form of lacrosse with a standardized set of rules using modified lacrosse equipment. An intercrosse stick is different from a normal lacrosse stick, the head is made completely of plastic instead of leather or nylon pockets in traditional lacrosse sticks. The ball is larger, softer and hollow, unlike a lacrosse ball, which is solid rubber.

Intercrosse as a competitive adult sport is popular in Quebec, Canada, as well as in many European countries, particularly in the Czech Republic. Generally, teams consist of five players per side, and the field size is 20 m (66 ft) wide and 40 m (130 ft) long. Goals for adults are the same size as box lacrosse, 4 ft or 1.2 m in height and width. The international governing body, the Fédération Internationale d'Inter-Crosse, hosts a World Championship bi-annually.[26]

Soft stick lacrosse is a popular way to introduce youth to the sport.[27] It can be played outdoors or indoors and has a developed curriculum for physical education classes.[28] Youth goals are often small, semi-circular portable nets, as there is no goalie.

International lacrosse

Lacrosse has historically been played for the most part in Canada and the United States, with small but dedicated lacrosse communities in the United Kingdom and Australia. Recently, however, lacrosse has begun to flourish at the international level, with teams being established around the world, particularly in Europe and East Asia.

Federation of International Lacrosse

In August 2008, the men's international governing body, the International Lacrosse Federation, merged with the women's, the International Federation of Women's Lacrosse Associations, to form the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL). There are currently 62 members of the FIL.[29]

Tournaments

The FIL sponsors five world championship tournaments: the World Lacrosse Championship for men's field, the Women's Lacrosse World Cup for women's, the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship for box lacrosse, and the Under-19 World Lacrosse Championships for men and women. Each is held every four years.[30]

Tournament Editions First
(# teams)
Most recent
(# teams)
Most golds
(# golds)
Most silvers
(# silvers)
World Lacrosse Championship 13 1967 (4) 2018 (46) United States (10) Canada (6)
Women's Lacrosse World Cup 10 1982 (6) 2017 (25) United States (8) Australia (4)
Under-19 World Championships (men) 8 1988 2016 United States (8) Canada (6)
Under-19 World Championships (women) 6 1995 2015 United States (4) Australia (4)
World Indoor Lacrosse Championship 4 2003 (6) 2015 (13) Canada (4) Iroquois (4)

The World Lacrosse Championship (WLC) began in 1968 as a four-team invitational tournament sponsored by the International Lacrosse Federation. Until 1990, only the United States, Canada, England, and Australia had entered. With the expansion of the game internationally, the 2014 World Lacrosse Championship was contested by 38 countries.[31] The WLC has been dominated by the United States. Team USA has won 9 of the 12 titles, with Canada winning the other three.[32]

The Women's Lacrosse World Cup (WLWC) began in 1982. The United States has won 8 of the 10 titles, with Australia winning the other two. Canada and England have always finished in the top five. The 2017 tournament was held in England and featured 25 countries.[33]

The first World Indoor Lacrosse Championship (WILC) was held in 2003 and contested by six nations at four sites in Ontario. Canada won the championship by beating the Iroquois Nationals 21–4 in the final. The 2007 championship hosted by the Onondaga Nation included 13 teams. Canada has dominated the competition, winning all four gold medals and never losing a game.[34]

The Iroquois Nationals are the men's national team representing the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy in international field lacrosse competition. The team was admitted to the FIL in 1987. It is the only First Nations team sanctioned for international competition in any sport.[35] The Nationals placed fourth in the 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Lacrosse Championships and third in 2014. The indoor team won the silver medal in all four World Indoor Lacrosse Championships. In 2008, the Iroquois women's team was admitted to the FIL as the Haudenosaunee Nationals. They placed 7th at the 2013 Women's Lacrosse World Cup.

Olympic Games

1904 Winnipeg Shamrocks Lacrosse
1904 Olympics Gold Medal winning Winnipeg Shamrocks lacrosse team

Field lacrosse was a medal sport in the 1904 and the 1908 Summer Olympics. In 1904, three teams competed in the games held in St. Louis. Two Canadian teams, the Winnipeg Shamrocks and a team of Mohawk people from the Iroquois Confederacy, plus the local St. Louis Amateur Athletic Association team representing the United States participated. The Winnipeg Shamrocks captured the gold medal.[36][37] The 1908 games held in London, England, featured only two teams, representing Canada and Great Britain. The Canadians again won the gold medal in a single championship match by a score of 14–10.[38]

In the 1928, 1932, and the 1948 Summer Olympics, lacrosse was a demonstration sport. The 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam featured three teams: the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.[39] The 1932 games in Los Angeles featured a three-game exhibition between a Canadian all-star team and the United States.[40] The United States was represented by Johns Hopkins in both the 1928 and 1932 Olympics.[41] The 1948 games featured an exhibition by an "All-England" team organized by the English Lacrosse Union and the collegiate lacrosse team from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute representing the United States. This exhibition match ended in a 5–5 tie.[42]

Efforts were made to include lacrosse as an exhibition sport at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia and the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, but they were not successful.[43]

An obstacle for lacrosse to return to the Olympics is insufficient international participation. To be considered for the Olympics, a sport must be played on four continents and by at least 75 countries. Lacrosse is played on all six continents, but the most recent world championships have involved 38 men's teams and 25 women's teams.

Other

Lacrosse dive shot
A player taking a "dive shot".

The European Lacrosse Federation (ELF) was established in 1995 and held the first European Lacrosse Championships that year.[44] Originally an annual event, it is now held every four years, in between FIL's men's and women's championships. In 2004, 12 men's and 6 women's teams played in the tournament, making it the largest international lacrosse event of the year. The last men's tournament was in 2016, when 24 countries participated. England won its ninth gold medal out of the ten tournaments played. 2015 was the last women's tournament, when 17 teams participated in the Czech Republic. England won its sixth gold medal, with Wales earning silver and Scotland bronze. These three countries from Great Britain have dominated the women's championships, earning all but three medals since the tournament began in 1996. There are currently 29 members of the ELF, they make up the majority of nations in the FIL.[45]

The Asia Pacific Lacrosse Union was founded in 2004 by Australia, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan.[46] It currently has 12 members and holds the Asia Pacific Championship for both men's and women's teams every two years.[47][48]

Lacrosse was played in the World Games for the first time at the 2017 World Games held in Poland. Only women's teams took part in the competition. The United States won the gold medal defeating Canada in the finals.[49] Australia won the bronze medal match. The Haudenosaunee Nationals women's lacrosse team could not participate.[50]

Lacrosse in the United States

College lacrosse

Men's college lacrosse

Collegiate lacrosse in the United States is played at the NCAA, NAIA and club levels. There are currently 71 NCAA Division I men's lacrosse teams, 93 Division II teams, and 236 Division III teams. Thirty-two schools participate at the NAIA level. 184 men's club teams compete in the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association, including most universities and colleges outside the northeastern United States. The National College Lacrosse League and Great Lakes Lacrosse League are two other lower-division club leagues. In Canada, 14 teams from Ontario and Quebec play field lacrosse in the fall in the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association.[51]

The first U. S. intercollegiate men's lacrosse game was played on November 22, 1877 between New York University and Manhattan College.[52] An organizing body for the sport, the U. S. National Lacrosse Association, was founded in 1879 and the first intercollegiate lacrosse tournament was held in 1881, with Harvard beating Princeton 3–0 in the championship game. Annual post-season championships were awarded by a variety of early lacrosse associations through the 1930s. From 1936 to 1972, the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association awarded the Wingate Memorial Trophy to the best college lacrosse team each year.

The NCAA began sponsoring a men's lacrosse championship in 1971, when Cornell took the first title over Maryland, 12–6. Syracuse has 10 Division I titles, Johns Hopkins 9, and Princeton 6.[53] The NCAA national championship weekend tournament draws over 80,000 fans.[54]

Women's college lacrosse

There are currently 112 Division I women's lacrosse teams, 109 Division II teams, and 282 Division III teams. There are 36 NAIA women's lacrosse teams. The NCAA started sponsoring a women's lacrosse championship in 1982. Maryland has traditionally dominated women's intercollegiate play, producing many head coaches and U.S. national team players. The Terrapins won seven consecutive NCAA championships from 1995 through 2001. Princeton's women's teams have made it to the final game seven times since 1993 and have won three NCAA titles, in 1993, 2002, and 2003. In recent years, Northwestern has become a force, winning the national championship from 2005 through 2009. Maryland ended Northwestern's streak by defeating the Wildcats in the 2010 final, however, Northwestern won the next two titles in 2011 and 2012. Maryland again claimed the national championship in 2014, 2015, and 2017.[55]

The Women's Collegiate Lacrosse Associates (WCLA) is a collection of over 260 college club teams that are organized by US Lacrosse. Teams are organized into two divisions and various leagues.

Professional lacrosse

Major League Lacrosse

Major League Lacrosse (MLL) is a semi-professional field lacrosse league started in 2001 with six teams in the Northeastern United States. The league currently has nine teams in the Eastern United States and Denver playing a 14-game season from April to August. MLL rules are based on NCAA men's rules with several exceptions, such as a 16-yard 2-point line and a 60-second shot clock.[56]

MLL venues range from small stadiums with under 10,000 capacity to an NFL stadium in Denver that seats 76,000. Overall league average attendance is around 4,000 per game, but Denver has averaged around 10,000 per game since its founding in 2006.[57] The rookie salary is $7,000 per season and most players make between $10,000 and $20,000 per season. Therefore, players have other jobs, often non-lacrosse related, and travel to games on the weekends.[58]

The Chesapeake Bayhawks, who have played in the Annapolis–Baltimore–Washington, DC area since 2001, are the most successful franchise with five championships.

National Lacrosse League

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is a men's semi-professional box lacrosse league in North America. The NLL currently has nine teams, five in the United States and four in Canada. The 18-game regular season runs from December to April; games are always on the weekends. The champion is awarded the Champion's Cup in early June.

Games are played in ice rinks with artificial turf covering the ice. Venues range from NHL arenas seating 19,000 to smaller arenas with under 10,000 capacity. In 2017, average attendance ranged from 3,200 per game in Vancouver to over 15,000 in Buffalo. Overall, the league averaged 9,500 people per game.[59]

With an average salary around $20,000 per season, players have regular jobs, mostly non-lacrosse related, and live in different cities, flying into town for games.[60] Canadians and Native Americans make up over 90% of the players.[61]

The NLL started in 1987 as the Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League. Teams in Philadelphia, New Jersey, Baltimore and Washington, DC, played a 6-game season. The league operated as the Major Indoor Lacrosse League from 1989 to 1997, when there were six teams playing a 10-game schedule. The current NLL name began in the 1998 season, which included the first Canadian team.[62]

The most successful franchises have been the Toronto Rock and the now-defunct Philadelphia Wings, each has won six championships.

Premier Lacrosse League

In October 2018, former MLL player Paul Rabil branched away from the MLL and created the Premier Lacrosse League. The PLL focuses on being a traveling lacrosse league that will bring the best players in the world to different cities in the United States. [63]

United Women's Lacrosse League

The United Women's Lacrosse League (UWLX), a four-team women's lacrosse league, was launched in 2016. The teams are the Baltimore Ride, Boston Storm, Long Island Sound and Philadelphia Force. Long Island won the first two championships.[64]

Equipment

Womens lacrosse stick head 2
Women's lacrosse stick

Stick

The lacrosse stick has two parts, the head and the shaft.

There are three parts to the head: the scoop, sidewall, and pocket. The scoop is the top of the stick that affects picking up ground ball as well as passing and shooting. The sidewall is the side of the head that affects the depth of the head and the stiffness. The pocket is the leather or nylon mesh attached to the sidewalll and scoop. A wider pocket allows an easier time catching balls, but will also cause less ball control. A narrower pocket makes catching harder, but allows more ball retention and accuracy.

Shafts are usually made of hollow metal. They are octagonal, instead of round, in order to provide a better grip. Most are made of aluminum, titanium, scandium, or alloys, but some shafts are made from other materials, including wood, plastic, carbon fiber, or fiberglass.

Stick length, both shaft and head together, is governed by NCAA regulations, which require that men's sticks be from 40 to 42 inches (100 to 110 cm) long for offensive players, 52 to 72 inches (130 to 180 cm) long for defensemen, and 40 to 72 inches (100 to 180 cm) long for goalies.[12]

Women's sticks must be an overall length of 35.5–43.25 inches (90.2–109.9 cm). The head must be seven to nine inches wide and the top of the ball must remain above the side walls when dropped in the pocket. The goalkeeper's stick must be 35.5–48 inches (90–122 cm) long. The head of the goalie's stick can up to 12 inches (30 cm) wide and the pocket may be mesh.[65]

Men's field protective equipment

Men's field lacrosse protective equipment contains a pair of gloves, elbow pads, shoulder pads, helmet, and mouthguard. Pads differ in size and protection from player to player based on position, ability, comfort and preference. For example, many attack players wear larger and more protective elbow pads to protect themselves from checks thrown at them while defenders typically wear smaller and less protective pads due to their smaller possibility of being checked and goalies usually wear no elbow pads due to the very limited opportunities of being checked. A goalkeeper must also wear a large protective chest pad to cover their stomach and chest and a plastic neck guard that connects to the chin of their helmet to protect them from shots hitting their windpipe. In addition, male goalkeepers are required to wear a protective cup.[12]

Men's box protective equipment

Men's box players wear more protective gear than field players due to the increased physical contact and more permissive checking rules. Cross-checking in the back is allowed by the rules. Runners wear larger and heavier elbow pads and stronger shoulder pads that extend down the back of the player. Most players wear rib pads as well. Box goalies wear equipment very similar to ice hockey goalies, the leg blockers are somewhat smaller, although the shoulder pads are bigger than ice hockey pads.

Women's field protective equipment

Women's field players are not required to wear protective equipment besides eyegear and a mouthguard. Eyegear is a metal cage covering the eyes attached with a strap around the back of the head. In recent years, there has been discussion about allowing or requiring padded headgear to protect against concussions. Women goalies wear a helmet, gloves, and chest protector.

See also

References

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Further reading

External links

Big East Conference

The Big East Conference (stylized as BIG EAST) is a collegiate athletic conference that competes in NCAA Division I in all sports except football, which is not sponsored. The conference has been officially recognized as a Division I multi-sport conference, effective on August 1, 2013. The conference was originally founded by Dave Gavitt on May 31, 1979.Its nucleus is composed of the "Catholic Seven" members of the original Big East Conference: DePaul University, Georgetown University, Marquette University, Providence College, Seton Hall University, St. John's University, and Villanova University. In December 2012, these schools chose to split from the football playing schools in order to focus on basketball, and in March 2013 reached a settlement, whereby they acquired the Big East Conference name, logos, history, and the rights to the men's basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden. Butler University, Creighton University, and Xavier University also joined the conference on its July 1, 2013 launch date. The conference also entered into a 12-year, $500 million television contract with Fox Sports, Fox Sports 1 (FS1), Fox Sports 2 (FS2), and Fox Sports Networks (FSN) and a 6-year television contract with CBS and CBS Sports Network (CBSSN).The football-playing members of the old Big East, along with several other schools, formed the American Athletic Conference, which retains the old Big East's charter and structure. However, both conferences claim 1979 as their founding date. As part of the separation agreement, the basketball schools were able to retain the basketball records while the football schools retained the football records respectively.Val Ackerman, former WNBA president, has been commissioner since June 26, 2013. On the same day Ackerman was named as commissioner, it announced that it will be headquartered in New York City. None of the conference's schools sponsor varsity football in the top-level Division I FBS. Georgetown, Villanova, and Butler do operate football programs in the second-level Division I FCS, though only Villanova offers scholarships to its players.

Box lacrosse

Box lacrosse, also known as boxla, box, or indoor lacrosse, is an indoor version of lacrosse played mostly in North America. The game originated in Canada in the 1930s, where it is more popular than field lacrosse and is the national summer sport. Box lacrosse is played between two teams of five players and one goalie 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 lacrosse stick to catch, carry, and pass the ball in an effort to score by shooting a solid rubber lacrosse ball into the opponent's goal.

The highest levels of box lacrosse are the National Lacrosse League, Arena Lacrosse League, and Senior A divisions of the Canadian Lacrosse Association - Western Lacrosse Association and Major Series Lacrosse. There are also several Senior B leagues sanctioned by both the CLA and First Nations Lacrosse Association.

While there are 62 total members of World Lacrosse, only fifteen have competed in international box lacrosse competition. Only Canada, the Iroquois Nationals and the United States have finished in the top three places at the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships.

Bruce Arena

Bruce Arena (born September 21, 1951) is an American soccer coach who is currently is the head coach and sporting director of the New England Revolution.

He is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame and the NJCAA Lacrosse Hall of Fame. Arena has had a long and distinguished coaching career and is considered to be one of the most successful coaches in North American soccer history, having won five College Cup titles and five MLS Cup titles. He was head coach of the U.S. at the 1996 Summer Olympics, the 2002 FIFA World Cup and the 2006 FIFA World Cup, head coach of the New York Red Bulls, D.C. United, and LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer, and coached the University of Virginia to several college soccer championships. He is the U.S. soccer team's longest-serving head coach.Before beginning his coaching career, Arena was a goalkeeper for Cornell University, and earned one cap with the United States men's national soccer team.

College lacrosse

College lacrosse is played by student-athletes at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. In both countries, men's field lacrosse and women's lacrosse are played at both the varsity and club levels. College lacrosse in Canada is sponsored by the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association (CUFLA) and Maritime University Field Lacrosse League (MUFLL), while in the United States, varsity men's and women's lacrosse is governed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and National Association of Intercolliegiate Athletics (NAIA). There are also university lacrosse programs in the United Kingdom sponsored by British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) and programs in Japan.

In the U.S., as of the 2016–17 academic year, there were 71 NCAA-sanctioned Division I men's lacrosse teams, 61 Division II men's lacrosse teams and 236 Division III men's lacrosse teams. There are 112 Division I women's lacrosse teams, 105 Division II women's lacrosse teams, and 282 Division III women's lacrosse teams. There were also 27 men's programs and 16 women's programs at two-year community colleges organized by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and a growing number of National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) four-year small college programs.

As of 2016–17, there were 184 collegiate men's club teams competing through the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA), including most major universities in the United States without NCAA men's programs, organized into two divisions and ten conferences. Schools that feature an NCAA Division I FBS football team must play in Division 1, while most other teams compete in Division 2. There are 225 collegiate club teams for women organized by the Women's Collegiate Lacrosse Associates (WCLA).

Duke lacrosse case

The Duke Lacrosse Case was a widely reported 2006 criminal case in which three members of the Duke University men's lacrosse team were falsely accused of rape. The case evoked varied responses from the media, faculty groups, students, the community, and others. The case's resolution sparked public discussion of racism, sexual violence, media bias, and due process on campuses, and ultimately led to the resignation and disbarment of the lead prosecutor, Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong.

In March 2006, Crystal Gail Mangum, a black student at North Carolina Central University who worked as a stripper, escort and dancer, accused three white Duke University students – all members of the Duke Blue Devils men's lacrosse team – of raping her. The rape was alleged to have occurred at a party hosted by the lacrosse team, held at the house of two of the team's captains in Durham on March 13, 2006. Durham District Attorney Nifong suggested that the alleged rape was a hate crime.In response to the investigation uncovering team players' emails referring to "killing strippers and skinning them", Duke University suspended the lacrosse team for two games on March 28, 2006. The following week, on April 5, Duke lacrosse coach Mike Pressler was forced to resign under threat by athletic director Joe Alleva, and Duke president Richard Brodhead canceled the remainder of the 2006 season.On April 11, 2007, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper dropped all charges, declaring the three lacrosse players "innocent" and victims of a "tragic rush to accuse".The initial prosecutor, Mike Nifong, was labeled a "rogue prosecutor" by Cooper, and withdrew from the case in January 2007 after the North Carolina State Bar filed ethics charges against him. In June 2007, Nifong was disbarred for "dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation", making him the first prosecutor in North Carolina disbarred for trial conduct. Nifong served one day in jail for lying about sharing DNA tests (criminal contempt); the lab director said it was a misunderstanding and Nifong claimed it was due to weak memory. Mangum maintained her insistence that she was sexually assaulted that night. She faced no charges.Cooper noted several inconsistencies between Mangum's accounts of the evening and Seligmann and Finnerty's alibi evidence. The Durham Police Department also came under fire for violating their own policies by allowing Nifong to act as the de facto head of the investigation; using an unreliable suspect-only photo identification procedure with Mangum; pursuing the case despite vast discrepancies in notes taken by Investigator Benjamin Himan and Sgt. Mark Gottlieb; and distributing a poster presuming the suspects' guilt shortly after the allegations.In 2007, Seligmann, Finnerty, and Evans sought unspecified damages and called for new criminal justice reform laws in a federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of Durham.

Field lacrosse

Field lacrosse is a full contact outdoor sport played with ten players on each team. The sport originated among Native Americans, and the modern rules of field lacrosse were initially codified by Canadian William George Beers in 1867. Field lacrosse is one of three major versions of lacrosse played internationally. The other versions, women's lacrosse (established in the 1890s) and box lacrosse (originated in the 1930s), are played under significantly different rules.

The object of the game is to use a lacrosse stick, or crosse, to catch, carry, and pass a solid rubber ball in an effort to score by shooting the ball into the opponent's goal. The triangular head of the lacrosse stick has a loose net strung into it that allows the player to hold the lacrosse ball. In addition to the lacrosse stick, players are required to wear a certain amount of protective equipment. Defensively the object is to keep the opposing team from scoring and to dispossess them of the ball through the use of stick checking and body contact. The rules limit the number of players in each part of the field. It is sometimes referred to as the "fastest sport on two feet".

Lacrosse is governed internationally by the 59-member Federation of International Lacrosse, which sponsors the World Lacrosse Championships once every four years. A former Olympic sport, attempts to reinstate it to the Olympics have been hampered by insufficient international participation. Field lacrosse is played professionally in North America by Major League Lacrosse. It is also played on a high amateur level by the National Collegiate Athletic Association in the United States, the Australian Senior Lacrosse Championship series, and the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association.

Gillette Stadium

Gillette Stadium is a stadium located in Foxborough, Massachusetts, 28 miles (45 km) southwest of downtown Boston and 20 miles (32 km) northeast of downtown Providence, Rhode Island. It serves as the home stadium and administrative offices for both the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL) and the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer (MLS). In 2012, it also became the home stadium for the football program of the University of Massachusetts (UMass), while on-campus Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium was undergoing renovations. Gillette will continue to host higher attended home games.

The facility opened in 2002, replacing Foxboro Stadium. The seating capacity is 65,878, including 5,876 club seats and 89 luxury suites. The stadium is owned and operated by Kraft Sports Group, a subsidiary of The Kraft Group, the company through which businessman Robert Kraft owns the Patriots and Revolution.The stadium was originally known as CMGI Field before the naming rights were bought by Gillette after the "dot-com" bust. Although Gillette was acquired by Procter & Gamble (P&G) in 2005, the stadium retains the Gillette name because P&G has continued to use the Gillette brand name and because the Gillette company was founded in the Boston area. Gillette and the Patriots jointly announced in September 2010 that their partnership, which includes naming rights to the stadium, will extend through the 2031 season. Additionally, uBid (until April 2003 a wholly owned subsidiary of CMGI) as of 2009 continues to sponsor one of the main entrance gates to the stadium.The Town of Foxborough approved plans for the stadium's construction on December 6, 1999, and work on the stadium began on March 24, 2000. The first official event was a New England Revolution soccer game on May 11, 2002. The Rolling Stones played at Gillette Stadium on September 5, 2002 on the band's Licks Tour. Jeremiah Freed was the first band to play at the WBCN river rave on June 9, 2002 making them the first band to ever play Gillette Stadium. Grand opening ceremonies were held four days later on September 9 when the Patriots unveiled their Super Bowl XXXVI championship banner before a Monday Night Football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.Gillette Stadium is accessible by rail via the Providence/Stoughton and Franklin lines at the Foxboro MBTA station, but only during Patriots games and some concerts.

The Patriots have sold out every home game since moving to the stadium—preseason, regular season, and playoffs. This streak dates back to the 1994 season, while the team was still at Foxboro Stadium. By September 2016 this streak was 231 straight games.

Goals against average

Goals Against Average (GAA) is a statistic used in field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer and water polo that is the mean of goals allowed per game by a goaltender/goalkeeper (depending on sport). GAA is analogous to a baseball pitcher's earned run average (ERA). In Japanese, the same translation (防御率) is used for both GAA and ERA, because of this.

For ice hockey, the goals against average statistic is the number of goals a goaltender allows per 60 minutes of playing time. It is calculated by taking the number of goals against, multiply that by 60 (minutes) and then dividing by the number of minutes played. When calculating GAA, overtime goals and time on ice are included, whereas empty net and shootout goals are not. It is typically given to two decimal places.

The top goaltenders in the National Hockey League currently have a GAA of about 1.85-2.10, although the measure of a good GAA changes as different playing styles come and go. The top goaltenders in the National Lacrosse League however, currently have a GAA of about 10.00, and the top 2005 Western Lacrosse Association goaltenders had a GAA of about 9.00. At their best, elite NCAA water polo goalies have a GAA between 3.00 and 5.00.

Since the statistic is highly dependent on the team playing in front of a goalie, save percentage is usually considered a more accurate measure of a goaltender's skill, especially in ice hockey and lacrosse, as it takes into account the number of shots the goaltender has faced. In soccer, since it is considered a part of the goalkeeper's job to coach defenders on proper positioning to prevent opponents' shots, GAA is more commonly used to evaluate goalkeepers than save percentage.

History of lacrosse

Lacrosse has its origins in a tribal game played by eastern Woodlands Native Americans and by some Plains Indians tribes in what is now the United States of America and Canada. The game was extensively modified by European colonizers to North America to create its current collegiate and professional form. There were hundreds of native men playing a ball game with sticks. The game began with the ball being tossed into the air and the two sides rushing to catch it. Because of the large number of players involved, these games generally tended to involve a huge mob of players swarming the ball and slowly moving across the field. Passing the ball was thought of as a trick, and it was seen as cowardly to dodge an opponent. Years later lacrosse is still a popular sport played all over the world.

Jim Brown

James Nathaniel Brown born February 17, 1936 is a former professional American football player and actor. He was a running back for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL) from 1957 through 1965. Considered to be one of the greatest football players of all time, Brown was a Pro Bowl invitee every season he was in the league, was recognized as the AP NFL Most Valuable Player three times, and won an NFL championship with the Browns in 1964. He led the league in rushing yards in eight out of his nine seasons, and by the time he retired, he had shattered most major rushing records. In 2002, he was named by The Sporting News as the greatest professional football player ever.Brown earned unanimous All-America honors playing college football at Syracuse University in New York, where he was an all-around player for the Syracuse Orangemen football team. He also excelled in basketball, track and field, and lacrosse. The football team later retired his number 44 jersey. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995.

In his professional career, Brown carried the ball 2,359 times for 12,312 rushing yards and 106 touchdowns, which were all records when he retired. He averaged 104.1 rushing yards per game, and is the only player in NFL history to average over 100 rushing yards per game for his career. His 5.2 yards per rush is second-best among running backs. Brown was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971. He was named to the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, comprising the best players in NFL history. His number 32 jersey is retired by the Browns. Shortly after his football career, Brown became an actor, and had several leading roles throughout the 1970s.

Major League Lacrosse

Major League Lacrosse (MLL) is a men's field lacrosse league consisting of seven teams in the United States. The league's inaugural season was in 2001. Teams play 16 regular-season games from late May to late September, with a four-team playoff for the championship trophy, the Steinfeld Trophy. MLL averaged 3,619 spectators per game during the 2017 season, down from a peak of 6,417 in 2011.As a semi-professional league, MLL players earn annual salaries in the $10,000–$25,000 range. Players and staff generally hold other jobs and the league does not provide health insurance coverage.The current champion is the Denver Outlaws, who defeated the Dallas Rattlers 16–12 in 2018.

Miami RedHawks

The Miami RedHawks are the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I intercollegiate athletic teams that represent Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, United States. Miami is a member of the Mid-American Conference (MAC). East Division and sponsors teams in nine men's and ten women's NCAA sanctioned sports; the RedHawks hockey team is a member of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. The football team competes in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the highest level for college football. The Redhawks are arch-rivals with the Ohio Bobcats. In box scores for sporting events, the RedHawks sports teams are usually referred to as Miami (OH) to differentiate from the Miami Hurricanes, a Division I school in Florida.

NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship

The NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship tournament determines the annual top men's field lacrosse team in the NCAA Division I. This tournament has determined the national champion since the inaugural 1971 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship. From 1936 through 1970, the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) awarded the Wingate Memorial Trophy to the NCAA Division I annual champion based on regular season records.

National Lacrosse League

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is a men's professional box lacrosse league in North America. Headquartered in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, the NLL currently has thirteen teams: eight in the United States and five in Canada. The NLL ranks third in average attendance for pro indoor sports worldwide, behind only the NHL and NBA. Unlike other box lacrosse leagues which play in the summer, the NLL plays its games in the winter and spring, from December to June. Each year, the playoff teams battle for the National Lacrosse League Cup. The NLL has averaged between 9,800 and 10,700 spectators per game each year since 2004.

United Women's Lacrosse League

The United Women’s Lacrosse League (UWLX) is a women's lacrosse league in the United States. It was co-founded in Boston, Massachusetts by Digit Murphy and Aronda Kirby of the Play It Forward Sports Foundation, under the ownership of United Women's Sports LLC in a strategic partnership with STX. Penn State alum and former United States national team player Michele DeJuliis was appointed as the league’s commissioner. DeJuliis left after the 2016 season to found a new women's pro lacrosse league, the current General Manager is Kristan Ash.The league is composed of four teams: the Baltimore Ride, Boston Storm, Long Island Sound and Philadelphia Force. Long Island won the first two championships.

Women's Lacrosse World Cup

The Women's Lacrosse World Cup (WLWC), the international championship of women's lacrosse, is held every four years. From its inception in 1982, it was sponsored by the governing body for women's lacrosse, the International Federation of Women's Lacrosse Associations, until that body merged in 2008 with the former governing body for men's lacrosse. Since 2009, the WLWC has been sponsored by the sport's new unified governing body, the Federation of International Lacrosse. The 2017 Women's Lacrosse World Cup was held in Guildford, England, and was won by the United States over Canada by the score of 10-5.

Women's Professional Lacrosse League

The Women's Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL) is a women's lacrosse league in the United States. The league is composed of five teams: the Baltimore Brave, New England Command, New York Fight, Philadelphia Fire, and Upstate Pride. League play started on Saturday, June 2, 2018.

Women's lacrosse

Women's lacrosse (or girls' lacrosse), sometimes shortened to lax, is a sport with twelve players on each team. Originally played by indigenous peoples of the Americas, the modern women's game was introduced in 1890 at the St Leonard's School in St Andrews, Scotland. The rules of women's lacrosse differ significantly from men's field lacrosse.

The object of the game is to use a long-handled stick (known as a crosse or lacrosse stick) to catch, cradle, and pass a solid rubber lacrosse ball in an effort to score by hurling the ball into an opponent's goal. Cradling is when a player moves their wrists and arms in a semi-circular motion to keep the ball in the pocket of the stick's head using centripetal force. The head of the lacrosse stick has a mesh or leather net strung into it that allows the player to hold the ball. Defensively, the object is to keep the opposing team from scoring and to dispossess them of the ball through the use of stick checking and body positioning. The rules of women's lacrosse are different from the men's lacrosse game. Equipment required to play is also different from the men's. In the United States, women are only required to wear eyewear or lacrosse goggles and a mouth guard. Internationally, women are only required to wear a mouthguard, and have the option to play without protective goggles. The stick has restrictions too, as it must be a certain length and the pocket must be shallow enough to show the ball above the side when held at eye level.

At the collegiate level in the United States, lacrosse is represented by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which conducts three NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championships, one for each of its competitive divisions, each spring. Internationally, women's lacrosse has a thirty-one-member governing body called the Federation of International Lacrosse, which sponsors the Women's Lacrosse World Cup once every four years.

World Lacrosse Championship

The World Lacrosse Championship (WLC) is the international men's field lacrosse championship organized by the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) that occurs every four years.

The WLC began before any international lacrosse organization had been formed. It started as a four-team invitational tournament which coincided with Canada's centennial lacrosse celebration in 1967. Canada, the United States, Australia, and England participated. Seven years later, Australia celebrated its lacrosse centenary and another four-team invitational tournament was held between the same countries. After that tournament in 1974, the first international governing body for men's lacrosse was formed, the International Lacrosse Federation (ILF). The ILF merged with the women's governing body in 2008 to form the FIL.The USA has won the championship ten times and Canada the other three. The 2014 tournament in Denver featured a record thirty-eight competing nations. The 2018 WLC in Israel will be the first championship held outside of Australia, Canada, England and the United States.

Lacrosse
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