Lacrosse originated in North America and was confined to that region for a long time. The speed and excitement of lacrosse, however, has made it popular around the world. In the beginning, lacrosse was played mostly in Canada and the USA (plus a few places in the United Kingdom and Australia). Today, however, you can watch lacrosse games in a good number of cities in Europe and East Asia.
Every four years a World Championship of lacrosse is held. The highest international tournament for lacrosse, it holds competitions in four categories: Senior Men, Senior Women, Men under 19 and Women under 19. Up until 1986, participation in the World Championship was limited to teams from the United States, Canada, England and Australia (with women’s teams from Scotland and Wales). Reflecting the burgeoning popularity of lacrosse, the 2006 World Championship had 26 countries fielding teams and the 2009 Women’s World Championship saw 16 countries participating.
To get the full satisfaction out of playing the lacrosse game, you need to know lacrosse history. The lacrosse game was started by Native Americans as early as the 5th century. A French Jesuit missionary first wrote about it after he saw Iroquois tribesmen playing it in 1637. He called it “la crosse” after the stick used in the game.
Historically, a team could have anywhere from 100 to 1,000 players on a field that could be 500 yards or several miles long. The games could last from 2 to 3 days, sunup to sundown. The lacrosse game was part of the religious life of the peoples who played it, assuming the role of warriors with the goal of bringing honor and glory to the tribe. To give this goal a deeper, religious meaning, the lacrosse game became part of a ritual to honor the Creator and came to be called “The Creator’s Game”.
A lacrosse goal, measuring 6 feet by 6 feet inside a circular area 18 feet in diameter, is not an easy target in a lacrosse game. The measurements of a lacrosse goal remain the same for both men’s and women’s lacrosse. In box lacrosse, however, the lacrosse goal is traditionally 4 feet by 4 feet, although in the National Lacrosse League it measures 4.6 feet wide by 4 feet tall.
A good way to get comfortable with a lacrosse goal is to build one. There are many kinds of lacrosse goals from portable ones to small practice goals intended for accuracy training. A portable lacrosse goal has its drawbacks because it moves when a player runs into it or it gets hit hard by the ball. It is better to build a lacrosse goal that fits into holes in the ground and cannot be dislodged. Here’s how you can build a portable one.
- Measure and cut 3 metal pipes 6 feet in length.
- Connect the pipes at the upper corners to form the entrance or frame of the goal.
Putting aside the differences between men’s and women’s lacrosse, there are several variations to the lacrosse game. There’s field lacrosse and box lacrosse. There’s also collegiate lacrosse and international lacrosse. All of these have differences in rules and procedures which one must be familiar with in order to appreciate the entirety of the sport or of a specific type.
Men’s field lacrosse is the most physically demanding form of the lacrosse game requiring superb fitness, excellent stick handling and smooth eye-hand coordination. Each team has 10 players: 1 goalie, 3 defenders, 3 midfielders and 3 attackers. The goalie’s role is to prevent the opposing team’s ball from entering the goal. The defenders are there to stop the opposing team’s attackers from attempting to make a goal; the midfielders help with the defense and set up the play for a goal attempt by getting the ball to the attackers while the attackers are responsible for making the attempts to score by getting the ball into the opposing team’s goal.