To the untrained eye, lacrosse can look like the violent bastardization of hockey and football.

When watching lacrosse for the first time, it is often difficult to follow the action on the field. Players look as though they are running aimlessly all over the place as the ball travels quickly up and down the field. Men’s lacrosse looks a lot like football or hockey in the air, while women observe strict rules about legal contact.

In men’s lacrosse there are 10 players on the field: three attackers, three midfielders, three defensemen and a goalkeeper.

Four men, including the goalie, must be in the defensive half of the field at all times, and three must stay in the offensive half.

The defensive players are responsible for protecting the goal and shutting down the other team’s offense. Their long sticks facilitate pass interceptions and checking to dislodge the ball. The goalie protects the goal and directs the defense, keeping a close eye on the field at all times.

Attack players can be spotted by their short sticks which enable better ball control. These players are responsible for scoring goals and must have great stick skills and agility.

This leaves three players, the midfielders, to cover the entire field. Violations of the rules result in an offside call, and the ball is turned over to the other team. The middies sprint from goal line to goal line, playing both offense and defense. They must be in excellent shape and able to support the defense and participate in offense.

Women’s lacrosse is slightly different. There are 12 players on the field: three attackers, five midfielders (two offensive, two defensive, one both), three defenders and a goalie.

There are two restraining lines, 30 yards from each goal line, which divide the field. No more than seven offensive players are allowed beyond the restraining line, leaving four players and the goalie behind it. When on defense, eight players, including the goalie, are allowed behind the restraining line, leaving four players in front of the line. The players not involved in play are responsible for making themselves open to clear returning loose balls into the offensive area.

The attackers are called homes and line up in a straight line from the opposing goal. The player closest to the goal is the first home, the next is the second home and the last is the third home. The homes work together to make cuts, set picks and score goals.

Two attack wings, two defensive wings and one center comprise the midfield. Two attack wings line up on the sides of the field and move the ball from defense to attack. One attack wing goes back on defense while one stays behind the restraining line to prevent offside violations. The two defensive wings assist the attack wings; one goes up and plays attack while one stays back. The center is responsible for the draw to start the game and plays both defense and attack. She must be in excellent shape and be able to play anywhere on the field.

The three defensive players are called point, coverpoint and third man. The point lines up closest to the goal with the coverpoint in front of her and the third man in front of the coverpoint. These players mark the opposing team’s home area and clear the ball out of the defensive area. Finally, the goalie protects the goal and directs the defense.

Advertisement ‘; dc.writeln(”); if(navigator.appName.indexOf(‘Mic’)<=0){dc.writeln(u+”);} dc.writeln(”); // –> SECTIONS: Front Page | News | Sports | Opinion | The Guide   . . Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions | Rights and Permissions |Set as Home Page Questions or comments about this site should be directed to Copyright c 1998-2005, The Hoya, Georgetown University. All rights reserved.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.