Varsity 2012: An Introduction to Lacrosse

20th March 2012

With Field Lacrosse entering its Varsity debut, here is a general background into the sport and its rules for those who may not be all too familiar with the “fastest sport on two feet”.

What is Field Lacrosse?
Field Lacrosse is an outside sport full contact sport. The aim of the game is to score a goal by hurling a rubber ball, using a lacrosse stick, into an opponent’s goal. It is known as the “fastest sport on two feet” due to the intense speed of the game. There are two other versions of Lacrosse: Box and women’s, all three having different rules. In major league Lacrosse games, the total playing time is sixty minutes. In high school/ college games, each quarter is 12 minutes instead of the fifteen in the M.L.L.

How many players are involved?
There are ten players in each team: One goal keeper, three defenders, three midfielders and three attackers. There must be four players in the defence zone and 3 players in the offense zone at all times.

– Main responsibility is to stop the opposition from scoring by directly defending its goal.
– The keepers have a surrounding area called the crease. Offensive players may not play the ball or make contact with the goalkeeper while he is in the crease. However, if a keeper leaves its crease, he loses these privileges.
– The keeper’s lacrosse stick is significantly larger than the outfield players and must also where a special chest protector for safety

– Main responsibility is to assist the keeper in preventing an opposition goal
– Defence-men also carry longer sticks which aids them in intercepting passes and checking
– Body positioning and checking are tactics used by defenders
– Checking: Trying to disposes the ball from the opposition through body or stick contact

– Contribute in both attacking and defensive duties
– Different midfield players have different specialities.
Eg. A face off midfielder: someone who takes most of the face offs

– Main aim is to score past the opponents goal
– Very rarely roam anywhere apart from the attacking zone

Rules of Field Lacrosse
– There must be four players in the defence zone and 3 players in the offense zone at all times.
– Players are not allowed to enter the crease with the goalkeeper present. If this occurs, the referee will call a foul and the ball is turned over to the opposition
– The field is divided into three sections; defence, midfield and attacking areas. They are separated by “restraining lines”. A right angle line is marked 10 yards from each sideline connecting each endline to the nearer restraining line, creating the “restraining box”. If the official believes the team in possession not to be moving with offensive purpose (“Stalling”), the possessing team must keep the ball within the offensive restraining box to avoid a loss-of-possession penalty
– Each play is started with a face off at the beginning of each quarter and after each goal. During the face off, the three attacking players and the opposing team’s defensive three occupy each offensive area. The midfield trio stays in the midfield zone. These players must stay in these areas until possession is earned by a midfielder or the ball crosses either restraining line.
– In the case of fouls, the offending player is sent to the penalty box for a short period of time.
– Personal fouls: more serious in nature and consist of a sixty second suspension. Such fouls include roughness, slashing, tripping, illegal body tripping, un-sportsmanship and equipment violations.
– Technical fouls: Violation of the playing rules and serves a thirty second suspension. Such fouls include: Off-sides and stalling.

World Lacrosse Championships
– This is lacrosse’s premium national competition
– The last competition, 2010, was held in Manchester England with the USA coming out on top
– USA, Canada and Australia have held the top three positions since the tournament began in 1967.

We caught up with Lacrosse 1st team captain Matt Twose ahead of the premier varsity match against Trent

Here is what he had to say about the match and how the season went