It’s called the oldest sport in North America, but for many average U.S. sports fans, especially in the South, lacrosse is a mystery. Here’s a primer on some lacrosse basics:
• Lacrosse teams consist of ten players: three attack, three midfielders, three defenders and one goalie.
Lacrosse games vary in length depending on the level and age of players. College games consist of four 15-minute quarters.
• You may hear someone use the term “crosse”: This is another name for the most basic piece of equipment, the lacrosse stick, which players use to catch, carry and pass the ball.
• The lacrosse ball is about eight inches in circumference and weighs about five ounces. It’s made of hard rubber and is typically white, although sometimes yellow or other colors can be used.
• The object of the game is simple: offensive players use their stick to catch, carry and pass the ball up and down the field to shoot the ball into their opponent’s goal. Defensive players must keep the opposing team from scoring and get the ball away from the other team through the use of body-checking (men’s game only) and stick-checking (used in men’s game, only form of checking technically allowed in women’s game).
• Differences between the men’s and women’s game: While the object of the game remains the same – moving the ball up and down the field to score goals – the men’s and women’s games differ dramatically in style. Men’s lacrosse allows much more physical contact than the women’s game, including body-checking and stick-checking. This is why men wear helmets and more padding. Most women wear only mouthpieces and goggles, although some players also wear gloves and other protection as needed. Their lacrosse sticks are also different, down to the size and depth of the net. Check the U.S. Lacrosse Web site noted below for more detailed differences in rules between the men’s and women’s game.
Are you or your kids interested in learning more about lacrosse?
Registration for Youth Lacrosse, age seven to 15, is underway at Pepper Geddings Recreation Center in Myrtle Beach. Practices and games will occur on fields at Crabtree Memorial Gym and Pepper Geddings Recreation Center, with some travel games. The youth sports fee is $15 for city residents and $75 for non-city residents. Call 918-2280 for more information.
The Myrtle Beach “Super Sabres” are a coed lacrosse club team open to all regardless of ability. Check ‘em out on Facebook or call 796-0536.
On the Web:
• The U.S. Lacrosse site is an information clearinghouse with everything you could want to know about the sport of lacrosse in the United States, including history, rules and breaking news: www.uslacrosse.org
• South Carolina Lacrosse is the state page of U.S. lacrosse, includes breaking news about the sport around the state and a comprehensive list of youth, college and adult clubs, teams and leagues: www.sclacrosse.com
• For comprehensive information about the new women’s lacrosse program at Coastal Carolina University including detailed team bios, schedules and game coverage: http://www.goccusports.com/sports/w-lacros/coas-w-lacros-body.html
Christina Knauss, for Weekly Surge