Lacrosse is a game that is fun to watch and extremely physical when playing and served a vital purpose during its beginning.
The game came basically to prepare men for war, and in some countries, lacrosse was played with up to 1,000 people at once. However, keep reading to get some insights on how to play lacrosse.
There are ten players in each team, out of which one is a goalie or a goalkeeper, three are defenders, three midfielders, and three attackers. Each player must carry a lacrosse stick that measures up to 40 inches in length.
- Starting the Match
Immediately the referee blows the whistle; the players must use their body and lacrosse sticks to get possession of the ball. The conflicting specialists make an effort to get the ball like plunger moves, pushes, clamps, and sweeps. Plunger move is an action where one player uses the end side of the lacrosse stick to push the ball in front.
At first, after every quarter, and once after every goal, the game resumes again with a face-off.
During the face-off period, one player from both teams places their lacrosse stick horizontally close to the ball. The upper end of the stick is placed near the ball, and one of the player clamps the ball then flicks it away to his teammates.
At this time, only the midfielders have the permit to move around the field in an attempt to get the ball. The defenders and the attackers should remain fixed in their boxes until the referee calls possession or another person picks up the ball.
When the ball gets inside the restraining box before the referee announces the possession, the defenders and attackers have permission to pick up the ball, but they still can’t go away until they get the ball. Only the goalkeeper can touch the ball using their hands. No other player can do so. You can also kick the ball to some extent if you get a chance to score a goal.
The defenders and attackers shouldn’t cross the line unless one of the players from the midfield receives the ball or even the ball crosses the restraining line itself. Once a player touches the ball, and the ball moves out of the field, then the match resumes through giving the opposing team the ball and allowing them to continue with the play.
- Game Substitution
During the match, if your team has to substitute a player, they can freely do it by allowing the substitute in and the player out. The substitution process only takes place around the designated area known as “the box” according to the game rules.
- Game Duration
A lacrosse game is played in four quarters of equal time. Collegiate and professional matches are played in a total of 60 minutes. In other words, they get up to 15 minutes for every quarter of the match. Other scholastic level matches can run up to 48 minutes with 12 minutes on each quarter.
When the game comes to an end in a tie at the end of the quarters, a “sudden death” can finalize it. These are five-minute overtime periods under which a game continues until one of the teams becomes the winner by scoring a goal. The overtime duration starts with a face-off.
Once a player from either team commits a foul, the referee will send him to the penalty box found between each team’s bench. Then the match goes on without this player for the time given by the referee immediately after the foul.
Some penalties can be released, which means that the penalty comes to an end immediately the other team secures a goal. Furthermore, a 30-second penalty occurs once a player does a technical foul like hiding the ball or playing offside.
Additionally, a 60-second penalty takes place once the player does a personal foul. In case a player uses a different stick apart from lacrosse, there is a 3 minutes non-resealable penalty.
How to Play Lacrosse Defense
Step 1: Find a Defensive Position
The first rule that any player on both teams gets about playing lacrosse is learning how to be in the “ready” position. Even if they are on or off the ball, the players should be in a balanced and athletic position. This position assists the defender to get rid of the tendency to stand flatfooted.
Step 2: Remain Focused on the Offensive Player
Immediately you have an established and solid defensive standpoint; the next thing to do is attacking the offensive player on their hips. You can do this by positioning the stick on the opponent’s hip area.
When holding a stick towards your opponent, it gives you a reduced space to pass through to the goal. Furthermore, it’s embarrassing to distract a ball carrier from work at hand.
Step 3: Check on the Spacing
It’s vital for you as a defender to concentrate on where you are standing. It’s essential to be near but not that close to your offensive player. A bigger space will provide the ball carrier with a nice opportunity to shoot, dodge, or pass the ball.
However, if your defensive positioning is so close, the opponent will leave you in the dust using one quick move towards the goal.
Step 4: Understand Where the Ball is Throughout
Whether the ball is on the opposite side of the field or behind the goal, you must know where it is throughout. This tactic is among the basics of a nice defense.
After that, you can adjust and establish a few defensive positioning between the ball and the opponent. With a nice spacing, it’s simpler to guard an opponent then give help to your teammates.
Step 5: Push The Other Players to the end Sides of the Field
Your primary job as a defender is to protect the goal. This begins with defensive positioning before the ball gets closer. Your body position should motivate the offensive player to get down the allies far from the mid of the field.
Step 6: Prepare for the Second Play
A nice defense should never result in a takeaway. After every shot or pass, you should adjust to your position then prepare for the next play. The defense doesn’t win championships automatically. All players must understand how to play the game effectively.
David Nilsen is the former editor of Fourth & Sycamore. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can find more of his writing on his website at davidnilsenwriter.com and follow him on Twitter as @NilsenDavid.