Introduction: Men's Lacrosse; an Overview

About: I'm back!

Men's Lacrosse is currently one of the fastest growing sports in America. It was origionally played by Native Americans, and it was dubbed "La' Crosse" when European explorers saw thier sticks (which resembled the cross.) Today it is very popular on the East Coast of the US.

Lacrosse culture is unlike that of any other sport. There is just something about it that makes it so fun and unique. Many laxers like to wear bright colored clothes, with strange designs on them. Hair is kept long (you gotta keep the flow going.) And in lacrosse, all other laxers are your bros. It offers a real connection, and just wearing the ridiculous shorts ( and socks starts many conversations with other players. It is kind of hard to describe, but all in all, lacrosse is about wearing whatever you want to, and doing whatever you. In what other sport do you see a guy in pink argyle shorts rocking out on a keytar and throwing out waffles? (

Step 1: Large Equipment

-one of the most important pieces of equipment
-protect your hands from checks
-vary in price from approx. $30-$200+
-should be flexible and well fitting, but protective

Shoulder Pads:
-protect your upper body from checks
-will protect you from a stray pass or shot
-vary in price from approx. $30-$170
-should not restrict your range of motion

Arm Pads:
-will protect your arms from legal checks
-vary in price from approx. $15-$120
-should not prevent you from bending your arm
-should be somewhat confortable
-usually diffferentiate between right and left

-the most important piece of protective equipment
-vary in price from approx. $80-$250
-should not be too loose or too tight
-a good firm fit is best

-just like any other shoes
-pick whichever ones feel best

Step 2: Small Equipment

-they refs will not let you play without a mouthguard
-can keep you from getting knocked unconscious
-don't you want to save your teeth???

Below the Belt Protection (aka a cup):
-well, we all know it hurts to get hit there
-you don't want to get hit there
-therefore, wear a cup

Step 3: Goalie Equipment

Goalies have to have extra protective equipment because they are guarding the goal and have to face shots. Lacrosse balls are solid rubber, and they can do some serious damage if you get hit by one going that fast. Paul Rabil holds the record for the worlds fastest shot, at 111 miles per hour. I cannot give in depth descriptions of the goalie gear, as I simply don't know much about it. Goalies should have

-shin guards are optional
-extra chest and kidney pads
-a throat protector
-you may want goalie gloves, as they provide extra padding
-a goalie stick

Go DU!

Step 4: Positions

-stays one one side of the field
-stays by opponets goalie
-use short sticks

-generally use short sticks (see LSM)
-also known as "middie"
-take face offs
-can run anywhere on the field
-offensive and defensive

-use long poles
-play (you guessed it) defensively
-guard thier own goal
-stay one one side of the field (the side of thier goal)
-may run acros the midfield line IF a midfielder stays behind to take thier place

-uses a goalie stick
-generally stays in his crease (circle around goal) but comes out for clears
-can also run across midfield line IF a midfielder stays back to take his place
-blocks shots
-plays defensively
-relies heavily on his defenseman

-stands for "long stick middie"
-coaches can replace one regular middie with an LSM, totalling 4 long poles
-the LSM can go anywhere on the field, just like any other middie

(these pictures aren't mine)

Step 5: Parts of the Stick

Lacrosse sticks have three main parts.

The shaft is the actual stick part of a lacrosse stick. They are made from a variety of materials including aluminum, titanium, scandium, and alloy. My main stick is made from scandium and titanium.

The head is the part of the stick that holds the pocket. Heads have many different qualities that are different from head to head. Some heads are very flexible, and some are stiff. Some are really pinched, and some aren't. There are so many different hears, you should really just ask an expert before buying one.

The pocket is the mesh inside of the head. It consists of mesh (held in place by nylon sidewalls) and shooting strings. There are many different configurations of shooting strings (some people like to use nylon as a shooting string, like me) so you should try a few and see what feels best. Look here for how to put in a shooting string: The guy in the video is really good. At some point, you should learn how to string up a stick. It is good to have a deep pocket, but you dont want it to be illegal. Look at the first picure below. If that ball was any lower than the bottom-most part of the head, it would be illegal.

Step 6: Types of Lacrosse Sticks

Short Sticks:
-used by attack and middie
-official regulations on next step
-use a regular head

Long Poles:
-used by defense and LSM
-are longer to make checking easier, and to keep more distance
-use a regular head
-official regulations are on next step

Goalie Sticks:
-use special goalie heads, that are larger than regular heads
-used only by the goalie
-official regulations are on next step

Step 7: Official Regulations

National Lacrosse League
For the National Lacrosse League, which is an indoor league, the stick length must be between 42 and 46 inches in length, except for the goalie's stick. The goalie's stick must have an overall length of between 40 and 72 inches. The maximum width of the goalie stick must be no more than 13 inches. For other sticks, the width must be between 4 1/2 inches and 7 inches.

NCAA Men's Lacrosse
The attack players and midfield players have lacrosse sticks with shorter length requirements than defensive players. These shorter sticks must have an overall length of between 40 and 42 inches. The head, which contains the ball-cradling mesh, can be no wider than 10 inches. The defensive players have sticks than must measure between 52 and 72 inches in length. The goalie's stick must measure between 40 and 72 inches.

NCAA Women's Lacrosse
Mesh pockets are not allowed in NCAA women's lacrosse. Instead, they use sticks that have heads with ball-cradling pockets made from strips of leather or synthetic thongs. These thongs are then cross-laced with eight to 12 stitches. The overall length of the sticks must be between 35.5 inches and 43.25 inches.

High School Lacrosse
High school lacrosse rules are dictated by state rules but generally follow NCAA rules. There is a National Federation of State High School Associations. This federation helps to coordinate rules. They also have different length requirements for different age group leagues. In the Lightning and Bantam divisions, the sticks are 37 to 40 inches in length for attack players and midfield players, and the sticks are between 37 and 72 inches in length for defensive players.

The ball used in lacrosse is constructed with a hard rubber material that is 8 inches in circumference and weighs 5 ounces. The ball can be thrown and shot with high velocities, so it is important to wear approved safety equipment when playing lacrosse.

Step 8: Warning

Lacrosse is a really fun sport, but it is also very dangerous. Be careful, and keep it legal. Otherwise, somebody could get really injured. A person on my previous team (our 2012 Spartans team won one tournament, and won seconed in another) hit another kid to hard that the game ended and an ambulance was called in. Play it safe.