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Getting into Lacrosse Answered

Today in gym class we "played" lacrosse, and by play, I mean we threw and caught the ball. Still, it was mucho fun-o! I think I would like to play lacrosse, or at least get into it more. I seemed to excel today, and I do like contact sports. The problem is, I don't have much training in lacrosse. I do know that it is similar to hockey, both in field and rules. Another thing is that my (future) high school does not have a lacrosse team. Only 2 of the 4 high schools in my county have one. I could play for rec, but what I am thinking is: Do you think I could get my high school to support a lacrosse team? So, everyone (and by everyone, I mean you, Brenn10), do you think you could help me out learning about lacrosse? What do I need to get started and practice? Do any certain body sizes excel at lacrosse more than others? Thanks, Bran!

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Once I saw this topic, I was hooked!

First off, it is absolutely awesome you are interested in lacrosse, but it is a shame that your school does not sponsor a team. Maybe gather a group of about 20-30 guys, find an adult who can coach, and try to get authorization from your administration.

So for beginning lacrosse players, there is a lot to talk about. First off, you have to choose the position that you want to play. Attack/Middie or Defense.

Midfield (aka Middie): Must be in decent shape, as they run up and down the field, playing offense and defense. At higher levels there are offensive midfielders and defensive midfielders. For offense, you use the short stick.

Attack (Position that I play): Offensive position, need some speed and quickness to dodge defensemen and defending the defense clearing the ball.

Defense: Speed, strength, size. Lots of defenders are fairly big, and strong.

Different body sizes can excel at different positions, but through experience it really depends how you play, regardless of your size. I have seen 250lb attackmen on varsity, and 120lb attackmen on varsity.

Gear:
Helmet: for a beginner, I would choose a relatively inexpensive helmet. Once you get into higher level lacrosse, you usually buy helmets matching your team's colors and all that. This helmet is good for beginners.

Gloves: This is preference really. I have the STX I-Pro, because it is what my team uses, and they are customized with our team logo. Warrior Hypno Gloves

Cup: Necessity, wherever you play. You must protect your family jewels. : )

Arm Pads: This depends on your position. Defensemen usually wear smaller arm pads because they are not checked as often as an attackman or midfielder.

Shoulder pads: Same thing applies with the arm pads. I have larger shoulder pads for attack, but it is preference and where you choose to play.

Rib pads: Optional, but it is common for attackmen to wear them to protect against checks to the ribs.

There is certainly a lot more to say, so feel free to keep asking away.

Thanks for the response! Are the shoulder pads lacrosse-specific, or are they the same as football ones? Do lacrosse sticks have metal shafts? The ones at my school are just plastic, but they probably are just cheap ones. If you have any tips for cradling the ball, I'll be sure to try those out tomorrow! Is the stick length proportional to your height? Do many fights break out, as in hockey? I'll be working on finding lacrosse-minded people who are going to my future high school, and see if they want to help get a team started. I think I may be more defense-oriented. Do they use the long stick? Thanks again!

Most shafts are metal. Some fights break out (someone on my team once punched a defenseman.) Yes, defense uses a long stick, and it is very fun (that is what i play)

Are the shoulder pads lacrosse-specific, or are they the same as football ones?
Yes, the shoulder pads are lacrosse specific. Check out online lacrosse shops, most have a wide selection.

Do lacrosse sticks have metal shafts? The ones at my school are just plastic, but they probably are just cheap ones.
Most lacrosse players use metal shafts. There are composite shafts and wood shafts, but I would stick to metal. The ones at your school are probably extremely cheap.

For Cradling- Well to start off, do not spin your stick. It is a terrible habit to get in to.
(I found this on a lacrosse forum, it is perfect for beginners)
To perform a two handed cradle, you first need to have your stick in the correct cradling position: your top hand (the hand you write with, although you will later want to try it with the other hand) on the top of the shaft, near the throat of the stick (see diagram above). With your other hand, make an “okay” sign (a circle formed with your thumb and pointer finger) and place your hand near the bottom of the shaft. Very lightly wrap your fingers around the shaft.
Now here is the confusing part. Make sure that you are holding your stick with your top hand’s palms under the stick and its fingers above it (opposite for bottom hand.) Now lift up the stick towards you with your top hand in the same way you would do a bicep curl with a weight, and, at the same time, use your top hand’s wrist to pull the stick towards you.
Halfway through your cradle, the of your stick should be in the same place it was when you started your cradle- only upside down. Now bring your stick back to its original position and repeat the process.
There are three main types of cradles:
Two Handed Horizontal Cradle- done with your sting near your hip and parallel to the ground. Done in an open field position.
Two Handed Vertical Cradle- done with the head of your stick next to the head of your body- act like you are “listening” to the stick. This cradle is most often used before a pass, shot, or doge or in defensive traffic (lots of people/crowding)
One Handed Cradle- this requires perfect cradling form: use just your top hand and, keeping the stick perpendicular (+, vertical) perform the same movement you would with a normal cradle with only your top hand.

Is the stick length proportional to your height? There are certain regulations you have to abide by for the position you play and the length of the stick you use. If you buy your shaft directly from a store, you are perfectly fine. You probably will not have to trim down your shaft, I suggest once you buy it, keep it the way it is.

Do many fights break out, as in hockey?
Fights do not usually break out, only occasionally. The referees and coaches break it up straight away and you are usually ejected from the game.

I think I may be more defense-oriented. Do they use the long stick? Yes, defensemen use the long stick.

If you have any more questions about rules and subjects of that manner, give me a shout, I am happy to share the knowledge I know.

Ah, thanks! Just from looking at what skills certain players have, can you tell what position would be best suited for them? What do you look for? What do you need for your team, or, what does and doesn't the school supply? Mouthguards are required, right? Do defensemen deliver the greatest amount of contact? If not, who does? When goalies block a shot, do they pass it to a nearby player, or do they lob it downfield in a soccer-fashion? How many people are on a lacrosse team, and how many play at any given time? How long is the game, and how is it broken up? (Halves? Periods? Quarters?) I may think of some more questions. Thanks again!

Just from looking at what skills certain players have, can you tell what position would be best suited for them? What do you look for?Typically on my team, we have the athletic kids with not very good stick skills play defensive short stick midfield. But with practice, anyone can become an attackman or midfielder. I suggest throwing against a big wall, lots of times. It is the classic way to develop better skills. Plus, the wall never misses. ;p

What do you need for your team, or, what does and doesn't the school supply? You will definitely need lacrosse balls. Lost of stores sell a bucket of about 100 of them. You will need practice pinnies to separate offense and defense.

Mouthguards are required, right? Yes, you must have a mouthguard or you get a penalty. And it has to be in your mouth at all times.

Do defensemen deliver the greatest amount of contact? If not, who does? Usually the defensemen are the most physical, yes. Because if they are not, then your opponent will easily get by you.

When goalies block a shot, do they pass it to a nearby player, or do they lob it downfield in a soccer-fashion? Great question. This depends on how the attackmen are "riding", which is when they defend the clear. Sometimes the goalie walks it up to the mid-line, sometimes they pass it off to a defender close by, or make a long pass to a midfielder making a cut to the ball or something like that.

How many people are on a lacrosse team, and how many play at any given time? My varsity team has 30 players, but for a beginning squad, you probably need only about 20-25. 10 play at a time. 3attack, 3 mid, 3 d, 1 goalie.

How long is the game, and how is it broken up? (Halves? Periods? Quarters?) This depends on the league, but for a regular outdoor game it is usually 12 minute quarters. About a 5-8 minute halftime, and a couple minutes in between quarters.

If you have any more questions, ask away.

Looking at the field, it seems an attacker could come from behind a goal and shoot. Is this legal? If a player gets a penalty, is the player given a time penalty, as in hockey, or something else? How good is your team? Do players change out whenever possible, or only during timeouts or when the ball goes out of bounds? Does your school have a female team? Who faces off? (As in, what position) Thanks so much!

Looking at the field, it seems an attacker could come from behind a goal and shoot. Is this legal? Yes, there is an area behind the net known as "X". However, around the net, there is a circle called a crease, which the attack cannot enter. If you step into it, you lose possession.

If a player gets a penalty, is the player given a time penalty, as in hockey, or something else?
Yes, there are 1:00 and :30 penalties.

How good is your team? We are a young team this year, but we have lots of skilled players, so it is up in the air how well we will do.

Do players change out whenever possible, or only during timeouts or when the ball goes out of bounds?
Yes, in lacrosse you can change on the fly. During play, when you substitute, the player on the field must get off before the new player must go on. However, if the ball is out of bounds on the 2 sidelines, you can change whole lines. As well as timeouts and that stuff you can sub as well.

Does your school have a female team? Yea we do, they used to be like 10th in the nation.

Who faces off? (As in, what position) The center midfielder faces off. After each goal and the start of each quarter there is a face-off.

? We are a young team this year, but we have lots of skilled players, so it is up in the air how well we will do.

So, lacrosse is a spring sport?

Do you have any special trick shots that you do?

How do you play the ball when it goes out of bounds?

What are some common illegal defensive maneuvers, besides slashing, cross-checking, and holding?

Thanks 'gain!

We have young players with not a ton of experience on the varsity level, so it may be a building year for us.

Yea, lacrosse is a spring sport.

Do you have any special trick shots that you do? I have never attempted one in the game, but you can do a behind the back goal. Youtube, there are so good ones.

How do you play the ball when it goes out of bounds? On shots, the closest person to the ball gets the ball, but if you drop the ball out of bounds, or pass it and it goes out, the other team starts with it where the ball went out.

What are some common illegal defensive maneuvers, besides slashing, cross-checking, and holding? If you hit your stick on their helmet, it is a penalty. Try to keep your stick away fro their face. When going for a ground ball, do not push the opponent in the back. This is also a penalty. Only push them if you see their numbers. There are high hits, tripping, moving picks, offsides, and failure to advance. That is where you don't clear the ball past the halfline in your possession in less than 20 seconds. Also, for offense, there is an area called the box, and you have to get inside the box within 10 seconds or it is failure to advance. All you have to do it touch in, and touch out, but when you touch out, the 10 seconds begins again.

hahaha you posted while i was typing...

yes, lacrosse is a spring sport when the ball goes out of bounds from a shot (as in the shooter misses the goal, nobody touches it after the shot and it goes out of bounds) then the closest person to the ball when it goes out gets possession. If it is not a shot that puts the ball out of bounds(dropped catch, pushed out of bounds, dropped ball) then the other team gets possession(as in, say a player from the white team is the last to touch it and it goes out, the black team would gain possession) the most common illegal procedure for defensemen is probably slash. this mean hitting (with the stick) anywhere in the head or legs. a slash can also be called if you are swinging at them un-controllably. un-sportsman-like conduct is called on defensemen alot because we tend to get pissed when someone sets a pic on us or we get hit with the ball. cross-checking gets called alot but most of the times it gets called theres no way to see because youre hands are between your body and the other players body, unless you run up to the person with your hands 3 feet apart on your stick then you probably wont get it called. holding doesnt get called alot in the highschool and above level because almost everyone is moving too fast to get "held" unless you grab onto their jersey or something. off-sides tends to get called alot on an un-experienced team when they clear the ball(the defensive player either run or pass to ball to the offensive side of the field) off-sides is when you have less then 4 people on your side(the side your goalie is on) of the field. penalties can run from 30 seconds al the way to 3 minutes. if your penatly is deserving of more then 3 minutes then the Ref's will either expell you from the quarter or the entire game. the BEST thing to do to get better at lacrosse is wallball. stand about 3 yards away from a wall, focus on one spot on the wall and toss the ball at it and then catch. do this over and over again. ALSO, thuis is VERYVERYVERY important. if you are just starting out with lacrosse practice with your offhand as much as your good hand!!! being fluent with both hands will get you onto a varsity team(in most cases) even if you have only played for a couple of months.

I would like to play midfield so what do they do and how phyical are they

I wish we had a lacrosse team... It looks fun...

Do you have an idea of what position you would like to play? From there I can really give you more specific answers.