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The GFORCE Guide to… Lacrosse!

Added 05 Apr 2018 by GFORCE

In our latest GForce Guide to… we take a look at the sport of lacrosse.
Nicknamed ‘the fastest game on two feet’, lacrosse or simply lax is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, and is proving a hit after spreading across from the United States.

Similar to ice hockey and standard hockey, every lacrosse player wields a lacrosse stick, which they use to carry, pass, and shoot a small lacrosse ball into a goal. What sets the game apart is the crosse, aka the stick, which is basically a staff equipped with a piece of netting that players can use to catch and carry the ball.
The most commonly played version of lacrosse, field lacrosse, has 10 players on each team: one goalie, three defensemen, three midfielders and three attackmen. The four defensive players must remain in the defensive half of the field, and the three attackers are bound to the offensive half, with the three midfielders allowed to roam the whole pitch.
Simply the team that scores the most goals in the match wins, with four 15-minute quarters just like in field hockey and ice hockey.

Lacrosse games are very high-paced and competitive with players in constant movement, running, dodging and flipping the ball to teammates. It’s a contact sport; players can legally block or use their shoulders to knock the ball carrier to the ground. Players wear protective gear including helmets and shoulder pads, but the game is good-natured. In a unique little ceremony at the start of every game, each player introduces themselves to an opponent, shakes hands and wishes them luck!

Lacrosse actually has four versions; field lacrosse, box lacrosse which is played indoors with smaller teams, women’s lacrosse and inter crosse. Each has slightly different rules such as women’s lacrosse having a non-contact rule, but the core of the game remains the same.

The game of lacrosse was first played by North Americans all the way back in the 17th century. Tribes from what is now modern New York took part, often with 100s of players on the field at once. When a French missionary called Jean de Brebeuf witnessed the game, he called it la crosse, ‘the stick’ in French!
Since then lacrosse has become a feature in American high-schools and universities, and become popular across Europe as well. And the sport’s made its mark in the UK. Last year at the Lacrosse World Cup, England women’s team won a dramatic bronze medal after coming from 9-5 down to Australia to win 10-9.

Lacrosse has featured briefly at the Olympics in the past, and there is real potential that it will make its return someday soon. Until then, give it a go!

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