Asked by: Amanda from Buffalo NY whose sons just started to play box lax this winter.
Question: I was wondering - why do they let you cross check in box lax? Why is it a penalty in field lacrosse but is ok in box lax? And is it ok in box lax for all players or just some over specific ages or in specific leagues?
Answer from Nick: Hi Amanda!
That is awesome that both your sons are playing box lacrosse and especially in upstate New York. Depending on how far away you are, I would definitely recommend a trip to the Onondonga Nation and take a look at their field house they built for the world indoor games. This will be a great chance to meet professional players and get even more tips.
Box lacrosse is a different game, in some aspects, when compared to the outdoor game. Some calls and plays are legal in box lacrosse when they are not in field lacrosse.
Cross checking is a tricky call because it will be called when a player is cross checked in the head. That said, cross checking is legal in box lacrosse when it is to the body. This is driven by two things: the small spaces and padding.
In box lacrosse a player doesn't have much room to run and play defense due to how small the field is and getting stuck in the middle. So while a cross check to the head is still a penalty, if it is to the body it will be allowed due to spacing the player has.
And then there's the padding. Box lacrosse shoulder pads are more protective than outdoor gear because they cover more of the arms and back. This is why cross check to the body is legal.
In comparison, in the outdoor game there is much more room and the pads do not cover up the arms as much which is why crosschecking is illegal in the outdoor game.
Growing through the youth game, players are taught not to cross check. Only when a player signs for a professional or even amateur league do they gain the advantage to use cross checking but - only in box lacrosse.
I hope this helped and that your two sons dominate the war on the floor! Thanks for your question!