Asked by: Hey Nick! I am a recent fan of lacrosse. My sister's boyfriend plays in college and loves the game very much!
Question: I am wondering what the basics of lacrosse are that an amateur like me should know? I would love to be able to have a dialogue about it and understand what is going on while I watch!
Answer from Nick: Hi Kylie, thank you so much for your submission and I hope I can help answer your question the best way I know how-the lax way!
Lacrosse can be confusing to someone who isn't quite sure on what is going on but if looked at as a whole it is actually pretty simple.
A game has ten players from each team- 3 attack, 3 midfields, 3 defensemen (they use the 6 foot stick which is also called a long pole) and 1 goalie. Sometimes one of the midfield players will be replaced by another defense man with a long stick but is called long stick midfield (LSM). The names of the players indicate their jobs - the attack are trying to score points, the defensemen are supposed to defend the goal and the midfields play both ends of the field and help get the ball from one side to the other.
In the youth game, the middies play both offense and defense but as the game becomes more sophisticated, often teams will have two lines of midfield players who are substituted in depending on if the team is playing offense or defense.
A game starts with a faceoff at the middle of the field to decide who gains possession. Once the face off is complete, the ball goes into one team's offensive or defensive zone. Importantly, only six of the players from one team can be on one side of the field at a time, so three always have to hang back on the inactive side.
A game of lacrosse is four quarters and based on the level of play quarts are between 8-15 minutes long. Once time runs out the team who scored the most goals is the winner.
That is the basics of lacrosse so now when you watch a game it will help clear up any confusion you had! If you want to learn more basics I recommend you take a look at the book Lacrosse For Dummies - I'm not suggesting you are a dummie - but it really helps break down the basics!
Thank you for your question Kylie and keep on laxing!