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  • One of the oldest sports in the world, lacrosse was first played by the Iroquois of North America many centuries ago. By the 1900’s it was being played in schools all over the United States and Canada. Eventually the game evolved into four major types: intercrosse, box lacrosse, men’s field lacrosse and, the subject of the latest in’s How To Play series: women’s lacrosse.

    See How to Play video below.

    1—How Do You Do (It)?

    While one of your teammates protects your goal, you and 10 others try to pass a hard rubber ball across the field and into the opponents’ goal. You carry out this attack using a stick with a mesh pocket at its end. If the ball is passed to you, you cradle it in the pocket—by moving it back and forth and twisting it—to keep it from the opposing players. If you are not on the attack you stay behind a restraining line, ready to play defense. While playing defense you try to gain possession of the ball by stick checking and body positioning.

    2—Follow The Rules

    Play cannot start before a draw which starts on the field’s center circle. Two players face each other with the backs of their sticks facing forward, teammates standing with them. The ball is placed between the two sticks, but a grab cannot be made for it until the whistle blows. Play is then underway. Watch how you check your opponent! It can only be done using the side of the stick. Moves like pushing, blocking and illegal cradling are also prohibited. These and other fouls, major and minor, result in various penalties.

    3—Or, Pay The Price

    If you commit a foul, you will be moved back on the field, usually four meters. It is even worse if you commit a major foul within the arcs or the fans, located on each side of the field. When that happens the opposing team regains possession and has a direct path to the goal. Lacrosse also has cards for penalties incurred: a green card to your captain for delaying a game, a yellow card which removes you from the game for three minutes, and a red card, which means you will be ejected from the game.

    4—Who, What, Wear

    Since women’s lacrosse is less physical than other forms of the game, the only protective equipment you are required to wear are a mouth guard and a face guard or goggles. The pocket of your stick is shallower than that of a men’s stick, which means the ball is harder to catch, cradle and shoot. Lastly, leave your jewelry at home, ladies. It’s not allowed.

    5—Time Is On Your Side

    You will play for two 30 minute halves (25 minutes if you’re in high school). For most of the game the clock does not stop, except after goals in US games. Only during the game’s last two minutes does the clock stop, when the referee blows the whistle. Be prepared for time to fly in this exciting, thrilling game.

    Click the Screen below to see the How to Play Lacrosse video.

    Sports: It's A Female Thing!


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