The Edmonds Lacrosse Club offers lacrosse for girls in grades 3-12.
Click here to view the US Lacrosse fitting guide for gear
Click here to view the 2017 WA Girls Lacrosse rules
HISTORY OF LACROSSE (from www.uslacrosse.org)
Lacrosse, considered to be America's first sport, was born of the North American Indian, christened by the French, and adopted and raised by the Canadians. Modern lacrosse has been embraced by athletes and enthusiasts of the United States and the British Commonwealth for over a century.
The sport of lacrosse is a combination of basketball, soccer, and hockey. Anyone can play lacrosse--the big or the small. The game requires and rewards coordination and agility, not brawn. Quickness and speed are two high prized qualities in lacrosse. An exhilarating sport, lacrosse is fast-paced and full of action. Long sprints up and down the field with abrupt starts and stops, precision passes and dodges are routine in men's and women's lacrosse. Lacrosse is played with a stick, the crosse, which must be mastered by the player to throw, catch and scoop the ball.
With a history that spans centuries, lacrosse is the oldest sport in North America. Rooted in Native American religion, lacrosse was often played to resolve conflicts, heal the sick, and develop strong, virile men. To Native Americans, lacrosse is still referred to as "The Creator's Game".
Ironically, lacrosse also served as a preparation for war. Legend tells of as many as 1,000 players per side, from the same or different tribes, who took turns engaging in a violent contest. Contestants played on a field from one to fifteen miles in length, and games sometimes lasted for days. Some tribes used a single pole, tree or rock for a goal, while other tribes had two goal posts through which the ball had to pass. Balls were made out of wood, deerskin, baked clay or stone.
The evolution of the Native American game into modern lacrosse began in 1636 when Jean de Brebeuf, a Jesuit missionary, documented a Huron contest in what is now southeast Ontario, Canada. At that time, some type of lacrosse was played by at least 48 Native American tribes scattered throughout what is now southern Canada and all parts of the United States. French pioneers began playing the game avidily in the 1800s. Canadian dentist W. George Beers standardized the game in 1867 with the adoption of set field dimensions, limits to the number of players per team and other basic rules.
New York University fielded the nation's first college team in 1877, and Philips Academy, Andover (Massachusetts), Philips Exeter Academy (New Hampshire) and the Lawrenceville School (New Jersey) were the nation's first high school teams in 1882. There are now more than 400 college and 1,200 high school men's lacrosse teams from coast to coast.
The first women's lacrosse game was played in 1890 at the St. Leonard's School in Scotland. Although an attempt was made to start women's lacrosse at Sweet Briar College in Virginia in 1914, it was not until 1926 that Miss Rosabelle Sinclair established the first women's lacrosse team in the United States at the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, Maryland.
Men's and women's lacrosse were played under virtually the same rules, with no protective equipment, until the mid-1930s. At that time, men's lacrosse began evolving dramatically, while women's lacrosse continued to remain true to the game's original rules. Men's and women's lacrosse remain derivations of the same game today, but are played under different rules. Women's rules limit stick contact, prohibit body contact and, therefore, require little protective equipment. Men's lacrosse rules allow some degree of stick and body contact, although violence is neither condoned or allowed.
Field lacrosse is sometimes perceived to be a violent and dangerous game, however, injury statistics prove otherwise. While serious injuries can and do occur in lacrosse, the game has evolved with an emphasis on safety, and the rate of injury is comparatively low.
WOMEN'S RULES (Special thanks to Bellevue Lacrosse Club)
WOMEN'S LACROSSE POSTITIONS:
- First Home:
- The first home's responsibility is to score. Located in front of the goal, the first home must continually cut toward the goal for a shot, or cut away from the goal to make room for another player. She should have excellent stickwork.
- Second Home:
- The second home is considered the playmaker. She should be able to shoot well from every angle and distance from the goal.
- Third Home:
- The third home's responsibility is to transition the ball from defense to attack. She should be able to feed the ball to other players and fill in wing areas.
- Attack Wings:
- The wings are also responsible for transitioning the ball from defense to attack. Wings should have speed and endurance and be ready to receive the ball from the defense and run or pass the ball.
- The point's responsibility is to mark first home. She should be able to stick check, body check and look to intercept passes.
- The coverpoint's responsibility is to mark second home. She should be able to receive clears, run fast and have good footwork.
- Third Man:
- The third man's responsibility is to mark third home. She should be able to intercept passes, clear the ball, run fast and have good footwork.
- The center's responsibility is to control the draw and play both defense and attack. She should have speed and endurance.
- Defense Wings:
- The wings are responsible for marking the attack wings and bringing the ball into the attack area. Wings should have speed and endurance.
- The goalkeeper's responsibility is to protect the goal. She should have good stickwork, courage and confidence.
WOMEN'S LACROSSE EQUIPMENT:
- The Crosse:
- The crosse (lacrosse stick) is made of wood, laminated wood, or synthetic material, with a shaped net pocket at the end. A girl's crosse must be an overall length of 35 1/2 - 43 1/4 inches. The head of the crosse must be seven to nine inches wide. The pocket of the stick must be strung traditionally; no mesh is allowed. The top of the ball when dropped in the pocket must remain even with or above the side walls. The goalkeeper's crosse may be 35 1/2 - 48 inches long. The head of the crosse may be mesh and up to 12 inches wide.
- The Ball:
- The ball must be yellow and made of solid rubber. The ball must be 7.75 - 8 inches in circumference and weigh 5 - 5.25 ounces.
- The Mouthpiece:
- All players must wear mouthguards.
- Protective Equipment:
- Close-fitting gloves, nose guards, soft head gear and eye guards are optional, and may be worn by all players.
- The Goalkeeper's Equipment:
- The goalkeeper must wear a face mask and helmet with a mouth guard, throat protector and chest protector. The goalkeeper may wear padding on hands, arms, legs, shoulders and chest which does not excessively increase the size of those body parts.
WOMEN'S LACROSSE RULES:
Women's lacrosse is a non-contact game played by 12 players: a goalkeeper, five attackers and six defenders. The object of the game is to shoot the ball into the opponent's goal. The team scoring the most goals wins.
Women's lacrosse begins with a draw, which is taken by the center position. The ball is placed between two horizontally held crosses (sticks) at the center of the field. At the sound of the whistle, the ball is flung into the air as the crosses are pulled up and away. A draw is used to start each half and after each goal, and it takes place at the center of the field.
The collegiate game is 60 minutes long, each half being 30 minutes. The high school girl's game is 50 minutes long, each half being 25 minutes. In both collegiate and high school play, teams are allowed one timeout per half.
There are visual guidelines on the side of the field that are in place to provide a consistent indicator to the officials of what is considered the playing field. The minimum dimensions for a field is 120 yards by 70 yards. Additional markings on the field include a restraining line located 30 yards from each goal line, which creates an area where only a maximum of seven offensive players and eight defensive players (including the goalkeeper) are allowed; a 12-meter fan, which officials use to position players after fouls; and an arc in front of each goal, considered the critical scoring area, where defenders must be at least within a stick's-length of their attacker.
The boundaries are determined by the natural restrictions of the field. An area of 120 yards by 70 yards is desirable.
When a whistle blows, all players must stop in place. When a ball is ruled out of play, the player closest to the ball gets possession when play is resumed. Loss of possession may occur if a player deliberately runs or throws the ball out of play.
Rough checks, and contact to the body with the crosse or body, are not allowed.
Field players may pass, catch or run with the ball in their crosse. A player may gain possession of the ball by dislodging it from an opponent's crosse with a check. A check is a controlled tap with a crosse on an opponent's crosse in an attempt to knock the ball free. The player must be one step in front of her opponent in order to check. No player may reach across an opponent's body to check the handle of a crosse when she is even with or behind that opponent. A player may not protect the ball in her crosse by cradling so close to her body or face so as to make a legal, safe check impossible for the opponent.
All legal checks must be directed away from a seven-inch sphere or ""bubble"" around the head of the player. No player is allowed to touch the ball with her hands except the goalkeeper when she is within the goal circle. A change of possession may occur if a player gains a distinct advantage by playing the ball off her body.
Fouls are categorized as major or minor, and the penalty for fouls is a “free position.” For major fouls, the offending player is placed four meters behind the player taking the free position. For a minor foul, the offending player is placed four meters off, in the direction from which she approached her opponent before committing the foul, and play is resumed. When a minor foul is committed in the critical scoring area, the player with the ball has an indirect free position, in which case the player must pass first.
A slow whistle occurs when the offense has entered the critical scoring area and the defense has committed a major foul. A flag is thrown but no whistle is sounded so that the offense has an opportunity to score a goal. A whistle is blown when a goal is scored or the scoring opportunity is over. An immediate whistle is blown when a major foul, obstruction or shooting space occurs, which jeopardizes the safety of a player.
Blocking: Occurs when contact is initiated by a defender who has moved into the path of an opponent with the ball without giving that player a chance to stop or change direction.
Charging: Occurs when a player charges, barges, shoulders or backs into an opponent, or pushes with the hand or body.
Dangerous Shot: Occurs when a player propels the ball toward the goal without control, or in the direction of a field player or the goalkeeper.
Misconduct: Occurs when a player conducts herself in a rough, dangerous or unsportsmanlike manner, persistently causes infringement of the rules, or deliberately endangers the safety of opposing players.
Slashing: Occurs when a defender swings her crosse at an opponent's crosse or body with deliberate viciousness or recklessness, whether or not the opponent's crosse or body is struck.
Three Seconds: A defender may not stand within the eight meter arc, unless she is closely marking an opponent, for more than three seconds.
Obstruction of Free Space: Occurs when a defender is not closely marking her opponent and is in the free space to goal of the attack player with the ball. The attack player must have the opportunity and be looking to shoot.
Goal Circle Fouls: Occurs when any part of an offensive or defensive player's body or crosse, except that of the goalkeeper or deputy, enters the goal circle.
Warding Off: Occurs when a player guards a ground ball with her crosse or foot, removes one hand from the crosse and uses her free arm to ward off an opponent, or checks an opponent's empty crosse while she is trying to get possession of the ball.
Empty Cross Check: A player may not check an opponent's cross unless the ball is in the opponent's cross.
Body Ball: A ball that hits a field player's body to her distinct advantag
WOMEN'S LACROSSE SKILLS:
Cradle: The act of moving the stick from side to side causing the ball to remain in the upper part of the pocket webbing.
Checking: The act of using a controlled tap with a crosse on an opponent's crosse in an attempt to dislodge the ball.
Catching: The act of receiving a passed ball with the crosse.
Cutting: A movement by a player without the ball in anticipation of a pass.
Dodging: The act of suddenly shifting direction in order to avoid an opponent.
Passing: The act of throwing the ball to a teammate with the crosse.
Pick-Ups: The act of scooping a loose ball with a crosse.
Shootings: The act of throwing the ball at the goal with the crosse in an attempt to score.
WOMEN'S LACROSSE TERMS:
Clear: Any action taken by a player within the goal circle to pass or carry the ball out of the goal circle.
Critical Scoring Area: An area 15 meters in front of and to each side of the goal and nine meters behind the goal. An eight-meter arc and 12 meter fan are marked in the area.
Crosse (Stick): The equipment used to throw, catch, check and carry the ball.
Crosse Checking: Stick to stick contact consisting of a series of controlled taps in an attempt to dislodge the ball from the crosse.
Deputy: A player who enters the goal circle when the goalie is out of the goal circle and her team is in possession of the ball.
Draw: A technique to start or resume play by which a ball is placed in between the sticks of two standing players and drawn up and away.
Eight-Meter Arc: A semi-circular area in front of the goal used for the administration of major fouls. A defender may not remain in this area for more than three seconds unless she is within a stick's length of her opponent.
Free Position: An opportunity awarded to the offense when a major or minor foul is committed by the defense. All players must move four meters away from the player with the ball. When the whistle sounds to resume play, the player may run, pass or shoot the ball.
Free Space To Goal: A cone-shaped path extending from each side of the goal circle to the attack player with the ball. A defense player may not, for safety reasons, stand alone in this area without closely marking an opponent.
Goal Circle: The circle around the goal with a radius of 2.6 meters (8.5 feet). No player's stick or body may “break” the cylinder of the goal circle.
Grounded: Refers to any part of the goalkeeper's or deputy's body touching the ground for support outside of the goal circle when she attempts to play the ball from inside the goal circle.
Indirect Free Position: An opportunity awarded to the offense when a minor foul is committed by the defense inside the 12 meter fan. When the whistle sounds to resume play, the player may run or pass, but may not shoot until a defender or one of her teammates has played the ball.
Marking: Being within a stick's length of an opponent.
Penalty Lane: The path to the goal that is cleared when a free position is awarded to the attacking team.
Scoring Play: A continuous effort by the attacking team to move the ball toward the goal and to complete a shot on goal.
Stand: All players, except the goalkeeper in her goal circle, must remain stationary following the sound of any whistle.
Sphere: An imaginary area, approximately 18 cm (seven inches) which surrounds a player's head. No stick checks toward the head are allowed to break the sphere.
12 Meter Fan: A semi-circle in front of the goal used for the administration of minor fouls.
Warning Cards: A yellow card presented by an umpire to a player is a warning which indicates that she will next receive a red card and be suspended from further participation if she continues to play dangerously and/or conduct herself in an unsportsmanlike manner. A green card is presented by an umpire to the team captain indicating a team caution for delay of game.
RULES FOR BOYS
The positions resemble those in soccer: one goalie, three defensemen, three midfielders, and three attackmen. The game play is more like hockey and basketball. There's non-stop end-to-end action, with whistles blown for out of bounds and penalties. Offensive plays include both fast breaks, and "half-court" setups,using basketball-like picks and cuts. Like hockey, the field is extended beyond the goals, so plays can begin from the back of the goal, as well as out front.
Lacrosse is a contact sport, but not at the level of football or hockey. Padding is limited to the waist up, and required equipment includes a helmet, gloves, a mouthguard, shoulder pads and arm (or elbow) pads. And, of course, a stick. Unlike hockey gloves, lacrosse gloves have a flexible thumb.
Illegal Stick: Sticks have to conform to NCAA standards. The pocket can't sag to a depth greater than the ball's diameter. If it does, the stick is removed from the game, and the player is given a penalty.
Equipment: Players are required to wear mouthguards, helmets with face mask, chin pad and chin strap, gloves, shoulder and elbow pads. Referees can stop the game if a player's equipment isn't proper, and penalize that player.
Although it's a contact sport, that contact is carefully regulated. For example, it's legal to body check an opponent if he has possession of the ball or is within five yards of a loose ball. The body check must be made from the front or side with contact made above the knees and below the shoulders. A player may check his opponent's stick with his own stick if the opponent has ball possession or is within five yards of a loose ball or a ball in flight. Stationary offensive screening of an opponent is permitted (the pick play). The team that controls the ball obviously has the better chance of being the victor. Therefore, ball handling and control of ground balls are primary.
Teams -- Ten players per team at full strength. No limit to substitution.
Goal Value -- Each goal counts one point.
Length of Game -- High school varsities play 12 minute quarters, youth teams may play 10 or, on occasion, 12. Overtime is sudden death.
Time Outs -- Two per half for each team.
The Goal -- Six by six feet, made from pipe, strung with netting.
The Ball -- Solid rubber -- orange, yellow or white -- weighing roughly 5.5 oz.
The Crosse (stick) -- Length 40 - 72 inches, except goalie stick which has no minimum length. Head with 6.5 - 10 inches allowed in game.
What to Watch For:
Face Off -- One on one play, where the referee places the ball between the two player's sticks to begin play at start of a period, or after a goal.
Fast Break -- Similar to basketball, generally a four offensive player against three defenders situation that's difficult to defend.
Clearing -- Term used by the defensive team to move the ball from their half of the field to the attack half -- seven clearing players against six riding players. The clearing team has 20 seconds to move the ball across midfield.
Riding -- Term used by the attacking team to keep the defensive team from clearing the ball.
Man Up (extra man) -- When the attacking team has a man up advantage due to an opponent being in the penalty box. Teams typically use a special offensive group, like ice hockey.
Man Down -- When the defensive team is a man short due to a penalty. Man down defenders will play either a shifting of zone defense.
Offensive Stalling -- Team in possession of ball must made an effort to move ball towards the goal.
Fouls and Penalties -- There are two categories of fouls, personal (which calls for a suspension of one to three minutes) and technical (30 seconds if the opposing team has the ball at the time, or possession of the ball if it's loose or the offending team has it). The penalties are released when time is up, or if a goal is scored by the team with the extra man, but may be "non-releasable" for more serious violations.
Personal Fouls -- Illegal body checking, slashing, cross checking, tripping, unsportsmanlike conduct or fighting.
Technical Fouls -- Interference, holding, pushing, playing without a stick, withholding the ball from play, illegal procedure (such as stepping in the crease, checking the goalie's stick when he is in the crease, touching the ball with your hand), and offsides (each team has to have at least four men on each half of the field at all times).
Crease -- No attacking player is allowed in the crease. No defensive player, nor the goalie with the ball (once he's left the crease) may enter it. The goalie can receive a pass in the crease.
Ball Out Of Play -- The ball is given to the team which did not cause it to go out of bounds, unless it went out after being shot at the goal. In that case, the team whose player is closest to the ball when it goes out is given possession.