What it means to be a modern day Lacrosse player

Lacrosse, being the oldest sport to originate from North America definitely does not get the amount of credit deserved. Being a lacrosse player myself, I was first introduced to what I found to be one of my passions last year. Sadly, I was completely unaware of the game until I entered my 8th grade gym class and realized how much I enjoyed the sport. I confess to not being a "sporty" person, but I'm able to say that I have never been more interested in the rules of a game, like I am for lacrosse.  It's a bummer how not many people are aware of the game, or that there are both men's and women's leagues.  Unlike soccer (another field sport) the rules and the gear required for men's and women's lacrosse are completely different. So I invite you to ask yourself, What does it mean to be a man or woman in lacrosse?  


The sticks used in guys and girls lacrosse are very different considering the roles and rules found in the two leagues.  Because of the physical contact found in the men's sport, the pouches tend to be deeper, making certain checks and slashes legal. Along with the pouches being deeper the shafts for defender's sticks are longer creating a struggle for the opposing teams to get a goal. Both men and women tend to have the same size in attack shafts but women have tighter pockets. In order to keep the ball stationary inside the head of the women's stick is a challenge. Using the force of gravity along with the cradle motion the women's lacrosse players must keep movements swift while hustling for open shots. In order to have a legal stick, the ball must be visible above the rim. Stick checks are vital before every women's game. Women's lacrosse shafts are the same size for both attackers and defenders sticks. The goalies for both guys and girls lacrosse must have a shaft that doesn't go above their waist line. The heads for goalie sticks are much wider and help the goalie block or catch the ball.


It's no secret that guys lacrosse is full of contact, especially compared to the girl's game. Under certain circumstances guys are allowed to hit the player that has the ball from the front and or between the shoulders or the waist. Women are allowed to check the player who has the ball as long as they keep a consistent speed as the one with the ball. Women are not allowed to use their body when attempting to get the ball. Certain checks that are illegal will result in a penalty, the same thing goes for men when attempting to get the ball.


Because of the differences between the two leagues, girls and guys wear different uniforms and gear. Obviously guys lacrosse (being a full contact sport) requires a much more padded and protective uniform. Men typically wear a full helmet with an attached face mask, mouthguard, gloves, shoulder pads and a recommended protective cup. Sure, men have to wear more padding, but that doesn't mean the women's version of the game is any less of a challenge. Due to a lack of gear, women not only have to be aggressive and quick on their feet but they also have to be fully aware of the other players on the field in order to avoid concussions. A woman's uniform consists of a skirt and a jersey along with a mouthguard and eye protection.

The truth behind the game

In the long run the game isn't just about winning or losing, it is about how it's played and how the person playing is shaped by his or her teammates and the game it's self.  Isn't that a great metaphor for life?  Lacrosse was an important part of my first year of High school. I encourage everyone to find a sport or activity that teaches him or her how to strive for their best potential and to work hard on whatever is their passion. 


"Home." Woodbury United Lacrosse. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2015. -provides a closer look into the history of our modern day version of Lacrosse including where it originated from and some of the first games played in America.

"Girls vs. Boys Lacrosse." The Campanile :. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2015.  -presents the differences between the men's and the women's league, along with facts describing the two. Information on the gear worn by the two and the different positions as well the stick lengths can be found.

"Lacrosse Equipment, LAX Gear, Sticks, Gloves, Balls & Bags LacrosseMonkey.com." Lacrosse Equipment, LAX Gear, Sticks, Gloves, Balls & Bags LacrosseMonkey.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2015.  -shows the different sticks available and the gear required when playing in a guys or girls game.

Comment Stream

2 years ago

This was really interesting to read about. Great essay!

2 years ago

I was kind of confused. Seeing as how I've never actually seen lacrosse played before, I was not sure what "checks and slashes" are. I'm also confused about the pockets and what an "attack shaft" is vs. a normal shaft. Pictures would have helped!