Girls Lacrosse 101

Whether you are new to the game of lacrosse or are unsure about what you’re seeing on the lacrosse field, here’s a brief Girls Lacrosse 101 to help you enjoy the game!

What is lacrosse?  Lacrosse is a game played with a small, yet hard, rubber ball about the size of a baseball.  Players each have a stick, or crosse, which consists of 2 parts: the head and the shaft.  The head is strung with a net, and the shaft is of varying lengths based on the age and/or position of the player.  Lacrosse is a healthy combo of hockey, soccer and basketball on a field that is size-appropriate based on the age of the players.  Players advance the ball by cradling (running while protecting the ball) or passing to teammates until they can get a scoring opportunity and attempt to put the ball in the opponent’s net.

What equipment does my player need?  Girls at all levels need a mouth guard, goggles, a stick, and a practice pinnie (provided by Eastlake Lacrosse) to play lacrosse.  Cleats are not required, but they are highly recommended.

While these items can easily be found at Dick’s Sporting Goods, we recommend a trip to a lacrosse specialty store (Lacrosse Wolf in Bellevue) to be fitted by a lacrosse expert who is available to ensure proper fit and answer any and all questions you may have.

What positions are there?  On the girls side there are four positions:  goaltender, defensemen, midfielder, and attack.  At the 12U and 14U levels there are 12 players on the field at a time, including the goalie.  There is 1 goaltender, 4 defensemen, 3 midfielders, and 4 attack.  At the 10U level there are 8 players (not position specific) on the field, including goaltender.

What rules do I need to know?  There are a lot of rules unique to lacrosse and understanding them will add to the joy of watching the game.  US Lacrosse has a page specific to girls lacrosse rules.  This link includes highlights  tospecific points of emphasis, discusses rules interpretations and provides numerous video clip examples of what is a foul, and what isn’t, as well as how the game is played.  You can also find the rulebooks for both high school and youth levels on that page.

What are some terms I’ll hear often?  Below is a small list of common terms you may hear during a game:

Ball down – when the ball is on the grass it is considered “down” and no team is in possession.
Scoop – when the ball is on the grass, players are encouraged to scoop it up, not “rake” it. Players are taught to get low and scoop through the ball because raking (think pulling back, raking leaves) is not allowed in girls lacrosse.
Restraining Line – it’s the line that extends across he field. Depending on age, a specific number of layers must be on each side of the restraining line at all times.  Failure to have the appropriate number of players on each side results in an "offsides" violation.
Middie back – Middies (Midfielders) will stay back in the defensive zone if a Defenseman advances the ball beyond the midline, ensuring at least 4 players are in the defensive half of the field.  Middies who stay back will often lift their stick in the air to ensure the referee sees them and doesn’t call “offsides” when the ball crosses the midline.