Monday, January 9, 2012

5 Things to Know About Box Lacrosse

1. Playing Inside the Box
Box lacrosse, also known as indoor lacrosse, takes place on indoor hockey rinks. Officials replace the ice with artificial turf with markings similar to an outdoor lacrosse field and leave the walls and glass from hockey games up. This playing area is the "box" and all areas within it are inbounds. This version of lacrosse provides rinks with business when the hockey season is over.
2. Making the Change
Box lacrosse differs from outdoor or field lacrosse in a number of ways. A box lacrosse team fields six players at a time with five on the turf and one goalie, while field lacrosse plays ten men at a time, one also playing goalie. The indoor version allows all players to go anywhere on the field while their outdoor counterparts must remain in areas specific to their positions. The players in an indoor game must all have the same size lacrosse sticks, while the defenders in field lacrosse sometimes use longer shafts. Another very noticeable difference is the use of a 30-second shot clock in box lacrosse to keep the game moving. If the offense doesn't shoot within 30 seconds, they lose possession of the ball. There's no such shot clock in field lacrosse.
3. Staying the Same
In most other respects, the indoor and outdoor versions of lacrosse are very similar. Both require players to use the same lacrosse skills to pass, catch, cradle and shoot the ball. They also both begin each period and restarts after goals with a face-off in the middle of the field. Penalties for various offenses, resulting in players sitting in the penalty box for one to two minutes of game time are another similarity of both games. Finally, both indoor and outdoor lacrosse go to sudden death overtime if regulation time ends in a tie and both versions.
4. Going Pro
In Canada and the United States, the National Lacrosse League (NLL) plays a version of professional box lacrosse. This league has a regular schedule of 16 games before going into its playoffs and championship game. The season consists of weekend games from December to April. One key difference between games in the NLL and traditional box lacrosse is in the length of the game. Box lacrosse originally has three 20-minute periods just like hockey, but the NLL plays four 15-minute quarters like field lacrosse.
5. Getting Into Your Own Box
Box lacrosse is very popular across North America where the professional NLL plays. You can find many local indoor lacrosse leagues at all levels and for men and women alike throughout the U.S. Many areas offer indoor lacrosse leagues during the winter months to help their outdoor lacrosse players work on game skills and stay in shape during the off-season. If you want to find a program nearby, call your local indoor ice skating or hockey center to see if they use their facilities for box lacrosse leagues.

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