Monday, January 9, 2012

Lacrosse Rules for Beginners

Lacrosse is considered the first sport in America, believed to originate in the 1400s among Native Americans. Teams in those days would have hundreds--or even a thousand--players on a field that could be up to several miles in length. These days, there are 12 players per side in the women's leagues and 10 per side in the men's leagues for regular lacrosse, and six players per side for the version called "box lacrosse," which is typically played in ice hockey arenas.
In box lacrosse, each team has 17 players in uniform but has a roster of 23 players. Six players take the field per team, including the goalie. Substitutions are freely allowed, but a substitute cannot enter the field until the person she is replacing comes into the team's substitution zone.
Sticks and Goals
Box lacrosse players use standard lacrosse sticks that are 40 to 46 inches in length. Goalies are allowed to use the wider-mouthed goaltender's stick. The goal in box lacrosse is smaller than that in regular lacrosse, measuring 4 by 4 feet instead of 6 by 6 feet.
Time Frame
Indoor box lacrosse is played in four 15-minute periods. Each team can utilize two 45-second timeouts in each half. The shot clock is 30 seconds. This version is especially popular in Canada. In regular lacrosse, periods last 20 minutes.
Tie Score
In the event of a tie score at the end of the four periods, there's a sudden-death overtime. Each overtime goes for five minutes--or until a goal gets scored as indicated in sudden death.

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