Lacrosse: the rules put in simple terms

Once you learn them, women’s lacrosse actually rules

By: Olivia Wile

The University of Findlay’s women’s lacrosse team wears out the turf at Armstrong Field every game they play. During the two 30-minute halves, players run up and down the field almost the entire time; much like soccer.

With the addition of sticks with nets, a rock-solid ball, and little to no protective gear, you have women’s lacrosse; a prominent Spring sport at UF.

If you have attended a lacrosse game before, you can probably agree the rules are hard to follow. Heck, my brother has been playing lacrosse for five years and the only rule I know for sure is that 12 players take the field at a time. To make matters even more confusing, men and women’s lacrosse has different regulations.

As a result, I’ve decided it’s time for my fellow UF students and I to learn the rules of women’s lacrosse so we can fully support our team. My focus is on women’s lacrosse since we don’t have a men’s team – yet.

To begin, that “face off” you see when two players try to gain procession of the ball is called “the draw.” It occurs at the start of each half and after every goal.

Also, after a missed shot, the player closest to out of bounds will receive procession of the ball. This is why you’ll see players in a full sprint towards it after a shot flies past the goal.

Next up: fouls. During women’s lacrosse games, it seems like a whistle is blown every other minute. However, this is not as surprising after learning when and how fouls get called. According to “Beginners Guide to Girls Lacrosse,” the list of major fouls includes: charges, pushes, trips, blocks, slashes, shooting space violations, and invading the body space of an opponents, such as touching the stick to a player’s body.

In the event that a foul is committed eight meters from the crease, a player will receive a “free position.” When a foul is not committed eight meters from the crease, a stop in play occurs in which the opponent must stand four meters to the side of, or behind the ball carrier.

Finally, when you see players the randomly drop their sticks, this occurs after each goal. This is so that the referees can check to see that they are legal. If the officials deem the shooters sticks to be illegal, the goal does not count.

If you still feel a little lost when it comes to the rules, have no fear. Learning them took a while for starting freshman defender Brittany Stephens as well.

“They can be confusing at times,” Stephens said. “I began playing in grade seven and was confused at first so I enrolled in a coaching clinic and got my coaching certification as long as I learned the rules.”

The women are back in action on April 7 at home against Grand Valley State at 4 p.m.

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