Getting started: Beginners Lacrosse 101

Did you know lacrosse was founded by Native Americans back in 1840. French missionaries gave lacrosse its modern name because the stick looks like a bishop’s staff, which is la crosse in French.


Each player in boys lacrosse are required to have a lacrosse stick, helmet, shoulder pads, arm protection and gloves. Some organizations may have regulations requiring an athletic supporter and cleats depending on age and skill level; check with your coach to make sure.

Starter’s sets and entry-level equipment are important for beginning players because they are designed to help players master the fundamentals of the game before upgrading to high-end, more expensive equipment. Starter sets make it easy to order a first-time player’s gear – they usually include a stick, shoulder pad, lacrosse head, lacrosse gloves.

Complete sticks are great options for developing players because  they’re designed for entry-level play.



Charlotte Hounds v Rochester Rattlers


The ball carriers, middies run the entire length of the field and play both offense and defense. They’re the player responsible for bringing the ball up the field into the attack zone. They help set up offensive plays and scoring opportunities for attackers. Midfielders are responsible for handling the face-off which happens at midfield at the start of each quarter, unless possession has been signified, as well as after each goal scored.

The goal scorers, attackers stick to the opposing team’s goal zone. They are the best stick handlers on a team. They work with the middies to set up scoring opportunities for the team. Most of the offensive set plays are run through the attack.

The blockers. These players stick their the own goal zone helping the goalies keep balls out of the crease (the circle around the goal). They have longer sticks to help defend the goal. Defenders constantly check attacking players and work with goalie to feed balls away from their goal to the middies.

Natick High Girls Lacrosse

The goal guarder, these players stay in front of the goal or in the crease. They have sticks with larger heads, which make it easier to block shots. Much like soccer, goalies are the only players in lacrosse who are allow to touch the ball but only while standing inside of the crease. When goalies have possession of the ball from a save or pass, they have a limited time to remain in the crease before having to run out and clear the ball.



A game is split into four 10-15 minute quarters depending on the league. There is a 10 minute break at the half. Teams switch goals at the half and are allow two time-outs per half. Girl’s lacrosse games are just two halves.


A violation of the rules of the game results in a penalty and offending players are removed from the game for a designated time. Penalty time is served in a penalty box and his/her role on field cannot be filled and his/her team is forced to play a man-down. He/she can return when penalty time runs out or be replaced if other team scores. Five fouls results in removal from the game. Most common penalties require 30 seconds to a minute time to be served in the penalty box.

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Assist – The pass to the shooter before the goal is made

Box – The penalty box, can also mean coaches’ box. Box lacrosse also refers to the indoor game. Also the designated substitution area

Cage – The goal

Check  – Any contact. There are several types of checks. The body check is using the body to defend against an opposing player (must be within 15′ of loose ball and above the waist from the front or side). A stick check is hitting your stick against another players stick to dislodge the ball from an opposing players pocket. Poke check is when defenders pokes his stick at the hands of another player to dislodge the ball front pocket.

Cradling – Twisting the shaft to keep the ball in the pocket

Crease – The area surrounding the goal, the 9′ (men’s) or 8.5′ (women’s) semi circle. Offensive players can’t enter the crease.

Cutting – Moving rapidly in different directions on the field

Ground balls – Loose balls that are prime for being scooped up

Pocket – Head of the stick

Clear – When a goalie or defenseman attempt to move the ball from their side of the field to their opponents

The X or X – The spot on the field right behind the goal/crease

Goal Line Extended or GLE – Invisible line that stretches across the field in line with both goal posts