Here are some of the FUNdamentals of lacrosse that we cover during pracrtices and that you should be aware of so you can use and understand the terms with your child. Also listed below the tab are tips for each position, Attack, Middie, Defense and Goalie as well as video links to dodging and fast breaks. There are also great videos available online via our links section.
Crosse -- also known as stick.
The Crosse must be between 40 - 42" for attackmen / mid-fielders and 52 - 72" for defensemen. The head is to be 6 1/2 - 10" wide. Goalies head may be 10 - 12" wide. All Bantam and Lightning players will use shorter sticks. Crosse contains three components:
Shaft or handle -- made from a variety of materials; including wood, metal or plastic. Most common is aluminum and its alloys. Aluminum and metal alloy shafts are the most popular for their relative strength and light weight.
The length of the shaft should grow with a player's size, development and skills. When selecting a shaft, the most important point to consider is how it feels in a player's hands. Younger, more inexperienced players, need to concentrate on feel and weight, not on materials of construction. Strength of shaft becomes critical with older, stronger, more experienced players.
Head -- its sole purpose is to act as a frame for the pocket. The head can be made of wood, plastic, or other synthetic material. The most common is plastic, because of its strength and lightness. There are a wide variety of heads available. It is best for beginners and younger players to stay with basic, simple heads.
Pocket - net that forms a pocket in which the ball is carried and cradled and from which the ball is thrown. The pocket is the single most important and controllable part of the Crosse. It is very important that players get to know their pockets and how to adjust them. A player with average equipment, but good stick skills, and a good feel for the pocket will always perform better than a player with expensive equipment and average skills. Pockets come in two types: Traditional and Mesh.
Traditional - consists of four leather thongs, around which are interwoven synthetic cord and shooting strings. This produces a more accurate pass and shot, making it easier to control and absorb the ball. Major drawback: it takes time to soften the leather and form the proper pocket.
Mesh - a single piece of open nylon mesh material that is stretched between the sides of the head and attached with nylon cord, through which shooting strings run. This forms a good pocket immediately, is durable, and easy to adjust. This pocket is more forgiving while learning the basics and is preferred for those just starting the game.
Shooting Strings are made of heavy-duty shoelace material, which are interwoven across the pocket. The purpose is to form a release point of the pocket. The actual pocket is formed just below the last shooting string. The objective is to form a short, smooth path for the ball to travel out of the stick.
The pocket must be adjusted so that the top of the ball does not fall below the bottom edge of the head when the stick is held horizontally. The purpose of this rule is so a player can't make it difficult for an opponent to dislodge the ball with a check.
For safety purposes, all sticks are to have a plastic or wood plug covering the end of the stick opposite the head. Sticks are not to be physically bent, or altered, other than material added on the exterior surface for improved grip and weight.
Top hand -- that hand that is closest to the head (for a right hander, it is your right hand)
Bottom hand -- that hand that is closest to the bottom of the handle.
Catch and Throw -- how we move the ball from one person to another and back again and up and down the field. It is a push with the top hand and a pull down with the bottom like a lever, while stepping toward your target.
Box area - that area where the head of your stick is when properly held. The area we try to throw the ball toward.
Scoop -- how we get the ball off the field. We never use our hands. The stick should be parallel to the ground, we bend our knees and accelerate through the ball, pushing the head of the stick under and through the ball.
Rake -- we try never do this, we scoop.
Cradle -- what we do to keep the ball in the head of the stick. The top hand controls the motion of the stick in your hands and you gently roll the handle in you hand while moving your arm up and down. The bottom hand is simply used as a guide. When we catch the ball, there is a slight cradle to keep the ball from flying out.
Goal -- that 6' x 6' object with the net in the crease that we are attempting to get the ball in or keep the ball from going in. Also what is achieved when the ball goes into it.
Crease -- an actual lined circle with a 9 ft. radius where the goal is located and where the goalie resides during play on their defensive end of the field. Also, no Offensive player is ever allowed in the crease at any time. Defenders are allowed in the crease but can not carry the ball into the crease. Goalies can handle the ball in the crease but after possession only have 4 seconds to get the ball out of the crease.
The Ball -- is white, yellow, or orange and is made of solid rubber. The ball is 7 3/4 - 8" in circumference and weighs 5 - 5 1/4 ounces. The ball is NEVER to be thrown in the house! Ball is what is "called or yelled" when the ball is on the ground and a player is going to pick it up.
Release -- what a player says after he picks the ball up to signify to his teamates that he has the ball.
Helmet -- Each player is required to wear a protective helmet that includes a metal face mask with a chin pad, and a cupped four point chin strap fastened at all points to the helmet. All helmets and face masks should be NOCSAE (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment) approved.
The fit is the most important point to consider when selecting a helmet.
MOUTHPIECE REQUIRED - Must be a highly visible color and worn at all times while on the field.
GLOVES; SHOULDER, and ARM PADS; Cleats, AND JERSEYS are required protective equipment for all regulation games. Rib Pads and atheletic protectors are highly recommended.