Around the world lacrosse is commonly known as the fastest game on two feet. But with its speed often comes confusion, at least for the bystanders that is.
As the Liberty Lacrosse program grows in size and strength, more and more people have been attending games, including Liberty athletic trainer Morten Orren and his trustee Sports-Med students. But with more people showing up to games, many tend to get lost in the endless rules and fouls of this quick sport.
Fear not, though, newbie lacrosse fans. A survival guide that will save you from asking “What just happened?” every five minutes is now here.
Below are definitions of some of the most common fouls called in lacrosse:
Slashing: uncontrolled swinging of the stick or a hit to a player’s head
Cross-checking: hitting a player below the waist in a chopping motion
Checking: pushing someone from behind
Interference: impeding a player from getting to the ball
Offside: when there are less than three players on a half
And now for the rules of the game:
1. Games start with a face-off (like a kick-off)
2. Defenders have longer sticks than attackers, which helps them block and deflect passes better. Attackers’ shorter sticks work best for shooting and passing. The goalie has a stick with a large net that helps him protect the goal more effectively.
3. Midfielders are the only people who can go anywhere on the field. BUT if a defender goes to attack his opponent’s goal, one of the midfielders stays back in his place. There must always be three defenders in the defensive half of the field and vice versa for the attackers.
4. The goalie has an area around the goal called the “crease.” He typically stays within that area but is allowed to come out of it. No offensive players can go into the crease.
5. Players are substituted throughout the entire game in transition, like in hockey.
6. There is also a penalty box, like in hockey, that players can get sent to for thirty seconds to three minutes as a consequence of a foul; time depends on the referee and severity of the penalty. If the penalty is “releasable”, and the team that was penalized gets scored on, then the player is released. With non-releasable penalties, however, the player stays in the box until the penalty time is up.
Even though Liberty mens lacrosse nears the end of the season, there’s still time for you to cheer them on and show off your (new) knowledge of the game.