With so many sports activities available these days, the kids are spoilt for choice. From basketball to hockey, to cricket, and football, the choices are endless. While most people know about these popular sports, what about the less popular sports, like lacrosse, which offers an excellent way of keeping fit and healthy.
So, if you have never heard about lacrosse, or have heard about the sport, but remain uncertain about what it is, consider reading the post below. Here, we talk about lacrosse for kids, what the game is about, and what benefits it provides.
What Is Lacrosse?
Lacrosse is a sport that has its origins in the Native American lands. While it has been around for a long time, it was not a popular game earlier, but is now gaining popularity, especially among the kids.
In its earlier form, lacrosse was known as stickball as it used to be played using a stick and a ball. Based on its later adaptations, the sport came to be known as lacrosse, the words ‘la crosse’ meaning ‘the stick’ in French.
Originally, lacrosse was only played by men, and there was no equipment used. In its modern version, lacrosse is played by both men and women and is especially popular amongst kids. A lot of protective gear is also used for the sport today, such as helmets, gloves, and padding.
[ Read: Best Sports For Kids ]
What Are The Basic Safety Rules For Kids Playing Lacrosse?
Here are some of the basic safety rules that are involved in playing the game:
- Your kid can only use soft lacrosse sticks and balls while playing.
- There can be no stick to stick contact in the game.
- Your kid is not allowed to make any body to body contact or body to stick contact while playing the game.
- Both the hands of your kid have to be on the lacrosse stick at all times during the game.
- Your kid is not allowed to cover the lacrosse ball with the lacrosse stick while playing the game.
- Your kid has to have full control of his or her body while playing the game.
- While playing, your kid should always respect the other team members as well as the opponents and follow all rules of fair play.
Basic Rules Of Lacrosse For Kids:
Here are some of the basic rules that your kid should keep in mind while playing lacrosse:
1. No Defense Only Offense:
Lacrosse does not have a defense team and instead follows a full offensive attitude at play.
2. No Icing Or Offside:
In lacrosse, similar to basketball, there is no icing or offside. It helps to make the game a very fast moving one.
3. The Players:
The game involves five offensive players who are known as the left crease, the left corner, the right crease, the right corner, and the point (which is the center).
4. Length Of The Stick:
The minimum length of the lacrosse stick has to be at least 36 inches up to the Bantam and at least 42 inches after that.
5. Rules Of Possession:
While playing, if one team makes an offense and no one calls the penalty, the possession goes to the other team. For instance, if a player from one team bounces the ball or shoots the ball into the stands, the other team will be given possession. The sound of the whistle will mean that the game starts all over again from that point.
6. Rules Of Goal:
In case the ball goes directly into the net from the goal keeper’s helmet or the facemask, it will be counted as a goal. In the case of a goal, there is always a face-off.
7. Possession After Striking The Goal Keeper:
After a penalty is given, or in case the ball strikes the goalkeeper somewhere on the helmet, the possession will be changed, and there will be no face-off.
8. Number Of Goals Per Game:
A maximum of three goals is allowed to each player in every game.
9. Checking From Behind Can Lead To Penalty:
Checking a player from behind is not allowed and, in case any player is caught doing so, strict actions are taken. Checking from behind is often one of the biggest reasons for injury in the sport. In extreme cases, penalty shots can be called as well. While checking is important in the game, checking from behind or checking violently into the boards can lead to some serious action.
[ Read: How To Motivate Your Child In Sports ]
10. High Sticking:
In some cases, your kid’s stick may accidentally come in contact with the helmet of an opposing player. In such a case, there may not be an immediate penalty. However, the final decision will remain with the referee who will check the circumstances and decide whether or not the contact was accidental or intentional. In some cases, it is also possible that a player will duck into another player’s cross to check. Even if it is a very severe check, unless it is from behind, a penalty will not be awarded. Cross-checking is a very important part of lacrosse and is part of the rules, and the only time it could lead to a penalty is if it is from behind.
11. Being Out Of The Crease And Contact With The Ball:
If a player or a goalkeeper is out of the crease, there will be a penalty in case they catch the ball with their hands. In case they only come in contact with the ball with their hand, the possession will pass on to the other team.
12. Face Off:
For a face off, the player will have to do so with the open face of the stick as it faces the player’s team net. The ball should first come out of the small two-inch face-off circle before any of the other players can enter the bigger circle. If there is an offense against this, it will not result in another face off. However, it will immediately lead to possession to the other team.
13. When The Ball Is With The Player:
When a player has the ball, he or she cannot push it with a free hand or arm. In such a case, the other team will immediately get the possession. A player can check an offensive player whether or not he or she has the ball. However, it has to be done only in the restricted area that is denoted by the dotted crease. If your kid is on the offensive team, he or she cannot check back. In such a case, your kid will have to take the checking but not respond at all. If a player makes a response or checks when his or her team has possession, the possession will immediately be given away to the other team.
14. Kicking The Ball:
It is allowed to kick the ball but not with the intention of scoring a goal. Also, in case the ball gets stuck on a player’s stick, the referee will help to free it and resume play.
15. Short Handed Rules:
In case a team becomes shorthanded, the players will have ten seconds to make sure that the ball comes over to the center and does not go back again. In case the team fails to do so, the possession will pass on to the other team. Once a player gets the possession by the referee, he or she will have to be given a space of at least nine feet by the defending player till the referee blows the whistle to signify the start of play.
16. Two Players After A Loose Ball:
If there are two players going for a loose ball, both players can only play the ball. They are not allowed to check the other player unless he or she has possession.
17. Getting Into The Goalkeeper’s Crease:
In case a player gets into the crease of the other team to cut through it or shoot, the possession will immediately be given to the other team. If the player goes through the other team’s crease and touches the goalkeeper while he or she is in the crease, or makes a check, it will immediately lead to a penalty. It is possible that a player reaches at the said spot after being pushed by another player. It may not result in a penalty in such an event, but the player has to try and get out of there as soon as possible.
18. Being On The Defense:
When your kid is trying to defend his or her net, he or she can only pass the ball back to their crease area at the time of each possession. The goalkeeper or player of the same team will have five seconds to get the ball out of the crease area after first stopping it and taking control. Both the feet of the player have to be out for the player to be considered outside, and once the player is in such a position, he or she cannot go back in. If the goalkeeper is out of the crease, the player can also pass the ball to them.
Benefits Of Lacrosse For Kids:
Playing lacrosse will have the following benefits for your kids:
- It will instill a sense of discipline in your kid that will spill over to everyday routine too.
- In order to be good at lacrosse, your kid will have to always be alert and observant. As a result, it will help to improve mental agility and concentration levels in your kid.
- Lacrosse will teach the importance of patience to your kid, as it involves a lot of practice and patience to get a scoring mark on the field.
- Playing lacrosse also involves an immense amount of physical exercise. It will help to improve your kid’s overall mental and physical development.
- As lacrosse is a team sport, your kid will learn how to interact with different people and reach a common goal. It will improve your kid’s social skills as well as help your kid open up to others. Your kid will also learn to read body language and understand people better.
5 Fun Lacrosse Drills For Kids:
Here are five fun lacrosse drills that you can help your kids to try out:
1. Lacrosse Golf:
Place a garbage can on one side of the field and ask your kid to score a goal in it without making the ball bounce.
2. Egg Toss:
Pair up kids and ask them to throw the ball at each other and catch. With each step, ask the kids to move back one step at a time. The team that has the ball till the end will be the winner.
3. Monkey In The Middle:
Ask the kids to form a circle and let one kid stand in the middle who will be the defender. The defender will have to stand between two players and try and intercept as they pass the ball between themselves.
4. Sky Ball:
Throw a ball high up in the sky and ask the kid to catch it.
5. Thunder Dome:
All the kids have to form a circle and have to carry a stick and a ball. The coach will stand in the middle and will try to knock off the ball from each kid. The player whose ball remains till the end will be the winner.
[ Read: Mancala Game For Kids ]
Selecting A Lacrosse Stick:
Before buying a lacrosse sticks for kids, remember to keep the following tips in mind:
1. Attacker Stick:
An attacker stick is usually between the height of 36 and 40 inches. It is comparatively shorter to the other sticks and hence is easier to maneuver. It will also help to improve the accuracy of shooting.
2. Defender Stick:
A defender stick will usually be about 72 inch in height. It has a longer stick which will help the player to reach out and stop the ball. It will also result in higher acceleration that will help to throw or pass the ball farther.
3. Midfielder Stick:
A midfielder stick should be in the range of 36 to 42 inches. It is usually between the range of an attacker and a defender stick. The stick will help to move easily between the offense and defense role.
4. Goalie Stick:
A goalie stick should be about 42 inches. It will help to make quick moves while defending the goals. The stick has to be long enough to reach the shots but short enough to keep up the speed.
Lacrosse is a fun game that your kid will absolutely fall in love with. Even though it may seem a little confusing at the start, it will be an extremely enjoyable sport, one that will teach your kid all about team spirit and discipline.
Moms, have your kids ever tried playing lacrosse? If yes, do share any tips that you feel may help other moms. If not, do tell us if you would think of introducing the sport to your kid.
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