Discover the Joy of Girls Lacrosse: Embracing Fun and Learning
Discover the Joy of Girls Lacrosse: Embracing Fun and Learning
At its core, lacrosse is a sport that encourages enjoyment and skill development. As parents, it is our responsibility to ensure that our children have a positive and fulfilling lacrosse experience. Let's focus on being positive, supportive, and encouraging towards our children's participation. Remember, winning is not everything. Throughout the years, the lasting friendships and incredible experiences will hold more value than a win/loss record in your child's memory.
Guided by the Principles of Women's Lacrosse:
1. Honoring the Origins: We pay homage to the game's roots and rich history.
2. Embracing Core Values: We commit to upholding the cultural values that define lacrosse.
3. Respecting All Participants: We treat everyone involved with respect and fairness.
4. Valuing Fair Play: We recognize the importance of playing by both the letter and spirit of the game.
Women's lacrosse is a game that emphasizes finesse, speed, and limited contact, played with minimal equipment. Since 1932, the rules governing women's lacrosse have evolved under the guidance of the United States Women's Lacrosse Association (1921-1998) and US Lacrosse (1999-present) to prioritize player safety while preserving the essence of the sport. The Official Girls' Youth rules aim to introduce young players to the sport by familiarizing them with terminology, field layout, positions, teamwork concepts, and the skills required to play safely and fairly. It's important to understand that women's lacrosse differs from the men's game in its history, rules, penalties for contact, and equipment requirements.
Girls' lacrosse is a non-contact game played by 12 players: a goalkeeper, four attackers, three midfielders, and four defenders. Eight players are allowed to cross the restraining line into the opponent's offensive zone, while four players remain behind. The game aims to shoot the ball into the opponent's goal, with the team scoring the most goals emerging as the victor.
Join us in the wonderful world of girls' lacrosse, where fun, growth, and learning intertwine. Let's give our daughters an experience that will shape their character and create lifelong memories. Together, let's celebrate the spirit of the game and the joy it brings.
Girls’ and women’s lacrosse begins with a draw, which is taken by the center position. The ball is placed between two horizontally held crosses (sticks), placed back-to-back, at the center of the field. At the sound of the whistle, the ball is flung into the air as the crosses are pulled up and away. The sticks must come up over the players’ heads. A draw is used to start each half and after each goal, and it takes place at the center of the field. Only five players from each team are permitted between restraining lines during the draw. Once the signal for the draw occurs, the players behind each restraining line may cross over.
Field players may pass, catch or run with the ball in their crosse. When a whistle blows, all players must stop in place. Rough checks, and contact to the body with the crosse or body, are not allowed, however, incidental body contact may occur.
Please see the appropriate section for your daughter's age group: http://www.uslacrosse.org/rules/girls-rules
To get a complete copy of the rules for girls’ lacrosse, please visit the us lacrosse website at www.uslacrosse.org/store.
Field and Equipment
Attack (See US Lacrosse rules for your age group):
Great ball handling/stick skills
Set up and assist teammates to score
Defend when the opposition goalie is trying to clear the ball
Midfield (See US Lacrosse rules for your age group):
Speed and endurance, strong stick work and versatility
Play both attack and defense
Role as an attacker: Transition ball onto the offensive side, create fast-break opportunities
Role as a defender: Stop offensive team from creating a fast break
Defense (See US Lacrosse rules for your age group):
Defend the goal by “marking” opponents in the critical scoring area (the arcs)
Strong communication skills, solid field vision, exceptional footwork
Understand angles to be successful at seeing the ball and girl
Create and cause turnovers and get the ground ball
Goalie (1 per team on the field):
Protect the goal by stopping shots
Strong mental disposition
Lead the defense
Lacrosse stick: A legal stick must meet the following standards:
Made of wood, laminated wood or synthetic material with a shaped net pocket at the end. Stick must be 35.5-43.25 inches.
Pocket must be strung traditionally. No mesh is allowed and must have designated stringing holes.
The pocket is legal when the ball is pressed down into the pocket (then quickly released) and the top of the ball remains above the sidewalls.
Ball: Must be smooth or slightly textured solid rubber and must be yellow or bright orange in color.
Mouthpiece: Must fully cover the upper jaw teeth. The mouthpiece must be of any visible color other than clear or white.
Protective eyewear/headwear (mandatory): All field players must wear properly fitted eye protection that meets the ASTM specification standard F803 for women’s/adult youth lacrosse for the appropriate level of play. For a complete list of approved eyewear and headwear, visit www.uslacrosse.org.
Other protective equipment (optional): Close-fitting gloves, nose guards and soft head gear are optional and may be worn by all players.
Common Minor Fouls
For a minor foul, the offending player is placed for a free position shot four meters off, in the direction from which she approached her opponent before committing the foul, and play is resumed. When a minor foul is committed in the 12-meter fan, the player with the ball has an indirect free position, in which case the player must pass first or be checked by an opponent before the team may shoot.
Body Ball: A ball that rebounds off of a field player’s body to her or her team’s distinct advantage.
Empty Check: A player may not check or hold an opponent’s cross unless the ball is in contact with the opponent’s cross.
Goal circle fouls: Occurs when any part of an offensive or defensive player’s body or crosse, except that of the goalkeeper or deputy, enters the goal circle.
Warding Off: Occurs when a player guards a ground ball with her crosse or foot, removes one hand from the crosse and uses her free arm to ward off an opponent.
Offsides: Occurs when a team has too many players over the restraining line.
Sample of Major Fouls
Fouls are categorized as major or minor, and the foul penalty is a “free position.” For major fouls, the offending player is placed four meters behind the player taking the free position.
Blocking: When contact is initiated by a defender who has moved into the path of an opponent with the ball without giving that player a chance to stop or change direction.
Charging is when a player pushes with his or her hand or body or charges, barges, or shoulders into an opponent.
Dangerous Propelling and following through When a player propels the ball without control in the direction of another player. This is a mandatory card.
Shooting Space: When a defender is not closely marking her opponent, within a stick’s length of an opponent and is in the free space to the goal of the attack player with the ball. The attacking player must have the opportunity and be looking to shoot.
Dangerous Check: When a defender swings her crosse at an opponent’s crosse or body with deliberate viciousness or recklessness, whether or not the opponent’s crosse or body is struck. A check to the head is a mandatory card.
Three Seconds: A defender may not stand within the eight-meter arc for more than three seconds unless she closely marks an opponent within a stick’s length.
Glossary for Girls’ Lacrosse
Checking: Using crosse-to-crosse contact in an attempt to dislodge the ball.
Clear: Any action a goalkeeper takes from within the goal circle to pass or carry the ball out of the goal circle.
Cradle: The coordinated motion of the arms and wrists that keeps the ball secure in the pocket and ready to be passed or shot when running.
Critical scoring area: This is the area 15 meters in front of and to each side of the goal and nine meters behind it. An eight-meter arc and 12-meter fan are marked in the area.
Draw: A technique to start or resume play by which a ball is placed in between two sticks held back to back and drawn up and away.
Eight-meter arcs: A semi-circular area in front of the goal is used to administer major fouls. A defender may not remain in this area for more than three seconds unless she is within a stick’s length of her opponent.
Free Position: An opportunity awarded to one player when a player from the other team commits a major or minor foul. All players must move four meters away from the player with the ball. When the whistle sounds to resume play, the player may run, pass or shoot the ball.
Free space to goal: A cone-shaped path extending from each side of the goal circle to the attack player with the ball. For safety reasons, a defense player may not stand alone in this area without closely marking an opponent.
Goalie circle: The circle around the goal with a radius of 2.6 meters (8.5 feet). No player’s stick or body may “break” the cylinder of the goal circle.
Indirect free Position: An opportunity awarded to the offense when the defense inside the 12-meter fan commits a minor foul. When the whistle sounds to resume play, the player may run or pass, but may not shoot until a defender has checked her crosse or she passes to a teammate.
Modified checking: Checking the stick only if the entire stick is below shoulder level. The check must be in a downward direction and away from the body.
Sphere: An imaginary area, approximately 18 cm (seven inches) surrounding a player’s head. No stick checks toward the head are allowed to break the sphere.
The Role of Parents
You, as the parent, are equally as important to your child’s positive lacrosse experience as the coach of the team. For your child to get the most out of playing lacrosse, it is important that you do the following:
Be supportive of your child by giving encouragement and showing an interest in her team. Positive reinforcement encourages learning and fun.
Attend games whenever possible. If you cannot attend, ask about your child’s experience, not whether the team won or lost.
Be a positive role model by displaying good sportsmanship at all times to coaches, officials, opponents, and your child’s teammates. “honoring the game” is an important part of what us lacrosse represents. Help us by honoring the game in your behavior as a spectator.
Let your child set her own goals and play the game for herself. Be your child’s “home court advantage” by giving her your unconditional support regardless of how well she performs.
Let the coach coach. Refrain from giving your child advice when she is playing. Also, let the coach know when she is doing a good job.
Respect the decisions of the referees or umpires. They are the authority on the field.
Read the rulebook. Understanding the rules will help you enjoy the game and educate others.
Get to know who is in charge. Meet with the program's leadership, whether it is school-sponsored or recreational, to discuss topics such as cost, practice and game scheduling, insurance coverage, emergency procedures, etc. Be a good consumer for your child.
Get involved – coach or assist, keep score, run the clock, line the fields, manage the equipment, raise funds, coordinate social events, develop an online picture book, and help manage the team website. These are just a few of the activities that parents can do.
To get involved and support the team. Go to www.raptorsgirlslax.org for more ways to volunteer.
Sit back and enjoy the game. Remember, lacrosse is played for fun.