The Catch! Beginner's Guide
Everything a Beginner Player Needs to Play
So your kid wants to play lacrosse and you have no idea what they need? We've got you covered! We've put together a list of all the basics that you'll need to get started, including links on where you can find the best deals online.
A Few Things to Remember:
Comfort is King - Buy equipment that feels comfortable and doesn't hurt when you put it on.
Don't Break the Bank - You can spend as much as you want on lacrosse equipment. For beginner players, we recommend buying less expensive equipment until they know that want to keep playing.
Your Player is Growing...so refer to Rule #2 - When in doubt, buy equipment on the bigger side so your player can grow into it.
What You'll Need:
4. Shoulder Pads
5. Arm Pads
7. Mouth Guard
Buy It or
Try It On Locally
Here are a few places where you can buy equipment, or try some on to get an idea of sizing:
11801 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Dick's Sporting Goods
770 S. Sepulveda Blvd
El Segundo, CA 90245
30865 E Thousand Oaks Blvd
Westlake Village, CA 91362
The Field & Some Basic Rules
Helping Spectators Understand the Full-Field Game
Lacrosse can be confusing if you aren't familiar with the field and some of the basic rules of play. We've highlighted a few things below that, we think, will help new parents and spectators as they learn about the game and how it is played.
Regulation Field Dimensions
Some Basic Rules
Play begins with a faceoff at the beginning of each quarter and after every goal.
Number of Players
Each team is allowed 10 players on the field, unless one is penalized and their team is "man down".
Players may only enter and leave the field through the substitution box. Players must stay out of the box unless they are immediately about to go into the game. Players serving a penalty take a knee in the box until the penalty is released.
Players cannot enter the opposing team's crease, or their own crease if they are in possession of the ball. When shooting, a player can land or step in the crease after the ball has gone into the net as long as he doesn't dive in intentionally.
Each team cannot have more than 6 players in its offensive half of the field, or more than 7 players in its defensive half of the field (including goalie).
When a player shoots and the ball goes out of bounds, possession is awarded to the player who was closest when and where it went out of bounds. It's up to the officials to determine whether a ball was a pass or shot.
Picks & Screens
Offensive players are allowed to set picks on defensive players, but they must have their feet set no more than shoulder width apart. Moving picks are common as younger players often forget they must stand still.
Shoving a player with your hands spread apart on your shaft, especially on the shoulder or neck
Swinging your stick with deliberate viciousness or reckless abandon, even if you don't hit anybody
Illegal Body Check
Pushing a player from behind, or when they are further than 5 yards from the ball
Obstructing an opponent below with the waist with any part of your body, even unintentionally
The last line of defense. The goalie uses a much larger stick and typically stays in the crease, though he is allowed to come out if that's his style. Goalies are fearless, have quick hands and must be vocal and confident as the leader of their defense.
Each team has 3 players on defense, often referred to as "long sticks" because they are allowed to play with a 6' pole. Defensemen can't cross into the offensive half of the field unless an offensive player stays back for them. They have great footwork and aren't afraid to be loud and physical on the field.
Each team has 3 attackmen. Just like the defense, they must stay on their's team's offensive half of the field, unless a middie stays back for them. Attackmen are typically the best stick handlers and shooters on the field.
Midfielders or "Middies" are the ironmen of lacrosse as they must play offense and defense. They take the faceoffs and are largely responsible to get the ball into their offensive half of the field. Often, teams will specialize offensive and defensive midfielders, though players who can do both are highly coveted.
Long Stick Midfielder (1)
Each team is allowed to have 4 long poles on the field, so most teams have 1 of their midfielders play with a long pole in case they end up on defense. Once his team gets the ball, the long pole will typically sub out for a short stick to play offense.