Lacrosse: a Closer Look Essay

Submitted By epearcy
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Pages: 13

Lacrosse
Ebony Pearcy
Coppin State University
School of Education
Kinesiology 303-001: Athletic Training and Conditioning
Professor Wes Magness
May 1, 2013

Lacrosse is a very fast game, the object of which is to send the ball through the opponents’ goal as many times as possible and to prevent one’s opponents from scoring. A goal counts one point. Men’s teams usually have 10 players: the goalkeeper, three defensemen, three midfielders (one of whom is the centre), and three attack men. During play each team must have at least four players in its defensive half of the field and no fewer than three in its offensive half of the field. This rule prevents excessive crowding around a goal when it is under attack. Conventionally, the goalkeeper and the three defensemen stay in the defensive half, while the three attack men stay in the offensive half. The midfielders are permitted to roam the field, reinforcing the attack or defense as needed. There are two officials, a referee and a judge. The game is divided into four periods of 15 minutes each, with intervals of one minute between the first and second quarters and between the third and fourth quarters and a 10-minute rest at halftime. If the score is tied at the end of regulation time, play is resumed after an intermission of five minutes for two four-minute periods, with a one-minute rest in between. Free substitution is allowed. A player may run with the ball, pass it in any direction, and catch it, but—with the exception of the goalkeeper—he may not touch it with his hand. A player may kick the ball or bat it, but not into the opponents’ goal. A unique feature of the game is “cradling,” in which the player rapidly rotates the stick in half-turns while holding it nearly upright as he runs. The centrifugal force developed keeps the ball in the pocket of the crosse and also puts it in position for accurate throwing. Defensive players are allowed to poke the ball carrier in the body with their sticks or slap at his stick to dislodge the ball. Blocking the ball carrier—i.e., hitting him with the shoulder in an attempt to throw him off-balance or knock him down—is legal. For minor infractions of the rules the penalty is either suspension from the game for 30 seconds or an exchange of the ball. In the case of personal fouls of a more serious nature—for example, an illegal block—the offender is suspended from the game for one, two, or three minutes, and his team plays a man short for that period of time. Other serious fouls include tripping, slashing, and unnecessary roughness. Play is started at the beginning of each quarter and after the scoring of a goal with a face-off at midfield. The two centres face each other, the heads of their sticks touching the ground. The referee places the ball between the two crosses and at his signal each player tries to gain control of the ball. He may keep it himself or bat it to a teammate. The player with the ball tries to advance it toward the opposing goal by running or passing to a teammate in the open. The defenders try to harry him into making a poor pass, intercept the ball when it is thrown, knock the ball from his stick, or occasionally knock it loose with a block. Players are in constant movement: dodging, hurling, or flipping the ball to a teammate; scooping up the ball while running at full speed; or making quick, deceptive shots at the goal (Ecyclopedia Britannica , 2013).
Lacrosse is one of the oldest games in the World. It evolved in North America among the Native American Tribes and references to the native game were made by the early settlers in Canada as early as 1636. However the native game was being played in many other areas of North America (European Lacrosse Federation , 2013). Europeans in Canada started playing the game about 1840, and the first lacrosse organization, the Olympic Club, was founded in Montreal in 1842. In playing Indian teams, white players lost so frequently they were allowed to field extra men.…