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What is Lacrosse?

April 13, 2017
Major League Lacrosse is the world’s top field lacrosse league. Founded in 2001, the MLL fields nine teams in cities across the United States. But what exactly is lacrosse? It’s a crazy combination of football’s toughness, basketball’s high-powered offense, hockey’s stick action, and pure speed that puts lacrosse in its own category. Lacrosse is played between two teams with each team fielding ten players at a time. The game is played over four quarters, each consisting of 15 minutes.

The five positions in lacrosse are attack, midfield, defense, goalkeeper, and faceoff. The attack are tasked with most of the scoring and beating the other team’s defense. The midfielders are responsible for bringing the ball up the field -- much like a point guard in basketball they set their teammates up and typically are very capable of scoring themselves. The defenders are primarily responsible for stopping the other team from scoring and regaining possession for their own team. The goalie’s sole responsibility is to block shots and give the ball back to their teammates.

The faceoff specialist is the player responsible for gaining possession for their team. Similar to a jump ball in basketball, the faceoff pits two opposing players against each other to battle for the ball. Faceoffs take place to start each game and after each scoring play.

To maintain the fast pace of the game, lacrosse uses a substitution method similar to that of hockey. Players don’t have to check in or wait for a referee to let them come on, allowing coaches to make adjustments on the fly.

If there is no winner at the end of four quarters, the teams will play overtime periods until a winner is declared.

MORE: 

Major League Lacrosse Rules