PBS Kids GO! It's My Life
Team Sports: Lacrosse

You're running across a field dressed in protective gear, holding a stick with a basket on one end. Other people in similar uniforms are chasing you.

Are you:

  • Trying to catch a man-eating butterfly?
  • Stealing chocolate from a group of armor-clad Easter bunnies?
  • Getting rid of explosives as part of a tag-team bomb squad?

NO! You're playing lacrosse!

Lacrosse is a game that looks a lot like field hockey and soccer, played on a large rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object is to score goals by getting a small, hard rubber ball into the goal, and the ball is carried and passed using a stick with a triangular pocket or basket at the end.

Lacrosse players develop speed and stamina. Passing is essential to the sport, so strategy and teamwork are also very important.

Lacrosse Basics:

  • A lacrosse team has 10 players: 3 attackmen, 3 midfielders, 3 defensemen, and 1 goalie.

  • Although it looks more like hockey or soccer, lacrosse also has a lot in common with basketball. Offensive moves can include fast breaks and picks, while defensive strategies can include zone or person-to-person.

  • Because the lacrosse ball is hard and travels at great speed, and because contact with other players is common, protective gear is always worn.

Cool Lacrosse Facts:

  • Lacrosse is a truly American sport! Northeastern Native American tribes invented the game, probably as early as the 1400's.

  • Native American tribes played the game not just for fun, but also to train warriors for battle and settle arguments between tribes.

  • Native Americans sometimes played the sport with 100 to 1,000 players at once!

  • Jim Brown, one of the NFL's greatest running backs, was also a standout star in the sport of college lacrosse.

What Kids Are Saying About Lacrosse:

"I like lacrosse because it strengthens your legs and your upper body. You make new friends, travel to different schools, have parties, and wear your team uniform to school when you have a home game!"
--Sarah, 13

"The best thing about lacrosse is that it's a team sport, but it's a little different from sports like soccer and football that everybody plays. It's like, I can become a great athlete, and I don't have to go along with the crowd to do it."
--Taylor, 12

Get Involved!

  • The best way to get involved with lacrosse is to play on your school team. If your school doesn't have a team, ask your local parks and recreation department if they have a youth lacrosse league.

  • For more information, visit the US Lacrosse Web site at www.lacrosse.org.

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