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Complexities of Women’s Lacrosse

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Women’s Lacrosse requires dedication and passion in order to play this skillful sport.

Women’s Lacrosse requires dedication and passion in order to play this skillful sport.

YLHS Women’s Lacrosse Team Boosters

YLHS Women’s Lacrosse Team Boosters

Women’s Lacrosse requires dedication and passion in order to play this skillful sport.

Jaylin Mandley, Editor

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Originally played by the indigenous people of America, women’s lacrosse is an underestimated women’s sport that is rapidly increasing in popularity across America today. According to Phit America, women’s lacrosse is among the top five fastest growing sports in America. Introduced in 1890 at the St Leonard’s School in St Andrews, Scotland, women’s lacrosse is more popular on the east coast, but today it continues to increase in popularity on the west coast of America. The object of the game is to use a long-handled, mesh-pocketed lacrosse stick to catch, cradle, and pass a solid rubber lacrosse ball among teammates in order to score by hurling the ball into an opposing team’s goal. Although the idea of the game might seem simple, women’s lacrosse has several quirks and complications that make the game one of intelligence and skill.

The game starts off with a “draw,” and this also restarts the game once a goal is scored. To exercise the draw, two players, one from each team, stand in the center circle with the backs of their sticks facing each other. The referee places the ball between the two sticks, and each player has to push their sticks together parallel to the ground to contain the ball. The draw takers must lift and pull their sticks over their heads releasing the ball where they can then run after it.

Protecting one’s stick from other players is key in the game of women’s lacrosse. In order to protect the ball from being knocked out of her stick, a player must cradle the ball. “Cradling” is the back and forth movement and twisting of the head of the stick, which keeps the ball in the pocket with centripetal force. In women’s lacrosse, players may try to hit the ball out of an opponent’s stick by “checking,” or hitting, her stick with the side of their own stick. A legal check is performed when the check is directed away from the ball carrier’s head. Checks are difficult to perform correctly, but if done properly, they can cause a turn-over of the ball to the other team. Ground balls are also another necessary, fundamental skill that occurs when a ball is scooped off of the ground when it is dropped. Although this action might sound easy, momentum and accuracy are required to successfully pick up the ball after getting low to the ground to scoop it up.

According to Hannah Richter (12), a captain and defender on the Yorba Linda Women’s Lacrosse team, “the hardest thing about lacrosse is trying to look at the ball and the person you are guarding at the same time and trying not to let the other team shoot.” Of the defensive rules of women’s lacrosse, there is a shooting space rule that protects the defenders guarding the ball. The rule must be recognized when a defender moves into the offender’s shooting lane to goal at an angle that makes the defender at risk of being hit by the ball if the offender were to shoot. Because this typically occurs within the 8-meter arc in front of the goal, all players that were previously inside the arc must take the most direct route out. The player who was fouled now moves to the nearest hash mark that is located around the edges of the arc and is given a direct lane to goal since all players are moved a hash away from the shooter, and the defender who committed the foul is relocated on the 12-meter fan directly behind the shooter.

There are even more rules that make up the game of women’s lacrosse and can be found at uslacrosse.org. Women’s lacrosse is an interesting game to watch and an even more exciting sport to play, and the YLHS Women’s Lacrosse team welcomes all players–new and old. While women’s lacrosse might seem like an unusual game, don’t underestimate the skill and passion required to play this complicated sport.

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