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Lacrosse is a sport that is enjoyed by people of all ages, and there are two different types: men’s lacrosse and women’s lacrosse. Though they are both similar, there are some key differences between the two. In this article, I will discuss all of the similarities and differences between men’s and women’s lacrosse.
The main difference between women’s and men’s lacrosse is the number of players on the field. Men’s lacrosse teams have 10 players, while women’s lacrosse teams have 12 players. The equipment used, like the lacrosse sticks, also differs between the two sports.
Below, I will list all of the similarities and differences between men’s and women’s lacrosse. So keep reading to learn more.
What’s The Difference Between Men’s Lacrosse And Women’s Lacrosse
Here are the main differences between men’s and women’s lacrosse:
|10 player team
|12 player team
|Stick length varies
|Stick length is the same
|Checking is allowed
|Checking is not allowed
|More physical contact
|Less physical contact
|Can cradle the ball with both hands
|Can cradle the ball with only one hand
|120×70-yard playing field
|110×60-yard playing field
|Face-off crouched for ball possession
|Face-off standing for ball possession
These are some of the main differences between men’s and women’s lacrosse. Though the two sports are similar, there are some key differences that make each sport unique. Below, I will break down these differences. Consider these differences when choosing which sport is right for you.
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The Number Of Players On The Field
Men’s lacrosse teams have 10 players, while women’s lacrosse teams have 12 players.
This is due to the fact that women’s lacrosse is a non-contact sport, and the extra players help to offset any potential advantage that one team might have over the other.
The Length Of The Sticks
The length of the sticks for women’s lacrosse are all the same except for the goalie’s stick, which is shorter. The sticks for men’s lacrosse vary in length depending on the player’s position.
In men’s lacrosse, checking is allowed and players can use their sticks to contact opponents. In women’s lacrosse, checking is not allowed and players cannot use their sticks to contact opponents.
The overall physicality of the two sports is different. Men’s lacrosse is a more physical sport, and players are allowed to body-check opponents.
Women’s lacrosse is not as physical, and players cannot body-check opponents.
In lacrosse, cradling is when a player holds the lacrosse ball in the pocket of their stick. In men’s lacrosse, players are allowed to cradle with both hands. In women’s lacrosse, players can only cradle with one hand.
This means that women’s lacrosse players have to be more skilled in their stick work.
Women’s lacrosse has a larger 120×70-yard playing field, while men’s lacrosse has a smaller 110×60-yard playing field. Some lacrosse fields for women can be as big as 140×70 yards.
How the game is started is different between the two sports. In men’s lacrosse, two players fight for the ball in a crouched position. In women’s lacrosse, the two players stand up and start with the ball in between their sticks. The player who wins the face-off is able to take possession of the ball.
*By the way, I recently wrote an article about How Many Players Total Are On A Lacrosse Team. This article breaks down exactly how many players, at different levels, each lacrosse team has. You can check out this article here!
Are Men’s And Women’s Lacrosse Rules the Same?
The rules for men’s and women’s lacrosse are different. The main difference is that checking is not allowed in women’s lacrosse. Also, since cradling is only allowed with one hand in women’s lacrosse, players have to be more skilled in their stick work.
The overall physicality of the two sports is different, with men’s lacrosse being more physical. Also, the playing field for women’s lacrosse is larger than the playing field for men’s lacrosse.
Some other differences include the number of players on the field and the length of sticks. Men’s lacrosse teams have ten players, while women’s lacrosse teams have twelve players.
The length of the sticks for women’s lacrosse are all the same except for the goalie’s stick, which is shorter.
*Side Note: You might be wondering if there are cheerleaders in the sport of lacrosse. I recently wrote an article about If Lacrosse Has Cheerleaders. This article breaks down if there are cheerleaders at ALL levels of lacrosse and professional lacrosse. You can check out this article here!
Why Do Girls’ Lacrosse Sticks Have No Pockets?
The sticks in women’s lacrosse mimic the traditional-style stick used in Native American stickball games. These sticks did not have pockets, and the game was played with a small ball. This helped players keep a fast-paced game with the ball consistently changing possession without much cradling.
The pockets in men’s lacrosse sticks were introduced in the late later after the game had grown in popularity. They were designed to help players catch and throw the ball more effectively.
Pockets are not allowed in women’s lacrosse sticks because they are thought to give players an unfair advantage. Without pockets, players had to keep the game fast-paced with the ball frequently changing possessions.
Some people also believe that the lack of pockets makes women’s lacrosse a more challenging and skillful game.
*Side Note: I recently wrote an article about How Often You Should Replace Your Lacrosse Stick. This article talks about when you should replace your lacrosse stick and head. You can check out this article here!
Why Do Girl Lacrosse Players Drop Their Sticks After A Goal?
In women’s lacrosse, especially college lacrosse, the opposing coach may often request that the stick be checked for illegal pocket depth or formation which makes it necessary for players to drop their stick after a goal for a potential inspection of the mesh pocket depth.
This is the reason why, after a goal is scored, the player will drop her stick on the ground so that the coach or officials can check if there is a complaint or not.
If the stick is found to be legal, the player will pick it up and continue to play.
When I need to restring my lacrosse head (which is pretty often), my favorite mesh to use is the ECD Lacrosse Hero 3.0. I recently came across this Complete Kit of Lacrosse Mesh and HeroStrings on Amazon and I never needed anything else. You can check it out on Amazon!
Can Girls Use Boys’ Lacrosse Sticks?
As a general rule, girls cannot use boys’ lacrosse sticks to play the game. While the sticks may look similar, they are not interchangeable. The main difference is the pocket. Women’s lacrosse sticks cannot have pockets, while men’s lacrosse sticks do making it illegal to use the other’s sticks.
Besides the pocket, the two types of sticks also differ in weight and length. Women’s lacrosse sticks are typically lighter and shorter than men’s lacrosse sticks.
This is because women’s lacrosse is a non-contact sport, so players don’t need extra weight and length for protection. Women’s lacrosse stick allows them to run faster and be more agile.
*By the way, I recently wrote an article about What Combination Of Sports Is Lacrosse Made From. These 4 sports contributed to the creation of the lacrosse that we know today. You can check out this article here!
Why Is Women’s Lacrosse No Contact?
Generally speaking, Women’s lacrosse is a semi-contact sport because of a high potential for injuries. This is mainly due to the important protection of the head and neck, as checking can often lead to head injuries. No contact is legal whatsoever above the shoulders.
In women’s lacrosse, players are not allowed to make contact with an opponent above their shoulders. This includes pushing, pulling, or hitting another player with their stick or body.
Why Does Women’s Lacrosse Not Have Helmets?
Since women’s lacrosse is a semi-contact sport where checking is not allowed above the shoulders, the use of helmets is not necessary. Women playing lacrosse should be aware of the no-contact rule above the shoulders to prevent head and neck injuries.
The only time you will see a woman wearing a lacrosse helmet is if she also plays on a men’s team and is required to wear one according to league rules.
Besides helmets, women’s lacrosse players also wear mouthguards and eye protection.
*By the way, I recently wrote an article about If Lacrosse Players Should Wear Protective Cups. This article talks about if lacrosse players should wear cups and breaks down the rules of wearing protective cups in lacrosse. You can check out this article here!
Why Do Girls Have To Wear Goggles In Lacrosse?
In women’s lacrosse, all players are required to wear eye protection. This can be in the form of goggles, polycarbonate glasses, or a visor attached to a helmet. Apart from protection from potential sticks and balls, goggles also help keep long hair out of players’ faces.
Goggles provide the most coverage and protection from impact, so they are the preferred type of eye protection for most female players.
*Side Note: If you wear glasses you might be wondering If You Can Play Lacrosse While Wearing Glasses. I recently wrote an article that explains if you should wear glasses at a lacrosse game as well as whether or not you should wear lacrosse goggles during a game. You can check out this article here!