A men’s lacrosse game may attract larger crowds but listen up, boys– there is a lot that can be learned from girls’ lacrosse and by no means should the female version of the game be ignored or downplayed. There are some key differences between boys and girls lacrosse – from the physicality allowed to the sticks used to the rules enforced –that have changed the way girls are playing the game…and in a good way.
To begin with, girls’ lacrosse is a purer form of the game, with a lineage closer to the sport’s early history. In the female version of the game, players abide by rules that are closer to the original regulations, with being “out of bounds” only recently resulting in a stoppage of play. (More info: http://apps.uslacrosse.org/news/2005/hardboundaries.phtml)
The sticks used in girls’ lacrosse have a shallower pocket than the sticks boys use in their games. This lack of pocket depth forces girls to be more aware of where the ball is, since the ball is more likely to fall out of a shallow pocket. For this same reason, girls also must be aware of their body positioning, grip placement, and stick location at all times since any false movement could mean loss of the ball. From this, boys can see how increased awareness makes girls more attentive to the physical aspect of the competition and can learn to increase focus on the mechanics of the game.
Girls are also experts at defensive positioning. Much like in basketball, girls’ lacrosse players are not permitted to openly check each other so girls don’t have the option of knocking another player out of position. Instead, girls are always aware of their location and must be precise about their positioning. If boys can add this additional consciousness to their game, they would be able to improve their method of body-checking while remaining in proper position to defend their goal as necessary.
Teamwork is also hyper-important in girls’ lacrosse. In the girls’ game, each player needs to always be aware of their position on the field and communication plays a huge role in that. When the whistle is blown to stop the game, girls are not permitted to move. Therefore, they must think ahead when they see a ball going out-of-bounds. It can be easier to beat someone one-on-one without the physicality allowed in boy’s lacrosse, so girls rely on their teammates to let them know when their competitors are in their area so they can make the moves necessary to retain ball possession. Enhancing team communication for boys’ lacrosse can make a team stronger and more primed on both the offensive and defensive zones of the field.
To learn more, Lacrosse IQ’s blog is available at http://bblax.com/lacrosse_IQ/.