Women's lacrosse

Women's lacrosse

Women's lacrosse is a popular version of lacrosse, a team sport of Native American origin played with netted sticks that are used to throw, catch and shoot a small rubber ball into the opponent's goal.

The first women’s lacrosse game was played in 1890 at the St Leonards School in Scotland, [cite web |url=http://www.stleonards-fife.org/Index.asp?MainID=4382 |title=History of Lacrosse at St Leonards |accessdate=2008-05-01 |last= |first= |coauthors= |date= |work=STLeonards-Fife.org |publisher=] the first women's lacrosse team in the United States was established at Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, Maryland. Men’s and women’s lacrosse were played under virtually the same rules, with no protective equipment, until the mid-1930s. At that time, men’s lacrosse began evolving dramatically.

Women’s lacrosse is played with a team of 12 players; one of the players is usually the goalkeeper. The duration of the game is 60 minutes, two halves of 30 minutes each. Each team is allowed one 90-second team time-out per half. Time-outs may be taken after a goal has been scored. In 2008, a new rule was regulated if a team has possession in their attacking end, then they may call a time out.


The rules of women's lacrosse differ significantly from men's lacrosse. The details which follow are the USA rules. International women's lacrosse rules are slightly different. [ [http://www.womenslacrosse.org/pdfs/IFWLA_Rulebook_2007_Web.pdf 2007 IFWLA Women's Lacrosse Rules] , International Federation of Women's Lacrosse Associations]

Women's lacrosse rules are specifically designed to allow less physical contact between players. As a result of the lack of contact, the only protective equipment required is eyewear and a mouthguard.cite web|url=http://www.uslacrosse.org/the_sport/womens_rules.phtml|title=Women's Condensed Lacrosse Rules|work=US Lacrosse|accessdate=2007-03-18] Although these are the only protective equipment, there are still many injuries due to accidental checks to the head and the overall aggressiveness of the sport. The pockets of women's sticks are shallower than those of the men, making the ball harder to catch and more difficult to shoot at high speed. Women play with three attackers (or "homes"), five midfielders (or "middies"), three defenders (starting from the back, called "point", "cover point", and "third man"), and one goalie. Seven players play attack at one time and seven defenders are present. There is a restraining line that keeps the other four players (plus the goalie) from going into the attack. If those players cross the line, they are considered offsides and a penalty is given.

In women's lacrosse, players may only check if the check is directed away from the ball carrier's head. Also, players may only check using the side of their stick. If caught by one of the referees using the flat of the head, it will be called as a "held check" and the opposing team will get the ball.

There are two types of fouls in woman's lacrosse, major and minor. When a minor foul is committed anywhere on the field, the player who fouled is set four meters to whichever side she was guarding the person she obstructed. If a major foul occurs outside of the 12 meter fan or eight meter arc, the fouler must stand four meters behind the player she fouled.

There are two different surroundings around the goal on both sides of the field. The eight meter arc and the 12 meter fan. When committing a major foul inside either of these areas, all players that were previously inside the surrounding 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 or fan and either takes position to shoot or to pass (although, most often to shoot). When the whistle is blown, the player with the ball may move up and try for a goal.

The most important rule in women's lacrosse is shooting space, this is a violation of the rules. It occurs when a defender moves in at a bad angle on the offender while shooting in the 8 meter arc. This is a dangerous play made by the defender.

Women's games are played in two 30-minute halves. These 30 minutes are running time, except for the last two minutes, during which time stops when the whistle is blown (This can differ when playing high school or middle school games). While the whistle is blown, players are not allowed to move. In women's lacrosse, players are not allowed to touch the ball with their body or cover the ball with their stick in order to scoop it into their stick or protect the ball from picked up by an opponent.

The women's lacrosse game saw numerous rule changes in 2000. [cite web|url=http://www.laxpower.com/ask-ref/changes.htm#women|title=Women's Rule Changes for 2000|work=LaxPower|accessdate=2007-03-18] Modifications include limiting the amount of players allowed between the two restraining lines on the draw to five players per team. Stick modifications have led to offset heads, which allow the women's game to move faster and makes stick moves and tricks easier. In 2002, goggles became mandatory equipment in the United States (but not a requirement in international rules). In 2006, hard boundaries were adopted.

Penalties for women's lacrosse are assessed with the following cards:
* The green card, given to the team captain, is for a delay of game.
* The yellow card is for a first-time penalty and results in the player being removed from the field for three minutes.
* The red card is the result either of two yellow cards or one unsportsmanlike behavior ruling, and causes the player to be ejected from the game. If the red card is for unsportsmanlike behavior, the player is also not permitted to play in the following game.

List of fouls

Women's lacrosse includes both major and minor fouls, major fouls listed in the NCAA rule book as of 2008 are:
*Rough/Dangerous Check
*Check to the Head (Mandatory Card)
*Slash(Mandatory Card)
*Crosse in the sphere
*Illegal Contact
*Illegal Use of Crosse
*Reach across the body
*Illegal cradle
*Obstruction of the Free Space to Goal(Shooting Space)
*Three Seconds
*Illegal Pick
*Forcing Through
*False Start
*Playing the ball of an opponent
*Dangerous Propelling(Mandatory Card)
*Dangerous Follow-Through(Mandatory Card)
*Dangerous Shot
*Illegal Shot

Minor Fouls listed in the NCAA rule book as of 2008 are:
*Empty Stick Check
*Warding off
*Hand Ball
*Squeeze the Head of the Crosse
*Body Ball
*Throwing her crosse in any circumstance.
*Taking part in the game if she is not holding her crosse.
*Illegal Draw
*On the center draw, stepping on or in to the center circle or on or over the restraining line before the whistle.
*Illegal crosse
*Scoring a goal with a crosse that does not meet the field crosse specifications.
*Adjusting the strings/thongs of her crosse after an official inspection of her crosse has been requested during the game. The crosse must be removed.
*Illegal Uniform
*Illegal Substitution
*Delay of game
*Play from out of bounds
*Illegal re-entry
*Illegal Timeout

Women's Lacrosse World Cup

Every four years the IFWLA holds the Women's Lacrosse World Cup. Australia is currently the world champion after a record making win over the United States in 2005.


See also

*International Federation of Women's Lacrosse Associations
*Women's Lacrosse World Cup
*NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championship

External links

* [http://www.womenslacrosse.org International Federation of Women's Lacrosse Associations]
* [http://www.womenslacrosse.com/about.shtml Women's lacrosse in the United States]
* [http://www.englishlacrosse.co.uk/vsite/vnavsite/page/directory/0,10853,5106-167100-184318-nav-list,00.html Women's lacrosse in England]
* [http://www.laxwales.com Women's lacrosse in Wales]
* [http://www.lacrosse.ca/womenfield.asp Women's field lacrosse in Canada]
* [http://www.lacrosse.com.au Women's lacrosse in Australia]
* [http://www.nllax.nl Women's lacrosse in the Netherlands]
* [http://www.ncaa.org/stats/w_lacrosse/ NCAA Women's Lacrosse statistics]

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