Lacrosse, a field sport not wholly unlike soccer or hockey, is one of the
most popular sports in North America. It might not enjoy the same broad
appeal as other competitive sports do, but the skill required to play and
the excitement it generates keeps it going year after year. Collegiate
and professional lacrosse continue to expand throughout the United States
Lacrosse is played on a field which is 110 yards long and 60 yards wide.
Like hockey and soccer, defensive and offensive players are on the field
at the same time, passing the ball forward to their attackers so they can
score goals. Each player wields a lacrosse stick, or crosse,
to field the ball. Each side also has one goalie, the team's last
line of defense against an opponent's ability to score.
Lacrosse can be as rough as hockey, particularly in men's divisions. For
this reason, similar protective gear is available. Helmets with facemasks
are a must, because lacrosse balls are hard and can cause serious injury.
Arm pads, shoulder pads, rib pads and knee pads are also common and highly
recommended. Goalies should wear even more padding because of the amount
of punishment they'll take while trying to fend off incoming shots.
The crosse is the most important piece of equipment for a player,
besides padding. Each player's stick consists of two parts, the shaft
and the head. Many lacrosse sticks come in one piece, but you can buy
two independent parts if you are looking for particular designs. Some
players, for example, prefer a certain type of stringing for their head,
while demanding a tougher shaft to help when play gets particularly rough.