Fort Erie Hawks

Ontario Lacrosse AssociationWednesday, September 26, 2018

NLL News Headlines

UPDATED:  February 13, 2010

What Is Lacrosse?
Native Americans are the creators of lacrosse. The sport was developed by the Native Americans as a way for conflict resolution, the training of young warriors and as a religious ritual.
In the 1930’s, box lacrosse was invented in Canada as a summer sport for hockey players.  There are two types of lacrosse - box and field however the most common version for Canadians, is box. The game is usually played in the spring and summer months in an ice hockey arena after the ice has been removed.  Skills are used from a variety of sports - the running of soccer, team play of basketball, and the passing, shooting and contact of hockey.
Box lacrosse is a full contact team sport using a solid rubber ball and a lacrosse stick. The lacrosse stick is a long handled racket in which the head of the stick has a loose net strung into it that allows the player to hold the lacrosse ball.
A lacrosse team consists of a goalkeeper and five runners. The goal is smaller in box than in field lacrosse and the goaltender wears much more protective padding. Within thirty seconds of gaining possession of the ball, the attacking team must take a shot on goal. The object of the game offensively, is to use the lacrosse stick to catch, carry and pass the ball in an effort to score on the opponent’s goal. When teams are on the defense, the object is to keep the opposing team from scoring and to dispossess them of the ball through the use of stick checking and body contact.
Lacrosse provides exceptional conditioning. Box lacrosse players are rewarded for their coordination and agility.


Why Play Lacrosse?
Here are a few reasons:
  • Lacrosse is Canada's National game.  It's the fastest game on two feet!
  • It's a safe sport!  Sports Canada ranks it at 54th on the list of sports that can cause an injury.  In other words there are 53 other sports that you will be more likely to get injured playing.  Can you name 50 sports?!
  • It's a great physical conditioner.  Running speed and stamina are well rewarded in the game of lacrosse!
  • It develops agility and good hand/eye co-ordination.
  • Develops discipline over emotion.
  • Hockey scholarships are tough to get with so many players, but box lacrosse players from Canada are at a premium in the U.S.
  • 380 Colleges and Universities in the U.S. offer a men's lacrosse program and 195 offer a women's program.
  • Hockey coaches say they can identify a lacrosse player in their midst.  Tenacious, fearless and tough - with really soft hands.  Their ability to handle traffic in front of the net sets them apart from other players.
  • If you want to be a better hockey player then lacrosse has to be your summer sport!


The Relationship Between Hockey and Lacrosse

“… Lacrosse was the key in the development of the greatest scorer in hockey history.”

~ Quote from Walter Gretzky on his son Wayne Gretzky



Wayne Gretzky is a huge supporter of the sport of lacrosse.  He is quoted as saying ...“If a sport has a high point of the year, it must be the first week of spring. When I was growing up, I used to love this time of year. It was when I put my hockey equipment away and I was absolutely ecstatic to see the end of the hockey season. One of the worst things to happen to the game, in my opinion, has been year-round hockey and, in particular, summer hockey. All it does for kids, as far as I can tell, is keep them out sports they should be doing in the warmer weather. I could hardly wait to get my lacrosse stick out and start throwing the ball against the walls and working on our moves as we played the lacrosse equivalent to road hockey. All the good hockey players seemed to play lacrosse in those days and everyone of them learned something from the game to carry over to the other - things athletes can only learn by mixing up the games they play when they are young.”

Not only did the “Great One” play lacrosse in hockey’s off-season, but there also is a long list of NHL players who have polished their hand-eye coordination and physical endurance by playing lacrosse in the summer. Here are some NHL players who also participated in lacrosse:

  • Dave Andreychuk

  • Brian Bellows

  • Paul Coffey

  • Sam Gagne

  • Mike Gartner

  • Doug Gilmour

  • Paul Kariya

  • John MacLean

  • Steve Larmer

  • Joe Nieuwendyk

  • Adam Oates

  • Mike Ridley

  • Gary Roberts

  • Cliff Ronning

  • Joe Sakic

  • Brendan Shanahan

  • Steve Stamkos

  • John Tavares

  • Jonathan Toews

  • Kyle Turris


Box Lacrosse Rules

Although lacrosse is very complimentary to hockey, it is really more similar to basketball. The main similarities and differences are as follows:

  • Like basketball, and unlike hockey to some degree, the game of Lacrosse involves a full team offense and a full team defense. There are no defencemen in Lacrosse!!

  • The five offensive players are referred to as left crease (like left wing in hockey), left corner (like left defense), right crease (like right wing), right corner (right defense) & point (centre).

  • Like basketball there are no off-sides nor icing!  This keeps the pace of the game moving very quickly.

  • In Lacrosse many "plays" originate from the corners where players on the possession team try to "set picks" on opposing players to hopefully free up a teammate for a possible scoring opportunity.

  • Like basketball, there is a 30 second shot clock which means a team who gains possession of the ball has 30 seconds to get a shot on net or they lose possession.

  • When the ball goes out of bounds, the opponent of the team who last touched the ball gets possession

  • Players cannot pass the ball to the goalie in the crease at any time.

  • An illegal cross-check is defined as a) above the shoulders, b) below the waist, c) when the opponent is not on their feet, d) when a non-ball carrier is outside the dotted line on the floor.

  • When a goalkeeper is hit on the mask, play is stopped. The goalkeeper restarts play with possession of the ball in their crease.

  • Slashing is not allowed at all in minor lacrosse.

  • If 2 players are going after a "loose" ball they must play the ball and not check the other player until he has possession. This again can be a little misleading especially when each player is battling and jostling for the ball.

  • When a penalty is assessed, the non-offending team restarts play with possession of the ball near the centre of the floor.

  • When one team offends, and no penalty is called, "possession" is awarded to the other team. The same applies for a player who looses the ball into the stands - the other team is awarded possession and the play is started once the whistle is blown by the referee.

  • Checking from behind will be dealt with severely as it is one of the leading potential injury factors and in some cases a penalty shot can be awarded. Checking is an important part of the game but checking from behind and violent checks into the boards will not be tolerated and will be enforced. Many of these infractions can be a "judgment" call by the referee.

  • Cross-checking in Lacrosse, is both legal and a very important and proper method of checking!!

  • High sticking is another area of confusion for parents!! In some cases "Incidental" contact with the helmet by an opponent's stick is not automatically a penalty!! It is again a referee's judgment call.

  • Players or goalies, out of their crease, will be penalized if they catch the ball in the hand. If they just contact it with the hand, it is a foul with possession awarded to the other team.

  • Face-offs are taken with the open face of the stick facing your own net. The ball must come out of the 2' small face-off circle before other players can cross the restraining lines. An offense results in immediate possession to the other team.

  • A player with the ball cannot push off with his free hand or arm! If he does possession is awarded to the other team. This rule is very misunderstood by new parents. Many times spectators will not notice freehand or arm pushing (by the way, as long as the player with the ball keeps both hands on his stick he can usually push, or shoulder or resist his checker) and often miss the checking by offensive players especially action away from the ball.

  • The ball can be kicked but not for a goal. Also if the ball becomes stuck in a stick the referee will free it and play shall continue.

  • When a team is shorthanded, they have 10 seconds in which to get the ball over centre and once over cannot go back, or a change of possession call is made with possession awarded to the opposing team. When a player is awarded possession by the referee, he must be given at least 3 metres of room by the defending players until the whistle signifies restarting of play.

  • Once possession of the ball changes the team gaining possession has 30 seconds to get a shot on net or score a goal.

  • Another big difference between hockey and Lacrosse involves the goalie's crease. If you go into the other team's crease to shoot or cut through it, you will lose possession. If you go through the other team's crease to make a check or you touch the goalie while he is in his crease it results in a penalty. If you are pushed into the crease you are okay but you must make every effort to get back out immediately.  In your own team's end, once the ball is in your goaltender's crease and comes out, if one of your team brings the ball back into the crease, the ball is turned over to the other team.

  • The goalie in Lacrosse can function just like any other player on the floor. Remember there is no centre red line for off-side purposes and a goalie can go anywhere on the floor.



Contacts for Fort Erie Minor Lacrosse Association

Hosting Donated by