Most parents want their kids to stay physically active. Many sports organizations like the NFL are even getting into the act of encouraging physical activity. So when your child comes home and wants to play lacrosse, you are thrilled! Now all you need to do is figure out exactly what lacrosse is.

My Child Wants To Play Lacrosse! Help!

Lacrosse may be a new sport to your family, but in reality it has been around for centuries. While you probably wouldn’t recognize the ancient aboriginal Canadian game in the current version played today, it is the origin of this increasingly popular game. Let’s learn more about the game as well as what equipment your child will need to play it and stay safe doing so.

Some Things to Know About the Game

Today, lacrosse is played mainly in the United States and Canada. The rules vary greatly across age levels and even gender, with women’s lacrosse allowing for much less physical contact than the men’s version. It can be played indoors or out and with as many as 10 players on a side.

The basics are relatively the same for all levels. The object of the game is to score goals on your opponent in four 15-minute quarters. On offence, players advance the ball forward by passing it to a teammate or running with the ball in the mesh or head of the lacrosse stick. This is known as cradling. Shots are taken with the stick in a whipping motion towards the goal.

On defense, the object of course is to stop your opponent from scoring. In the men’s game, this can be very physical with a lot of body checking and contact. In the women’s game, there is less contact and more stick work.

What Equipment Will Your Child Need

The main piece of equipment is the stick, also known as the crosse. Make sure you get one that’s appropriate for your child’s size and gender. There is a big difference between men’s and women’s sticks both in shaft size and head depth.

The league your child is involved with will make a difference as to what safety equipment they’ll need. A mouth guard and goggles are mandatory for all players, and a helmet is very common for most leagues. In addition, there are shoulder pads, gloves, rib protection, cleats and arm guards. This list will change depending on what position your child will play as well. Goalies, for example, have larger heads on their sticks and padded pants. Women generally wear less padding because their version of the sport is less physical, therefore they don’t need as much protection.

If this is starting to sound a little complicated, an online lacrosse store can be invaluable to you. They will be able to help you determine exactly what you need and what sizes to get.

Once you get your child outfitted, sit back and get ready for some fun. The more you know about the game, the more knowledgeable you will be in the stands rooting on your favorite player.