Although men’s lacrosse and women’s lacrosse have a lot in common, they tend to differ in critical ways. There are remarkable variations between the two games that ultimately affect the style of play and the type of gear required. Let us breakdown the list.
Number of team players
Men's lacrosse team is made up of ten players on the field, comprising of a goalkeeper, three defenders, three midfielders and three attackers. The women’s team is made up of twelve players with the goalie, six defensive and five offensive players. Offensive players comprise of the first home, second home, third home and two attacking players adding up to its positions. Defensive players are the center, cover point, two defensive wings, third man and the goalkeeper.
Three factors bring out the distinction between men and women’s lacrosse. They include the head, mesh type, and stick sizes. Women’s lacrosse players have one size range for their sticks for all positions except goalie. Each stick size ranges from 35.5 inches to 43.25 inches. The sticks in men’s lacrosse, however, vary by position. Offensive and attack players have shorter sticks of 40 to 42 inches while goalkeepers and defenders have longer sticks of 52-72 inches long.
The main difference linking the men’s stick and women’s stick is the mesh. Whereas mesh is allowed in men’s lacrosse in women’s mesh is illegal. Pockets in women’s sticks only permit them to be strung traditionally.
In men’s teams, a certain level of aggressive and physical contact is allowed during the game. This is what is known as checking, but for women’s game, the regulation does not allow for checking. In the women’s game, physical contact is considered illegal and female players are not allowed to body check. Due to this rule, men end up wearing protective gear of full body and chest pad armor. Women players, therefore, are not required to wear any gear except for the occasional eye-cages and mouth guards. Helmets and protective padding are reservations for the female goalkeepers only.
Another distinction is how games resume after a score. In men’s game, a face-off by two players in a crouched position occurs. For the ladies, two players at the center perform a draw and throw the ball into the air at the whistle. However, both men and women only allow particular players on the offensive and defensive zones.
The size of the playing area also differs between men and women lacrosse. Women’s lacrosse also has a bigger standard playing area. The field in men’s lacrosse measure 110 yards long and 60 yards wide while in women’s lacrosse, the field is a bit larger. A 120 yards long by 70 yards wide area is the standard size for a women’s lacrosse game. In several cases, women could play on a field up to 140 yards long – thirty yards longer than a standard men’s field.
While these features make an impact on the two games and ascertain them as different sporting events, both consist of the same fundamentals of what makes lacrosse great. The men’s game may seem exciting due to more contact than the women’s game, but the adrenaline rush is just the same.