How do men’s and women’s lacrosse differ?


General facts:

  1. Lacrosse was invented by Native Americans but how the game was played is still unknown. The game was originally known as stickball.
  2. Early lacrosse games were played to toughen warriors for war and for recreational and religious purposes.
  3. The numbers of players varied; reports say games had anywhere between 100 and 100,000 players participating in a game.
  4. Balls were originally wooden and were later replaced with deerskin balls with fur.

Women’s Facts:

  1. Game balls are yellow solid rubber.
  2. Women play with goggles and a mouthguard. Goalies wear chest protectors and helmets. Some choose to wear shin guards. Women are only allowed to check sticks and are not allowed to body check each other.
  3. The first women’s lacrosse game was played in Scotland in 1890.
  4. Women play with twelve players on the field: four attackers, three midfielders, four defenders and one goalie.
  5. Women start and restart gameplay with a draw. The two players stand at the midline with the ball between sticks. It is then thrown into the air by both players and gameplay has started.

Men’s Facts:

  1. Game balls are white solid rubber.
  2. Men play with protective gear. Equipment includes helmets, chest protectors, gloves and arm pads. Men are allowed to body check each other because of the protective gear.
  3. The first NCAA men’s lacrosse championship was played between Cornell University and University of Maryland.
  4. The men play with ten players on the field at once: three attack men, three midfielders, three defense men and one goalie.
  5. To start and restart gameplay, men compete in a face-off. Men crouch on the ground to fight for the ball.