What’s The Difference Between Men’s & Women’s Lacrosse?


Lacrosse is an interesting team sport where the players try to get the rubber ball into a goal by carrying it in a long stick. This stick also called the lacrosse stick comes with a net at one end of it and is used to run, carry, pass or shoot the ball with the help of the net attached to the stick. Lacrosse is an athletic and active game and imparts excellent competitiveness and exercise for the players. Lacrosse is indeed the fastest game on two feet and is popular with schools, colleges, and is successful as a professional sport as well.

Check: Top 10 Best Lacrosse Sticks

Difference Between Men’s & Women’s Lacrosse

Men and Women Lacrosse Games

Lacrosse is one of the best sports for both men and women players. But the men and women lacrosse games are different and there are multiple technical and physical differences between the two games, creating two different variations of the Lacrosse game. The major differences between the two games are the style of play, number of players in the field, equipment, and dimensions of the field. The major difference between the men’s and women’s games is that body contact with the lacrosse stick is allowed in the men’s lacrosse game, whereas it is not allowed in the women’s game. Other major differences between the men’s and women’s lacrosse games are discussed below.

Major Differences Between the Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse Game

Both the men’s and women’s lacrosse games have a lot in common. They are both fast and intense games that rely on extreme physical stamina and hand to eye co-ordination. The main objective of the game is to get a little rubber ball in the net as many times as possible and the differences between the two games are given below.

1. Differences in the gameplay:

There is a major difference in how the games start and how the game resumes following a score. In the men’s lacrosse game, they have a face-off, where the player from each team fight for control of the ball from a crouched position. Whereas in the women’s game, they perform a draw, where the ball is placed at the center, between the two teams. The players stand toe to toe and wait to air the ball at the blow of the whistle. 

In the men’s game, three attackers should remain on the offensive side of the field and three defensemen should remain on the defensive side of the field. The three midfielders can roam on the entire field. Defenders can also enter the offensive zone, in certain situations. Similarly, in the women’s game, out of the twelve players, only seven players are allowed below the restraining line.

Check out: Top 10 Best Women’s Lacrosse Sticks

2. Checking and No-checking:

Male lacrosse players have to face the constant threat of getting poked or bumped with sticks and some rules disqualify violent checking. But even the appropriate and legal checks carry a risk of injury. They are in a position to protect themselves with appropriate safety gear. In the women’s lacrosse game, all types of body checks and stick checks that might hit the player will result in a penalty, and thus the gear requirement is minimal. Female players should wear mouth guards and goggles, and helmets and protective padding are reserved for goalies.

3. Differences in the game accessories:

It will be easy for women lacrosse players to pick up their sticks as the size range of the sticks of all positions is the same, except for the goalie. But in the men’s game, the length of the stick varies by position. Short length sticks are for offensive players, whereas longer sticks are for goalkeepers and defenders. 

The mesh on the women’s lacrosse sticks mimics the traditional style sticks with thick shooting strings that run lengthwise. There is also a shallow sidewall that gets ball handling much difficult in the women’s game. The mesh pockets in the men’s lacrosse game feature traditional stringing along with mesh netting to help with a nice and soft pocket. Thus it is easy to hold a ball easily with this mesh pocket. The pockets that are used in the men’s game are not legal to be used in the women’s game. 

4. Size of the playing field and roaster size:

The major difference between the men’s and women’s lacrosse game is the numbers. The Men’s lacrosse game has 10 players, with three players on each side of the field positions – attacker, midfielder, and defense and a goalie). The women’s game has 12 players – five offensive players and six defensive players and a goalie. 

The women’s playing area is large and has a standard playing area of 120 x 70-yard surface. The field dimension of the men’s lacrosse game is 110 x 60-yards. The women’s field surface can be at least 30 yards longer than a standard men’s field. Previously, the women’s game has unlimited boundaries, and they can use the natural game space of the playing area. But this rule has been replaced to promote offense and to make the game complete quickly.

5. Rules on cradling:

Cradling is common in both men’s and women’s game to keep the ball securely in the stick. The proper cradling technique is mandatory to keep the ball in position and to perform an easy pass or hit a goal. As there are nobody checks in the women’s game, it is possible to maintain a tight cradle motion between the shoulder and the ear. In men’s games, the players keep their sticks a little farther to deal with the body checks in their game.

Check out: Best Lacrosse Sticks for Beginners

Bottom Line

The men’s and the women’s lacrosse game differ from each other in several aspects that we have discussed above. Despite the differences, both the game has a common goal of competing at the highest level and accumulating scores for the game. They should also render excellent entertainment for the on-lookers through their tricky and exciting movements. Nevertheless, the lacrosse game is fun both to play and to watch.



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