What Is The Beginning Of A Lacrosse Game Called?

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So, you’re looking to play lacrosse? The godfather of most of the popular sports that are played in the world today. 

Lacrosse is an intense and extremely active sport that has elements of basketball, soccer, football, and hockey rolled all into one sport. If you are interested in playing the sport, first you have to know what the start of the game is called. Are you ready?

What is the beginning of a lacrosse game called? The beginning of a lacrosse game is called a faceoff. In lacrosse, the faceoff is the organized way the game is started where players wait in a circle, similar to hockey and basketball, for the referee to blow their whistle and go for the ball.

Today, in this article, we are going to talk about what exactly happens in a faceoff and give you some cool facts on lacrosse to help spark your enthusiasm to grab some gear and get out onto the field. 

With that said, get ready for these 7 Fun Lacrosse Facts!

7 Fun Lacrosse Facts

#1 The beginning of a lacrosse game is called a faceoff: 

We know this part now. But what exactly happens during a lacrosse faceoff? As mentioned above, the faceoff is the organized, and sometimes intense way a lacrosse game is initiated. The players will circle up and wait for the referee to blow the whistle to signal for the game to begin and go for the ball.

In a faceoff, two players, (one from each team) will “faceoff” against each other and use their sticks to gain first possession of the ball

Where lacrosse is concerned, there are many opportunities for a faceoff to occur and it’s not just at the beginning of the game

A faceoff can occur whenever a dead ball situation occurs or to restart the game after a play has been stopped for some reason

Faceoffs in the outdoor version of lacrosse (field lacrosse), occur at the beginning of every quarter or half and whenever a goal happens to be scored

During faceoff, there will be two players on the center X and two players on the wing area lines from each team. Once possession of the ball is taken by any of these players, the other players are freed from the restraining lines to engage in the game.

#2 Lacrosse was used to prepare young men for war: 

This probably explains why lacrosse can be such an aggressive sport. When lacrosse (originally called stickball) was created by Native Americans, it was to bring people from different tribes together to participate in deity worship.

Another purpose that is served is that it was played to serve as symbolic combat.

When the game was created, it was extremely wild and violent and had a number of participants that would be unheard of today – anywhere from 100 to 1000 playing at a time. Safety and protection were not concerns, as this game was a means to prepare young men for battle.

Years later, rules were incorporated to provide safety to the players. The game now is played for entertainment now and is enjoyed worldwide.

#3 In 1763, the game of lacrosse was used to take over the fort of Michilimackinac from the British: 

Yes, you read that right. Native Americans who were players of the original version of the game utilized their sport to capture a fort from the British. Apparently, British soldiers were big fans of the sport and Native Americans used this to their advantage to distract them. They organized a game to be played where it could be watched from the fort.

Due to the diehard excitement and enthusiasm, the British had for the game, the Native American tribes were able to stage an ambush and take over the fort from the British. It’s kind of reminiscent of how distracted we get today when watching our favorite sport on tv.

#4 Lacrosse is older than all the sports than we watch on television: 

People often ask: “What sport is Lacrosse mostly like?” Really, it should be the other way around. Lacrosse has essentially been around since 1100 A.D. When it comes to describing the game in terms of being “like” other sports, diehard players tend to get a bit upset and irritated.

Lacrosse just didn’t get the amount of publicity of sports like basketball, football, hockey, and soccer. All of these other sports have taken elements of lacrosse to create their own respective games, but are more widely known than lacrosse.

So remember, most other sports are like lacrosse, not the other way around.

#5 Lacrosse is actually one of the Top Three Safest Sports: 

How does one of the roughest sports out there that was once used to prepare men for battle earn a spot on list of the safest sports you can play? This is because of Lacrosse’s history.

Due to how wild and violent the game used to be, special regulations were put into place to ensure the safety and comfort of the players and to make it an enjoyable sport to play.

Since these regulations were put into place and they are actually followed, the NCAA ranked it as one of the Top Three Safest sports to play in.

The use of protection equipment is mandatory in Lacrosse to ensure the safety of the players. Take a look on this article if you want to know more about the gear you need to get started.

#6 When lacrosse was first created, it was to be strictly for fun: 

Wait. What? I thought it was meant to be a tool to prepare younger men for war. Yes, but it didn’t start off that way. Lacrosse, (baggataway by the Algonquin or tewaarathon) by the Iroquois was a way for different tribes from all over to get together and participate in a game to promote fun and unity among the different tribes.

The games typically lasted for 2 to 3 days and was also a means of settling disputes among tribes without resorting to war, as they might need to rely upon each other at some point. The game was open to all young men who wanted to play, and the field wasn’t like you see today, but actually about 2 miles long!

It was seen as a way of healing the people of turmoil, a way to peacefully prepare for war, and spiritual development and worship. Clearly, it worked in the war department by taking a fort from the British.

#7 Women had their own version of lacrosse called amtahcha: 

Did you think that women didn’t play this game? Wrong. Don’t worry. Most people don’t know that they had their own version of the game back then. It was nearly identical except that their sticks were shorter than the men’s.

Today lacrosse is extremely popular among women, and there are quite a few female lacrosse teams around the world. However, their rules are different, and they play on somewhat of a larger field. They also have 12 players to a team as opposed to the 10 players per team for men.

When it comes to their field, it is a bit bigger. A female lacrosse field is 120 by 70 yards. This is compared to the men’s being 110 by 60 yards. As for the rules, there is no physical contact in women’s lacrosse either.

Cool Note: In 1926 at Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore of the United States the first female lacrosse team was established.

Summary

Lacrosse is an exciting, intense, yet safe sport that almost anyone can enjoy. With its rich history, you can’t help but respect how far it has come and has endured through the times throughout history. If you want to learn more about the history of lacrosse, visit this World Lacrosse website.

And if you want to know more about lacrosse from the inside, you can check out this online program by Rob Pannell, where he shares pro tips on different aspects of the sport: conditioning, mental preparation and fundamentals of the game. I personally liked that it gives a complete vision of lacrosse as a sport from a professional's perspective. 

If you want to take a look, click the following link: Players Academy.

There are a lot of cool facts about lacrosse and its origins, and you may even find some you didn’t see here. So, what are you waiting for? Go visit your local lacrosse club and get ready for your first faceoff!

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