What Sport Is Lacrosse Most Like?

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Have you ever watched a lacrosse game? 

It’s a pretty intense and fast-paced sport that has been taking the athletic world by storm and gaining in popularity in the last decade or so. By the data from US Lacrosse, there are over 825,000 lacrosse players in the world, making it one of the fastest-growing sports in the world.

What sport is lacrosse most like? Is lacrosse unique? Lacrosse is a hybrid sport. It is similar to basketball in relation to how plays are set up to advance the ball to get into a scoring position. In regard to football, it is similar in that there is heavy contact, and the players wear padding to protect themselves from hits. It also bears a similarity to soccer in relation to how the field is set up.

Lacrosse is unique, in that there is no sport like it, but it bears similarities to several of the most popular sports in the world. 

In this article, we are going to discuss a little more in-depth the similarities it shares with these other sports, the popularity of the game, and what makes the exclusive sport so unique.

You can also check out videos/online courses to get a better understanding of Lacrosse as a whole.

One that I can personally recommend is called the Players Academy, sponsored by Rob Pannell, where he shares pro tips on different aspects of the sport: conditioning, mental preparation and fundamentals of the game.

Now read on as I dive into the similarities between Lacrosse and other sports.

Read Also: What Gear Do You Need For Lacrosse?

What Sport Is Lacrosse Most Similar To?

The better question would be; “What sport is most similar to lacrosse?” Lacrosse has been around significantly longer than most of the sports that are played today, by hundreds of years. In fact, it is a question that really bothers most die-hard lacrosse players and enthusiasts.

When people ask what sport lacrosse most is like, due to peoples’ understanding of sports today, the answer really ends up being a breakdown of what elements of other sports are found in lacrosse. And, really, it’s more a matter of which sports lacrosse has influenced. So, let’s get a little more in-depth with its similarities to each sport.

Lacrosse in Relation to Basketball

When it comes to lacrosse and basketball, the rules are very different. 

There is not as much contact in basketball, and the team sizes are different, with basketball being played with only 5 players on a team. However, the end goal is still the same, with the intention of getting the ball in the net. 

Arguably, basketball is the most similar sport to lacrosse on this list.

Similarities Between Basketball and Lacrosse

  • They utilize very similar strategies to move the ball and get it into scoring position
  • They share an objective of getting the ball in the net
  • When it comes to playing defense, you’re still guarding and holding your opponent
  • When it comes to advancing the ball to score, a lot of the plays are very similar, if not identical

The tempo, however, is a bit faster in lacrosse. Since the playing area is larger than a basketball court, the players need to move a bit faster to get into position for a steal or to score since they have more ground to cover.

Basketball is so similar to lacrosse that there are actually basketball players in high school and college that play both sports successfully since the transition is so simple from one game to the next. To read a bit more about how basketball players transition into lacrosse, check out this article.

Lacrosse in Relation to Football

When it comes to football, the relation to lacrosse cannot be ignored or denied.

  • Both are intense and rough sports and lacrosse
  • Both have the potential to be even rougher at times of contact
  • Both sports require speed, skill, and stamina
  • Both sports are separated in quarters and halves.

The focus of the roughest parts of the game is different for each sport. 

In football, there is a clear emphasis on blocking and tackling. In lacrosse, your focus is on the ball-handling with a stick, dodging blows, accurate passing, and shooting accurately.

The field in lacrosse is more open than football, and there is a lot more running involved. 

While both sports have demands on stamina, lacrosse’s requirements are higher.

Other differences include that, in lacrosse, the tempo is faster and there aren’t any long breaks. Where lacrosse is concerned, the quarters are only 15 minutes long, and there is almost no break in the quarters or halves.

Lacrosse in Relation to Soccer

Soccer is another sport that shares some obvious similarities to lacrosse. Both sports are played on a similar field. However, lacrosse’s field is longer. On the other hand, soccer has a wider field. Both sports move at a fast pace and require quite a bit of stamina for the running involved.

The positions played, and the number of players needed in lacrosse and soccer is also very similar. In lacrosse. Both sports require 10 players to a team and the positions, though some are named differently, are the same. Due to the similarities, it is not uncommon for a player to crossover between sports.

Lacrosse and soccer have more differences than similarities:

  • In soccer, the game is played with the legs of the player, in lacrosse, players use sticks
  • The ball used in the game is different and significantly smaller in lacrosse
  • The nets utilized are different
  • Lacrosse utilizes more protective gear than soccer, with helmets and shoulder pads. When playing soccer, you only use shin guards.
  • The only person that can catch a ball in soccer is the goalie. In lacrosse, any player can catch the ball as long as they do it with their lacrosse stick.
  • Advancement down the field and passing is different. In lacrosse, advancement is set up similar, if not identical, to advancement in basketball. In soccer, advancement due to how the ball is passed is a bit different.

If you want to learn more about how lacrosse is so unique and its history, check out this website.

What Is Lacrosse? How Is It Played? And How Did It Come About?

Lacrosse has a rich history. It has been around for hundreds of years, and there is both an indoor and outdoor version of the game.

Lacrosse is based on a series of games that were played by the Native Americans going back to 1100 A.D. In the Canadian Aboriginal version of the game, it lasted for 2 to 3 days as symbolic warfare or worship and had anywhere from 100 to 1,000 players on the field at a time.

By the time the 1700s arrived there was already a well-established form of lacrosse being documented by Jesuit priests in what is known now as Canada. By the 1860s, there were lacrosse clubs showing up, and finally, by 1900, the sport gained so much popularity that there were clubs all over Canada.

How Lacrosse is Played

  • There are two teams with 10 players on each team
  • The teams are broken down by positions:
    • 3 attackmen, 3 defensemen, 3 midfielders, and 1 goalie
  • The objective is to throw the ball into the opposing team’s net to score on a field similar to a soccer field in appearance
  • The lacrosse field is 110x60 yards

Check out this course by Rob Pannell and learn the basics and inside tips from a pro.

Equipment

  • Helmets
  • Shoulder pads
  • Lacrosse sticks: these are sticks with nets on end.
    • There are two types: those that are between 40-42 inches long (short sticks) and 52-72 inches long (long sticks)

Get all the facts about Lacrosse equipment in these three articles: 

The Lacrosse Sticks

When it comes to the sticks, the short sticks are carried by the attackmen and the midfielders. 

The long sticks are carried by the defensemen and goalie. The goalie’s stick is a bit different. It is also a long stick or short stick from 40-72 inches. However, the net on their stick is a bit bigger with a head as wide as 12 inches.

In Conclusion

Lacrosse is a deep-rooted and well-loved sport that has been around for ages. 

It has influenced all of the other sports we know and love today and doesn’t get the widespread recognition that it deserves.

Take some time and visit your local lacrosse club to get some first-hand experience of the sport as well to better understand it. 

I guarantee it will help build your appreciation of the sport and how it has directly influenced the more popular sports we play today.

Read Also: Do You Need A Mouthguard For Lacrosse?

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