Lacrosse is a game dating back to the Native Americans. The ball is hard and yellow; it is caught, thrown and shot with a crosse. A crosse is made up of a shaft and a head. When you think of lacrosse what do you automatically think of? Usually, it is boys hitting each other to get the ball. Some boys who play lacrosse deem girls’ lacrosse easy and simple. Yes, compared to getting laid flat by a well-placed check or just brute force it may seem easy, but if you try it you know it is a lot more difficult than you first imagine. The boys don’t have rules that restrict the ways they can check or even where on the field they can be.
In girls’ lacrosse modified checking is used so we can’t go all out hacking at each other. To check the stick of an opposing player, their stick has to be below the shoulder and you have to check down and away from the body so there is no chance you can hit them on the head. No body contact is allowed for girls where boys get to body check all they want, providing they are within five meters of the ball. Girls have to be in control of their actions on the field at all times. On defense we can’t rely on checking to stop the player, so we learn to mirror the movements of the other players stick with our own. Finally, boys learn from the beginning how to check while girls have to wait until they are in the U15 division to begin modified checking.
Protection is very different from girls’ lacrosse to boy’s lacrosse for obvious reasons. Boys wear elbow pads, shoulder pads, chest pads, helmets, and thick gloves, like those used in hockey, to protect themselves. Girls only wear an eye mask, to protect the eyes and nose, and a mouth guard so our teeth aren’t knocked out. Thin gloves are optional for girls but most don’t choose to wear them.
In further attempt to restrict us restraining lines are placed one quarter and three quarters down the length of the field. These restraining lines mean that at least four player, besides the goalie, have to be behind these lines at all times no matter if you are on defense or offense. If there aren’t four players behind these lines you are offsides and the ball is given to the other team at the top of the second arch coming out from the crease, which is an area that only the goalie can be in. Even sticks cannot enter the crease even when someone is shooting. The only other person who can go into the crease is one defensive player if the goalie steps out of the crease. This is usually only done when a goalie makes a save and they set it down so a defender can scoop it up and run it down the field.
Goalies sticks are wider and had a larger pocket than normal sticks, boys and girls. Girls’ sticks have a less thick layer of plastic for the head and the pockets are tighter. Girls’ regulations require that the ball has to be seen above the plastic of the head when resting in the pocket. Boys on the other hand only have to worry that the top of the ball doesn’t come down lower than the plastic of the head. Another difference is that on defense, the boys have longer shafts specially designed for this position. Girls all use roughly the same size stick, except for the goalie. Boys’ offensive sticks are the same size as girls’ sticks. Aside from the head and slight variations of the shaft they are very similar.
The discrimination by some boys’ lacrosse player to girls’ lacrosse is just a reflection of the way girls sports are not appreciated. Girls’ lacrosse is a tough game with many rules against the littlest things like accidentally bumping into the opposing girl. People need to get the idea that boys’ lacrosse is tougher than girls’ lacrosse just because we have different rules that regulate our game. If we could work together we could stop boys’ from overlooking girl’s sports such as lacrosse because they don’t think we are just as tough as them. If people could just remind them that our game is hard in different way, our game is more centered on finesse instead of power. It is time girls’ lacrosse players were considered to be equal to the boys’ teams.
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