What is Lacrosse?
Lacrosse was originally a Native American game and is the oldest organized sport in North America. Traditionally the sport was common in the northeast but it has now become popular all over the country. Kids typically enjoy the fast pace, the abundance of scoring, and the physicality of the sport! It also requires excellent endurance, agility, speed, hand-eye coordination, and teamwork. Players often start out with lacrosse being their “second” sport but quickly realize it is their favorite.
What are the rules?
The rules of boys and girls lacrosse are different.
In a standard 10 v 10 boys lacrosse game there are 3 attackmen, 3 midfielders, 3 defensemen, and a goalie. The object of the game is to score more goals than your opponent. Four players need to remain on the defensive half of the field at all times (typically the three defensemen and the goalie), three players remain on the attacking half of the field at all times (typically the three attackmen), and three players go back and forth (the “middies”). Given all the running, the middies are substituted out regularly on the fly (similar to hockey). Defensemen often have longer defensive sticks, middies and attackmen have shorter sticks, and the goalie has a much wider goalie stick. A shot that goes out of bounds is awarded to which ever team is closest to it when it leaves the field of play, but a pass that goes out of bounds is awarded to the other team.
Does my child need to have prior experience?
It is never too late to pickup lacrosse. Many excellent players didn’t start playing until high school or later. Furthermore, kids often find that skills developed in other sports cross over into lacrosse. The stick skills (throwing and catching) take some work, but can be developed by simply throwing against a wall. We have had numerous kids pickup a stick for the first time, make a remarkable amount of progress through the season, and make significant contributions to the team’s success.
When is registration?
Lacrosse is a spring sport and registration opens in February each year. We also run some informal fall practices (outside) and winter practices (in the fieldhouse). We are happy to add people to our email list, if you would like to be notified of these practices.
What does the season look like?
Lacrosse is a spring sport and the season runs from March through June. We occasionally have indoor practices in March but get outside as soon as weather permits. We typically practice a couple times a week at local fields including at WES and MGHS. We play weekend (and occasionally weekday) games against local teams from MA, VT, and NY, and we compete in local tournaments (ie Manchester VT) which entails a few shorter games in a single day and is a lot of fun.
What equipment does my kid need to have and where do I get that?
Boys need a stick, helmet, mouth guard, shoulder pads, elbow pads, gloves, cleats (soccer cleats are fine), and a cup. It sounds like a lot of stuff, but boys use the gear for a few years and it’s usually worth the investment! This gear can be found at used sporting goods stores, at Dicks in Pittsfield, from older players in the area, online (where you can buy a complete “starter” set of equipment), and we have some gear that players can borrow.
Girls need a stick, mouth guard, goggles, and cleats (soccer cleats are fine).
Can my kid play other sports too?
Yes. We recognize that there are lots of great sports option and that kids occasionally want to play multiple sports in the same season.
With that said for planning purposes it is helpful if parents communicate with the coach about their kids level of involvement prior to the season.
Expectations for Parents/Fans
Lacrosse is a fast, physical game and emotions can sometimes run high. We ask that players and parents never heckle the referee, opposing players, or opposing parents. We stress sportsmanship and integrity with our players and it is helpful if parents set a good example. We encourage players to focus on the things they can control and not worry about the officiating, weather, injuries, opponent, field, etc. Furthermore, the refs are good people, they never change their calls, they dislike heckling, and given the small pool of referees in Berkshire county we need these refs in the future!
It is helpful if fans cheer just as much or even more for the hustle play, the great pass, or the defensive stop, than the goal. We also encourage parents to cheer for the other kids on the team, rather than only for their own child. This sets a good precedent that we are all part of team working toward a common goal.