Lacrosse is a game with very high physical demands and expert stick work. Men’s field Lacrosse requires ten players on each side. These ten are summed up by one goal keeper, three defenders, three middies or mid fielders and three attackers. The middies are free to roam about in the field and chose their action; the defenders defend the goals while the attackers try to shoot the goal. This format is the most commonly used in men’s lacrosse internationally.
William George Beers, a Canadian dentist and founder of the Montreal Lacrosse club codified the modern version of the game. There are some changes that have taken place since then like protective equipment and synthetically made lacrosse sticks.
Each player has a lacrosse stick or crosse. Typically, attackers and middies carry a short crosse or short stick that measures between 40 inches and 42 inches. A long crosse also called a long stick, long pole or d-pole can be carried by a total of four players and is 52 inches to 72 inches long. At its widest point, the head of the stick in both long and short sticks should be 6.5 inches or larger. The narrowest point has no minimum width. The goal keeper’s crosse has different dimensional rules; it can be 40 to 72 inches long and up to 12 inches wide. This width is enough to assist the goalkeeper in blocking shots. The dimensions of the field are 110 yards in length and 60 yards in breadth. The goal dimensions are six feet by six feet. A crease with an 18 feet diameter houses the goal. A restraining box surrounds each offensive and defensive area.
A face off is scheduled at the beginning of each quarter and after each goal is scored by any one of the two teams in play. This face off begins with a player from each team laying their stick in a horizontal position and it is placed adjacent to the ball, with the head an inch away from the ball. It is also ensured that the end that is pointing down to the mid line is the butt end. The faceoff men try to flick the ball towards their team generally by clamping it under the head of their stick before the flick. Till the time one mid field player is in the possession of the ball, the players on both attacking and defending positions are confined behind the restraining line. If it so happens that a player flicks the ball out of the playing area, then the play is restored with the opponent having the possession of the ball. The penalty involves the penalized player being sent to the penalty box and the team having to play without the player.
Though the Federation of International Lacrosse has twenty two total members, only four (United States, Canada, Australia and Iroquois Nationals) have made it to the top places at the World Lacrosse Championships. These championships were a for team invitation based tournament when they started in 1968 with the sanction of the International Lacrosse Federation. It was a medal sport at the 1904 and 1908 summer Olympics and a demonstration sport at the 1928, 1932 and 1948 Summer Olympics.