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LACROSSE TERMS: Learning the Lingo

The following is a list of terms you may frequently hear while watching a lacrosse game. Some, you may be familiar with, others, may sound a little odd at first. But all are part of knowing the game of lacrosse.

Attack Goal Area: The area defined by a line drawn sideline to sideline, 20 yards from the face of the goal. Once the offensive team crosses the midfield line, it has ten seconds to move the ball into its attack goal area.

Body Check: Contact with an opponent from the front, between the shoulders and the waist, when opponent has the ball or is within five yards of a loose ball.

Box: An area on the sideline used to hold players who have been served with penalties, and through which substitutions "on the fly" are permitted directly from the sideline onto the field.

Check-Up: A call given by the goalie to alert the defender to find his man and call out his number.

Clamp: A face-off maneuver executed by quickly pushing the back of the stick on top of the ball.

Clearing: Running or passing the ball from the defensive half of the field to the attack goal area.

Crease: A circle around the goal, nine feet in radius, into which only defensive players may enter.

Crosse (Stick): The equipment used to throw, catch and carry (cradle) the ball.

Defensive Clearing Area: The area defined by a line drawn sideline to sideline, 20 yards from the face of the goal. Once the defensive positioned correctly, usually due to a loose ball or an unsuccessful clear.

Extra Man Offense: A man advantage that occurs following a time-serving penalty.

Face-Off: A technique used to put the ball in play at the start of each quarter, or after a goal is scored. The players squat down and the ball is placed between their sticks.

Fast-Break: A transition scoring opportunity in which the offense has at least one man advantage.

Ground Ball: A loose ball on the playing field.

Handle (Shaft): The pole connected to the head of the stick.

Head: The plastic or wood part of the stick connected to the handle.

Loose Ball: A situation in which neither team has control of the ball.

Man Down Defense: The situation that results from a time-serving penalty which causes the defense to play with a least a one man disadvantage.

Midfield Line: The line bisecting the field of play.

On-the-Fly Substitution: A player substitution made during play. Usually executed while the ball is being handled offensively.

Pick: An offensive maneuver in which a stationary player attempts to block the path of a defender with his body.

Pocket: The strung part of the head of a stick which holds the ball.

Rake: A face-off maneuver in which a player sweeps the ball to the side.

Riding: The act of trying to prevent a team from clearing the ball.

Release: The term used by an official to notify a penalized player in the box that he or she may re-enter the game.

Unsettled Situation: Any situation in which the defense is not positioned correctly, usually due to a loose ball or an unsuccessful clear.

Lacrosse Equipment

The Crosse: The crosse (lacrosse stick) is made of wood, laminated wood or synthetic material, with a shaped net pocket at the end. The crosse must be an overall length of 40 - 42 inches for attackmen and midfielders, or 52 - 72 inches for defensemen. The head of the crosse must be 6.5 - 10 inches wide, except a goalie's crosse which may be 10 - 12 inches wide. The pocket of a crosse shall be deemed illegal if the top surface of a lacrosse ball, when placed in the head of the crosse, is below the bottom edge of the side wall.

The Ball: The ball must be made of solid rubber and can be white, yellow or orange. The ball is 7.75 - 8 inches in circumference and 5 - 5.25 ounces.

The Helmet: A protective helmet, equipped with face mask, chin pad and a cupped four point chin strap fastened to all four hookups, must be worn by all men's players. All helmets and face masks must be NOCSAE (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment) approved.

The Mouthpiece: The mouthpiece must be a highly visible color and is mandatory.

The Glove:All players are required to wear protective gloves. The cutting or altering of gloves is prohibited.

Protective Equipment: All players, with the exception of the goalkeeper, must wear shoulder pads. Arm pads and rib pads are also strongly recommended and often required, as are athletic supporters and protective cups for all players. The goalkeeper is required to wear a throat protector and chest protector, in addition to a helmet, mouthpiece and gloves