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THE GOALIE

The Position:

The position of goalie in lacrosse is probably one of the most intense positions of all sports. Essentially, you must play catch with people at a very high speed. Unfortunately for the goalie, most people don't throw at his stick. The goalie wears additional protective equipment: throat guard and chest protector. A goalie stick is typically of normal length, 40-50 inches, with an extra wide head. Unlike goalies in hockey, lacrosse goalies must be very mobile. They often come out of the circular crease that surrounds the 6′x6′ goal. Explosive speed and very quick hands are key ingredients in making a goalie, as well as a tolerance for pain. When a goalie comes out of the crease to fetch ground balls or to clear a saved shot, he becomes a target, much like the quarterback in football.

A good goalie leads the defense by reading the situation and directing the defensemen to react. A goalie also directs the clearing patterns and provides intangible cohesion that binds a team together. A good goalie should have excellent hand/eye coordination and a strong voice. Quickness, agility, confidence, a "thick skin" by not getting too down when scored on and the ability to concentrate are also essential.

Some Rules:

The goalie defends a square goal six feet wide by six feet high. Around the goal is a circular crease. The crease area is limited to entry by the goalie and defensive players only. Once the goalie makes a save he has 4 seconds to either pass the ball or run the ball out of the crease. In these four seconds no one may touch him. Once the goalie steps outside the crease he is no longer allowed back into the crease unless he yields possession of the ball.