New York Lizards Blog

Girls Lacrosse vs. Boys: The Differences in the Two Games

Posted by Tom Hallissey on Nov 30, 2018 10:00:00 AM

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If you have children who play lacrosse, you might have noticed boys and girls lax rules are not exactly the same. Although both games are derived from the Native American sport, they have many key differences that make them unique.

7 Ways Girls Lacrosse Differs from the Boys Game

1)      The Sticks

The types of sticks that are used is one of the most instantly recognizable differences in the two games.

Boys are allowed to have deep pockets in the head of the stick, while girls lacrosse does not permit them. A deeper pocket makes it easier to catch and retain the ball. As a result, girls must focus more on cradling.

2)      The Pocket

The material used for a stick’s pocket may also be different. Boys are allowed to have mesh or traditional leather stringing, while girls can only have a traditional pocket.

Boys pockets are also deeper. Youth lacrosse rules state that the pocket must allow the top of the ball to be above the bottom edge of the side wall. In girls lacrosse, the top of the ball must be above the sidewall when it’s in the pocket.

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3)      Equipment Used

Since boys lacrosse involves full-contact, it requires several different types of equipment, including:

  • Helmet
  • Shoulder pads
  • Elbow pads
  • Rib pads
  • Gloves
  • Mouth guard

However, girls are only required to wear a mouth guard and goggles.

4)      The Level of Contact

A major difference between the games played by the two genders is the amount of contact allowed. In boys lacrosse, body-checking is legal. The girls version of the sport does not allow any body-to-body contact.

In a boys game, referees will allow body contact from the shoulders to the waist when a player has the ball. Girls are only allowed to make contact with their stick when the ball carrier is holding their stick below their shoulder.

5)      Number of Players

Girls games have 12 players, two more than in boys lacrosse. These players include a goalie, three offense, five midfielders and three defenders. A boys team fields 10 players (three attackmen, three midfielders, three defenders and a goalie).

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6)      Field Size

  • Boys: 110 yards long by 60 yards wide
  • Girls: 120 yards long by 70 yards wide

7)      Layout

You may also have noticed different markings on boys and girls lacrosse fields.

Boys fields have a midfield line, two restraining boxes and two creases around the goal. A girls field also has two creases, but instead of restraining boxes, there are two arcs at eight and twelve meters.

Although the two games have different styles, girls and boys lacrosse share similar benefits. Both of them help young people improve physical fitness, enjoy healthy competition and learn sportsmanship.

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Topics: Player Development, Off Season