It’s fair to say most sports fans in the UK don’t know a great deal about lacrosse, but in other parts of the world the sport is growing at an explosive rate.
The fastest-growing sport in the United States
According to a study released back in October 2015, lacrosse is the fastest-growing college sport in the United States. Between 2000 and 2014, growth across both men’s and women’s lacrosse in the US was exponential, with participation levels up by around 100%.
So what’s the attraction and what is it all about?
There are two main reasons for the trend. One is that lacrosse is being developed as a gender neutral sport. It’s a virtually identical game between men and women. Two, it’s an active, contemporary game. It’s not based on set plays with limitations of where people can play.Rick Burton, Professor of Sport Management at Syracuse University
Lacrosse – the fastest game on two feet
To the layman, another appealing factor is its searing pace. Known by some as ‘the fastest game on two feet’, lacrosse is played at a relentlessly fast pace. It’s a high-scoring, dynamic sport that necessitates speed, strength and skill. The stick is used to catch and throw the ball, as well as running with it. The ball is about the same size as a tennis ball, albeit a damn sight harder – and you really don’t want it to hit you in certain places of your anatomy.
Fundamentally it is a simple sport – score more than your opponents.
A goal is scored by throwing the ball – with your stick – into your opponents’ goal. A game is played over four quarters of 20 minutes each, and teams swap ends after each quarter. It’s usually a high-scoring game, and most teams would expect to score around 10 or 12 goals per game.
In the UK, the game is played on grass – on a pitch about the same size as a football or hockey field – and the typical squad size is between 12 and 18 players. A maximum of 10 players from each team can be on the pitch at any one time, while rolling substitutions are permitted and is another key part of the game.
Lacrosse is an unashamedly aggressive game, and as such protective body equipment is a must. The minimum required by the laws of the game is a full face helmet and gloves, but most players – mainly those without a deathwish – also protect themselves with shoulder pads, elbow pads and a box to protect their most delicate departments.
Lacrosse is growing in the UK too, and the sport was recently awarded an investment of £3.4 million by Sport England. It is the biggest and most significant investment in the sport to date, and rewards the growth achieved by English Lacrosse in recent years.
KUDOS IS PASSIONATE ABOUT SUPPORTING GRASSROOTS SPORT
KUDOS passionately supports and encourages people from all backgrounds to take part in sporting activity at any level, from grassroots to the highest level. We recognise that sport is a powerful force for good.
KUDOS SPORTS – A LEADING SUPPLIER OF CUSTOM SPORTS KIT
KUDOS is proud to supply kit to a variety of sports clubs across the country – including the kit for the Wales men’s lacrosse team – custom teamwear that is built for performance and worn with pride.