There are many differences between the rules in male and female lacrosse. It’s important to note that equipment requirements are strikingly different for male players than females in lacrosse. The primary difference in game play is that bodily contact is allowed during men’s play, but is not in women’s competitions. Bodily contact isn’t desirable and is closely monitored.
Equipment requirements are quite different. Padding on the chest, forearms, back and shoulders are required in men’s play, along with helmets with masks. In contrast, women are only required to wear gloves, goggles, and mouth guards.
The playing field also has different dimensions. Women play on a field that’s a minimum of 110 yards long and 60 yards wide, with a maximum of 140 by 70 yards. A regulation size field for men’s play is 110 yards long and 60 yards wide. Youngsters play on a field similar in size to the men’s field.
There are also differences in the number of players that can be on the field between men’s and women’s matches. A typical lineup for a men’s team is a goaltender, three attackers, three defenders, and three mid-fielders. Women’s teams have one additional attacker and one extra defender.
Even the clocks are different for men and women. Men have a shot clock that tells the offensive team how much time is left to shoot the ball on a goal before the opposing team gains possession of the ball. Women have a possession clock that incorporates the concept of a shot clock and transition clock.
While crowd participation in the form of negative comments are often encouraged, lacrosse seeks to foster a more civil and respectful atmosphere. Fans can cheer, but second guessing and yelling at the referee is a definite no-no. Actual game play has the same goals whether the athletes are male or female – to play to the best of their ability.