Box Lacrosse Vs Field Lacrosse: A Comparison Guide


What is Box Lacrosse? Box lacrosse is a version of lacrosse that is played indoors on a smaller, enclosed playing surface. It originated in Canada and is sometimes referred to as “indoor lacrosse.” Box lacrosse is known for its fast-paced, physical gameplay and requires a different set of skills compared to its outdoor counterpart, field lacrosse.

What is Field Lacrosse? Field lacrosse is a version of lacrosse that is played outdoors on a large grass or artificial turf field. It is the more traditional and widely recognized form of lacrosse. Field lacrosse is known for its strategic gameplay, long passes, and a focus on team dynamics.

Box Lacrosse Vs Field Lacrosse

AspectBox LacrosseTraditional Lacrosse
Field SizeSmaller indoor field with boardsLarger outdoor field
Number of Players6 players per team (including a goaltender)10 players per team (including a goaltender)
ContactPhysical contact is more prevalentContact is limited and regulated
Pace of PlayFaster pace due to a smaller fieldA slower pace with more open space
Stick SkillsTighter stick handling in close quartersLonger passes and more open-field play
Defensive ApproachZone defense is commonMan-to-man defense is common
Scoring OpportunitiesMore frequent due to smaller fieldGreater emphasis on long-range shooting
Offensive StrategiesQuick transitions and close-quarters playsBall movement and long-range shooting
Stick ChecksFrequent and aggressive
Limited and regulated
Goalie InvolvementGoalies are highly involved in a playGoalies have limited involvement in play

How does the playing surface differ in box lacrosse compared to field lacrosse?

In box lacrosse, the playing surface is significantly smaller compared to field lacrosse. While field lacrosse is played on a large outdoor field, box lacrosse is typically played indoors on a hockey rink or a specifically designed box lacrosse arena.

The dimensions of box lacrosse playing surface are approximately 200 feet long and 85 feet wide. The smaller playing area in box lacrosse creates a more fast-paced and intense game, with players having less space to maneuver.

The playing surface in field lacrosse, on the other hand, is much larger. The field is usually 110-120 yards long and 60-70 yards wide. It is played outdoors on grass or turf, allowing for more open space and longer distances between goals. The larger field in field lacrosse accommodates a greater number of players and emphasizes endurance, long passes, and strategic positioning.

Overall, the contrasting playing surfaces contribute to the distinct styles of play in box lacrosse and field lacrosse, with box lacrosse focusing on close-quarters action and field lacrosse incorporating more expansive gameplay.

What equipment is unique to box lacrosse and not used in field lacrosse?

Box lacrosse requires specific equipment that is not used in field lacrosse. Some of the unique equipment in box lacrosse include:

Box Lacrosse Helmet: Box lacrosse helmets have a different design compared to field lacrosse helmets. They typically have a more robust construction and additional face protection, including a full face mask or a cage that covers the entire face.

Box Lacrosse Gloves: Box lacrosse gloves have additional padding and reinforced areas to provide extra protection for the hands and wrists. They are designed to withstand the physicality and close-quarter play of box lacrosse.

Rib Pads: Box lacrosse players often wear rib pads for added protection since the close-contact nature of the game can result in collisions and checks that may target the torso.

Bicep Pads: Bicep pads are commonly worn in box lacrosse to provide extra protection to the upper arms, which are more exposed to contact and potential slashes in the tight playing environment.

Shoulder Pads: While shoulder pads are used in both box lacrosse and field lacrosse, box lacrosse shoulder pads tend to have a more compact and streamlined design to facilitate mobility and flexibility in the confined space.

How does the number of players on the field vary between box lacrosse and field lacrosse?

The number of players on the field differs between box lacrosse and field lacrosse. Here are the variations in player numbers for each:

Box Lacrosse: In box lacrosse, each team typically has six players on the field, consisting of five runners and one goaltender. The runners include forwards and defensemen who transition between offensive and defensive roles during the game. The small playing area in box lacrosse necessitates a smaller number of players to maintain a fast-paced and highly competitive game.

Field Lacrosse: Field lacrosse features larger teams with ten players on each side. The players are divided into three attackmen, three midfielders, three defensemen, and one goaltender. Field lacrosse’s larger playing surface allows for more players, and the additional players contribute to various offensive and defensive strategies employed on the field.

Advantages of Box Lacrosse

Advantages of Box LacrosseExplanation
Enhanced Stick SkillsThe smaller playing area in box lacrosse promotes better stick handling, shooting accuracy, and ball control.
Improved Game AwarenessThe fast-paced nature of box lacrosse requires quick decision-making, anticipation, and constant involvement in offensive and defensive situations, leading to heightened game awareness.
Development of Physicality and Contact Skills
Box lacrosse’s close-quarters battles and increased physicality help players develop strength, agility, and defensive techniques.
Quicker TransitionsThe smaller playing area in box lacrosse necessitates rapid transitions between offense and defense, enhancing players’ ability to make quick transitions in field lacrosse as well.
Conditioning and EnduranceThe fast-paced gameplay in box lacrosse improves cardiovascular fitness and stamina due to constant running, quick transitions, and intense gameplay.

How does the pace of the game differ between box lacrosse and field lacrosse?

Here’s a data table comparing the pace of the game between box lacrosse and field lacrosse:

AspectBox LacrosseField Lacrosse
Playing AreaSmallerLarger
Speed of PlayFasterSlower
Transition GameQuick transitionsLonger transitions
Offensive SetupsQuick and compactMore spread out
Ball MovementQuicker passesLonger passes
Scoring OpportunitiesMore frequentLess frequent
Shots on GoalMore shotsFewer shots
Defensive TacticsClose-quarters battlesMore open-field defense
Physicality and ContactMore physicalLess physical
Game FlowContinuous actionMore deliberate
SubstitutionsFrequent substitutionsLess frequent substitutions

Are there any major league organizations or professional leagues specifically dedicated to box lacrosse or field lacrosse?

Here’s a data table highlighting major league organizations and professional leagues dedicated to box lacrosse and field lacrosse:

Box Lacrosse LeaguesField Lacrosse Leagues
National Lacrosse League (NLL)Premier Lacrosse League (PLL)
Major Series Lacrosse (MSL)Major League Lacrosse (MLL)

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is a prominent professional box lacrosse league, featuring teams from the United States and Canada. The Major Series Lacrosse (MSL) is a senior box lacrosse league based in Ontario, Canada, serving as a development league for players aspiring to play in the NLL.

On the other hand, the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) is a significant professional field lacrosse league founded in 2018. It utilizes a tour-based model and showcases top players from around the world. The Major League Lacrosse (MLL) is another professional field lacrosse league established in 1999, featuring teams from the United States and Canada.

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