The Lacrosse Experience: Girls vs Boys

Lacrosse rules differ by gender offering distinct playing experiences.


The Roseville Girls Lacrosse team.

Ainsley Jakaboski, Staff writer

Lacrosse as a high school sport in Minnesota is growing in popularity, but as many lacrosse players know there are vast differences between the girls and boys versions of the sport.

One of the biggest differences is that boys lacrosse games are a faster pace than girls according to Cohen Stephenson, a freshman at RAHS who’s has been playing lacrosse for four years. Boys have nine players on a smaller field compared to eleven girl players on a larger field, so a boys game involves more running with fewer players.

Stephenson also mentioned that the physicality in boys games is much higher. “Girls can’t hit people” He even supports more physical play in the game and said that a rule he would change in boys lacrosse would be to make it legal to stick check in the helmet.

“I would make it legal because it’s very hard to check someone’s stick when they cradle the ball by their face and you hit their helmet” Sophomore Zach Granovsky, who’s been playing lacrosse for four years, also supports the physicality of boys lacrosse. “I would never play girls lacrosse because you can’t hit people.” He said.

Another big difference is the sticks used to play lacrosse. “[Boys] have different sticks so it’s easier for them to cradles and catch the ball” said sophomore Elizabeth Groose who started playing lacrosse freshman year.

“Cradling” is a half circle movement and how lacrosse players keep the ball in their stick. Cradling is also another big difference between the the boys and girls versions of the game. Stephenson and Granovsky both also pointed out how girl’s lacrosse seems more difficult to play because the sticks are much different and make it harder to hold the ball. Boys and girls lacrosse sticks have netting on the head of the stick called the pocket with the boys being noticeably deeper allowing for the ball to be handed easily. Girls have very shallow pockets therefore needing different cradling skills than boys to handle balls without dropping them.

Sticks aren’t the only equipment that differs between girls and boys lacrosse. Senior Kaylee Foster has been playing lacrosse for two years and is the captain of the girls varsity team at RAHS. She pointed out how boys lacrosse players wear lots of padding like helmets, elbow pads, shoulders pads and gloves. Girls lacrosse players take the field with only special metal a rubber goggles to protect their eyes.

Foster said, “For defense, the guys get longer sticks… I think I would add padding [to girls lacrosse] and be more lenient [with penalty calls] I’d like to see where that could go. It would make it a lot easier to defend… [girls lacrosse] is filled with a lot of tedious things.”

There are some similarities between the two versions of the sport. Both have same sized nets and a goaltender who wears a helmet, gloves, and has a very large stick as Stephenson pointed out.

Groose pointed out another similarity, competitiveness.  She added, “How competitive [boys and girls lacrosse] are, I think they’re pretty equal.”  Groose also pointed out how welcoming and compassionate the community of lacrosse is.

Like any sport lacrosse is a great way to stay in shape, have fun, meet new friends, and learn the values of being on a team. Many people are very passionate about it, boys and girls, and if you’re interested in supporting the sport adhere at RAHS check out the game schedule for girls and boys lacrosse for the rest of this season!