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What is Box Lacrosse?

 

Box Lacrosse, known simply as 'lacrosse' in Canada is played between two teams of six players each (5 runners & a goalie).   'Boxla' is a  short hand text based term coined in the 1970s by journalist covering the sport.  Boxla is traditionally played on an ice hockey rink once the ice has been removed or covered. The playing area is called the box.  In the USA, the game is known as 'Box Lacrosse' and can be played on either roller hockey or indoor soccer rinks.

What are the key differences between indoor field lacrosse and Box Lacrosse?

 

  1. Safety - The US Box Lacrosse Association (USBOXLA)'s rulebook contains a myriad of rules that protect its players in this indoor setting.  Field lacrosse rules (NFHS - boys) fail to address and protect players who participate in an environment with boards.  Box Lacrosse is a stick skills based game and unlike field lacrosse or indoor field lacrosse its rules severely punish open field hits, hits from behind, take out checks, man/ball loose ball techniques and stick swinging defensive techniques.

  2. Game play - Indoor field lacrosse is an offseason field lacrosse sport governed by the NFHS (field lacrosse rulebook). In some areas in the USA large 6x6 field lacrosse goals are used with goaltenders only wearing field lacrosse equipment.  Even with shortened numbers the strategies and skills of field lacrosse game play are used.  The strategies and skills of field lacrosse are ineffective in a tight Box setting.

    Box Lacrosse's offensive and defense philosophies and techniques are drastically different than field lacrosse.  With nets 20 sq-ft smaller than 6x6's and extremely well padded goalies, players must develop unique refined skills in order to score.  With a quick 30 second shot clock and allowing all 5 players to go anywhere in the Box, the game relies heavily on O to D and D to O transition increasing the overall speed and intensity of game play. Box lacrosse's effective defensive techniques limit the effectiveness of field lacrosse's 1-on-1 doges and promotes the creativity of off ball, 2 man, and team play.

  3. Equipment - Both player and goaltender equipment are different than field lacrosse.  Box players wear additional pads to protect kidney and biceps and also wear long sleeved jerseys to cover any additional equipment.  Box goalies are well padded and look similar to ice hockey goalies.

 

“Box lacrosse has made me a better overall lacrosse player. Indoor has improved my field game and playing it has increased my passion for the sport.”

- Casey Powell, former All-American and US National Team Captain

 

 

 

The tight confines, reps, smaller nets and fast pace of the game develop a different skill set than traditional outdoor only players.  Some of these benefits include:

 

IMPROVED STICK SKILLS

-increased shot accuracy

- improved stick fakes

- greater shot variety

- screen shooting

- behind the back passing and shooting

- stick protection

- picking up ground balls in traffic

 

NEW LACROSSE CONCEPTS

- how to generate space off ball

- better understanding of the pick and roll

- using your body to generate space

- defending the inside/out pick

- generating better angles with your stick

- dodging after contact

 

IMPROVED FITNESS

- offseason training

- defensive footwork

- a fast paced way to play

 

Colleges Are Taking Notice 

 

Aside from bringing in more Canadians, they are bringing box lacrosse into their practices. Brown and Loyola are two schools using box lacrosse to improve their players.

http://www.lacrosseplayground.com/loyola-lacrosse-hones-skills-by-taking-it-indoor/

 

“Box players have very specific skills, especially close to the cage,” 

- Dom Starsia, Virginia head coach 

 

It's Growing

Word is spreading. Teams and Tournaments are popping up everywhere. Leagues have begun and even college teams are playing it in the off season.

Here is a great article on it's growth from Lacrosse Allstars

Box Lacrosse is Booming in the US, Whether You Like it or Not