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The third of four articles about lacrosse in the USA. The goal is to provide information that would be useful in any future short-term or long-term discussion about professional rugby being started in the country.

The Game of Lacrosse

Lacrosse is a field game of speed, fast pace and skill with some resemblance to hockey, soccer, and basketball, but played with webbed sticks. The objective is to shoot a white ball into a net.  It has a physical contact aspect but not the same bone on bone contact as either gridiron football or rugby. The players wear shoulder and chest padding, and, most visually, helmets with facemask protection.

Play data

Field = 110 x 60 yards

Team = 10 players

  • Midfield 3
  • Attack 3
  • Defense 3
  • Goalie 1

Goal is 6 ft. x 6 ft.

Length 60 minutes

  • Four quarters of 15-minutes

Sudden death outcome if tie

Unlimited substitution

Player Appeal

A running, passing, shooting game.

Four positions to choose from for different heights, weights, and skill

A game for the long, the short, and the tall

Uniforms and helmets exude a “cool”, warrior appearance

Few, if any, serious injuries from contact (menisci not-with-standing)

Fifty players or more for college, 30 for professionals

NCAA sport

NCAA championship in DI, DII, and DIII

Cable television for DI games

Cable television for DI national championship

Acrobatic scoring

Major League Lacrosse (MLL) data

Eight regional teams

Boston             Gillette Stadium              69,000

Rochester         Sahlen’s Stadium          13,800

New York        Hofstra Stadium              12,000 (Hempstead, LI)

Chesapeake     Marine-Navy                    34,000 (Annapolis)

Charlotte          American Legion            21,000

Florida             Fl. Atlantic U.                    29,400 (Boca Raton)

Ohio                 Selby Field                           9,100 (Columbus)

Denver             Sports Authority               76,000

Ticket pricing: From $20.00 (discounted) to $50.00

Age attendance: Approximately, 60% to 75% age 18 (male) and under

Player salaries: From $10,000 to $25,000 per season

Pinkish/Orange ball instead of white

(The fourth, and final lacrosse article, will explore why the sport - college and pro - was first televised. And, also what learning from lacrosse’s history can apply to rugby in the future.)


The equipment for a lacrosse player is much more expensive than for a rugby player. Both sports require shorts, shirt, cleats, mouth guards and kit bags. Lacrosse require al least another $500 per player. There is more revenue potential to sell lacrosse equipment to its participants than there is in rugby. That revenue potential brings in more sponsors for lacrosse.