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Why we're loving lacrosse!
Around the Academy:

Wales lacrosse captain Catherine Coulthard
Catherine skippered Wales to European success

The Wales women's lacrosse team have been crowned European champions.

But how much do you know about lacrosse? And what if you fancy trying it out for yourself?

The Academy asked Wales' super skipper Catherine Coulthard to give us all the lowdown on this brilliant sport.

Where does lacrosse come from?

Lacrosse originated from the American Indians, and it was played as preparation for battle.

The was no limit to the number of players on each side and there were no pitch boundaries. Sometimes the goals could be miles apart!

Rumour has it that in the early days, instead of a ball - they used a human skull!

Pretty gruesome! I take it the rules have changed since then?

You'll be pleased to know the game is quite different now.

Lacrosse is played on a pitch very much like a football pitch with two goals either end.

In the women's game teams are made up of 12 players, including the goalkeeper.

The ball is made of rubber so it's quite hard and it's about the same size as a cricket or tennis ball.

We throw and catch the ball with a stick which has a small net at the top.

Goals are scored in much the same way as any other game - by getting the ball into the back of the net.

Action from a men's lacrosse match
The men's game is full contact

Are the rules different for men and women?

Yes, the men's game is a lot more physical.

Unlike the women's game, it's full body contact so they protect themselves by wearing helmets and body armour.

There are 10 players in a men's team.

What skills do you need?

Anybody who likes sport will love playing lacrosse because it's so fast and physical.

Matches last about an hour and involve a lot of running up and down the pitch - so the top players have to be very fit.

You also need good hand-eye co-ordination to be able to throw and catch the ball.

Sounds fun! I wouldn't mind trying it out. How do I go about it?

I was lucky because I started playing at school.

However, if your school doesn't offer lacrosse how about asking your teacher to get in touch with your national lacrosse association who'll be able to arrange for a coach to visit.

Young players get to grips with pop lacrosse
Anybody can play!
They can provide all the equipment you need and give you a few sessions to see how you like it.

You could also ask the association to put you in touch with your nearest lacrosse club.

Also, remember to check out Pop Lacrosse which has been designed specially for young players new to the game.

Growing in popularity among primary schools across the country, it's a simplified version of lacrosse using inexpensive plastic sticks.

Which are the best lacrosse-playing countries?

Without doubt, the best country in the world is the United States.

Out there the men's game is professional and they're just starting up a professional women's league too.

So what's it like winning the European Championships?

To come out of the championships as the number one team is an amazing achievement.

Just like in rugby or football, there's massive rivalry between the home nations.

Hopefully it'll help raise the profile of the game. We need to develop the sport at grassroots level in order for the success to continue.

:: Sport Academy has moved

Find out more
Welsh Lacrosse (Tel Mrs Chris Shumack 029 20 708966)
English Lacrosse (Tel Mark Coups 07976 258191
Scottish Lacrosse (Tel Emily Salvesen 01383 624370

Did you know?
The Lacrosse World Cup is being held in the USA in 2005

:: English Lacrosse Association
:: Welsh Lacrosse Association
:: Scottish Lacrosse Association
:: Irish Lacrosse
:: 2005 IFWLA World Cup

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