The face off in lacrosse is unlike any other in sports and can appear confusing. So we grabbed sophomore Joel Tromburg and junior Ian Wilson of the men’s lacrosse team to explain.
To begin, each team sends a midfielder to center field. Players can each hold their stick a little differently, but Wilson said there are two grips that most use. The overhand grip, which Wilson uses, is similar to hockey where the player turns his hand over, with the back of the hand facing the head of the stick.
The underhand grip, which Tromburg uses, is the more common grip. The player holds the stick with his hand turned under, and his thumb is close to the top of the stick.
When the two opposing players come to center field, the players crouch down and the referee places the ball on the ground. Then the players put the back of their stick’s nets to the ball.
When the players get their sticks and body set, the referee will say “ready” and the players have to be absolutely still. Any movement may elicit an illegal procedure penalty on the offending player and the ref will give possession to the other team.
The referee will blow his whistle and then the battle starts. Tromburg said there are three different moves CSU uses to win possession. The clamp is where the player tries to hold the ball against the stick of the other player. The jump is where the player holds the ball on the ground with the head of the stick. And finally there is the rake. The rake is where the player holds the ball on the ground and “rakes” the ball away from the opposing player, either to the side or between the legs.
The ball can get away from the players, but attackmen and defensemen must wait for someone to gain possession before they are released from the goal-area line. Once possession is made, it’s game on.