Playing box lacrosse can provide field lacrosse players with a well-rounded set of skills, improved physical and mental attributes, and a deeper understanding of the game. The unique challenges and benefits of box lacrosse can enhance a player's overall performance on the field and contribute to their growth as a well-rounded athlete.
Skill Development: Box lacrosse is played in a smaller, confined space, which requires quicker decision-making, tighter ball handling, and improved stick skills. Players who excel in box lacrosse often demonstrate better passing, shooting, and overall stickwork in field lacrosse as well.
Physical Conditioning: The fast-paced nature of box lacrosse leads to increased cardiovascular endurance, agility, and strength. Players who engage in box lacrosse can improve their physical fitness, translating into enhanced performance on the field.
Spatial Awareness: The compact playing area in box lacrosse forces players to constantly assess their surroundings and anticipate opponents' movements. This heightened spatial awareness can contribute to better field positioning and tactical understanding in both forms of the game.
Decision-Making Under Pressure: The reduced space and quicker pace of box lacrosse require players to make split-second decisions, enhancing their ability to think and react under pressure. This mental acuity can carry over to field lacrosse, helping players become more adaptable and strategic.
Versatility: A player skilled in both field and box lacrosse can contribute effectively in various game situations. Box lacrosse encourages players to be versatile, as they often need to play both offense and defense due to the smaller roster sizes.
Stick Protection and Ball Security: The tighter confines of box lacrosse necessitate improved stick protection and ball security. Players who excel in box lacrosse tend to have a better understanding of how to shield their sticks and maintain possession, skills that can be invaluable in field lacrosse.
Offensive Creativity: Box lacrosse encourages creative offensive plays due to the limited space and constant pressure. Players can develop a wider range of offensive moves, fakes, and strategies that can be applied effectively in field lacrosse as well.
Improved Defense: Defending in a confined space requires honed defensive skills, including footwork, body positioning, and communication. These skills can make a player more effective on the defensive end in both field and box lacrosse.
Transition Play: Box lacrosse emphasizes quick transitions from defense to offense and vice versa. Players who excel in box lacrosse often become adept at rapidly changing roles and contributing to smooth transitions in field lacrosse games.
Networking and Experience: Playing box lacrosse exposes players to a different community of players, coaches, and opportunities. It can broaden their lacrosse network, potentially leading to new experiences, training opportunities, and connections in the broader lacrosse world.
Fun: Beyond all the technical benefits and strategic advantages, one of the most compelling reasons for field lacrosse players to venture into box lacrosse is the sheer enjoyment it brings. Embracing box lacrosse introduces players to a world of unparalleled fun and excitement that can reignite their passion for the game. Here's how box lacrosse is a gateway to unadulterated enjoyment:
Playful Creativity: The smaller playing area encourages players to experiment with new moves and tactics. Whether it's a fancy stickwork maneuver, a daring shot, or a surprising pass, box lacrosse invites players to unleash their creativity and have fun trying out unconventional plays.
The Spectacle of Skill: Box lacrosse showcases a dazzling display of individual and team skills. From intricate stick handling to pinpoint accuracy in shots, players are treated to a spectacle of talent that's a delight to witness and be a part of.
Escape From Routine: Stepping onto the box lacrosse field offers a break from the routine and a chance to immerse oneself in the joy of a new discipline.
Don't believe us. Check out what some of the best in the game have to say about it....
“Being a part of the finesse and physicality of box lacrosse has been a great experience for me. I feel that I have learned and improved as an overall lacrosse player. Learning to adapt in tight space while reading defenders and offensive players has been the biggest improvement in my game.”
– Paul Rabil, NLL & MLL All-Star, NCAA All-American
“I knew that if I wanted to be one of the best players in the world, I would have to dedicate myself to both the indoor and the outdoor game. Playing indoor lacrosse has been a great thing for my career.”
-Casey Powell, MLL/NLL All-Star
“I believe that box lacrosse gives young people many more opportunities to excel in our game. If I had my choice, I would have every player under the age of twelve play box lacrosse exclusively or at least a majority of the time. The number of touches of the ball and the ability to develop better stick skills in a game of box lacrosse, far surpasses what happens to young people on a 110 x 60 yard field. Learning how to pass and catch in traffic, understanding how to shoot, and developing a sense of physicality are all positive traits developed by the box game.”
– Bill Tierney, US Lacrosse Hall of Fame, Denver University Head Coach, Princeton 6xNational Champion, Team USA 1998
“When you watch Canadian kids [Box Lacrosse Players] score, when you see their skill level around the cage, you wonder to yourself, ‘Jeez, are we teaching kids [in the U.S.] the wrong things?”
– Dom Starsia, Former University of Virginia Head Coach
“If box lacrosse were played by kids in the U.S. In the fall the way it is played in Canada, it would completely change the complexion of the game in terms of the quality of play and the balance of power. The trend of competitive balance at the DI level would be expedited. Now, the game is growing faster than ever, but one doesn’t see improvement in players from certain regions as expected with such large growth. Box Lacrosse would change all of that. You don’t have to be a good coach to make kids be better players in the box. Like a great drill, it just happens.”
– Jamie Munro, former Head Coach of the University of Denver Men’s Lacrosse
“American field players would really help themselves if they were exposed to a steady stream of box experience. Box lacrosse is an extremely valuable background for a young player, we need to incorporate more of the indoor skills in to the field game. It is almost a requirement to have a top player with indoor experience on your roster right now.”
– Former University of Virginia Head Coach, Dom Starsia
“One of the biggest benefits of playing box for a young lacrosse player is in the development of lacrosse IQ. Because everyone plays with a short stick [in box lacrosse], you have to focus on being a complete lacrosse player versus specializing as an attackman or d-man. That is how your IQ grows and skills improve.”
– University of Hartford Head Coach Peter Lawrence