There are four positions in box lacrosse: forwards, defensemen, transition players, and goaltenders.
Forwards predominantly play offense, and their job is to find a way to get that ball past five defenders who are doing everything they can to get the ball back and a goaltender wearing enough pads to build a pillow fort out of.
On the other end of the floor are the defensemen, the stalwart line of defense making opposing forwards’ jobs even more difficult. Their job is to keep opponents as far away from the crease as possible, force bad shots, cause turnovers, and regain possession of the ball for their team.
A mix of forwards and defensemen, transition players can play on either side of the floor. They excel at getting the ball from one end of the floor to the other quickly and scoring on fast breaks, a change of possession from defense to offense before an opponent can swap their full defense out onto the floor.
Goaltenders, goalies, netminders, wall – no matter what name you call them, a goaltender is the last line of defense. They soak up opponents’ shots on goal and try and regain possession of the ball, either by controlling the ball’s rebound and directing it towards a teammate or by collecting the ball into their stick and passing it.
Each team has an Active Roster consisting of 21 players. Before each game, the two teams have to scratch two players from their respective rosters, meaning those four players will not play in the game that day.
Of the 19 players on a team who will dress, there have to be 17 runners and 2 goaltenders, and only six can be on the floor at any time.
Typically, you will see one goalie and five players playing offense or defense for a team at any given time.
Still hungry to learn more? Visit the other boxla education sections and become an indoor lacrosse expert in no time!
Game basics, face-offs, timeouts/challenges
A quick history on the National Lacrosse League and its 13 teams
The roots of the great game of lacrosse
Details and names of the areas on the floor
Common penalties players are called for
When one team has more players on the floor
Lacrosse statistics and what they tell us
Learn lacrosse lingo
Love the game and want to come back for more?