Is box lacrosse just field lacrosse, only inside?
Not exactly. The basic lacrosse elements are the same: you have three runner positions (attack=forward, defenseman, middie=transition) and goalies, and the ultimate goal is to score more than your opponent.
There are picks, seals, crease violations, penalties, and more, but the similarities tend to end around there. A lot of it has to do with the biggest difference between the two versions of lacrosse: space.
Boxla takes place in a much smaller area than field, around 2,800 less square foot. Players have less room to operate in and have to move quickly to get a shot off within 30 seconds.
Add the boards around the floor confining the action, and you get a very frantic, up-close-and-personal version of lacrosse.
Players also have to keep their heads on a swivel as the indoor game is much more physical than the outdoor one. There’s a saying that there’s no such thing as a moving pick in box, and it’s pretty much true.
In field, a player has to be stationary when setting a pick (putting their body in the way of a defender to separate them from their assignment).
Referees in box tend to let moving picks slide, so a player could receive a check to their back at any moment and have to be ready at all times.
Another thing you won’t see too much of is players swapping the stick to their off-hand.
Righties shoot with their right hands, lefties with their left. With the time and space boxla players work with, swapping hands like in field very rarely happens.
That said, stick skills are sharper in box than field. Players have to get their sticks free to make unconventional shots and stops, so their stick-handling abilities are the best in the world.
If you’ve seen a field lacrosse game before, then you’ll pick up on the intricacies of indoor lacrosse very quickly.
If you’ve ever watched a sport before, you’ll intuitively understand the action on the field, just maybe not the nuts and bolts of it.
Box lacrosse is very accessible, entertaining, and non-stop.