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L A C R O S S E, an out-door game played by 24 persons, 12 on a side, each of whom has a stick, or crosse, like that shown in the illustrations, and fully described in Rule I. below. At each end of the playing-field, which is as near 125 yards long as possible, is a goal consisting of two posts, six feet high and the same distance apart. Each side faces one of these and tries to carry or throw toward it with the crosse a solid rubber ball, somewhat smaller than a base-ball. The side that succeeds in propelling the ball through their opponents' goal, either by throwing or striking it with the crosse, or by kicking it, scores a goal, and the side that gains the greatest number of goals in the allotted time (see Rule IX., Sec. 8), wins the game.
The titles of the players and their positions at the beginning of the game are given below, those defending the lower goal being in italics. (Goal) Goal-keeper Point Inside Home
Cover Point Outside Home
First Defence First Attack
Second Defence Second Attack Third Defence Third Attack
Centre Field Centre Field
Third Attack Third Defence
Second Attack Second Defence
First Attack First Defence
Outside Home Cover Point
Inside Home Point
The players generally remain near these positions throughout the game. In the Defence half of the field, the players, as a rule, try to throw the ball as nearly as they can the full length of the field, and at the same time land it at about Cover Point at the other end; while the
turn, does the same, each player returning to his original position upon surrendering the ball. Thus, if the Attack are well trained and play well together, one of them will eventually have a good opportunity to "shoot for goal." At the opening of the game, the ball is " faced" in the centre of the field; that is, placed on the ground there between the crossed sticks of the two opposing players whose positions are each Centre (see list of positions), and who must each have one knee on the ground. When "Play" is called, each Centre has one of three methods of play to adopt: either he can use some trick to obtain the ball himself (and this is the most frequently used), or else he can draw his stick rapidly away, trying to force the ball behind him, where one of his team is always ready to receive it, should the Centre be successful. In the third and last method, which the Princeton College Lacrosse Team invented, he may, by jumping up on his feet and keeping his body between the ball and his opponent, give a player on his side a chance to run up and obtain the ball. The ball must not be
touched with the hand, however, at any time, by any player, except the Goal-keeper. He who succeeds in getting it after the "face" may strike it with his crosse, run with it in his crosse, or throw it by means of his crosse. The opposing team try to get the ball from him, either by striking his crosse with their crosses, or by "body-checking" him, that is to say, running into him bodily. Care must be taken, however, not to run against an opponent's back, and not to use one's hands, arms, or legs in "bodychecking."
A line drawn six feet in front of each goal is called the " Goal-crease," and no attacking player is allowed inside it until the ball has passed Cover Point. The Goal-keeper, while defending the goal, stands inside the "Goal-crease," and is allowed privileges that are denied to the other players. (See Rule XII.)
Picking up and Carrying. A player, when running, always picks up the ball by pushing his crosse under it; when standing, however, he hooks the ball towards him with his crosse and then pushes it under, the ball rolling on by its own impetus. In pushing the crosse, the player leans down so that it will not make too great an angle with the ground. When the ball is already running toward the player he has merely to let it roll up on his crosse, but the crosse must be held at a greater angle the faster the ball is coming. If the ball is rolling very fast and the crosse is held so as to offer too gentle an incline, the ball is likely to bound up into the player's face. If the ball comes on a swift bound, the player should be able, by not standing directly in front of it, to catch it in his net without any difficulty, the old idea of "blocking 'or knocking it straight downward and catching it when it rises, being entirely given up, nowadays, as in doing that too much valuable time is lost. When it
comes on the fly it is received on the net, the crosse being drawn back slightly as the ball strikes it.
A "liner" is caught by a player's moving to one side, holding his crosse in a horizontal position, and allowing it to " give " a little when the ball strikes it. All these movements (and many more could easily be described) require a great deal of practice to render them successful.
Running and Dodging. As a rule, each team has its own method of play, but good critics consider it poor play to keep the men running until " checked ;' it being far better to save their strength by teaching the Defence to throw as far and as accuratelyaspossible, and the Attack to "pass" among themselves as
?uickly and accurately as possible, n running, the ball is held on the crosse, which is inclined slightly downward in front of the player, the inclination increasing with the speed. The ball is kept in place partly by the resistance of the air, and rests against the stick of the crosse, which is turned slightly to one side for the purpose. When the runner meets an opponent, he must take care to prevent the latter from striking his crosse, and at the same time prevent "body-checking." Sometimes he changes the crosse from one hand to another, or even turns his back, which makes it difficult for the enemy to get at his crosse. Sometimes, with a quick wrist-movement, he throws the ball over his opponent's head, or to one side, running on and catching it again before his antagonist has time to turn. On the other hand, the player who is trying to get the ball strives to knock it out of the runner's stick, or else, which is far more customary nowadays, he tries to upset him by "body-checking." One method of knocking a ball out of a runner's stick is to strike the crosse down, not hitting the ball, which may then be caught in the air.
Throwing. This is the term applied nowadays strictly to the Defence who "throw" the full length of the field. The act of sending the ball from one Attack man to another is now termed either " tipping," or •' passing," and that of attempting to send the ball between the posts a "shoot for goal." When an Attack player with the ball finds that he can run no farther and that dodging is useless, he passes the ball to another player on his own side, either one who is farther forward, or who has a clear field before him. There are many kinds of throws, of which only a few will be described here. Of Defence throws, the best is to turn the back in the direction in which the ball is to be thrown and raise the crosse straight up, so as to throw over the head. Skilful
elbow, the crosse being stopped suddenly just before the hands touch the face.
Perhaps the most universal, and certainly the best Attack throw is made by bringing the crosse around to the right side, then raising it, and throwing from the shoulder.
Tipping may be done in two ways: either by a single players' tossing the ball a foot or so and catching it again, repeating this performance as he runs, or else by two players running along together, and as each is compelled by opponents "checking" them to do so, tossing or passing the ball a few feet from one to the other. (See Rule XII.) Other details of the game are given in the following playing rules of the New England Amateur Lacrosse Association. Those of the rules relating to the discipline of the association and having nothing to do with the game, are omitted.
Rule I.—The Crosse. Sec. 1. The crosse may be of any length to suit the player; woven with catgut, which must not be bagged. ("Cat-gut" is intended to mean raw-hide, gut, or clock-strings; not cord or soft leather.) The netting must be flat when the ball is not on
must be brought through a hole at the side of the tip of the turn (to prevent the point of the stick catching an opponent's crosse). A leading string resting upon the top of the stick may be used, but must not be fastened, so as to form a pocket, lower down the stick than the end of the length strings. The length strings must be woven to within two inches of their termination, so that the ball cannot catch in the meshes.
Sec. 2. Players may change their crosse during a match.
Rule U.— Tke Ball. Sec. 1. The ball must be of sponge rubber, manufactured by the New York Rubber Co. In each match a new ball must be used, furnished by the home team. It shall become the property of the winning team.
Sec. 2. The ball shall be of the size of the ball marked No. 40, regulation by the New York Rubber Co.
Rule Ul.— TAe Goals. Sec. 1. The goals must be at least 125 yards from each other, and in any position agreeable to the captains of both sides. The top of the flagpoles must be six feet above the ground, including any top ornament, and six feet apart. In matches they must be furnished by the challenged party.
Rule IV.— The Goal Crease. Sec. 1. No attacking player must be within six feet of either of the flag poles, unless the ball has passed Cover-point's position on the field.
RULE V.—Referee. Sec. 1. The Referee shall be selected by the captains.
Sec. 2. Before the match begins, the referee shall see that properly qualified Umpires are selected, as provided for in Rule VI. All disputed points and matters of appeal that may arise during his continuance in office shall be left to his decision, which, in all cases, must be final, without appeal.
Sec. 3. Before the match begins, he shall draw the players up in lines,
and see that the regulations respecting the ball, crosses, spiked soles, etc., are complied with. He shall also see that the regulations respecting the goals are adhered to. He shall know before the commencement of a match the number of games to be played, the time for stopping, and any other arrangements that may have been made by the captains. He shall have the power to suspend, at any time during the match, any player infringing these laws—the game to go on during suspension.
Sec. 4. When "foul" has been called by either captain, the referee shall immediately cry " time," after which the ball must not be touched by either party, nor must the players move from the positions in which they happen to be at the moment, until the referee has called '"play." If a player should be in possession of the ball when "time" is called.he must drop it on the ground. If the ball enters goal after " time" has been called, it shall not count.
Sec. 5. The jurisdiction of the referee shall not extend beyond the match for which he is appointed; and he shall not decide in any matter involving the continuance of a match beyond the day on which it is played. The referee must be on the ground at the commencement of and during the match. At the commencement of each game, and after " fouls " and "balls out of bounds," he shall see that the ball is properly faced, and, when both sides are ready, shall call "play." He shall not express an opinion until he has taken the evidence on both sides. After taking the evidence, his decision in all cases must be final. Any side rejecting his decision, by refusing to continue the match, shall be declared losers.
Sec. 6. When game is claimed and disallowed, the referee shall order the ball to be faced for, from where it is picked up; but in no case must it be closer to the goals than ten yards in any direction.
Rule VI.— Umpires. Sec. 1. There shall be one Umpire at each goal. They shall not be members of either club engaged in a match, nor shall they be changed during its progress without the consent of both captains.
Sec. 2. Their jurisdiction shall last during the match for which they are appointed. They shall not change goals during a match.
Sec. 3. No person shall be allowed to speak to an umpire, or in any way distract his attention, when the ball is near or nearing his goal.
Sec. 4. They shall stand behind the flags when the ball is near or nearing their goal. In the event of game being claimed, the umpire at that goal shall at once decide whether or not the ball has fairly passed through the flags, his decision simply being "game" or " no game," without comment of any kind. He shall not be allowed to express an opinion, and his decision shall in all cases be final, without appeal.
Sec. 5. In the event of the field captains failing to agree upon the umpires, after three nominations (in accordance with this rule) have been made by each party, it shall be the duty of the referee to appoint one or more umpires, as may be required, who shall not be one of the persons objected to, who must be duly qualified, as required by this rule.
Sec. 6. Only the captain of either side and one other player by him appointed shall have the right to call "foul," and the referee shall not stop the game when "foul" is called by any one else. In championship matches they shall be appointed the day previous.
Rule VII.—Captains. Captains to superintend the play shall be appointed by each side previous to the commencement of a match. They shall be members of the club
by whom they are appointed, and no other. They may or may not be players in the match; if not, they shall not carry a crosse, nor shall they be dressed in lacrosse uniform. They shall select umpires and referees, as laid down in these rules, toss for choice of goals, and the captain and one player appointed by him shall be entitled to call " foul during a match. They shall report any infringement of the laws during a match to the referee.
Rule VIII.—Names of Players. The players on each side shall be designated as follows : " Goal-keeper," who defends the goal; " Point," first man out from goal; "Coverpoint," in front of Point; " Centre," who faces; "Home," nearest opponent's goal; others shall be termed •' Fielders.'
RULE IX.— Miscellaneous. Sec. 3. The game must be started by the referee facing the ball in the centre of the field between a player on each side. The ball shall be laid upon the ground between the sticks of the players facing, and when both sides are ready the referee shall call "play." The players facing shall have their left side toward the goal they are attacking, and shall not be allowed to use a left-handed crosse.
Sec. 4. A match shall be decided by the winning of most goals in every match, unless otherwise agreed upon. Games must in all cases be won by putting the ball through the goal from the front side.
Sec. 5. Captains shall arrange, previous to a match, whether it is to be played out in one day, postponed at a stated hour in the event of rain, darkness, etc., or to be considered a draw under certain circumstances, and if postponed, if it is to be resumed where left off.
Sec. 6. If postponed and resumed where left off, there shall be no change of players on either side.