Box lacrosse, also known as indoor lacrosse, is played in hockey rinks with the ice removed. Two teams of 5 players and a goalie, similar to hockey, compete against one another. The nets are 4’X4’ rather than a traditional 6’x6’ and goalies use their bodies and padding like a hockey goalie to stop shots. Players are always near the ball as there is no offside rule and a 30 second shot clock, similar to basketball. The professional indoor lacrosse association is called the National Lacrosse League (NLL) and has teams in Minnesota, Vancouver, Calgary, Denver, Edmonton, Rochester, Buffalo, Toronto and New England.
Why Play Box Lacrosse (besides the fact that it’s an absolute blast)?
That space restriction creates a much faster tempo and requires quicker decision-making. Players in the box game grow more accustomed to handling the ball and scoring in traffic. The box game is played at a higher tempo than the field game and in a much tighter space, This sharpens a players ability to react and you find that players with box experience, in many cases, have superior stick skills than those who have never played the box game before. When returning to the field, players with box lacrosse experience typically have an advantage with more time and space.
Differences from outdoor lacrosse which helps speed up player development
Cross checking is legal
Play in tighter spaces enforcing superior stick work
Subbing on the fly
30 sec shot clock
“If I had my choice, I would have every player under the age of 12 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 on a 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.”
-6X NCAA Championship Coach Bill Tierney, University of Denver