If your little one has taken to tossing his baseball across the yard with a broomstick, it may be time to think about lacrosse lessons. The sport that was traditionally known as an “East Coast thing” has become quite popular among San Diego kids. And with good reason: it’s action-packed and filled with lessons in good sportsmanship. Here’s what you need to know to get your kiddo playing on the field.

YouthLacrosse-MikeMorris-Flickr-640x480 Photo credit: Mike Morris via Flickr

The Basics
If you’re not familiar with lacrosse, it’s almost like a mix of field hockey and soccer. It’s quick, exciting and a great team sport. The goal of the game is to score by shooting the ball (approximately the size of a tennis ball) into an opponent’s goal, using the lacrosse stick to pass, catch and carry the ball.

There are a few differences between boys and girls lacrosse; the biggest being contact. In girls lacrosse, no intentional contact is allowed to the head or body. For boys, stick-to-body contact is an integral part of the game. Additionally, the girls play on a larger field and with twelve people while boys play with ten.

Check Out A League In Your Community
Lacrosse used to be a hard-to-find sport to join. But now there are youth lacrosse clubs in almost every part of San Diego. The sport tends to run during the spring season, so check out one of the leagues offered at these communities throughout San Diego:

If your kiddo is interested in playing, drop the team an email and ask about trying out out a practice. Many clubs let future players try out the sport before signing up.

Lacrosse-Keith-Anderson-Flickr-640x480Photo credit: Keith Anderson via Flickr

The Cost
Registration for one season can range from $300-$400, plus $25 for each player’s required annual U.S. Lacrosse membership. The first year your kiddo plays, the cost of gear may be hard to swallow (especially for the boys), but luckily it can be used for multiple years/seasons. Be sure to try used sports stores, like Play It Again Sports, or ask around your community.

Gear for boys and girls differs slightly. Boys are required to provide their own lacrosse stick, helmet, gloves, arm pads, shoulder pads, cleats, protective cup and mouthpiece. Girls wear a little less gear than the boys, since their game is less contact. Instead of a helmet and pads, they are required to wear goggles to protect the eyes, and will also need a stick, cleats and mouthguard.

Has your sports’ enthusiast expressed interest in playing lacrosse? Where do they like to play?

— Ginger Anderson