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The Field Lacrosse and Box Lacrosse Positions

Part of the Lacrosse For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The easiest way to know the positions on the field and in the arena is to know the responsibilities that come with them. In a nutshell, players have three main assignments that come with their positions: score goals (attack players), prevent the other team from scoring goals (defenders), and stop the ball from entering the net (goaltenders). In addition, in field lacrosse, one set of players — known as the midfielders — is regularly assigned the task of playing both offense and defense.

That said, the names of the positions and their precise responsibilities do vary in men’s and women’s field lacrosse and box lacrosse.

Here are the men’s field lacrosse positions:

  • Attackmen: The attackmen are the primary offensive weapons looking to feed and score. They create most of the offense and generally don’t play defense. They’re the three players kept on the opposite side of the midline while the ball is at the other end.

  • Midfielders: Midfielders play offense and defense, following the flow of the game and getting involved at both ends of the field. Midfielders, or “middies,” are crucial to a team’s transition offense and defense.

  • Defensemen: The role of the defensemen is generally to stop the opposing attackmen from creating offense or scoring. Occasionally, a defenseman will be dispatched to cover a dominant opposing midfielder.

  • Goaltender: In addition to stopping shots and getting the ball out of the defensive end, goalies are also responsible for directing the defense. Goalies in field lacrosse have to be more athletic than those in box lacrosse because of the larger goal (6 feet wide by 6 feet high in field, as opposed to just 4 feet wide by 4 feet high in box).

Here are the women’s field lacrosse positions:

  • Attack: The attack positions are made up of first, second, and third homes, and two attack wings, all of whom are responsible for scoring goals.

  • Defense: Defensive assignments are broken down into these areas: center, two defensive wings, point, cover point, and third man. Wing players move the ball from defense to offense.

  • Goaltender: The only player on the field wearing a helmet, her job is to prevent goals from being scored.

In box lacrosse, all five offensive players — the two creasemen, two cornermen, and pointman — also play defense:

  • Creasemen: These two players are generally the primary goal scorers who have strong one-on-one skills.

  • Cornermen: These two players trail the creasemen on offensive breaks.

  • Pointman: This player is a threat to score and usually a strong perimeter shooter, but his main role is to feed the ball to his teammates.

  • Goaltender: The final line of defense, his job is to keep the ball out of the net.

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