Both the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse Championship will once again take center stage on Memorial Day weekend. What started as a small niche sport, predominantly played by colleges located in the Northeast region of the country, has expanded to 70 (men’s) and 115 (women’s) member schools who compete in Division I.
Men’s and women’s lacrosse have a lot of in common, including the fast-paced intensity and physical stamina that are required to play on an elite level. However, there are a few differences to look out for when you tune into the NCAA championships. Men’s lacrosse allows stick-on-stick and full-force body checks while women’s lacrosse doesn’t allow any contact. Women’s lacrosse sticks are uniform in length while men’s lacrosse allows defensemen to have longer shafts. Additionally, men’s lacrosse utilizes a faceoff similar to hockey while in women’s lacrosse the ball is tossed in the air similar to basketball.
For any young lacrosse fan, the NCAA tournament provides similar excitement and unforgettable moments as March Madness does for basketball fans. The action is up and down the field with plenty of goals scored by each team. Broadcasters also do a great job explaining the rules to any newcomers during televised games. Fast play and teamwork will thrill any new lacrosse fan.
This year’s women’s championship game will be played in Baltimore on Sunday, May 26 at noon ET on ESPNU. The men’s title game will be played at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Monday, May 27. It will start at 1 p.m. ET and will be televised on ESPN2.
After the finals, The Tewaaraton Award is given out annually to the best college lacrosse men’s and women’s players in the country. It’s the sport’s equivalent to college football’s Heisman Trophy. It was awarded to Ben Reeves of Yale last year, as he led his team to its first lacrosse national championship with a record-tying 25 points in the NCAA tournament. Sam Apuzzo of Boston College won it on the women’s side.
If you would like to get your child involved in lacrosse, check out TGA’s upcoming camps for dates and times near you.