Coach B's Lax Blog

Lacrosse – Anything & Everything – What else is there?

Body Checking in Lacrosse

Posted by Barry Marenberg on December 3, 2010

Body contact is a big part of sports like football and hockey.  While lacrosse is about speed and finesse, body checking is also an integral part of the game. The game is very physical and contact is a huge and inevitable part of it.  Being aggressive and physical is a very good quality for a lacrosse player especially for defensive and midfield players, but even attackmen can benefit from good checking technique especially during a loose ball situation.  Body checking should never be used to injure or hurt an opponent and penalties can be called for excessively violent or over aggressive checking.

Typically lacrosse checks are basically attempts to:

  • Try to dislodge a ball from an opponent by attacking their stick with your stick
  • Try to harass or disrupt an attacking player
  • Try to block or move an opponent from picking up a loose ball

With regard to body checks, the rules of lacrosse (at almost all levels except at the very youngest ages where no contact is allowed) states that body checks can only be performed against the ball carrier, or any player within 5 yards of a loose ball. Outside of that 5 yards, a body check by a player will be called as a penalty.  A body check is thrown with a player’s shoulder in a manner similar to how a football player would block for a runner.  Body checks can never be thrown below the waist, above the shoulder, or from behind.  Players should never to use their heads as weapons.

US Lacrosse recently uploaded a short video in connection with body checking.  In the video, former Virginia men’s lacrosse All-American Brett Hughes speaks on executing an appropriate body check. You can view it by clicking the following link: US Lacrosse Body Checking

In previous posts I have written on cradling,  passing and catching and scooping ground balls.  Body checking is another skill of a competent lacrosse player.  In future posts I plan to begin discussing the various types of stick checks.


– Coach B


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