Did you know Lacrosse is North America’s oldest organized sport? While lacrosse is not a major sport to bet on, some top sportsbooks do offer lacrosse action, typically under “Other Sports.”
In this post, we will introduce you to lacrosse in-depth, including the different types of lacrosse, the history of the game, types of lacrosse wagers, and more. We also will point you in the direction of some recommended online sportsbooks for lacrosse.
What is Lacrosse?
Lacrosse is a game that takes place on a field with goals at opposite ends. As in many other field sports such as soccer, lacrosse players need to try and get a ball through their opponent’s goal. But what makes lacrosse distinctive are the “crosses,” or “lacrosse sticks” they need to use to move the ball.
Types of Lacrosse
While we are referring to lacrosse as if it is a single sport, in actuality, it can be said to be more like a cluster of closely related sports. There are a few different types of lacrosse, and the rules between them range widely enough that we can refer to them as individual sports.
- Field lacrosse:
This name refers to men’s full-contact outdoor lacrosse. Each team has 10 players. Called the “fastest sport on two feet,” it requires helmets, gloves, arm pads, and shoulder pads for its players.
- Women’s lacrosse:
Also called “girls’ lacrosse” or “lax,” this is a form of lacrosse with 10 players per team. Unlike field lacrosse, contact is limited. That means that players wear a lot less in the way of protective gear as well, which comes down to just a mouth guard and goggles. Like men’s field lacrosse, women’s lacrosse is also played outdoors.
- Box lacrosse:
As you might have guessed, this is the indoor form of lacrosse, sometimes called just “box” or “boxla.” It features contact and protective gear.
This is another non-contact lacrosse sport that also goes by the names “pop lacrosse,” “soft stick lacrosse,” “modcrosse” or “softcrosse.” The equipment differs from regular lacrosse equipment, and the sport is especially popular in Europe.
Describing how women’s lacrosse differs from men’s lacrosse, Rosabelle Sinclair said, “Lacrosse, as women play it, is an orderly pastime that has little in common with the men’s tribal warfare version except the long-handled racket or crosse (stick) that gives the sport its name. It’s true that the object in both the men’s and women’s lacrosse is to send a ball through a goal by means of the racket, but whereas men resort to brute strength the women depend solely on skill.”
We will be focusing mainly on men’s and women’s field lacrosse but also talking about box and intercrosse. You might find action on any of these types of lacrosse under the “lacrosse” tab at your online betting site.
Top Betting Sites for Lacrosse
We are going to share more with you about the sport of lacrosse and how to wager on it in the rest of our guide, but right now, we want to introduce you to the top online sportsbooks for lacrosse.
Bovada is basically the ultimate US-facing sportsbook. With their huge selection of sports to bet on, it is not a surprise they offer wagering on lacrosse.
At the time of this writing, we are seeing wagering offered on Premier Lacrosse League games.
When you sign up on Bovada to bet on lacrosse, you can pick up a $750 Bitcoin Sports Welcome Bonus or a $250 Regular Sports Welcome Bonus. You can grab $3,000 in Welcome Cash for the casino as well if you want ($3,750 if depositing crypto). You also can take advantage of the site’s rewards program.
BetOnline is often one of our very top recommended sportsbooks right alongside Bovada. This well-established betting site serves customers in the US and Canada, and offers top-notch service, fast and easy credit card processing, a large number of sports to bet on, and other great benefits.
Like Bovada, at the time of this writing, BetOnline is accepting wagers on Premier Lacrosse League games.
You can pick up a 50% Sports Welcome Bonus when you sign up on BetOnline, or a 100% Bonus on Your First Crypto Deposit. Get another 25% Bonus when you reload your account (35% for crypto deposits). Also grab the 100% Casino and Poker Welcome Bonuses.
The folks that operate BetOnline bought SportsBetting when it was struggling some years back, and turned it into a high quality site that is comparable to BetOnline itself.
On SportsBetting, you can also place wagers on lacrosse. At the time of this writing, we are again seeing PLL betting offered.
This site allows newcomers to claim a 50% Sports Welcome Bonus and a 100% First Time Crypto Bonus. As you might have guessed, there are 25% and 35% Reload Bonuses. The Casino Bonus is $3,000, and there is a 100% Bonus on your first deposit. SportsBetting also features a special “Odds Booster” promotion, though it usually is only available for major sports.
Other Sportsbooks That May Offer Lacrosse Betting
When we checked MyBookie today, we did not see any lacrosse wagering, but a page for lacrosse did exist in the past. We are not sure if this is a bug or if lacrosse comes and goes from the site, but at least at some point in time, MyBookie did accept bets on this sport.
We noticed something similar with Xbet. But in the case of Xbet, there is a page for lacrosse betting. It just is empty right now.
As of right now, there are only a few sites we recommend for lacrosse betting. Thankfully, Bovada, BetOnline and SportsBetting are all fantastic options.
History of Lacrosse
Now that you know where you can wager on lacrosse, let’s learn a bit more about the history of this exciting sport.
Lacrosse was invented by the members of indigenous tribes in North America. Play dates back at least as far as 1100 AD.
The game was particularly popular in Canada, where it was originally played by massive teams. Sometimes as many as 1,000 men would participate in a match. The fields would span miles, and the games would take multiple days to complete. They were meant to imitate war, and were a ritual offering to the Creator. Indeed, the tribes referred to lacrosse as “The Creator’s Game.”
You have probably noticed that “lacrosse” is a French name. It was coined in 1637 by a Jesuit missionary from France named Jean de Brébeuf. The name “lacrosse” translates to “the stick.” Indeed, in France, the name for field hockey was “le jeu de la crosse.”
It was not until the 1830s, however, that the game started spreading beyond the indigenous tribes. Canadian dentist William George Beers established the Montreal Lacrosse Club in 1856. In fact, field lacrosse is the oldest codified form of lacrosse, with the first set of formal rules released in 1867 by Beers. That same year, the first codified match took place, pitting Upper Canada College against the Toronto Cricket Club.
Several decades later in 1890, women’s lacrosse was introduced in Scotland by Louisa Lumsden. Rosabelle Sinclair began a club in the US in 1926. In the 1930s, indoor lacrosse was invented.
Lacrosse Events to Bet On
World Lacrosse is the organization that is responsible for overseeing lacrosse competitions. This organizing body recognizes Native American and First Nations tribes as sovereign nations. No other international sports regulatory body does so.
Here are some major lacrosse competitions you can wager on:
- World Lacrosse Championship:
This event, abbreviated simply “WLC,” is the most important competition in men’s field lacrosse. It takes place every four years, with its history dating back to 1967. The United States is usually the champion.
- World Lacrosse Women’s World Championship:
This event is abbreviated “WLWWC.” It used to go by the name “Women’s Lacrosse World Cup,” or “WLWC.” It takes place every four years (since 1982), like the men’s event, and is the most important international competition in women’s lacrosse. Once again, the country that wins the most is the US.
- World Box Lacrosse Championship:
The most important event in box lacrosse is the World Box Lacrosse Championship (WBLC). It was formerly called the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship (WILC). Like the other competitions discussed above, it happens once every four years. It has not been around for nearly as long, with the inaugural event taking place in 2003. Interestingly enough, this event has thus far been dominated by Canada, not the US. The Iroquois Confederacy also has consistently outperformed the US.
- Under-19 World Lacrosse Championships:
These championships include events for men and women, who compete separately. They take place every four years. The US has been the champion for every men’s edition and has also won the majority of the women’s editions.
It may surprise you to learn that lacrosse is not part of the Summer Olympics. It did appear in the 1904 games as well as the 1908 games, but it has not been part of the Olympics since.
In 2018, World Lacrosse received provisional status from the International Olympic Committee. There is a chance that lacrosse will show up in the Olympic Games scheduled for summer 2028, but we will have to wait and see.
Along with the major international competitions we have shared above, there are smaller domestic competitions you can wager on.
Lacrosse Rules and Gameplay
- Field Lacrosse
Here are the basics of men’s field lacrosse:
- Two teams, each with 10 players
- Team positions include three attackers, three midfielders, three defenders, and one goalie
- Players wear helmets, face masks, arm pads, shoulder pads and gloves as well as mouth guards and athletic supporters. Some leagues do not use shoulder pads
- Games take place over 60 minutes with four 15-minute sections
- 110 by 60 yards outdoor field
- Goals measure 6 by 6 feet
- Each team’s objective is to get the ball through the goal of the other team
- A “crease” surrounds each goal and protects the goalie from contact with sticks or players (who must remain outside of it)
- Three players per team must always be in the offensive zone
- Four players per team must always be in the defensive zone
- Breaking the zone rules above can result in a technical foul or losing possession
- A face-off begins play at the start of every quarter
- Players may use stick checking as well as contact to try and obtain possession
- Which team receives the ball if it travels out of bounds depends on the specific circumstances (look up the full rules for more details)
- Substitutions are allowed; usually they require the use of the substitution area, but there are exceptions following goals and penalties
- A penalty may cause a team to proceed with one fewer player, which is called “time serving,” or losing possession of the ball
- Women’s Lacrosse
Here are the basics of women’s lacrosse:
- Two teams with 10 players each (12 at the collegiate level)
- Games last 60 minutes and are divided into four quarters
- There are two timeouts per team per game
- Field is usually 91.4 to 110 meters long and 55 to 60 meters wide
- Goals are surrounded by creases, and only the goalies are allowed in them
- Players must wear mouth guards and goggles
- A team usually features several midfielders and an equal number of attackers and close defenders
- Attackers and defenders are required to stay inside their zones, lest there be a major foul
- Unlimited substitutions are allowed via the substitution area
- In most cases, following the ball going out of bounds, the opposing team receives the ball (there are exceptions if it went out of bounds during a shot or deflected shot)
- Fouls result in free positions
- While contact is not part of women’s lacrosse, stick checking still is
Neither of the lists of rules above is complete; you will need to study the full rules in detail before betting on lacrosse.
Glancing at the rules for men’s and women’s lacrosse, you might think that these two sports are essentially the same.
Despite the surface-level similarities, watching games, you will quickly notice that they play quite differently.
The differences in contact really make for distinctive experiences. Women need to rely on entirely different strategies than men playing the game since they cannot rely on brute force.
Why Wager on Lacrosse?
If you have never bet on lacrosse before, here are just a reason reasons why you should get into it.
- A cross between other sports you know and love.
- Fast-paced action.
- A quintessentially North American sport.
- You might get an edge.
- Lacrosse is becoming more popular.
Lacrosse will remind you of soccer, basketball, and hockey all at once.
The speed of play along with the typically high-scoring nature of lacrosse both make it a thrill to watch and wager on.
Another reason to consider betting on lacrosse is simply that you happen to be from the US or Canada. There is a lot of fascinating history to explore with lacrosse, and it can be fun to get involved with something that is such an important part of indigenous culture.
Because lacrosse is not a major sport for sportsbooks, they spend less in the way of resources on handicapping for it. If you follow lacrosse closely, that might give you the opportunity to get an edge.
Throughout the 21st century, we have seen major growth in the popularity of lacrosse.
Types of Lacrosse Bets
Here are some of the different types of wagers you can make on the various formats of lacrosse.
- Live bets:
Wager on which lacrosse team will win a match.
Points are added and subtracted to handicap betting on a match.
Totals, also called “over/under” bets, are popular for lacrosse since it is a high-scoring sport. You simply bet on whether the total score at the end of a lacrosse match will be above or below a particular amount.
Bet on the outcome of a lacrosse event that is scheduled some distance in the future (for example, you could wager on an international competition well in advance).
Parlays and other accumulator wagers let you put multiple lacrosse selections on one betting slip.
You can place proposition bets to wager on things that do not directly involve lacrosse game outcomes.
Try making live bets when a lacrosse game is in progress if you think you have an edge based on your in-play analysis.
Because there is often a clear favorite in international competitions (with certain countries dominating so consistently), you may find that totals bets, accumulators, and other types of wagers offer better opportunities than simply wagering on the outright winners in these events.
Lacrosse Betting Strategies
To help you start out on the right foot with lacrosse betting, here are some basic tips:
Do not assume you know how to bet on men’s lacrosse if you usually wager on women’s lacrosse or vice versa.
First of all, if you are not familiar with rule differences between the sports, that is going to throw off your betting decisions. Secondly, knowing the tactics that male players use will not help you guess what those female players will use, or vice versa. You need to read the rules for the lacrosse sport you are betting on and actually watch some of that form of lacrosse. Avoid making assumptions.
Be aware that collegiate lacrosse also differs from international lacrosse.
Likewise, domestic leagues may have different rules as well. Look into these differences before you stake money on games.
Watch out for pacing differences between different types of lacrosse.
Different field sizes and variations in shot clocks can account for these differences, even when games run for the same period of time. It is especially important to keep this in mind when you are making totals bets.
Research and strategize before you place your wagers.
Test a system on paper before you put it to use live with real cash.
Shop for value.
If you want to make good money on lacrosse betting, then you have to identify scenarios where you have done a better job than the house at handicapping. Joining more than one sportsbook will let you pick the site with the most competitive odds for your wagers each time.
While there are many useful terms to know when you are watching and betting on lacrosse, a full glossary would be beyond the scope of this 101 guide. But here are a few of the basics. Knowing these terms, you should find following lacrosse games easier.
- Alligator arms:
- Attack zone:
- Body Check:
- Behind the Back (BTB):
- Cross check:
- Defensive zone:
- Elevator shot:
- Five hole:
- Go to X:
- Middie back:
- Midfielder line:
- Short stick:
- Stick check:
- Turf monster:
- Turf shoes:
You may hear someone use this term to describe a player who is not extending their arms properly to shoot with maximum power.
This is the part of the field that contains the goal a team is trying to score.
This is a player who is on offense.
A coach or spectators may sometimes shout this at players who are on defense. The idea is to tell the player to counter an attacker using their body rather than just stick checks.
This refers to using one’s body to strike an opponent.
This is the name of a particular type of shooting technique.
In the course of face-off, to “clamp” the ball is to use the lacrosse head to trap it.
To “clear” the ball is to send it into the offensive half from the defensive half.
When a player runs with the ball, they have to use “cradling” to hold the ball in place in the head of the stick.
This is the section of the field immediately around each goal. Goalies alone are permitted within the crease.
Rule books define this as a “check with that part of the handle of the crosse that is between the player’s hands, either by thrusting away from the body or by holding it extended from the body.”
This may simply refer to the lacrosse stick.
This player is also referred to as a “short stick defensive middie.” This player is a midfielder who excels at defense.
This type of stick is used by defenders. It is longer than a short stick.
This is a player who focuses on trying to prevent the other team from scoring.
This is the zone that a team is defending.
If a player of lacrosse has been “de-twigged,” it means that another player was able to use a stick check to get them to drop their stick. Sometimes lacrosse sticks are called “twigs.”
This is a shot into the goal that starts low and ends high.
At the beginning of a lacrosse game, there is a face-off to get possession. This also takes place after goals are scored. It is a critical skill for a team’s success.
This word can be used to refer to an assist.
The opening under the legs of the goalie is called the “five hole.”
This is short for “face off get off,” and refers to someone who excels at face-offs.
This refers to when a player attempts a clear from way across the field. Often, it is a goalie that tries to do this. If there were a player available to pass to, that would probably be what they would normally do, but if there is not, trying to send it into offensive territory may be their best bet.
If you hear a coach shouting this, it means that an attacking player should position themselves behind the goal.
A player using a long defensive stick as a middie is a “Long stick middle,” or LSM.
Midfielders in lacrosse are often just called “middies” for short.
If a midfielder is getting too close to the offensive zone, some people may shout “middle back” to them as a warning.
This is the name of the line that separates the two halves of the field.
When the wrong number of players are in the zones, there is an “off-sides” penalty.
This is what people call practice uniforms for lacrosse.
To “ride” a player is to try and stop them from clearing.
If a player is a “shortie,” they are playing with a short pole.
The short stick or pole can be contrasted with the D-pole. Defenders use D-poles, as do LSMs. But middies and attackers use short sticks.
If a player strikes the helmet of another, they have “slashed” that player, which is a foul.
Also called a “pole check,” this is the use of the stick to try and impede an attacker.
It is a foul to use one’s stick to trip a player.
This term refers to whatever nonexistent thing appears to have tripped a player out in the field who has stumbled for no obvious reason.
Somewhat ironically, these shoes are worn for indoor play. Outdoor play requires cleats.
The position that is behind the goal by 5-10 yards is “X.”
Wager on Lacrosse Now
Now you know more about the basics of the different types of lacrosse as well as where you can wager on lacrosse and what types of bets you can make. We have also given you some tips for starting out as well as some additional information about the sport.
If you are ready to get started, click any of the links in this post to bet on lacrosse now!
And While You’re Here, Don’t Forget to Check Out: