Box lacrosse is the indoor variation of field lacrosse. It developed in regions of the United States and Canada where playing traditional field lacrosse was much more difficult because of cold weather. Most indoor lacrosse games are still played inside a hockey arena and can be played throughout the year.
Enough differences exist between box lacrosse and field lacrosse that the two seem like completely different sports. Indoor lacrosse is much rougher by nature than outdoor lacrosse. It is usually played in a hockey arena because it definitely embodies certain aspects of hockey; there is much more physicality involved in going for the lacrosse ball.
“The reason that we love this program so much is that we see our players develop more quickly and noticeably than in anything else we do. The indoor setting is the absolutely best way for youth lacrosse players to get better. There is no question about it . The boards keep the ball in play, in a tighter space with only five players on the field, so all the younger players, regardless of skill, get way more touches and repetitions than in field lacrosse. The drills that you can run and just the overall style of the game allow players to develop their stick skills in a way that is just impossible to achieve through just playing field lacrosse .”
There is another version of the game, however, that many don’t know much about, called box lacrosse. Box lacrosse (sometimes known simply as “box”) originated in Canada where it remains equally, if not more, popular than the field game. So what’s different about box lacrosse? Well, besides the fact that you need a lacrosse stick to play, almost everything.
“American field players would really help themselves if they were exposed to a steady stream of box experience.” – University of Virginia Head Coach, Dom Starsia
Even though field lacrosse purists continue to try, there’s no denying the impact of box lacrosse on the landscape of the sport as a whole. Box lacrosse players are consistently being recruited to play at the highest levels of collegiate field lacrosse, and with good reason. Box players bring a different skill set to the field game with superior stick skills, scoring ability and toughness.
"Playing time reflects where you come from; the greater the field
reputation, the greater the playing time. It's a shame because box players could and will have a big influence on the field game in the future.
I know it" -- Former Syracuse attackman/box player Emmett Printup Sr., in American Indian Lacrosse: Little Brother of War, 1991
Kyle Wharton didn't think twice.
A left-handed attackman from Johns Hopkins, Wharton was renowned for his side-arm release and blistering shot. A devastating catch-and-shoot routine that had been engraved in YouTube lore a year earlier when he went top-shelf against Towson and left a massive hole in the back of the net.