Sixes lacrosse has been a polarizing subject in the lacrosse world. Some are excited the game is finally getting recognition from the International Olympic Committee, while others aren’t thrilled with the new adaptation.
Regardless of your opinion, one thing that most can agree on is that there haven’t been many ways to watch the new version of the game. But thanks for Lacrosse Sports Network and The Fly, the UK’s national Sixes showcase, we finally have some Sixes lacrosse we can watch!
My Takeaways from Watching Sixes Lacrosse
The fastest game on two feet is now even faster.
The first thing you will notice when watching Sixes lacrosse is that the game is definitely faster. It’s been described as a box/field hybrid, but the biggest difference is the game is always moving. You don’t have the faceoffs, slow play out of the goal, or stalling behind the X. Players are constantly moving because of the 30-second shot clock. The transition is obviously different from what you’re used to, but it creates urgency on both sides of the field.
As an offense, you have to push the ball, because you don’t have a lot of time. As a defense, you have to get back quick, because you don’t want to give up an easy goal on the other end. Sixes lacrosse definitely has a basketball-like flow.
Even though the field is smaller, it still seems very spacious for the players. Its dimensions are larger than box but still smaller than field (Sixes lacrosse field dimensions are 230 feet in length and 118 feet in width). Having only five players for each side really opens up the playing field. Watching it on TV, you are surprised at how open it really is, although it might have been a bit of a camera angle trick that made the field look smaller than it actually is.
The one downside to Sixes is if an offensive player shoots, misses the goal, and the ball goes out of play, it’s a turnover. There wasn’t much doubling on defense, because as long as you force a bad shot, you’ll get the ball back. You don’t have to worry about “closest to the ball gains possession.”
It makes offensive possessions even more important, but as much as you would think. The short shot clock and fast game play mean you have more offensive opportunities than you would in traditional field lacrosse.
Some might look at the lack of specialty positions, like FOGO, LSM, and SSDM, and think Sixes doesn’t showcase the world’s best, but I’d argue the opposite. You don’t have players who only play offense or only play defense. Instead, you have to find athletes who can play both ways. Sure, you can sub on the fly, but even your “offensive” players will still have to play some defense throughout the game.
Use an Open Mind
Listen, new things can be difficult to accept, and Sixes isn’t the traditional field lacrosse game most of us grew up playing and watching. But if you throw out all your “traditional” lacrosse experience and watch Sixes with no judgments, you will find yourself enjoying a new, exciting version of the game.
Look at it this way: if Sixes takes off, we might end up with three different lacrosse options to watch and play, and who doesn’t want more lacrosse in their life?