You love field lacrosse. It’s the lacrosse you’ve known your whole life, and there’s nothing better than walking out to a fresh field of green in your cleats knowing an intense game is about to begin. So, if you’re already so dedicated to field, why play box lacrosse?
Box and field are both versions of the same game, but those who have played both know there are plenty of differences between the two. From the surface to the speed to the goal size, there are many opposing dynamics in these most popular versions of lacrosse.
But it’s all still lacrosse. Skills can translate, and you can use one to help you get better at the other.
In America, field is generally king, but box is steadily growing on this side of the border. There can be benefits for your field game if you dabble in box, and we’ve put together five ways in which playing the indoor edition of lax can progress you when you step outside onto the grass.
If you’re looking for opportunities to try out the box or put your skills to the test, PrimeTime Lacrosse, a leader in the lacrosse event world, is hosting the Galactic Games at the Seacoast United Indoor Arena in Hampton, New Hampshire, on Jan. 23-24, 2021, offering boys with grad years of 2021-2028 an unforgettable box lacrosse experience.
This is why you should play box lacrosse:
5 Reasons To Play Box Lacrosse
1. Think Faster
When you add up short-time shot clocks, a smaller playing surface, crosschecking, and boards that keep the ball in play, box forces you to think fast. A lot of times, people think this means, “playing fast,” but that’s not always the case.
In a hectic, chaotic environment, you can either find ways to manage it or go with the flow. When you play box lacrosse, it forces you to make that decision over and over and over, and the more you do it, the more the game seems to slow down. The truth is that the game has not gotten any slower – you’ve just learned how to think faster.
2. Limit Selfishness
A dominant field player can do a lot on their own, but it’s a lot harder to do so in box. The defense is so packed in and tight, and goalies are so well padded, that a one-man show is not a very sustainable approach. Sure, you can still “be the man” for your team, but if you’re not using your teammates a lot, you’re going to have a bad time. Through physical double and triple teams, box teaches good players to be great and to share the ball as part of that greatness.
3. Increase Mental Toughness
In field, you’ll see a player miss a shot wide, the ball will go out of bounds, and the player will drop their head in shame or frustration. In box, you simply cannot do this. The ball is probably not going out of bounds. If you miss a shot, you need to stay engaged. The play is not over.
This is true across the board. With play rarely stopping, you need to stay in the game, and this leads to reacting well to mistakes and misses instead of sulking. It’s a great attribute to learn early, and it’s a good reason why you can get better when you play box lacrosse.
4. There’s Nowhere to Hide
As you get better in field and play at a higher level, teams will look for weaker links, then attack. In youth, or even high school field lacrosse, this is not always the case. Weaker players can “hide” out on the field and let the other nine players on the team do the work.
In box, you really can’t hide. Everything is tighter, there is almost constant contact, and with fewer players out there, the chances are the ball is coming to/through you sooner rather than later. You can try to hide in box, but the ball will find you! Short-side field lacrosse also offers this benefit, especially at lower levels of play.
5. Improve Your Stick Skills
Almost every loose ball you pick up will be in traffic. Most passes you catch will be under some pressure. You will get checked, slashed and whacked every time you catch the ball. And again, because the ball doesn’t go out of bounds and there are only five teammates out there, you get a lot of reps at all this stuff. Finishing in tight, throwing accurate passes, being a ground ball machine – all of those skills get honed in a box to a high level!
If you can’t learn the above lessons, you probably won’t be successful inside the boards. The great news is that the skillset transfers really well to field, so if that’s a goal for you, it will all help. If you just want to play box, these skills will be hugely beneficial for the rest of your career, and you don’t need convincing as to why you should play box lacrosse.
After refining your skills in the box, PrimeTime Lacrosse has field events for you to challenge yourself and measure how much your time indoors helped you outdoors. From the Nantucket Lacrosse Festival for adults to a number of youth tournaments, like the Seaside Showdown, PrimeTime Shootout, NH Invitational and Bulldog Brawl. Additionally, the Lake George National Invitational is open to youth and adults, meaning opportunities for a family lacrosse weekend for all.