Sports Recommendation




Lacrosse may be a relatively unpopular sport for most in Hong Kong.  Reputed as “the fastest game on two feet”, the ball game has, however, taken the world by storm in recent years.  Not only has it emerged as a popular new sport in the city, it has also experienced robust growth with competitions hosted by its avid lovers.  Blending the elements of both basketball and football, lacrosse is a team ball game that emphasises individual skills, teamwork and tactics.  With the highest ball speed reaching 177 km/hour, the sport provides players and audience alike with exceptional and exciting experience.


The Origin of Lacrosse

With provenance from the indigenous people in North America, lacrosse was introduced to the United States, Canada and across Europe by missionaries in the 16th and 17th centuries.  Until now, it has been included in the Olympic Games five times, either as an official event or a demonstration sport.


In the early days of Hong Kong, a foreign professor at the University of Hong Kong introduced lacrosse to students during summer vacation.  It was therefore said that the development of the sport was restricted to the university campus in the very beginning.  It was only after the Hong Kong, China Lacrosse Association (HKLA) was founded in 1993 that the sport flourished and formally got promoted in the community.


What is Lacrosse?

A team ball game, lacrosse adopts two formats, namely six-a-side (Sixes) and ten-a-side (Tens).  Players use a long-handled stick with a net, a Lacrosse Stick or Crosse, to perform such movements as passing, catching and cradling, just like football.  The objective of the game is to outscore the opponents by shooting the ball into their goal.


There are men’s and women’s lacrosse, each with its own rules and equipment.  The sport is basically suitable for people of all ages, upon making adjustments as necessary.


Lacrosse Equipment 
Lacrosse Equipment

Lacrosse stick is the most important piece of equipment, in either the men’s or women’s game.  In men’s lacrosse, there are 3 types of lacrosse sticks.  The shorter one is called a “short stick”, which is ideal for attacks, for it can generate greater power with minimal effort, thereby allowing players to control, pass, and shoot the ball with ease.  It is therefore commonly used by attackers and midfielders.  The longer one is called a “long pole”, which is usually used for defense.  Its length enhances the effectiveness in blocking the opponents’ attacks, while allowing for better scooping.  As for the “goalie stick”, its length varies with individual preferences or habits, but the net at its end is bigger and more rounded than other types of sticks, thereby enabling the players to block the opponents’ shots more effectively.  In women’s lacrosse, only short sticks and goalie sticks are used in a game.  The sticks for female players are attached with a shallower net, making ball control more challenging and thus increasing the chance of dropping the ball.  It represents a stringent test of how well they can control the balls. 


Moreover, physical collision is generally more intense in men’s lacrosse, and that is why players must wear equipment such as helmets, shoulder pads, arm guards and gloves.  Given fewer physical collision is expected in women’s lacrosse and players must follow relatively stricter rules for stick checking, players are only required to wear sports mouth-guards in a match.  It is perfectly fine for them to decide, on their own, whether to wear goggles and gloves for safety’s sake. 


Rules of Lacrosse

There are men’s and women’s lacrosse.  The games can be played in Tens or Sixes, on grass fields or indoors.
Rules of Lacrosse


With more conventional rules, the Tens are played on grass fields.  A team is comprised of defenders, midfielders and attackers, each assigned with their own responsibilities.  As no limit is set on substitutions in such games, each team, including 10 starters and 8 to 13 substitutes, may have up to 23 male or 18 female players.  General speaking, every player enjoys chance to be sent to compete in a match.  Making substitutions will ensure all players on the field remain physically sound, and their team, as a whole, keeps its competitiveness throughout the match.


The Sixes are also known as the “basketball matches played with sticks”.  The team is comprised of a goalie and five other players who are free to either attack or defend.  Likewise, no limit is set on substitutions, with no more than 12 players allowed for each team.  The Sixes feature a 30-second shot clock, with the game to be played at a much faster tempo and with greater intensity than the Tens.  The Sixes enjoy a huge popularity among players and members of the public alike, for there are fewer requirements on the number of players and equipment.  This format may therefore become the mainstream of the sport in the future.



Competitions and Development of Lacrosse in Hong Kong

Competitions and Development of Lacrosse in Hong KongBefore 2000, lacrosse was nothing but a niche sport for fun and recreation in Hong Kong.  The rules, equipment and venues were all not up to standard.  In 2002, the HKLA sent a team to compete in the World Lacrosse Men’s Championship.  This helped promote lacrosse as a formal sport, contributing to its subsequent rapid development.
The HKLA has always been the active promotor of lacrosse, making the sport popular among children and youths of varying age groups.  It offers lacrosse demonstration sessions for over 100 schools across the city, more than 30 of which are even involved in organising long-term training courses or squad training.  In addition, the HKLA also holds events including All Hong Kong Inter-Primary Schools Lacrosse Competition and All Hong Kong Inter-Secondary Schools Lacrosse Competition.  Also, it collaborates with various organisations across the 18 districts in offering interest classes on lacrosse for children aged between 5 and 12, with a view to engaging the younger generation in the sport as early as possible and nurturing budding athletes of potential, thereby enhancing the competitiveness of Hong Kong Team in future. 


As a matter of fact, the Hong Kong Lacrosse Youth Team had taken part in various overseas competitions, including the World Championships, over the past four to five years, in the hope of gaining invaluable match experience.  Despite the brevity of lacrosse’s development in Hong Kong, it is already a middle ranking lacrosse team globally, having won a bronze medal in men’s lacrosse of the 2017 Asia Pacific Lacrosse Championship.  This year, the Hong Kong Lacrosse Men’s Team will compete in the World Lacrosse Men’s Championship in the United States, in a bid to gain more match experience in major events, strive for excellence, as well as enhance its overall strength.


As for local competitions, the 8th Hong Kong Lacrosse Open was hosted in the city this April.  The HKLA hopes that the holding of this major Asian tournament will promote the charm and popularity of lacrosse among members of the public.

Competitions and Development of Lacrosse in Hong Kong

Introduction to the Fundamental Skills of Lacrosse

In men’s lacrosse, despite frequent and intense physical collision, players’ body size is by no means the only benchmark against which we can measure their competitiveness.  As the sport requires the manoeuvre of sticks, players’ stick skills are instrumental in delivering victory in a match. 



There are five main criteria of stick skills in lacrosse: 


1 Cradling

Make a cradling movement while running; keep the ball within the net by leveraging centrifugal and centripetal forces.

2 Shooting

Get the ball into the goal with the perfect timing, just-right power and the best shooting angle.

3 Passing

Hit the ball accurately for teammates to catch it easily.

4 Catching

Anticipate the direction of the ball passed from teammates and catch it into the net.

5 Scooping

After the ball lands on the ground, use the stick to pick up the ball into the net to maintain possession.


Beginners should practice the fundamental skills first before exploring their best possible role in the team.  They may develop their personal style of play at a measured pace, and if done may then learn how to master advanced skills.